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How to Spend 1 Day in New Orleans

How to Spend 1 Day in New Orleans

New Orleans beguiles visitors with its food, culture, and history—and you can experience it all in one fun-filled day. Whether you’re trying your first seafood gumbo, jumping into an impromptu parade, or dancing the night away, remember the city’s tagline: Let the good times roll. Here’s how to spend an unforgettable 24 hours in the Big Easy.

Morning: Tour the French Quarter

Wandering around the French Quarter is a great introduction to the city’s culture and history, and the area is magical before it truly wakes up in the morning. Dine on beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde, stroll through Jackson Square, admire the architecture, and peek in the boutiques. Consider a food-themed walking tour, going up the levee for a view of the Mississippi River, shopping for souvenirs in the French Market, or seeing the ornate St. Louis Cathedral. Don’t miss the Cabildo, once the seat of the local Spanish government and now the Louisiana State Museum. 

Afternoon: Explore New Orleans’ Neighborhoods

New Orleans’ charming and historic neighborhoods are filled with colorful shotgun houses framed by ancient oak trees. To see multiple areas and attractions in a short time, try a hop-on hop-off bus tour. For more targeting sightseeing, consider a walking tour of the leafy Garden District, with its Greek Revival architecture and the verdant landscapes that give this area its name. Also worth visiting is Lafayette Cemetery #1, one of New Orleans’ famed Cities of the Dead, whose above-ground tombs house some of the city’s most famous residents. Or get a taste of the city’s renowned drinking scene with a cocktail walking tour. 

Night: Hit the After-Dark Haunts

New Orleans continues to intrigue well after dark, with everything from live music and river dinner cruises to ghost walking tours. If your interests veer toward the macabre, consider a nighttime ghost and vampire tour through the Garden District or French Quarter. This is, after all, a thoroughly haunted city, whose dead continue to interact with the living. Should you favor an experience that’s not nearly as creepy, opt for a dinner cruise on the Mississippi River. Board the historic Steamboat Natchez, for example, and dine on Creole favorites while you’re serenaded by a jazz band.

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10 Tours and Activities

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New Orleans #1 Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, & Vampire Tour

New Orleans #1 Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, & Vampire Tour

star-4.5
6077
Exploring New Orleans in the evening can seem like an intimidating quest on your own, but this ghost, voodoo, and vampire walking tour takes you to the city’s most eerie sites at night in the safety of a group with a knowledgeable guide. Stop by top attractions such as the LaLaurie Mansion and New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, all while listening to your guide’s detailed stories of the paranormal and beyond.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$27.99
From
$27.99

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option

star-5
2043
Get more from the city by exploring New Orleans’ food culture with a guide. Stop by some of the French Quarter’s most famous restaurants for some of the area’s most delicious food. Enjoy tastings that could include seafood gumbo, Creole brisket, and beignets. Learn fun facts from your guide as you walk along the city streets, and if you choose, upgrade to a small-group tour with no more than 12 guests.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.50
From
$69.50

City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4
2604
Discover historic New Orleans in an open‐top double‐decker bus on this hop‐on hop‐off sightseeing tour. With your 1-day ticket, design a personal itinerary with several stops, including the French Market, Jackson Square, and the Garden District, plus available walking tours, depending on the option you buy. Enjoy unobstructed views and fun onboard commentary as you soak up ‘The Big Easy’.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.00
From
$39.00

Three Hour City Tour of New Orleans
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Three Hour City Tour of New Orleans

star-4.5
1500
Although not your typical tour of New Orleans, this expedition through the Big Easy takes in some of the major points of interest, including the French Quarter, Treme, the Esplanade, the Garden District and the Metairie Cemetery. Relax in air-conditioned minibus comfort, and listen as a guide leads you through one of America's most historic cities.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.00
From
$34.00

Steamboat Natchez VIP Jazz Dinner Cruise with Boat Tour and Reserved Seats

Steamboat Natchez VIP Jazz Dinner Cruise with Boat Tour and Reserved Seats

star-5
373
Step up the luxury on this VIP dinner cruise. Your experience begins with a complimentary Champagne cocktail while you take a guided tour of the boat’s authentic fixtures and spaces such as the engine room. In the dining room, you’ll have a reserved table where you can relax, indulge in a sumptuous tableside dinner, and enjoy a live jazz performance. If you want to go all out, upgrade to a full‐bar option.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$167.95
From
$167.95

Ghost and Vampire Walking Tour Of The French Quarter

Ghost and Vampire Walking Tour Of The French Quarter

star-5
896
Who doesn't like ghosts and vampires save for their unfortunate victims? If you're looking for a family-friendly night activity in New Orleans, then this ghost walking tour of the French Quarter might get your blood flowing. With a small group, you'll wander through the darkened streets for a fun, historical tour of New Orleans, and listen to tales of ghoulish invincibility and souls returned from the dead. 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$21.00
From
$21.00

New Orleans Original Craft Cocktail Walking Tour

New Orleans Original Craft Cocktail Walking Tour

star-4.5
496
Discover New Orleans ‘spirited’ side on a fun and informative cocktail tour! You’ll rub shoulders with local imbibers at historic bars and restaurants and have the option to sip on classic concoctions like the Sazerac and Pimm’s Cup. Immerse yourself in the stories from your guide and savvy mixologists, and learn the famous – and sometimes scandalous – histories of drink and drinking culture in New Orleans.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$29.00
From
$29.00

New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

star-4.5
158
Immerse yourself in the best of the French Quarter on this 2.5‐hour historical walking tour. An entertaining local guide will lead you through the Vieux Carré, along the mighty Mississippi River, and to Louis Armstrong Park and Jackson Square, describing the city’s cultural history and diverse colonial heritage. See notable literary and cinematic landmarks, bustling scenes of local life, and architectural gems including some of the nation’s oldest buildings.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.00
From
$25.00

New Orleans City and Cemetery Sightseeing Tour

New Orleans City and Cemetery Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
297
Witness the extravagant and spiritual sides of New Orleans this 3‐hour city and cemetery sightseeing bus and walking tour. See culturally infused architecture in the French Quarter, stunning mansions in the Garden District, and the famous Lake Pontchartrain Causeway en route to St Louis Cemetery No 3. There, meander through a maze of haunting mausoleums including that of Marie Laveau, the city’s most revered voodoo priestess.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.08
From
$59.08

New Orleans Small-Group City and Cemetery Tour

New Orleans Small-Group City and Cemetery Tour

star-4.5
76
Discover New Orleans’ vibrant history through its dynamic history on this sightseeing tour. Enjoy a small group van ride through the city, viewing the diverse architectural wonders of the French Quarter, the Garden District, Esplanade Avenue, and Bayou St John. You’ll disembark for small-group walking tours of St. Louis Cemetery No 3 and City Park, where you'll admire the Besthoff Sculpture Garden and stop for beignets at the infamous Cafe du Monde (own expense.)
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$96.00
From
$96.00