New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street

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You wouldn't be wrong if you're thinking of New Orleans as an adults-only fun spot. That said, there are options to explore the city that don't involve wild times. Here are 11 things to do in New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street. Many of them are suitable for families. 

New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street – Things to do in The Big Easy Besides Rue de Bourbon

If you're thinking of New Orleans as just a place to go party or the prime destination for a wild and crazy Mardi Gras, there is lots of New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street. If you'd like to experience it, here are some ideas to help you plan your trip.

 These 11 things to do in New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street are more family-friendly than the risqué Bourbon Street nightlife. 

1. Cemetery Tour

St. Louis Cemetery Number Three is less popular and crowded than Lafayette Cemetery Number One. Even though Lafayette is more popular, you won't miss anything by opting for St. Louis instead, except maybe crowds.

There are seven public cemeteries in St. Louis, which are free to the public (check hours before you go). Consider going with a guide or as part of a tour to learn why above-ground burial is used in this country. You might also learn a ghost story or two. 

Put "cemetery tour" on your list of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street things to do and see
Above ground burial at Cemetery Number 3.

2. Ride a Cable Car Through the Garden District

If you like looking at fantastic old houses, a cable car ride through the Garden District is a terrific way to soak things in. Riding the cable car is super easy. You'll need to find your way to the green line and ride up and down St. Charles.

Riding the cable car through the Garden District is a great way to relax, get off your feet, and get a sense of this beautiful city. The Garden District has an entirely different energy than the French Quarter.

Don't miss looking at the beautiful homes in the Garden District. There's a lot of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street
The stately homes in the Garden District are a must for architecture buffs.

3. Take a ghost tour

There are endless opportunities for ghost tours in New Orleans. You can ask for recommendations from your hotel concierge, Google it, or wander around in the French Quarter. You don't have to find the ghost tours – the ghost tours will find you!

If you want to take kids on a New Orleans ghost tour, make sure they meet the age requirements established by the tour operator. Parents know their kids best and can decide if they're ready for something scary.

There are no two ways about it: New Orleans has a creepy vibe. There are old buildings, above-ground cemeteries, and voodoo culture, so if you're even just a little brave, have fun and explore the city via a ghost tour.

4. Have a Frozen drink on the street just because

Check out one of the many daiquiri bars located throughout the city. They are easy to find in the French Quarter, and they'll have every kind of frozen drink imaginable. Ask for a to-go cup and enjoy your frozen concoction as you explore. Grab one before your tour starts if you're going on a ghost tour and like a good cocktail.

You can still enjoy delicious drinks when you experience New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street
There's just something super fun about roaming the streets with a frozen alcoholic drink the size of your head.

5. Visit historic Jackson Square

Jackson Square is the heart of New Orleans. You can't miss the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States. The adjacent Ursuline Convent Museum offers an opportunity for more info and self-guided tours for a small fee.

Put St Louis Cathedral on your list of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street things to do and see
Entry into the cathedral is free, although you can give a donation. 
If you wander through Jackson Square, you will find street art, musicians and endless opportunities to people watch. 

Jackson Square street art in New Orleans is a beyond Bourbon Street experience.
Street art in Jackson Square.

6. Eat beignets

Because if you didn't, were you really even in New Orleans? Cafe Du Monde is to be the bucket list place for most people. The original location in the French Quarter has been around since 1862. They're open 24/7 so if the urge comes upon you after a night of revelry, beignets, and coffee at whatever time you choose. 

Although Cafe Du Monde is the most iconic place to grab beignets, this sweet treat can be found all over the city. Teddy's Cafe inside the Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel has delicious beignets served with Nutella dipping sauce. Cafe Beignet is another popular choice. 

If you visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, make sure to sample King Cake as well. 

7. Eat all the Delicious food 

New Orleans has some amazing Creole and Cajun cuisine. The most popular eateries are Cochon, Antoine's Restaurant, Brown Butter Kitchen and Bar, Arnauds, and Muriel's. The list of restaurants to choose from in New Orleans is nearly endless. You won't go wrong by asking a local where their favorite spot to eat is.

An easy way to differentiate between Cajun and Creole is that Creole dishes often include tomatoes and tomato sauces. Creole fare is also known for being more upscale.

8. Take a Swamp Tour

Although the swamp is not in New Orleans, hopping on a swamp tour in the city is easy. Most tour companies offer pickup in the French Quarter. Some tours will pick you up directly from your hotel, and others will direct you to a central pickup point. 

It's about an hour's bus ride to Slidell, Louisiana where you'll transfer to a boat piloted by a knowledgeable captain who will guide you through the swamp. It's possible to see alligators, raccoons, and a variety of waterfowl, such as egrets and herons. 

9. Visit the Zoo

The Audubon Zoo is home to giraffes, bears, a variety of big cats, and more. There's even an orangutan, who is one of the most popular and fun-to-watch residents. Get tickets online. 

10. Check out New Orleans Botanical Garden

This 10-acre garden contains more than 2K varieties of plans from around the world. If you happen to be a Louisiana resident, you'll get free admission on Wednesdays. 

11. Soak In Some History at the National WWII Museum

This history museum has four different galleries with artifacts that tell the story of WWII and the people involved in it. There are also some interactive exhibits that are fun for kids and a 4D show in the museum's theater. Don't miss the one-of-a-kind outdoor light and sound show, Expressions of America.

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  1. I recently visited NOLA for a conference and stayed at The Pontchartrain, the lounge with the Lil Wayne painting was worth checking out. And it’s right in the garden district which I loved!