New Orleans, Louisiana is a city steeped in heritage, culture, jazz, and great food. The city’s rich and turbulent past has left its mark on everything from its cuisine to its music, and spending five days exploring the city will leave visitors with a deep appreciation for its unique character.
Day 1 – Explore the French Quarter
The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans, with its 18th-century architecture, wrought-iron balconies, and winding streets. Start your first day exploring the Quarter, with its many shops, galleries, and restaurants. Be sure to take in a few of the historic landmarks, such as Jackson Square and Saint Louis Cathedral.
Day 2 – Visit a Plantation
New Orleans has a complex history with slavery, and visiting a plantation can be an emotional experience. However, it is also one that is important to understanding the city’s heritage. Just outside of New Orleans is the Laura Plantation, which offers tours of the historic home and grounds, as well as exhibits on the lives of the enslaved people who worked there.
Day 3 – Jazz at Preservation Hall
New Orleans is renowned for its jazz music, and Preservation Hall is one of the city’s most iconic venues. The hall has been hosting jazz bands since the 1960s, and the intimate setting allows visitors to experience the music up close. Make sure to get there early to secure a spot – the hall fills up fast.
Day 4 – Indulge in the Food
New Orleans is famous for its cuisine, with influences from French, Spanish, and African cultures. Try classic dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and po’boys at iconic restaurants like Commander’s Palace and Willie Mae’s Scotch House. For dessert, indulge in beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde.
Day 5 – Embrace the Culture
On your final day, take in the culture that is unique to New Orleans. Visit the Backstreet Cultural Museum to learn about the city’s vibrant second line parades, or attend a Mardi Gras Indians practice session to witness the meticulously crafted costumes worn during the annual celebration. Take a stroll through the Marigny neighborhood, known for its colorful shotgun houses and lively street performers.
New Orleans is a city with a rich and complex heritage, and spending five days exploring its culture, jazz, and food will leave visitors with a deep appreciation for its unique character.