No trip to New Orleans is complete without exploring the historic French Quarter. Cobblestone streets, iron balconies, and colorful architecture transport you to 18th century New Orleans. This neighborhood is packed with iconic landmarks like Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the French Market. Wander down Bourbon Street to people watch and hear live jazz spilling onto the streets. Stop for a classic Hurricane cocktail and beignets at Cafe Du Monde. History buffs will appreciate a guided walking tour to learn all about the Quarter’s origins and hear stories from centuries past. Planning a bachelor or bachelorette party? Bourbon Street has no shortage of lively bars and adult entertainment.
For a more low-key experience, head uptown to the Garden District. This historic residential neighborhood features gorgeous antebellum mansions and sprawling live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Marvel at the ornate ironwork gates and stately columns lining the streets. Magazine Street runs through the heart of the Garden District and offers boutique shopping, art galleries, and quaint cafes serving up Southern fare. If you’re a literature lover, keep an eye out for former residences of famous New Orleans writers like Anne Rice, Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams.
Adjacent to the French Quarter lies Faubourg Marigny, one of New Orleans’ funkiest and most vibrant neighborhoods. This area oozes creative energy with brightly painted cottages, eccentric locals, impromptu second line parades, and street art murals galore. Music seeps from every corner, whether it’s live jazz on Frenchman Street or backyard jam sessions. Must-see landmarks include the St. Roch Market food hall and St. Claude Avenue, the unofficial “main street” of Marigny. Grab a tasty po’ boy at Parkway Bakery and Tavern or satisfy your sweet tooth with cookies from the Blue Dot Donuts shop.
Continue your exploration of NOLA’s arts district in the Bywater neighborhood. With a distinct hipster vibe, Bywater draws creative types and young professionals. You’ll find converted warehouses turned art galleries, funky dive bars with live music, and some of the city’s most inventive cuisine. Don’t miss a chance to browse the Bywater Art Market and nosh on tacos at The Joint. Catch the neighborhood spirit by snapping pics in front of the quirky “Be Nice or Leave” sign. Planning a group outing to Mardi Gras World or the National WWII Museum? Bywater’s central location makes it a perfect home base.
Experience New Orleans’ past and present colliding in the Warehouse District downtown. Once home to bustling ports and railroads, this revitalized area now buzzes with some of the city’s hottest restaurants, music venues, art galleries, and museums. History aficionados will appreciate tours of historic landmarks like Lafayette Square and the WWII Museum. Foodies won’t want to miss tasting creations by celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh. Catch an intimate jazz performance at the Spotted Cat Music Club or dance the night away on Frenchman Street.
Known as the birthplace of jazz, Tremé packs a musical punch. As you meander down streets lined with Creole cottages, keep an ear out for impromptu jam sessions and local brass bands. Congo Square, located within Louis Armstrong Park, is a legendary spot where slaves would gather on Sundays to sing and dance. Pay your respects at the Backstreet Cultural Museum exhibiting Mardi Gras Indian suits and second line paraphernalia. Planning to attend Jazz Fest? Staying in Tremé means you’ll have the shortest walk to the Fair Grounds. Cap off your evening with delicious gumbo ya ya and po’ boys.
NOLA locals flock to Mid-City for its relaxed vibe and wealth of dining and entertainment options. Start your visit in City Park – one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Let the kids burn off energy at the amusement park or Storyland playground. Adults will swoon over the New Orleans Museum of Art and its picturesque lagoons and gardens. After recharging with beignets at Morning Call, head down Canal Street to check out music clubs and dive bars. Catch an indie film at the historic Broad Theater or sing along during a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Escape the tourist crowds by venturing to the laid-back Carrollton neighborhood. Shop for vintage treasures and handmade crafts at The Make Market followed by Belgian waffles at Camellia Grill. Stroll along the banks of Bayou St. John and across the picturesque “Ponchartrain Expressway” bridge. Relax with a cold Abita beer at Parasol’s Bar & Restaurant, a local dive serving up po’ boys since 1952. Families will love the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas. Wrap up your day catching the sunset over the Mississippi River levee.
See a whole different side of New Orleans in historic Algiers Point. Nestled across the river, this quaint neighborhood reveals beautiful views of downtown’s skyline. Wander past 19th century churches, shotgun-style houses, and local corner stores. Stop to photograph the bright murals and sculptures created by local artists. At McDonogh Park, let the kids play on the playground before enjoying live music at the Old Point Bar. Cross back over to the city center on the Algiers Ferry the cheapest ride in town!
Book a Bus With Us
With so many diverse neighborhoods and attractions to experience, the best way to explore New Orleans with a group is by chartering a bus with New Orleans Party Bus Company. Our team handles all the logistics – from routing and parking to pickups and dropoffs – so you can maximize your time discovering the real NOLA. Whether you need a mini bus for an intimate group outing or a 56-passenger coach to shuttle the whole crew, we’ve got you covered. Contact New Orleans Party Bus Company today at 504-459-0899 to get started planning your custom New Orleans group tour!