There is plenty to do and see in New Orleans. Most of it is accessible without a car, either because you can ride a trolley or a bus, or because you’ve selected an event that provides transportation! Historic sites, museums, noteworthy architecture, walkable neighborhoods, beautiful parks, and intriguing tours are all available, along with great dining and entertainment, as well.
New Orleans has many interesting things to do and see. The following is simply a partial listing. Check www.neworleans.com and order an official tourist guide.
The Marriott is on the edge of the French Quarter, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest neighborhood in the city. Most of the existing buildings were constructed after fires in 1788 and 1794, during the period of Spanish rule during the late 1700s, or during the first half of the 1800’s, after annexation by the United States. The 78-square block area has beautiful Spanish inspired architecture and contains a variety of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs. At its heart is Jackson Square which was the original military square for the city. Along the edge of the square is St. Louis Cathedral and the Spanish Governor’s Residence, The Cabildo, home of the Louisiana State Museum. The French Quarter contains the famous Bourbon Street as well as quieter streets, such as St. Peters Street, the location of famous Preservation Hall jazz music venue. On the edge of the French Quarter is Frenchman Street, home of the best live music in town, as well as Café Du Monde which serves New Orleans’ beignets and Café Au Lait.
The Garden District is a National Historic Landmark District extending west of 1st street between St Charles Street and Magazine Street. It is accessible via the St. Charles Streetcar Line or the Magazine Street Bus. Primary development of the area began in 1832 and extended through 1900, and it is generally considered to contain one of the best-preserved collections of historic mansions in the southern US. The wide mix of people who settled in the Garden District can be seen in the above ground cemetery at the center of the district. It is the site of the famous Commander’s Palace restaurant and of a fascinating set of casual restaurants along Magazine Street. (Interesting tidbit: Eli and Peyton Manning grew up in this neighborhood!)
New Orleans City Park
Fifty percent larger than New York’s Central Park, New Orleans’ City Park is the 7th most visited urban public park in the United States. It was founded in 1854, and is the home of the New Orleans Botanical Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden, which features a collection of French and American art, with selected African and Japanese pieces, as well as many activities for Children and Families. It can be reached via the 48 City Park/Museum Streetcar on the Canal Street streetcar line. For more information, visit www.neworleanscitypark.com
Audubon Park and Zoo
Built on the sight of a former plantation, the 350 acre Audubon Park stretches from St Charles Avenue to the Mississippi River approximately 6 miles west of our Hotel. It was the site of the World Cotton Centennial of 1884. Within the park is Ochsner Island, a birding spot and rookery, which attracts a variety of wading birds including great, cattle, and snowy egrets, ibis, and blue, green and night herons. At the southern end of the Park is the Audubon Zoo, a 58-acre zoo home to some 2000 animals. The Park is accessible from the Magazine Street bus and the St. Charles streetcar line. The Zoo is easily accessed from the Magazine Street Bus.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas/Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
A short walk down Canal Street from the Marriott is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, which focuses on aquatic species found in North, Central, and South America. Located in the U.S. Custom House, between the hotel and the aquarium, is the Audubon butterfly garden and insectarium which encourages visitors to use all five senses to explore North America’s largest museum devoted to insects. Both attractions are available for a single ticket purchase. Information on the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, and Insectarium is found at www.audubonnatureinstitute.org
New Orleans' Cemeteries
The high-water table in the New Orleans basin has led to the practice of burying the dead in above ground tombs. These “cities of the dead” are popular tourist destinations with a variety of guided tours available. The most famous cemetery is St Louis Cemetery # 1 on Basin Street and within walking distance of the French Quarter, which has the tomb of the “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau, but there are many other interesting sites that can be visited. Whether you take a tour or simply spend an hour or two by yourself reading headstones, these cemeteries will give you a picture of the cultural history of New Orleans.
National Historic Parks
New Orleans is home to two National Historic Parks, the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (www.nps.gov/jela) dedicated to exploring the origins and expressions of New Orleans culture, and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/jazz) which explores the origins and development of Jazz, a musical style which owes a lot to that culture. Both parks have visitor’s centers in the French Quarter: Jean Lafitte in the 600 block of Decatur Street, and Jazz in the old Louisiana Mint building. The parks do a good job with interpretive displays and performances, so spend an hour or two, or more, learning about the topics presented by these parks.
Along the Mississippi, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, are several antebellum plantations open for visitors, the most popular being Laura, Oak Alley, St Joseph, Houmas House, and Whitney. Some of the plantations have on-site restaurants and interpretive exhibits that give an insight into rural life in southern Louisiana prior to the American Civil War. One can rent a car and visit the plantations individually or book a motor coach excursion that covers one or more plantations and provides on coach narrative regarding the local area and culture. Whichever you choose, a plantation tour is the perfect day trip out.
Swamp and Airboat Tours
For those who want to explore the natural side of New Orleans and southern Louisiana, several companies offer airboat tours of the swamps and Bayous around New Orleans; some even have alligator feedings. Most vendors work with small motor coach companies to provide transportation from downtown New Orleans or provide guided transportation themselves. For more information google “swamp tours New Orleans.”
Hop-on-Hop-off City Sight Seeing of New Orleans is a tour that offers maximum flexibility to see the city at your own pace. Experience 3 centuries of history, architecture and culture of this great city. We have negotiated a discounted group rate shown below.
3 Day Tickets.........................Group Rate $44 1 Day Tickets.........................Group Rate $36 3 Day or 1 Day Children......Group Rate $10.00 age 3-12
To book your tickets at the promotional group discount, select the link below.
Click Apply to see the group discount subtracted from the grand total
Complete the application to purchase tickets, and bring your confirmation number with you and hop on at any stop to collect your tickets.
Weather and Clothing
Typical summertime weather in New Orleans includes hot days and warm nights, with plentiful humidity, and rain is a regular occurrence, so you should wear a hat, include an umbrella in your bag, and drink plenty of water.