Check out this new Weekly docu-series Nolastalgia. Notable locals sharing their childhood experiences in New Orleans.
New Orleans is a great place for drinking. With actual bike tours dedicated to the craft of cocktails, we take our alcohol pretty seriously. While there’s no shortage of high-brow bars around town, with their award-winning mixologists and vintage liquor cabinets, sometimes you just want simple. So for those craving an authentic local New Orleans experience with some cheap beer and great conversation with some real New Orleans characters, we’ve rounded up the top neighborhood dives, from Uptown to Downtown.
Uptown Dive Bars
Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge, University Area
Brother’s III Lounge, Magazine Street
Downtown Dive Bars
Claire’s Pour House, French Quarter
The Friendly Bar, Marigny
BJ’s Lounge, Bywater
byon April 24, 2014
Many tourists come to Louisiana and don’t get to visit the must see attractions in New Orleans. Some of the attractions are fairly obvious ones that most people know about while others are more off the beaten track. There are so many things to do in New Orleans.
Take the New Orleans School of Cooking, for instance. This is one of the few places that a visitor can take classes in classic Creole cooking, making jambalaya, shrimp Creole, or gumbo dishes. If you love authentic New Orleans cooking and want to know how it’s made, you need to visit this attraction and view a demonstration class.
Another attraction is the National World War II Museum. The focus here is on the remembrance and celebration of the American Spirit, courage and the sacrifices of the men and women who served during World War II. There are many relics on display and audiovisual demonstrations. Plan on spending at least half a day touring this fantastic museum, noted as being the best of its kind in the country.
Attractions in New Orleans Not To Be Missed!
One attractions not to be missed is a tour through the Garden District. If you contact the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, you can get information on self-guided tours of this beautiful neighborhood. You will see antebellum mansions, gorgeous gardens and the way the “new rich” lived and built their homes in the 19th century.
Take a factory tour of the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. The tour begins with a cocktail and ends with a tasting of four types of rum. See the process of distilling rum from beginning to end. This is a great way to spend some time on something novel to do outside of the quarter.
The Audubon Zoo is a favorite with adults and children alike. You will find an interesting swamp exhibit here, where, by the way, you can eat a meal of delicious jambalaya! You’ll also find a Cajun Village, and all of the exhibits, indoors and out, that can be expected at a top-notch zoo.
For a fun outdoor walking experience, visit Jackson Square, a famous landmark facing the Mississippi River and is surrounded by the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbytere (Mardi Gras museum with the Katrina exhibit). Here is a great place to sit, relax and do some people watching. Jackson Square ties a lot of the different histories and sights of New Orleans together. In any direction you walk, you’ll see one of the New Orleans attractions you’ve heard about. You will come across Bourbon Street, St Louis Cathedral, Cafe du Monde, Marie Laveau’s, Pat O’Brien’s, The French Market, The Riverwalk and The Natchez Paddle-Wheeler. Take a horse drawn carriage ride and admire the picturesque area. There are so many things to do while in the Crescent City! Enjoy yourself and remember there are many things to do in New Orleans because NOLA never sleeps!
You haven’t experienced Louisiana until you come here for the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities. The term “Mardi Gras” signifies one day of parties and parades on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras literally means “Fat Tuesday” in French. It is the Tuesday before the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. During Lent, many people stop eating rich food or candies, culminating on Easter Sunday, when a big meal is eaten to break the fast, including chocolates, in the form of Easter eggs or bunny rabbits, and delicious desserts.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Mardi Gras in New Orleans has come to mean more than just one day of partying and eating like a king. Mardi Gras carnivals have turned into a months’ long period of activities, some beginning in January and building up through February right up until the actual Mardi Gras Day.
If you’re wondering what goes on during Mardi Gras, here’s a few tips and ideas of what to expect before you make your New Orleans hotel reservation. First of all, do plan ahead, as the city gets very crowded during this time of year. If you plan on being in the Big Easy on Mardi Gras Day, study the parade routes and plan on being where you want to be with plenty of time to spare.
Do come to New Orleans with fun in mind! Dress up in a costume for the parades – anything goes here. You’re here to watch and to be seen. And be ready to catch some Mardi Gras beads and “throws” that are tossed into the crowd from the parade floats. These can include beads, cups, doubloons and stuffed animals. The beads are the most visible symbols and souvenirs of Mardi Gras and there are more than enough to go around.
Interestingly, there is no one “official” Mardi Gras. It’s a holiday that belongs to anyone and everyone who wants to take part in it. There are different parades with their own themes and best of all, it’s free to go to any of them. Enjoy the marching bands, over three hundred floats, and thousands of parade-goers. Whether you are in a parade or watching one, chances are you’ll be wearing an outlandish costume just to fit in! So have a great time and participate in one of the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivals.