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This is a guest post by Raphael from Locations Unknown.

Referred to as NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana), this city offers a unique cultural experience for anyone who loves to explore and see what the US provides. In addition to that, the city offers something for everyone from magnificent nightlife to delectable cuisine and rich history.

While in the city, you can visit famous neighborhoods and have some of the best cuisines they offer within a day.

With that said, in this article, we shall be taking you through a one-day itinerary in New Orleans that will make your visit fun and memorable.

Things to do while in New Orleans

If you are in New Orleans, Louisiana, for a day, here are some of the things you should consider doing.

1. Visit Café du Monde

Photo by jc.winkler

When planning to visit NOLA for a day, you shouldn’t leave without visiting Café du Monde. While here, you will be able to have a cup of creamy, chicory-laced café au lait, also referred to as coffee with milk, along with a savoring beignet that is covered in powdered sugar.

This is an excellent way of starting your day while in New Orleans. At café du Monde, you will be able to see the city come to life as carriage drivers queue up across the street.

2. St. Louis Cathedral

 Photo by Jay Sterling Austin

Just across the street from Café du Monde, via a line of horse-drawn carriages, you will come across the St. Louis Cathedral.

Legends have it that serene garden at the back of the Cathedral was a favorite haunt of Marie Laveau, best known as Voodoo Queen. She was a devoted Catholic. If you love history, you shouldn’t miss visiting the St. Louis Cathedral whenever you visit New Orleans.

3. Presbytère and Cabildo

Photo by Miguel Discart

Two top-notch museums border St. Louis Cathedral; the Cabildo to the left of the Cathedral. This is where the Louisiana Purchase was signed.

Nowadays, the museum is equipped with exhibits on Louisiana history. While here, you should consider checking out Napoleon’s death mask. The Presbytère is located to the right of the Cathedral. Here, you will be able to immerse yourself in the culture along with the chaos of Mardi Gras.

4. Central Grocery

Photo by Richard Martin

You should also consider getting a muffuletta at the Central Grocery. The muffuletta is a famous Italian sandwich; it is filled with Italian cold cuts, olive salad, and a substantial amount of cheese.

Half of this sandwich is enough for a hungry individual. East your lunch at a small table located at the back, or make your way through the building across the street and enjoy the sandwich at the Mississippi River banks.

5. Explore the Jackson Square

Jackson Square is a historical landmark and by far one of the most famous in New Orleans. The square hosts number of artists along with performers. While there, you can have your portrait done, enjoy street performers and enjoy the sunshine.

6. Royal Street

Photo by Gary J. Wood

Royal Street is one of the most beautiful streets in New Orleans. The road is lined with arts, swanky antiques, along with clothing shops. In addition to that, it has plenty of antebellum eye candy.

While here, you should consider checking out the ridiculous collection at the M.S Rau, 630 Royal. This is a relatively old antique store with more than 100 years, and it welcomes gawkers. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. several blocks are closed to vehicle at Royal and a colorful street performer entertain for tips.

7. The Bourbon Street

Photo by Sharat Ganapati

The best time to do Bourbon is during dusk when it is not very tame and not too rowdy. You should note that Bourbon Street is loud, gaudy, and can be gross at times.

However, Bourbon Street tends to be seductive and exhilarating before sleaziness becomes serious and obnoxiousness sets in. Here, music pours out, and bartenders and dancers hawk their wares; the experience is incredible.

8. Brennan’s Restaurant

Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans

There is no doubt that food is a vital part of your time while in New Orleans, and as a result, you should consider dining at the Brennan’s Restaurant.

Here, you will be able to enjoy an iconic French Quarter dinner- the hit Brennan’s; it is named after the first family of the New Orleans restaurants, and it lives up to the mantle. You will never regret visiting NOLA and dining at the Brennan’s Restaurant.

How to get to New Orleans

To get to the city from MSY or Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (approximately 15 miles west of New Orleans), you might consider using the airport shuttle, which costs $24 per person one way and $44 per person for a round trip.

Airport shuttle offers services for both downtown and uptown districts, including the French Quarter.

Aside from the airport shuttle, you might consider using a taxi. However, you should expect to pay upwards of $36 to get to Central Business District and French Quarter from the airport. Lyft, along with Uber, are widely available as well.

Getting around the city

Some of the best ways to explore New Orleans is on foot and using public transportation. Neighborhoods of the city tend to be relatively compact, which makes them ideal for strolling sightseers. Whenever you don’t feel like walking around, you can hop on some of the famous streetcars.

In addition to that, cycling is another incredible option. New Orleans features a flat landscape, making it easy for one to get around on a bike. You can always rent a bike from various companies.

Streetcars and buses are relatively affordable to move around with and can cost approximately $1.25 per person. You might consider purchasing Jazzy Pass if you are planning on using public transport more than once a day.

By doing it you will receive an unlimited number of rides on buses along with streetcars. Jazz Pass has different rates from $3 to $55 depending on its validity length.

Where to stay while in New Orleans

If you are on the lookout for some of the best places to stay while in New Orleans, you should consider checking out these fantastic hotels;

Hotel Monteleone

The Hotel Monteleone is a family-owned hotel that has been in operation since 1886. Located in the French Quarter, this hotel is one of the most recognized hotels in New Orleans.

The hotel features opulent rooms loved by writers such as Truman Capote, Ann Rice, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams. Carousel Bar is considered the star of Hotel Monteleone.

Check out current prices here

Terrell House Bed and Breakfast

If you are on the lookout for a place to stay while in uptown New Orleans or the Garden District, you should consider checking out Terrell House Bed and Breakfast.

The hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood, making it an excellent place to relax after a tiresome day. It’s an 1857 home converted to a hotel.

The hotel features 14-foot ceilings, balconies fitted with cast-iron railings, and period antiques. This hotel features luxurious rooms equipped with modern amenities, and as a guest, you will have full access to the elegant parlors along with a lush courtyard.

Check out current prices here

The Old No.77 Hotel & Chandlery

Located at New Orleans Central Business District, the Old No.77 Hotel & Chandlery is a renovated 1854 warehouse equipped with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls.

The walls are paired with local art and modern design. The hotel is located in a prime location, which is approximately three blocks from French Quarter.

Check out current prices here

Royal Frenchmen Hotel

The Royal Frenchmen Hotel is a renovated Creole townhouse located in Bywater or Marigny; it is equipped with everything you require, including cozy and well-appointed rooms fitted with a vintage vibe on-site bar that serves craft cocktails.

The rooms feature balconies that overlook the streets, and as a guest, you will be able to enjoy the interior courtyard along with a plush lobby lounge.

Check out current prices here

Canal Street Inn

Canal Street Inn is a charming B&B located mid-city on Canal Street; it offers relatively easy access to streetcars. It features elegant décor that is original to the home, and they offer a homemade breakfast that is filling.

The hotel features prestigious parlors along with a garden terrace; it is also quiet and provides a homey experience after a tiresome day exploring this magnificent city.

Check out current prices here

Check out other options!

The best time to visit New Orleans

If you plan on visiting New Orleans, you should consider doing so from February to May; this is when the weather is comfortably cool and celebrations are in full swing.

However, if you are not interested in traveling during that period, you should consider visiting the city between December and January. Usually, during this period, the city is relatively calm, and you will not have to worry about making a hotel reservation in advance.

In case you are working on a tight budget and would like to save on room rates, you should consider traveling during the summer or the fall seasons. However, you should note that these seasons are known for high humidity and stifling heat, as well as hurricane threats.

February to May

When you visit the city of New Orleans during this period, you will be able to whiteness some significant festivals such as Mardi Gras along with New Orleans Jazz and the Heritage Festival.

However, during this time, the hotel rates tend to be relatively high due to incredibly heavy tourist traffic. This makes hotel availability scarce; hence finding a place to rest becomes challenging.

To avoid this problem, you should consider booking a hotel several months earlier to get a reasonable room rate. During this period, most of the city’s popular attraction sites remain closed; so if your major priority for visiting the city is to sightsee, you should avoid visiting the city during Mardi Gras festivals.

June to August

This is when summer sets in, and tourists flee from the humidity and heat, leaving trails of incredible hotel room prices. During the summer period, the average temperature hovers in the low 90s, making it relatively uncomfortable for most tourists exploring the city on foot.

Furthermore, this period is the rainiest season; therefore, you shouldn’t forget to pack your umbrella.

September to November

Autumn is a season that offers a reprieve from the heat, which makes it an excellent period to visit the city. The hotel prices are still relatively low during this season, and the average temperature falls back to the mid-70s and 80s.

However, late August and September mark the highest season for a hurricane; therefore, you should consider keeping your eyes on the weather report.

December to January

This is the winter season, and it marks a sweet spot for tourism in New Orleans. During this period, the city has time to cool off, with the average temperature resting in the 60s.

Since springtime festivals haven’t started yet, it becomes a significant period to visit the city and an excellent time to save. Furthermore, during winter, the city attracts fewer tourists, which offers room for bargaining hotel rates.


The city lives up to its name, offering diverse cultural activities and some top-notch cuisine. If you love travelling and touring the United States, then you should consider visiting this magnificent city, and you will never regret it.

About the author:

Locations Unknown is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the globe. Content is written by freelance writers or travellers based on their own experiences or research on the web.

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