When you think of the ‘Big Easy’, you probably think of vibrant, bustling nightlife, rich history, and a distinctive festive atmosphere that welcomes travelers both young and old. If you are planning a vacation to the largest city in Louisiana, you will obviously be looking to make the most of every second. So, what activities should you be adding to your itinerary?
Here are three suggestions to inspire you throughout this exciting planning stage.
New Orleans swamp tours
Bayous, or swamps, are commonplace in the areas in the south-east of the United States, and New Orleans is known to have some of the most scenic and diverse of them all. This is why swamp tours have become so popular among tourists in recent years. Explore traditional Creole culture and set your sights on a myriad of stunning animal species as you cruise along the peaceful waters with your loved ones.
Most swamp tours from New Orleans take you to places that cannot be reached by foot, adding an element of adventure to the experience. Tours of the swamps generally last between 4-6 hours and often include transportation to and from your hotel. You will usually be accompanied by a guide and/or a boat driver who is well-versed in local culture and history with plenty of incredible stories to share. Choose from small group tours for a more intimate experience or opt for a larger group tour (usually over 20 people) if you are keen to conserve cash.
Party in the French Quarter
The French Quarter is the longest standing neighborhood in New Orleans and is where you will find the exuberant nightlife that everyone has been talking about. There are a few streets and alleys that are must-visits, such as Bourbon Street in the heart of the Quarter. This street is lined with swanky bars and ‘gentlemen’s clubs’, but it also holds the key that unlocks many of the tales into the city’s past.
Along with Bourbon Street, ensure that you make a stop in Pirate’s Alley near Jackson’s Square. Legend has it that this alley was a hub for pirates many years ago and it still exudes an eerie quality certain to excite those who get a kick out of learning about local folklore.
Explore the City Park
When visiting New Orleans, one cannot miss the vibrant and lovely City Park, a true gem nestled within the heart of the city. With its enchanting landscapes, rich history, and diverse range of activities, City Park offers an unforgettable experience for locals and tourists alike. Spanning over 1,300 acres, this urban oasis provides a sanctuary of natural beauty with sprawling oak trees, picturesque lagoons, and colourful floral displays. Visitors can walk through the park’s winding trails, rent bicycles or paddleboats, or simply relax in the tranquil surroundings.
The park is also home to an impressive collection of outdoor art installations and sculptures, adding an artistic flair to the picturesque scenery. From family-friendly playgrounds to botanical gardens and a charming amusement park, City Park New Orleans tends to cater to all ages and interests. Furthermore, the park hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing the city’s vibrant culture and local talent. Whether it’s a leisurely picnic, a romantic stroll, or an adventurous day of exploration, City Park is a must-visit destination that truly captures the essence of this lively city.
Visit the French Market
You will also find the French Market in the French Quarter. This cheerful gathering place spans six blocks, providing locals and tourists alike with a host of enthralling shopping opportunities. The market is the oldest of its kind in the USA and was originally created as a Native American trading post before European colonization took place.
Here, you will find plenty of delicious food on offer, including Cajun favorites, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of scrumptious seafood. You will also find several vendors selling an array of homemade wares, from soaps and lotions to candles and tablecloths. Be sure to buy yourself and your loved ones a few souvenirs while you have the chance.
Enjoy your vacation. There is no doubt that you will be back again soon!