New Orleans is one of the top destinations for vacationers to the southern USA and for good reason. With its rich history and appreciation for food and drink, it’s a goldmine for amazing architecture, beautiful art, and an all-around good time. When you come to town, everyone knows the standard things to visit. You have to see Jackson Square, stop by the Napoleon House for a drink, and take a walk down Bourbon St. But there are other great places to see and things to do while you’re in the Big Easy. Here are just a few that you may not have thought of before.
Audubon Park, located in the university area of Uptown New Orleans, is the typical park about which visitors may have heard. City Park, however, is the hidden gem. City Park is located in a great, eclectic area of town known as Mid-City. Residents of this area are stubbornly proud of their neighborhood, and you’ll discover why when you visit City Park. Majestic oak trees cover the park’s walking paths, and water drifts sleepily through the bayous. There are plenty of activities to do in the park: visit the botanical gardens, take a paddle boat through the bayous, or play some tennis to stretch your legs after the car ride into the city.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Located just beside City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art is a wonderful art museum. The permanent collection is both impressive and wide-ranging; it features works by Degas, Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Mary Cassatt. NOMA is also known for its Sculpture Garden, which is located directly behind the main building.
Magazine St. Shopping
Magazine St. stretches from the Riverbend in Audubon Park down to the edge of the French Quarter where it becomes the Decatur St., which runs in front of Jackson Square. When Magazine runs through the Garden District and Uptown neighborhoods, it provides a wealth of shopping. From exquisite antiques to great vintage finds, Magazine St. is the spot. On a beautiful day, park your car on one end and walk the street. Its shady sidewalks will make you comfortable as you browse and eat. Make sure to say you’re from out of town – there’s a tax break for visitors.
The beautiful swamps and bayous outside New Orleans are just as fun to visit, as is the Crescent City. With just a short drive south of New Orleans, you can reach Cajun country, which will be a wonderful, new experience. Check out Jean Lafitte swamp for a history lesson about the Cajun lifestyle and then take a swamp tour. Tour guides will take you through the beautiful bayous and canals and you’ll see alligators and other local wildlife. Look for a tour service that offers a fan boat ride, so you can have a more authentic experience.