Dynamic is an understatement when it comes to New Orleans. The vibrant city boasts an overlap of cultural influence that’s unlike any other American locale. Drawing from French, Spanish and African roots, “The Big Easy” is a warm and welcoming mecca of food, drink, music, and unapologetic celebration. Tradition reigns supreme across the flamboyant city, where locals and visitors come together to revel in everything from the mystical to the macabre. Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest mark the most popular reasons to visit, but there’s no bad time to get yourself to Louisiana’s life-changing (unofficial) capital.
While we certainly suggest you soak in New Orleans for more than a day, here’s a playbook if you’re strapped for time…
12PM: Picnic Paradise
Be sure to spend some time in the beautiful and expansive Audubon Park. Set up a picnic, observe the wildlife, check out the trails, or just BE.
1PM: Drink Your Vegetables
Mr. B’s is notorious for serving bloody marys and martinis for a mere $1.50 all week long from 11:30am-2:00pm. RUN.
2PM: Feeling Flirty?
Coquette has been a major player in the NOLA food game for over ten years. Chef Michael Stoltzfus continuously reinvents the menu to keep things fresh. Duck roasted on the bone? We’ll take it.
3PM: You Deserve This
Six scrumptious miles of strolling, shopping, eating, and shopping. Did we say shopping? Swing by Funky Monkey for an array of new, used and vintage clothing you can’t live without.
Head to Royal Street to peruse a plethora of fine art galleries and down to earth antique shops. Bonus: You’re just a block away from the Bourbon Street bustle.
5PM: Sunset Situation
Time to sit down? Treat yourself to some wine, cheese, and live music at Bacchanal. Get there before sunset for a serious view.
6PM: Take A Stroll
Walk along Freret Street and soak it all in. There’s something for everyone, but make sure you check out the Arts & Entertainment district between Jefferson and Napoleon Avenues.
7PM: Cajun Roots
At Cochon, award-winning chef Donald Link cooks up some of the most delicious Cajun southern
8PM: Fresh Air
Situated in the French Quarter, Cafe Amelie boasts a beautiful courtyard that provides the ideal setting for just about any meal. Post up in the backyard garden for an after-dinner digestif and breathe in your surroundings.
9PM: Broiled Bivalves
Whether or not oysters are your thing, you’ll love Drago’s famous charbroiled version. Garlic, cheese, butter, parsley, boom.
Founded in 1961 to “protect, preserve, and perpetuate” New Orleans Jazz, Preservation Hall is the ultimate destination for live music in the French Quarter. Contribute to
11PM: Mix It Up
Fancy when it comes to your cocktails? Same.
12AM: Art After Hours
Head to the St. Claude Avenue Art Garage, where you can find a wide range of multi-disciplinary artisans showcasing their creations every Thursday through Saturdays until 1 a.m.
1AM: Turn Up
2AM: Scantily Clad
Feel like a show? The AllWays Lounge & Cabaret has an eclectic lineup of burlesque performers and avant-garde entertainment.
3AM: Miss College?
Head to Pat O’Brien’s to get your keg stand on. Serving up hangovers since 1933, this place is sure to revive your inner party girl.
4AM: Boozy Beignets
You can’t leave New Orleans without experiencing a beignet or four. Cafe Du Monde has been an iconic New Orleans institution since 1862. Did we mention it’s open 24/7?
5AM: Mic Check
Tap into your inner diva and sing your heart out all night long at Kajun’s Pub. With over 50,000 songs to choose from and a full bar 24/7, there’s literally something for everyone.
6AM: Lucky AF
Why go to sleep when you can double your net worth? From slot machines to high roller rooms, Boomtown has it all in the bag.
7AM: No Days Off
NOLA is equipped with three Orange Theory locations for those of you who set fitness goals and actually stick to them. Good for you.
8AM: Wake Up!
Start your day by filling your caffeine quota at Spitfire Coffee. If you’re into spicy libations, try the Hellfire Mocha.
Take the time to visit the National WWII Museum and immerse yourself in the history of the war that changed the world.
10AM: Ghosts & Goblins
You can’t leave New Orleans without visiting Lafayette Cemetery. Established in 1833 and still in use today, the property is home to about 1,100 family tombs and has made silver screen cameos in Double Jeopardy and Dracula 2000.
11AM: When In Rome
Last stop = Killer PoBoys. You’re in New Orleans, do the right thing.