• Fun Things To Do In New Orleans

    ZZZippy's Guide to the Best Things To Do in New Orleans, LA

    There is no place on earth quite like New Orleans, LA. Home of Cajun and Creole Cooking (and of course the Po-Boy sandwich), world-famous libations such as the Sazerac, the Obituary Cocktail, and the Ramos gin fizz and of course one of the largest ongoing parties on earth, Mardi Gras. However, this amazing city is also home to the largest ports in the United States’ biggest ports and is famous all around the world for its distinct and unique architectural style that encompasses French and Spanish elements. New Orleans is where both jazz and poker were born.

    For those who appreciate the spooky side of life, this unique city is also where Voodoo originated and is considered the most haunted city in America.

    Regardless of your taste or attitude, this Louisiana city has something for everyone and ZZZippy is going to make your visit just that much better by providing you this list of Fun Things to do in New Orleans!

  • Walk the French Quarter

    Everyone from artists and art critics to history buffs and music lovers will enjoy the French Quarter. This famous area of New Orleans is the prefect place with hundreds of restaurants, endless shopping opportunities, many attractions and architecture that is as original as it is charming.

    Rich in history, culture and art (and obviously food) New Orleans' French Quarter is a place that you have to visit when in the famous city.

    Dine at the Small, Locally Owned Restaurants

    When dining in New Orleans stay away from the chains and franchises. You only have so much time to enjoy the delicious local cuisine provided by family owned restaurants. Starting with Jimmy J's Cafe who serves up what might be the best Po-Boy in N'awlins (about $3-$8 on the average per person) this place is certainly a very affordable venue for dining in New Orleans!

    Here's one local that you have to try if possible, Dooky Chase. While there are chefs here that are more famous from this great city, there are none more respected than Leah Chase (now well into her 90s). Leah has run Dooky Chase's kitchen for more than 60 years now. HerCreole-soul fusion makes it unique from the typical French-Creole. Dooky has become legendary in the history of black America- Ray Charles sang about Chase's food, and Louis Armstrong and Thurgood Marshall had favorite orders. Countless celebrities, politicians and dignitaries have dined here (imagine Bush and Obama having similar tastes in anything!?)

    Even though the much more upscale Cajun/Creole restaurant, Emeril's, New Orleans doesn't really fit our model of small, locally owned, it is a great place to dine. If you go try a bowl of the best seafood gumbo (and shrimp bisque in the city (just be ready to shell out $60 to $80 for a meal).

    For a complete list of New Orleans' Best Local Restaurants click here

    Take Time to Enjoy the Street Entertainers

    It's as simple as walking down the streets when it comes to entertainment in New Orleans. You'll experience everything from soloists strumming guitars and singing, legs crossed, guitar cases opened for a hopeful thanks you, to mimes, clowns, quartets and magicians. You'll find every type of music imaginable, artists and sculptors and even story tellers.There is something special about being in the midst of all of this talented, energy and passion.

    If you visit the marvelous city (known as N'awlins to locals) take the time to walk the streets and enjoy true art in the making.

    Visit One of the Country's Best Zoos... the Audubon Zoo

    The New Orleans' Audubon Zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute (which also manages the Aquarium of the Americas). The zoo spans an impressive 58 acres and is home to over 2,000 animals! This amazing organization landed the #2 spot in ZZZippy’s Top 25 Zoos in America Contest this year. That is extremely impressive when you consider the abundance of amazing zoos in the country.

    If you're in New Orleans, talk to the animals... at the Audubon Zoo.

    See the Audubon Zoo and America's other Best Zoos Here: www.zzzippy.com/travel-and-entertainment/zzzippys-...

    www.audubonnatureinstitute.org

    Experience Jackson Square in the French Quarter

    Jackson Square has been designated as one of America’s Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association... and for good reason. This culturally blessed, historically rich area has an abundance of sights, attractions, food and art to share with visitors.

    Take a tour on a Southern Seaplane, take an adventure on a Swamp Airboat or do a full blown Swamp Tour... or maybe if you prefer a more gentle approach climb aboard the Steamboat Natchez for a scenic Riverboat Cruise.

    If you would like guided tours then choose from City Tours, Swamp Tours, Ghost Tours or Cemetery Tours... actually Jackson Square is the perfect venue for any kind of tour.

    Jackson Square also offers music, Broadway plays, shopping opportunities and fantastic food. If you visit New Orleans without going to this cool area would be amiss.

    See ZZZIppy's List of The Best Things To Do in Jackson Square


    Enjoy a Memorable Performance at the Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts Center

    Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts is a historic arts venue located in the city’s famous Armstrong Park. This theater is one of the country's best designed and most beautiful venues for preforming arts, attracting countless Broadway shows and other acts.

    The Mahalia Jackson hosts a diverse variety of performance and musical events, including operas, plays, and dance shows. The theater is named to honor Mahilia Jackson, a world-renowned and beloved gospel singer who was born and raised in New Orleans.

    Check the website for upcoming events and tickets

    www.mahaliajacksontheater.com


    Visit the National WWII Museum

    THe National WWII Museum, formerly known as the D-Day Museum is a military museum located in the central business district of New Orleans (between Camp and Magazine Streets). The museum educates guests on contributions made by the United States to Allied victory in World War II. The main focus of the museum is to emphasize the American experience in that dreadful war.

    Currently housed in three buildings, each arranged around central themes of the war, Museum exhibits offer visitors an opportunity to experience the war through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. Interactive activities, oral histories and personal vignettes add a meaningful perspective.

    If you're a history buff, an avid patriot, have relatives that were in the service at that time, or have an interest in how our country was shaped and how it survived such a devastating war... this museum is one you need to visit.

    www.nationalww2museum.org

    Experience the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park & Preserve

    In Jean Lafitte's day, silver and gold filled a pirate's treasure chest, but today's treasures are people, places, and memories. Discover New Orleans’ rich cultural mix. Learn Cajun traditions from people who live them. Watch an alligator bask on a bayou’s bank. Walk in the footsteps of the men who fought at 1815’s Battle of New Orleans.

    Explore Louisiana's wild wetlands-swamp, marsh, bayous, alligators, birds at Barataria Preserve.

    Follow the footsteps of the troops who fought 1815's Battle of New Orleans and find out how the American victory changed the world on the Chalmette Battlefield.

    Discover how three centuries of cultural exchange have created one of America's most distinctive cities at the French Quarter Visitors Center.

    This is just the beginning of a great experience at the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park & Preserve.

    www.nps.gov/jela

    Participate in Mardi Gras

    Mardi Gras is an enormous celebration which begins on or after the Epiphany and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras also know as Fat Tuesday (French) basically comes from the tradition of celebrating the last evening of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual of fasting for the Lenten season.

    Mardi Gras brings magic, mystery, music and an enormous party atmosphere to the city of New Orleans and its guests. Parades, bands and entertainers fill the streets nightly performing for crowds which have grown to well over 1 Million people.

    During this festival you will see amazing masks and costumes, dazzling floats, countless entertainers of every type imaginable and of course will have the opportunity to eat, drink and be merry like no place on earth.

    www.mardigrasneworleans.com

    Visit the Magical City Park

    One of America's top 10 most visited parks and for very good reason. City Park in New Orleans is a 1,300 acre outdoor oasis which has enchanted New Orleanians since 1854, making it one of America's oldest parks. Annually, millions of visitors stroll past the same historic oaks and picturesque moss canopies that mystified and intrigued generations of people.

    Today City Park offers even more to visiting guests. Take the time to stop and smell the abundance of fragrant roses in the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy art in the open-air Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Walk, jog or bike the park's pathways or if you're in the mood to be a little more active, play a little tennis on one of the park's 26 courts... or hit the little ball on City Park's new links course.

    The park provides countless family activities like the one-of-a-kind antique wooden carousel in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park which boasts hand-carved “flying horses” that has been a family favorite for nearly 100 years.

    The crown jewel of City Park is the world’s largest stand of mature live oaks, which includes a grand oak that dates back nearly 800 years. These unique trees are known for their distinctive sculptural shape (some of the oldest trees have limbs that are twice as long as the oak is tall)

    All of this and a lot more are waiting for you at City Park in New Orleans

    www.neworleanscitypark.com

    Enjoy the Aquarium of Americas

    Explore the underwater world at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas as it comes alive with giant sea turtles, amazing sting rays, provocative sharks, waddling penguins and many other spectacular exhibits.

    This fun place offers more than just viewing the wonderful sea creatures, here you can also plunge into the Aquarium's Great Maya Reef where you can face -to-mask with aquatic animals of the Great Maya Reef. Choose the venture that suits you best- a scuba diving or snorkel adventure. If you prefer an on land experience, go behind the scenes at for an up-close encounter with an endangered African penguin. This journey offers guests an intimate, hands-on experience with a penguin in a private encounter area. Plus you can find much more at this very cool place including shopping and dining.

    If you' really want to make a day of it you can visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Zoo, the Entergy Giant Screen Theater and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium for one a discounted price as one admission ticket.

    www.audubonnatureinstitute.org/aquarium

    Tour Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World

    If you like Mardi Gras and you appreciate the art and craftsmanship that goes into the masks, costumes and floats you will love Blaine Kern Studios Mardi Gras World.

    Since 1947, Blaine Kern Studios has created breathtaking parade floats for Mardi Gras (as well as for parades and other events throughout the world). Now you get the chance to see what it takes to bring Mardi Gras to life... year after year with this behind the scenes tour.

    Learn the history of this unique tradition, right down to its very roots. Hear the stories of how the real Mardi Gras started and how it has grown to what we see today.

    Come tour the space where our artisans create jaw-dropping floats while knowledgeable tour guides share the magic of Mardi Gras. Remember to bring your camera for the countless photo opportunities and your appetite- they even serve guests a slice of King Cake, a new Orleans delicacy!

    www.mardigrasworld.com

    Catch a Great Meal and an Exceptional Group at the Popular Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

    This is considered by many locals (and visitors) to be the premier jazz club in N'awlins. Spanning three rooms of a renovated 1800's storefront in the Faubourg Mariginy (just outside the French Quarter) this very cool club has been jazzing it up for over 30 years. Providing the best live jazz is the mission of this club but make sure you bring your appetite because they also serve up some serious local/regional cuisine... and it's surprisingly affordable.

    So go make yourself feel at home whether you prefer the dining room, the bar or the music room. It's all good at the popular Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro!

    www.snugjazz.com

    Stroll through New Orleans’ Garden District

    It's referred to as Home to Hollywood South, the Garden District has been featured in many, many movies and films and due to its mystic, opulence and location for filming, several famous celebrities like Anne Rice, Nicholas Cage and Sandra Bullock (among many others) have chosen to call the Garden District home.

    Here you'll find tradition, luxury, culture and beauty. The historic Garden District is well-preserved with an amazing collection of antebellum mansions, pristine gardens and southern charm. It is certainly among America's most exquisite neighborhoods. This district is akin to Hollywood in other ways as well including some great shopping experiences, excellent dining and wonderful sights.

    If you're coming to New Orleans make sure you stroll through this gorgeous neighborhood.

    www.neworleanscvb.com/visit/neighborhoods/garden-d...

    Take a Tour of New Orleans on One of the Fun & Exciting New Orleans’ Sightseeing Tours

    One of the best ways to explore many great cities is always Sight Seeing Tours and New Orleans is certainly no different from that perspective. In this unique city there are countless tours that visitors can partake in and most of them are worth the money.

    Without getting specific, we recommend you consider what kind of tour might best suit you and the other guests who will be joining you. If you are healthy and vibrant you may want to do a simple walking tour. Of course bus tours are always fun (especially the double-decker type). In N'awlins you'll find everything from Cemetery Tours to Swamp Tours; from Wine Tastings to the aforementioned Ghost Tours.

    You can also go for specific geographic areas like French Quarter Tours or specific Neighborhood Tours.

    You can tour by foot, by bus or by horse and carriage. If you like to take the waterways you can tour by riverboat... or if you're really adventurous by airboat.

    See Zippy’s list of New Orleans Best Site Seeing Tours

    Immerse Yourself in Jazz at Preservation Hall

    Dedicated to the mission of protecting, preserving and perpetuating traditional New Orleans Jazz is Preservation Hall. This old-school, no bells or whistles, hall established in 1961 to honor one of America’s truest art forms remains true to its roots and continues its allegiance by featuring acts that perform only tried and true, New Orleans traditional jazz.

    Preservation Hall sits proudly in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street. The venue offers intimate, acoustic Jazz concerts 350+ nights a year. This no frills club, with wooden floors and without air-conditioning. features ensembles from a current collection of over a hundred local Jazz Masters. If that's not impressive enough the venue is also kid-friendly.

    On any given night, audiences bear joyful witness to the evolution of this venerable and living tradition. So go be part of a TRUE New Orleans Tradition!

    www.preservationhall.com

    Dine at Antoine’s, New Orleans’ Oldest Restaurant

    The magic starts here. Antoine's Restaurant is the oldest French-Creole fine dining restaurant in New Orleans. This historic gems has been serving up masterfully prepared dishes for over 175 years. What's more, it's still owned and operated by fifth generation relatives of the original founder, Antoine Alciatore.

    The world-renowned French-Creole cuisine, impeccable service & unique atmosphere have combined to create an unmatched dining experience in New Orleans since 1840.

    Antoine’s 14 dining rooms each have a unique history and charm that remains virtually unmatched in the spectacular city. We recommend a visit, but be prepared to dish out a few clams of your own because it is a bit pricier than a Po-Boy lunch at a local diner.

    While walk-ins are accepted based on availability we strongly suggest setting a reservation before you go.

    www.antoines.com

    Be Spooked by one of New Orleans’ Ghost or Vampire Tours

    If you like spooky fun then you have to participate in one of New Orleans popular Ghost Tours or Vampire Tours. Usually accompanied by your own storyteller these tours offer tales of spirits, monstrous creatures, disease and disasters. Oh, and don't forget the Voodoo zombies and vampires.

    Most all of the tours are walking tours and typically very affordable. These tours are certainly another unique form of entertainment in New Orleans.

    See Zippy’s list of New Orleans Best Ghost & Vampire Tours

    Watch the Stars perform it at the Saenger Theatre

    The Saenger Theatre is New Orleans' premier performing arts facility featuring Broadway shows, concerts, comedians and events. This theater is such a fantastic venue for watching concerts and a wide variety of shows, due to its amazing ambiance, excellent seating layout and outstanding acoustics.

    Here you can sing along to the music of everyone from Alice Cooper and Frankie Valli to Bonnie Raitt and Elvis Costello. You can watch musicals like the Sound of Music, the Jersey Boys or even the Lion King. You can also laugh with the likes of Ron “Tater Salad” White, Whoopie Goldberg and Brian Clay. You can also can be mesmerized by the magic of the Illusionists and swooned by Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker.

    No matter where your tastes may wander the Saenger Theatre will dazzle you with the Stars.

    www.saengernola.com


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