New Orleans Part 2: Free Touristy Things

Do you love the post title? At times I can be very creative (snort).

This is the second blog post about New Orleans, and the focus is on the touristy side of New Orleans. (Part 1 was about Mardi Gras, linked here).

New Orleans does really well on tourism, and there are endless tourist attractions within the city. I didn’t have time to do them all, or even do many of the available options for tourist entertainment, but there were a few things I enjoyed during my time in Nola. And as an added bonus, they are all free!

Jackson Square: This iconic square in the south part of the French Quarter is absolutely beautiful. The large open area, the massive white St. Louis Cathedral church, the Louisiana State Museum buildings, and artist selling their wares. It is definitely worth a visit, and is a great place to people watch.

Jackson Square at night.

Lousiana State Museum on Jackson Square.


Bourbon Street: I wrote about my experience with Mardi Gras, and I did walk down Bourbon Street a few times during my stay in New Orleans. There are plenty of sights, sounds, and smells to take in along Bourbon Street and historical buildings too. I ate at the Clover Grill on Bourbon Street, a deliciously cheap diner open 24 hours. You can’t visit New Orleans without strolling Bourbon Street at least once.

Free Walking Tours*: I did find some time to do two walking tours. There are many different companies that offer walking tours, but the company Free Walking Tours lets you pay what you think is fair for a tour. I went on a voodoo tour and a French Quarter ghost tour. I had the same guide for both tours, and she was great. She was personable and was able to answer questions. I felt like I learned something about voodoo and the haunted history of the French Quarter and I found some cool places to check out. I recommend the company, and they do have guides in many cities. *OK, this is not entirely free, since you are expected to tip the guide, but you get to decide the amount you tip.

 

A voodoo symbol on a local voodoo shop in the French Quarter.

 

Free Walking Tour guide, Melissa, talking about the history of voodoo in New Orleans.

St. Charles Street Car and the Garden District: The St. Charles Street runs along the north edge of garden district in New Orleans. It is “the oldest continually operating street car line in the world, and it has been in operation since 1835.” (Thanks Wikipedia!)  It is a lot of fun to ride the street car through the neighborhoods and see some of the beautiful buildings. For a self-guided tour of the Garden District, I recommend getting off at Louisiana and Canal Streets, then walking down Magazine Street towards First Street to see many historic and beautiful garden district homes.

 

The St. Charles Street Car.

 

A stately home in the Garden District, and a location where American Horror Story: Coven was filmed.

 

The famous corn stalk fence in the Garden District.

These are just some of the many entertainment options and tourist attractions in New Orleans. I will be returning to New Orleans in April, and I can’t wait to check out some more! Check out Part Three of the New Orleans series, about more off-the-beaten path activities and places in New Orleans.

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