From her historical past to her post Katrina rebirth New Orleans is a destination city rich with attractions. Whether you are bringing the whole family on vacation, coming as a couple for a romantic getaway or traveling on business New Orleans has something for every visitor. Hop on an open-top, double-decker bus and get familiar with the many attraction New Orleans has to offer. Take a walking tour and learn about our unique historical cemeteries and the French Quarter, visit the WWII museum and learn of the American Experience in the war that change the world, climb aboard a Mississippi riverboat and experience New Orleans from a river point of view. Go beyond the Crescent City and tour an Antebellum Plantation and then keep your hands in the boat at all times when you venture out on a Louisiana Swamp tour. When you get back to the city visit Mardi Gras world where the magic of Mardi Gras comes to life.
The guided tour is one of the most popular things to do in New Orleans. New Orleans tour experiences are almost unlimited and there is probably a tour that will interest everyone. Noteworthy tours include Walking Tours such as the French Quarter Night Walking Tour with Dinner and the Garden District Walking Tour; mule-drawn Carriage Tours of the French Quarter and the Garden District; bus tours such as the Hurricane Katrina Tour, New Orleans City Tour, and the Oak Alley Plantation Tour; limo tours; Segway Guided Tours; Bike Tours; Riverboat Tours; New Orleans Swamp Tours; and Airboat Tours. Visit my New Orleans Tours page for more infomation on the many New Orleans tours available.
The best way to see everything the Crescent City has to offer is on the City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. This big red bus tour includes a live tour guide narration as it meanders through the city on a continuous two hour loop. However, the best part of this attraction is the unlimited Hop on and Hop off access to the Double-Decker / Open-Top City Sightseeing Buses where you can stay as long as you like at any stop! These Double Decker buses run 7 days a week and visit each of their Hop on/Hop off stops every 30 minutes. This tour offer you access to your favorite sights & attractions throughout the city. This tour is probably one of the best things to do in New Orleans and offers maximum flexibility to see the city at your pace, conveniently getting you to all the most popular sites. Experience 3 Centuries of history, architecture, and culture on the City Sightseeing New Orleans tour, always narrated live in English by your very own Tour Host. For more info on the hop on/hop off double decker bus tour call (800) 362-1811 . Stops include (see map) the French Quarter; the Garden District; Mardi Gras World; St. Louis Cemetery #1; Mercedes Superdome; National World War II Museum; Magazine Street Shopping; Harrah’s Casino; Canal St Ferry; Mississippi River; St. Charles Avenue; Paddlewheeler Creole Queen. Read more about Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour on my City Sightseeing Bus Ride page.
There are many plantations in southern Louisiana and a number of them are within easy driving distance of New Orleans, I refer to them as New Orleans Plantations. These elaborate plantation homes line the banks of the Mississippi River along the River Road. They were once the mainstays of the southern way of life. Many of these plantations are now open to the public and offer windows into the by gone past of the Old South. If you are interested in Old South history or architecture, a visit to these magnificent homes is a must. Visit my New Orleans Plantations page for more infomation on the many New Orleans area plantations.
There is a wide variety of museums in the New Orleans area to choose from. Regardless of your taste and interest I am sure that you will find a museum that you will enjoy. In the French Quarter you will find the Historic New Orleans Collection Museum, The Cabildo Museum and The Presbytère Museum (Hurricane Katrina exhibit). In the warehouse district you will find the World War II Museum, the Civil War Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and for the children the New Orleans Children Museum. All of the warehouse district museums are within walking distance of each other and only a block off the St. Charles Streetcar line. You will find the New Orleans Museum of Art located in Mid City, actually it is located in New Orleans City Park. For more information on the museums in New Orleans check out my Museum page. Visiting a museum is one of the interesting things to do in New Orleans.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas * On the Riverfront
The Aquarium of the Americas is located along the Mississippi River front and has been recognized as one of the leading aquariums in the United States. The aquarium features 10,000 animals representing 530 species. Major exhibits include a Carribean reef featuring a clear 30-foot-long visitor tunnel surrounded by a 132,000 gallon tank of sea life; an Amazon exhibit, encased in a glass cylinder that includes macaws, piranhas, and other specimens from the Amazon basin; a Mississippi River gallery, featuring catfish, paddlefish, and the famous white alligator; and Gulf of Mexico exhibit, featuring a 400,000 gallon, 17 foot tall tank of sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays from the Gulf. The Aquarium is one of the stops on the Riverfront streetcar line and is right next door to the Entergy IMAX Theater. Visiting the Aquarium of the Americas is one of the unforgettable things to do in New Orleans.
Mardi Gras World * On the Riverfront
Visit Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World for an insider’s view on Mardi Gras. A tour of Mardi Gras World is one of the unforgettable things to do in New Orleans; here you can peek behind the curtain and see Mardi Gras in the making. Watch the artists of Blain Kern Studios- the world-renowned masters of Carnival sculpture and float building- at work in their shops. Visit the Mardi Gras World gift shop and take home a piece of Mardi Gras Magic. View their exclusive Mardi Gras video. Marvel at the artistry and technology of their signature mega- floats. Mardi Gras World now offers one of the only dining areas in New Orleans with a view of the Mississippi River. Come tour Mardi Gras World and stay for lunch in their new Mardi Gras World Café. Mardi Gras World in not within easy walking distance to any of New Orleans hotels but they do offer FREE hotel shuttle with purchase of tour tickets. This is a must see New Orleans attractions, especially if you enjoy Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras world is the perfect pre-cruise excursion! It is just steps from the cruise ship terminal.
Audubon Insectarium * CBD
Audubon Insectarium, located right on the edge of the French Quarter in the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street, encourages you to use all five senses as you explore North America’s largest museum devoted to insects and their relatives. You’ll discover why insects are the building blocks of all life on our planet in our newest one-of-a-kind attraction. Thousands of live and preserved specimens illustrate the vast diversity of shape, size and color of Earth’s largest group of animals. Within the Insectarium you will shrink to bug size; wander through a mysterious Louisiana swamp; join the active audience of an awards show for bugs; and be captivated by thousands of butterflies in an Asian garden. You can also touch a bug, shop in the Stanley W. Ray, Jr. Audubon Flea Market for unique insect-themed gifts or swing by the Termidor Tiny Termite Café for a bug-free bite to eat. This is one of the buggy things to do in New Orleans.
Entergy IMAX Theatre * On the Riverfront
One of the popular indoor things to do in New Orleans is the IMAX Theater. Don’t just watch the movie but experience the journey at the New Orleans Entergy IMAX Theatre where the wonders of nature are magnified and where larger-than-life adventures explode with the help of the world's most advanced motion picture technology. The IMAX theater features a special six-channel, multi-speaker sound system and a silver screen reaching five-and-a-half stories tall. The IMAX Theater is right on the riverfront, next to the Canal St ferry, and one of the stops on the Riverfront streetcar line. The IMAX is located next door to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
Audubon Zoo * Uptown New Orleans
Audubon Zoo, located in historic Uptown New Orleans, offers an exotic mix of animals from around the globe, engaging educational programs, hands-on animal encounters and lush gardens. Enjoy unique natural habitat exhibits—such as the award-winning Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle. Audubon Zoo is often ranked among the country’s best for innovation and entertainment value. Grab a bite in the air-conditioned Zoofari Café or Cypress Knee Café, then enjoy a ride on the Swamp Train. The Gottesman Family Endangered Species Carousel and Simulator Ride thrill all ages. Complete your visit with a souvenir from the fabulous Audubon Marketplace gift shop. The zoo is one of the top notch things to do in New Orleans.
Downtown to Audubon Zoo bus transportation and tour
The iconic red double-decker open-top buses now offer tour and transportation service between Audubon Nature Institute's downtown attractions (Aquarium, IMAX® and Insectarium) and the Audubon Zoo. This tour gives visitors the opportunity to conveniently access the zoo while learning about Audubon and the city from a licensed tour guide. The bus departs downtown New across from Harrah’s Casino at the foot of Canal Street; just steps from the Aquarium, IMAX and Insectarium and drops you right at the Audubon Zoo. All tickets are round trip, buses are wheelchair accessible; purchase your tickets at any Audubon attraction or City Sightseeing kiosk. For more information on the downtown to zoo bus tour visit Audubon Institute Web Site
You can get to the zoo by taking the St Charles streetcar and getting off at Audubon Park, however it is a 20 minute walk through the park to get to the Zoo entrance.