You’ve heard about Spring in Paris, why not try Spring in New Orleans? It’s the time of year when the weather is still nice and a lot of great events are going on yet, the Mardi Gras debauchery is gone and college Spring Breakers are heading elsewhere to escape 21+ liquor laws and enjoy the beach.
That said, if you’re hoping for a Spring Break blog, you’ve come to the wrong place. The activities I’m about to share don’t involve people begging for beads, sippin shots from bosums or guys at Bourbon St. bars with their bums hanging out their jeans. If you want that wild and crazy experience, you’re better off coming to New Orleans at Mardi Gras which I wrote a whole other blog about.
Instead, this blog will include things to do in New Orleans French Quarter and fun events going on this Spring in New Orleans. I’ll also mention a couple awesome activities to check out outside of New Orleans.
There’s so much to explore in and around NOLA from art, music and history to food and architecture. So, get ready because I plan to share them all with you!
Alright, let’s dive right into “The Big Easy”!
In this blog, I share…
- Why is Spring in New Orleans the Best Time to Go?
- Things to Do in New Orleans French Quarter
- Things to Do Outside French Quarter
- Bonus Things to Do Outside New Orleans
- How to Stay Safe in New Orleans
Spring in New Orleans
“The Big Easy”, “N’awlins”, “Crescent City”, “Birthplace of Jazz”, “NOLA”… the city may have a ridiculous amount of nicknames but one thing is for sure… New Orleans has character! There is absolutely no shortage of things to do on this bayou!
Why is Spring the best time to go to New Orleans?
New Orleans is a buzzing place to be any time of year but especially lively is the Spring when events like Mardi Gras (Feb or March), St. Patrick’s Day (March), Jazz Fest (April), Gay Easter Parade (April) and the French Quarter Festival (April) draw crowds from all around.
But, don’t worry! Although there are crowds, it’s not as rowdy as Mardi Gras. You’ll also avoid many of the college Spring Breakers who usually travel to places where they can hit the beach. Which makes Spring in New Orleans the perfect trip for significant others and families to enjoy the fun of such a beautiful and historical place.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Check City of New Orleans’ website for more info on COVID-19 restrictions.
Things to Do in New Orleans French Quarter
Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, music, exploring, football, gambling or eating, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! Read on for more things to do in New Orleans French Quarter and fun outside the city as well.
- Take a Natchez River Cruise on the Mississippi
- Café Du Monde
Café Du Monde is iconic, perhaps what I associate most with NOLA. The first time I saw Café Du Monde, it was on my dad’s orange coffee tin can when I was a kid in California. They only sell 2 things- beignets and Vietnamese coffee! It’s so popular that sometimes it’s packed but the line is so worth the wait!! There’s also live music on the street which is so quintessential New Orleans.
- Joan of Arc Monument
This monument is a gift from France to the people of New Orleans and a great place for a photo opp near Cafe Du Monde.
- New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
- French Quarter Festival
For those who want the same amazing experience only cheaper and less crowded, come to the French Quarter Festival instead. It’s held annually in early April and is the largest free music event in the US! You’ll have fun dancing in the streets as the musicians play jazz, blues & zendeco. There’ll be hundreds of musicians giving their best on the Mississippi River. Not to mention the endless food vendors loaded with NOLA flavor. More information here.
NOLA Foodie Finds
Stay tuned for my next New Orleans blog where I share the best foodie finds in the city!
- Gay Easter Parade
The French Quarter lights up with pretty, pastel hats and dresses. Not to mention the fun festivities! It’s a great time for everyone whether you’re in the LGBTQ community or not. 😉
- Take a Stroll in the French Quarter
One of the simplest (and cheapest) things to do in New Orleans French Quarter is stroll the sidewalks. Unlike other metropolitan cities, skyscrapers aren’t very present. Instead, you get to enjoy the French inspired architecture all around. There’s an incredible charm to the historical French Quarter. The European flare and classic jazz music will swoon you.
- Head to Bourbon St. in the French Quarter and grab a Hurricane, New Orleans’ signature drink. The drink gets its name from the glass it’s served in that resembles a Hurricane lamp.
- Jackson Square
Pretty much the center of the French Quarter. So much to enjoy all at once… history, musicians, artists, cooky characters, street performers & break dancers, idyllic views backdrops of historical buildings.
This is the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the US. It was a gift to King Louis IX of France in 1718.
Get a behind the scenes tour on how the multigenerational run business makes their beautifully handcrafted gas and electric lamps. They’re made from the purest copper.
Learn all about New Orleans history and culture. Even Football fans will love it, there’s a section dedicated to NFL and Saints.
- Faulkner House Books
Located in an alley of the French Quarter, this quaint little book shop is considered a historical literary landmark. In the 1920’s, famous author, William Faulkner used to rent rooms in this very same building.
- Visit New Orleans Cajun Store in the French Quarter and get your hands on all things Tabasco, which has been made in Louisiana for over 200 years.
- Hit up the art galleries on Royal St.
How to Get Around
Other than the streetcar, you can also take the bus, taxi, or bike. More info on New Orleans’ bike share program here.
Things to Do Outside French Quarter
Garden District / Uptown
- Head to the quaint streets of the Garden District to see the beautiful Antebellum styled mansions.
- Visit the Cemeteries
“Jazz funerals”, is the New Orleans way of celebrating a loved ones’ life. Visiting cemeteries are a beautiful way to show your respect. In fact, people are encouraged to join in on what’s called a “second line”. Don’t be surprised if you see Jazz bands playing, picnics being had, photoshoots, families laughing… Visit Lafayette, the oldest of the 7 city operated cemeteries.
- Urban Properties (formerly Eiffel Society)
This French Industrial inspired building (formerly an art gallery and wedding venue) resembles the Eiffel Tower in France. In fact, it’s comprised of pieces from the original! When it was still in business, Eiffel Society offered “Love Locks” engraved with their loved ones names to chain to the “Love Locks Fence”. I’m not sure if they took it down when they changed ownership but, bring your own lock just in case.
- Vintage shopping on Magazine St. You can find fabulous millineries for beautiful hats and unique finds. I walked away with adorable vintage red bon bon pumps.
St. Charles Streetcar
Want to experience history and get around while taking a break? Hop aboard St. Charles Streetcar, the oldest streetcar line in the world! It takes you through the city for just $1.25/ea. way.
Business District / Downtown
- Check out RiverWalk Downtown between the Business District and French Quarter.
- Head downtown to Saenger Theater to catch a comedy show. NOLA has a Comedy Fest every year. They had a great line up!
Look out for events like the Gumbo & Congo Square Rhythms Festival.
It’s one of the largest city parks in the country and a very peaceful place to go to relax, bike, have a picnic, go fishing, attend a festival or get a bit of art, nature & culture in. They have a café, museum, garden, art installations, park. The botanical garden has over 2,000 varieties of plants and over 819 species. Check out their events like the Big Bass Rodeo & Fishtival!
New Orleans City Park has the largest grove of mature live oaks in the world, some of which are nearly 800 years old.
Source: New Orleans City Park
Bonus Things to Do Outside New Orleans
- Oak Alley Plantation tour | Vacherie, LA
What better way to honor Louisiana’s history than with a plantation tour? Oak Alley is a big property with grandeur and a beautiful landscape. Many films, TV shows and even a Beyonce music video were filmed here. You can even stay the night in one of Oak Alley’s charming cottages. You can also sample New Orleans favorites in their restaurant, try the sampler! Take a roundtrip shuttle bus to/from Oak Alley, which is about 1 hr. 10 min (70 mi) from the French Quarter.
Book a tour:
They offer a Plantation Tour + Brunch + Cajun swamp tour combo!
- Airboat alligator tour | Des Allemands, LA
Arthur Matherne was our guide and he was not only super friendly but went above and beyond to give us a good time, showing us alligators up & close and stopping to take photos of us.
- Nail’d It Nail Salon | Harvey, LA
I can’t review their new location in Harvey, but when I went to their salon in the Garden District of NOLA, I was really impressed. It’s a great spot for a day of pampering. Get your nails done while they serve you champagne. Check their website for the latest info.
How to Stay Safe in New Orleans
New Orleans is a fantastic place to take a trip but, just like any city, be cautious of violence and crime which, NOLA is known to have. I encountered an experience walking down the street in the French Quarter where a man had punched my umbrella, I’m lucky that’s all it was.
It doesn’t hurt to take an abundance of caution.
Ways to Stay Safe
- Avoid walking at night if you can help it. Instead, take an uber, cab, or streetcar to your destination.
- I would strongly advise against traveling here alone. I always go with someone whether it’s a boyfriend, family or friends.
- Try to blend by looking like a local who knows where they’re going, not a lost tourist.
- Plan your destination and route in advance. In other words, don’t be the helpless looking tourist that pulls up Google Maps on the street.
- Avoid walking at night unless you’re in a crowd.
- Get a drink cover. There’s a cute one on Amazon called Nightcap Drink Spiking Prevention Scrunchie
For more Safety Tips…
Read my Dating Safety blog for Women where I give 20 safety tips and ways to stay safe.
And there you have it! 30 Things to Do in New Orleans French Quarter & beyond for your trip this Spring in New Orleans!
Now, I want to know! Would you travel to New Orleans in the Spring? What activities off this list would you do? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂
Thank you so much for your continued love and support! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.
Stay tuned for my next New Orleans blog where I share the best foodie finds in the city! Until next time… Sending you lots of love.
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