New Orleans Travel: 10 Spots Besides The French Quarter You’ve Got to Hit

February 5, 2019 0 0

When most people think of New Orleans, they think of Bourbon Street. But there’s actually a thriving arts, culture, music, and dining scene that exists outside of the French Quarter, and the frenzy of tourists that flock to the famed neighborhood year-round. Based on your interests, you’ll have no trouble finding great options beyond its environs, and as you tour the rest of the city, you’ll discover plenty of things to do that offer a quiet repose from all the commotion happening elsewhere. Simply read on to find out more of New Orleans’ best and brightest attractions that stretch far beyond the roads more traveled.

Name Location Description
Julia Street Art Walk Julia Street If you can’t make it to the midsummer parade or White Linen Night, art walks are the next best thing. The Julia Street Art Walk happens every first Saturday of the month in the nearby arts district and is ideal if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the NOLA art scene. During the event, galleries within the district are open to visitors and offer free drinks and an opportunity to experience art that ranges from multimedia performances to modern or avant-garde showings, and you may even get to talk to the artist themselves. It’s a good opportunity to mingle and talk to other local personalities of note as well.
Domino Sound Record Shack 2557 Bayou Rd Domino Sound is where you’ll be able to find music that you won’t find anywhere else. Almost everything is under $50, and its collection varies from blues to jazz, punk, indie, world, and any other genre you could possibly think of. There are tons of vinyl records scattered throughout the space that are specifically sourced from New York and Jamaica, and you could honestly spend a whole day in here exploring, but make sure to bring cash because they don’t accept any cards. Be warned: You’ll most likely end up leaving with an armful of records.
Crescent City Farmers Market 750 Carondelet Crescent City Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8AM to noon in downtown New Orleans right off Julia Street. Rain or shine, it’s a great way to explore NOLA culture and really get an idea of what authentic cuisine is like. You’ll be able to browse some of the the best fresh and locally-sourced produce, seafood, baked goods, and more, and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a live cooking demonstration. There are also some occasional live music sets, so when you visit, you’ll be able to enjoy the traditional New Orleans experience and even get an inside look at the logistics behind local agriculture.
Dragon’s Den 435 Esplanade Ave Dragon’s Den’s location right outside the French Quarter makes it ideal for escaping the crawling chaos that is Bourbon street. It’s a laid back venue, and though it’s technically a bar, you’ll always find some sort of random entertainment being featured here. Between live bands, comedy shows, Burlesque, and Latin nights, you’ll never be short of something to do. If you’re not into live music, you can also just sit back and relax on the upstairs balcony outside and munch on some killer $5 grilled cheeses. Friday nights are arguably the most hopping, but also the most crowded, so get there early if you want to snag a seat.
City Park 1 Palm Dr City Park is one of the biggest parks in all of the U.S and you could make a whole day of just getting lost inside. Luckily, you can also wander with a purpose, if desired, and check out the numerous attractions that lie inside. Highlights include the Botanical Gardens, Museum of Modern Art and Sculpture Gardens, Carousel Amusement Park, and more, as well as recreational activities like boating, biking, mini golfs, bird lakes, dog parks, and fishing. You could even just opt for a hand-packed picnic and spend a day lounging in the sun if you’re looking for a break.
New Orleans Jazz Market 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd Even if you’re not huge into jazz, the New Orleans Jazz Market will explain NOLA culture better than any tour guide ever could. Every Wednesday, this place hosts an amazing live jazz jam where audience members are encouraged to join in and sing or play an instrument. You can also just sit back, sip on some cocktails, and watch, if that’s more your speed, especially because there’s even a text-to-drink option where you can order a drink directly to your seat without even having to move. Even if you can’t make it on a Wednesday, there’s still stuff happening every night of the week like DJ sets and other live bands.
Lafayette Cemetery 1416-1498 Washington Ave New Orleans wouldn’t be what it is today without the eeriness that the occult brings. Lafayette Cemetery offers a haunting representation of the whole “cities of the dead” notion, so much so that walking tours are even offered to get a better look at all these supernatural elements. If you prefer to fly solo, there’s also a self-guided tour where you can learn about the various tombs and backstories behind them. Check it out if you’re into the paranormal, but be sure to go during the day if you’re easily spooked.
Plum Street Snoballs 1300 Burdette St At this point, Plum Street Snoballs is basically a New Orleans institution, meaning you can’t miss out on trying one of its delicious treats. Dating back to 1945, there are a ton of flavors ready to help you beat the heat, like blue raspberry, passion fruit, tangerine, mango, orange, strawberry cheesecake, and more. The sizes range from small kiddy cups to Chinese-style take-out boxes, and even though there’s usually a long line, the service is super quick and you’ll be able to get snacking in no time. Make sure you try the condensed milk topping at least once if you want a dairy kick or root beer for something sweeter.
The Broad Theater 636 N Broad St The Broad Theater is open year-round (except Mardi Gras, of course) and is a local favorite in terms of hanging back and catching a movie. It’s lineup features mostly mainstream blockbusters, but indie and avant-garde flicks also make their way here often. You don’t, however, have to buy a movie ticket to be able to experience the fully-stocked bar, which features movie-themed cocktails based on whatever film is showing and concessions like calzones and cheese plates. Make sure to keep an eye out for the various pop-ups or festivals that occur here periodically, also.
Confederacy of Cruisers Bike Tours 634 Elysian Fields Ave The bad news: It’s not uncommon to get lost in New Orleans (not always a bad thing in a city this atmospheric) if you don’t have a game plan, or good tour guide. The good news is you can do it in style and see some picturesque landscapes and historic houses along the way with help from Confederacy of Cruisers. Offering a variety of tours based on personal interests and athletic ability, options include excursions based on themes like cocktails, cemeteries, culinary, and more. Outings are like a workout and an adventure all in one. Make sure to make a reservation in advanced by emailing [email protected].

 

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For more on the best things to see and do in New Orleans besides the French Quarter, also check out:

 

Tags: Culture, Top 10 Guides, Travel Categories: Culture, Top 10 Guides, Travel
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Christina Elia

Assistant editor Christina Elia is currently pursuing her BA in Art History Communications at Fordham University, and writes about various topics ranging from arts and culture to practical tips and how-to advice. She has been published on online platforms such as The Odyssey. You can follow her on Twitter via @stinaelia

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