48 Things to Do in New Orleans This Weekend

The New Orleans weekend travel guide and everything you need to plan your next trip to the Big Easy

new orleans weekend
Jackson Square in New Orleans with St. Louis Cathedral in the background – 2016 French Quarter Festival

If you’re planning a weekend getaway to the legendary city of New Orleans, Louisiana, you’ve come to the right place.

The first thing you’ll probably ask yourself – how can we do everything we want to do in such a short amount of time?

The simple answer is, you can’t.

Let’s face it, we all have different objectives and life situations. Some people will head down with a few buddies to attend a concert or sporting event. These visitors often spend most of their time reveling on Bourbon Street and throughout the surrounding French Quarter.

Others bring their spouse or family for a well-deserved mini vacation, or visit for the first time to enjoy all the amazing food, music, and culture of the historic city.

The great thing about New Orleans is that no matter what you do, it’s going to be a memorable trip filled with fun and frolic. You can accomplish a lot in a shorter weekend trip – but you’re going to have to make some tough choices.

There are literally hundreds of amazing places to stay, restaurants to eat, places to shop, and fun things to do throughout the city. Our goal is not to plan your weekend trip, but we can provide you with lots of fun and unique things to do during your stay.

So if you’re wondering “what to do in New Orleans this weekend”, come along and join us on a tour of some of the coolest places to stay and things to do in the Big Easy. There’s a lot of information, so you can either scroll through or click on a section that’s specific to your interests.

new orleans weekend
Street performers play music during an impromptu concert in the French Quarter, New Orleans

Places to stay in New Orleans

There are nearly 300 hotels and 40,000 rooms in the New Orleans metro area. That’s not even counting the huge number of bed and breakfasts, guest houses and Airbnb’s. Just like most cities, you’ll find a broad range of rates and amenities – from $50 to thousands of dollars per night for a luxurious penthouse suite in the French Quarter.

Prices are often based on location, but the great thing about New Orleans is there are unique hotels and places to stay throughout the city. We can’t begin to list all the choices, but here are a few of the accommodations in great locations, at different price points, and convenient to all the action.

Hotel Monteleone

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Hotel Monteleone provides luxury accommodations for visitors to the Big Easy. Since 1886, five generations of Monteleone’s have owned and operated the hotel, making it one of the last family-owned and operated in the city. This New Orleans historic landmark is also a member of Historic Hotels of America.

However, most people know the hotel by the Carousel Bar & Lounge – a 25-seat, bright, circus-clad merry-go-round style hotel bar. It’s the city’s only revolving bar and a great place to watch people strolling down Royal Street.

Local Tip: Get to the Carousel Bar early and be prepared to pounce because it can be difficult to get a seat at the bar in the evenings and during peak times (which is just about all day depending on when you visit).


214 Royal Street | New Orleans, LA | 504-523-3341

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Troubadour Hotel

Located in the Central Business District, the contemporary styled Troubador Hotel is the perfect location if you want easy access to all the local New Orleans culture. It’s also within walking distance to the larger event venues – the Smoothie King Center and Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Another highlight of the Troubadour is the “Monkey Board” rooftop bar with 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Grab a cocktail, a bite to eat, and enjoy the best views around.


1111 Gravier Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.518.5800

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Maison De La Luz

If you’re in town for a special occasion or just want to splurge a little, then Maison De La Luz is the perfect place to book a stay. Located in the warehouse district of New Orleans, the guest house offers 67 suites, including one and two-bedroom rooms and suites, plus the magnificent Grand Studio suites.


546 Carondelet Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.608.4466

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Royal Sonesta New Orleans

So, you’re in New Orleans for only a limited stay. Why not go for it and book a room smack dab in the middle of it all at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street? With 483 guest rooms and suites surrounded by wrought-iron balconies, a lush courtyard and private swimming pool, the Royal Sonesta is the perfect place to enjoy a long weekend of fun.


300 Bourbon Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.586.0300

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Hotel Pontchartrain 

The perfect place to get away from it all for a weekend getaway is the New Orleans Garden District. Built in 1927, Hotel Pontchartrain is a 14-story architectural gem with modern amenities that is minutes away from the Charles Avenue Streetcar line and all the activities in the area.

You can also hang out on-site and enjoy one of their four restaurant and bar options, including a new rooftop bar with breathtaking views. Don’t just take our word for it; Hotel Pontchartrain has won numerous awards, including the #2 Hotel in New Orleans by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards.


2031 St Charles Ave. | New Orleans, LA | 504.323.1444

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Prytania Park Hotel 

Prytania Park is perfect if you’re on a limited budget but still want to be close to all the action. Located in the heart of the Garden District, the charming Prytania Park Hotel serves up 60 clean, affordable rooms – and many with a spiral staircase leading up to a loft area. And the best part – FREE ON-SITE PARKING.

If you’ve priced parking at most French Quarter hotels, you can expect to shell out $40-$75 (or more) for parking every day. For a 2-3 day stay, that’s enough savings for a couple of nice dinners or a night full of “refreshing” hurricanes at Pat O’Brians.


1525 Prytania Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.524.0427

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New Orleans Attractions: The Main Events

For a shorter weekend trip, there are advantages and disadvantages to visiting the more popular “main” attractions. They are the most popular for a reason and have lots of things to see and activities to keep you busy. As you can imagine, it’s very easy to spend an entire day if you’re not careful.

If you’re bringing the entire family or children, the best advice would be to limit your visit to one of the “main” attractions and set a strict time limit that everyone is aware of in advance. Here are a few of the main attractions throughout the city and open during the weekend.

National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. The end goal is for all visitors to understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.

Peruse over 32,000 square feet of WWII exhibits, multimedia experiences, and thousands of personal accounts in every theater of war. This is a place where it’s easy to spend a day, so you won’t get the full experience on a weekend adventure. However, if you’ve never been before, it is a powerful experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.


945 Magazine Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.528.1944

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New Orleans Museum of Art

Many of these “main attractions” are difficult to spend less than a full day, and the New Orleans Museum of Art is no exception. Situated in City Park, it’s the oldest fine arts museum in the city, but definitely worth a visit regardless of how much time you have to spend.

What started as only nine works of art in 1911, the museum now boasts a permanent collection of more than 40,000 objects. Experience French and American art, photography, glass, African and Japanese works, and the gorgeous twelve-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden with over 90 sculptures.


One Collins C. Diboll Circle (City Park) | New Orleans, LA | 504.658.4100

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Take a Riverboat Cruise on the City of New Orleans

What could be more “New Orleans” than an excursion up and down the mighty Mississippi River? While the Steamboat Natchez is currently undergoing renovations, visitors can still book a trip on its sister vessel, the City of New Orleans.

Whether it’s a sightseeing trip, lunch, Sunday Brunch, and Dinner Jazz cruise, the City of New Orleans will provide customers with panoramic views of the river and the many unique sites along her banks.


400 Toulouse | New Orleans, LA | 504.569.1401

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Audubon Aquarium of the Americas & Zoo

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is consistently at the top of the list for things to do in New Orleans and has been voted top five in the country in the USA Today “10 Best” reader poll. Experience over 250 species and 3,600 animals, including endangered species such as African penguins and rare animals like the white alligators.

1 Canal Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.565.3033

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A brief 30-minute drive southwest from the Aquarium of the Americas brings you to Audubon Park and the New Orleans Audubon Zoo. Located in the historic Uptown district, visitors can discover and learn about animals from around the globe, plus educational programs and hands-on animal encounters. Unique natural habitats exhibits like the Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle highlight the relationship between people and nature. Just like the aquarium, the Audubon Zoo is ranked as one of the country’s top-ranked zoos.

6500 Magazine Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.861.2537

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Harrah’s Casino New Orleans

What more can you say other than, it’s a casino! Gamble to your heart’s content in 115,000 square feet of gaming fun, over 2,100 slot machines, 90+ table games, and a large poker room. Harrah’s Casino New Orleans provides ample opportunity for you to win big money or to at least pay for your trip. We won’t discuss the other possibility because we know you’re feeling lucky today.


228 Poydras Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.533.6000

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Other New Orleans Attractions to Consider

We are in no way saying this group of places is less worthy of your time. In fact, you may find them to be a better option because they essentially capture the essence and culture of the city. Whether it’s the history of voodoo, jazz music, a unique tour, or learning about New Orleans cuisine, these attractions are perfect if you’re looking to do a lot in a short amount of time.

The other advantage is that you have a lot more control and often know exactly how much time to allow while planning your trip. Most of these activities can range from 30 minutes to a few hours in length.

New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

There are many reasons the city of New Orleans is such a popular tourist destination, one of them being the fascinating religion of Voodoo. The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum explores the mysterious side of New Orleans’ fabled history.

Located in the heart of the French Quarter (between Bourbon and Royal streets), the museum’s mission is to preserve the legacy of New Orleans’ Voodoo history and culture while educating and entertaining visitors.

You can also check out our recent article about the museum,  including a video tour.


724 Dumaine Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.680.0128

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New Orleans Jazz Museum

What’s more synonymous with New Orleans than jazz music? And what better way to learn about the history of jazz than in the city it was born. Located in the historic Old U.S. Mint building, the New Orleans Jazz Museum celebrates the history of jazz through interactive exhibits, multigenerational educational programs, research, and musical performances.


400 Esplanade Ave. | New Orleans, LA | 504.568.6993

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Take A Tour, Any Tour 

If you want to experience all the unique culture and activities, booking one of the many local tours is a perfect option. Whether it is a cemetery, ghost, swamp or plantation tour, there’s sure to be something to spike your interest.

The best part is that tour lengths range from 30 minutes to a full day or more. So it’s the perfect quick hit for a jam-packed weekend trip. There are also tons of tour websites and kiosks around the city, but it’s always best to do some pre-trip research. Sites like Viatour are helpful because they harness all the tours in one location – plus user reviews and keyword search terms that allow you to pick the exact tour to fit your specifications.

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New Orleans School of Cooking

What sets New Orleans apart from other big cities is the amazing Cajun and Creole cuisine. If you want to discover more about the Lousiana food culture or learn to make one of its signature dishes, then consider booking a demonstration or hands-on class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.

Cajun/Creole experts will teach you specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya, BBQ shrimp & grits, plus deserts like pralines and bread pudding. This is another perfect weekend activity since most classes are a couple of hours long. Book in advance or check out their website for daily class offerings.


524 St. Louis Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.525.2665

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New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studio

It’s not the most quintessential New Orleans-related activity, but the New Orleans Glassworks & Printing Studio is a great place to stop by if you’re into artisan-related hobbies. The studio specializes in creating unique works of art with glass, metal, and prints.

They offer free demonstrations daily, or sign up for one of their mini-workshops or courses. Before a night out on the town, challenge you and your friend’s creative skills with a ‘wine+design’ event. When you’re done, browse the retail gallery and exhibit to purchase a one-of-a-kind souvenir.


727 Magazine Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.529.7277

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5 Fun Things to Do in New Orleans with Kids

While choices are more limited during the nighttime hours, there are a lot of great places to take the entire family during your weekend excursion to the Big Easy. You’ll need to be careful because a few of these can eat up a lot of your weekend. As you can imagine, it could be quite the challenge to get your kids out of the massive Louisiana Children’s Museum in a short amount of time.

However, if the kids are fussy and you want to help them burn off some extra energy, there are some outstanding attractions for you to consider.

Mardi Gras World

How many of you know the meaning and history of New Orleans’ most famous annual event?

Anything you want to know about the festive Carnival celebration can be found at Mardi Gras World. Discover what it takes to bring Mardi Gras to life year after year by touring the massive 300,000 square foot warehouse where floats are made for the Mardi Gras parades. Along the way, there are lots of photo opportunities in front of floats and props.

Hours are 9 am-5:30 pm, 7 days a week. Tours are currently self-guided, and a visit lasts approximately one hour. Once again, perfect for a quick weekend stop on your New Orleans adventures.


1380 Port of New Orleans Place | New Orleans, LA | 504.361.7821

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Louisiana Children’s Museum

If you’re bringing the kids along for the weekend trip to New Orleans, you can’t go wrong with the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Think of it as one of the world’s largest classrooms.

Their brand new campus located in City Park provides more than 30,000 square feet of interactive and educational exhibits – including a climbing wall, art studio, and mock cafe. There’s also plenty of outdoor space for additional exploration and learning opportunities.

A warning to parents – if you’re planning a quick stop, your kids may have other ideas.


15 Henry Thomas Drive | New Orleans, LA | 504.523.1357

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Carousel Gardens Amusement Park (City Park)

It’s not Six Flags or Disneyworld, but Carousel Gardens has plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained. The Seasonally operated amusement park, located in City Park, features 18 rides, including the Live Oak Ladybug Rollercoaster, a ferris wheel, a drop tower called Coney Tower, and a miniature train that tours the park.


1 Palm Drive | New Orleans, LA | 504.482.4888

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Storyland (City Park)

If you have younger children, a couple of hours at Storyland (also located in City Park) would be a worthy investment of your time. Storyland is a child’s dream come true and a fairytale come to life. The imaginative outdoor spot is filled with 20 larger-than-life colorful sculptures and playscapes in the shape of storybook characters. Your kids can climb aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship, scamper up Jack & Jill’s hill, and a whole lot more.


5 Victory Avenue | New Orleans, LA | 504.483.9402

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New Orleans Boulder Lounge

If there’s one thing we all know about kids – they LOVE to climb. Before your kids start climbing the hotel walls, bring them to the New Orleans Boulder Lounge and let them test their climbing prowess. Single days pass are available and include full access to the facility and show rental.

Currently, you will need to book a climbing appointment in advance. You can go online or give them a call to find out the available openings.


2360 St. Claude Ave | New Orleans, LA | 504.962.7609

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Best Places to Shop in New Orleans

As you walk around the Garden District, Uptown, Warehouse District and of course the French Quarter, you’ll soon find out that you’re just not going to have enough room in your car or suitcase to bring back everything you want.

Yes, there’s the usual outlet and brand name stores, but the real treat is when you walk down streets like “Royal” or “Magazine” and discover some of the most amazing antiques and rare collectibles anywhere in the world.

Depending on what you’re looking for, here are just a few of the best places to purchase the latest in fashion or a rare item that was created before your grandparents were born.

Locals Tip: Leave the credit card back in your hotel room or hide it from your spouse. 😉

Canal Place

One of the largest shopping complexes in the city is located downtown at Canal Place. You’ll find three floors of premier shopping with brand-name clothing and accessories for home, health, and beauty.


333 Canal Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.522.9200

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The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk

No matter where you visit, who doesn’t love an outlet shopping center? The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is packed with over 75 retailers and restaurants. As the name indicates, the vibrant waterfront destination in Downtown New Orleans offers all the latest fashion brands, along with local culinary flavors. You’ll also enjoy the usual outlet store discounts of 25% to 65% off designer brands.


727 Magazine Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.529.7277

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Shops of the Colonnade: French Market

One of the more unique shopping experiences you’ll find in the city is the Shops of the Colonnade: French Market. It is America’s Oldest Continually Operating Public Market and is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including major holidays.

The entire market is a series of commercial buildings spanning six blocks in the French Quarter. You’ll find a vast array of places to grab a quick bite to eat, along with just about every type of vendor you can imagine. The Flea/Farmers Markets is open daily from 9 am – 6 pm central time.


1008 N. Peters Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.636.6400

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M.S. Rau/Royal Street

Without a doubt, Royal Street in the French Quarter is one of the best places in New Orleans for rare finds and antique shopping. If you’re in the market for truly one-of-a-kind items, then plan a visit to the internationally recognized M.S. Rau. It’s been a New Orleans landmark in the French Quarter for over 100 years. Two galleries and 40,000 square feet of space offer the finest and rarest antiques, jewelry, and art.


622 Royal Street | New Orleans, LA | 888.711.8084

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Great places for Brunch in New Orleans

After a hard night of revelry, it takes serious effort to wake up early enough for breakfast. Hence, someone smarter than all of us came up with the illustrious term “brunch.” And it’s absolutely perfect for New Orleans. After all, you’re usually heading out when it’s too late for breakfast and too early for lunch.

Since this might be your last day in town, you need to make sure you have plenty of fuel for your Sunday adventures. As you have probably figured out by now, New Orleans has hundreds of great restaurants, and those great restaurants also serve a mean brunch.

You’ll most likely have a wait regardless of where you go, but these restaurants are certainly worth your time and serve some of the best breakfast and lunch items (brunch) anywhere.

Local Tip: Check out OpenTable and Yelp apps to see if you can get on the waiting list for a table.

Atchafalaya 

Nestled in a quaint creole cottage in the Irish Channel, Atchafalaya is the perfect choice for anyone who wants a memorable meal in a historic setting. The brunch is incredibly popular and home to one of the best bloody mary bars in town.

In 2015, Fodor’s Travel Guide named Atchafalaya “one of America’s top ten urban brunch spots in America.” As you can imagine, brunch tends to book up quickly – so reserve your table early or hang out, enjoy a bloody mary and enjoy some great brunch music.  


901 Louisiana Ave. | New Orleans, LA | 504.891.9626

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FullBlast Brunch 

If you want to escape the hectic french quarter restaurant scene on a Saturday or Sunday morning, check out FullBlast Brunch located in the Mid City district. The brunch is so good, they include it in the official name of the restaurant. This festive New Orleans brunch menu features a variety of breakfast and lunch options with Creole, Cajun and Latin influences.


139 S. Cortez Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.302.2800

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Biscuits & Buns on Banks 

Nestled in a charming Mid-City neighborhood cottage, Biscuits & Buns on Banks has gone from a locals hangout to a place well-known for some of the best American & Creole breakfast and lunch creations around. The eclectic menu includes a selection of freshly brewed coffees along with some seriously delicious vittles like the stuffed French toast, hearty crab & brie omelet, and the “wafflewhich”. A few of the restaurant’s accolades include one of Eater New Orleans 19 Essential Breakfast Spots and Best Brunches in New Orleans to Heal Your Hangover.


4337 Banks Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.273-4600

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Bearcat Café Uptown

Are you a good cat… or a bad cat? The Bearcat Cafe in Uptown lets you decide by indicating healthy or less healthy items on the menu. This modern sit-down cafe offers an array of fresh breakfast and lunch options. There are also selections of coffees from Equator Coffee Co, a wide variety of loose-leaf teas, and house-made bottled beverages.


2521 Jena Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.309.9011

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Brennan’s 

If you want to experience one of the best brunches in the French Quarter, stop looking and head to Brennan’s. Since 1946, this fine-dining landmark on Royal Street is famous for its Creole cuisine, posh breakfasts, and bananas Foster dessert. You can’t mistake the building – just look for the iconic pink exterior.


417 Royal Street | New Orleans, LA | 504-525-9711

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New Orleans Concerts, Shows & Performing Arts

Music is the window to the soul of a city. That phrase certainly applies to New Orleans. It’s pretty much impossible to go anywhere in town and not hear some form of music emanating from a bar, restaurant, or right in front of you on the street.

Besides the hundreds of mom-and-pop businesses, there are more than enough great venues to catch a top touring musical act or theatrical performance. You name it, you can find it on any given weekend – rock, jazz, blues, country, folk, bluegrass, zydeco, hip-hop, and maybe even polka if you look hard enough.

When you determine the dates you are visiting, check out these venues’ websites to see what shows and events are available during your stay.

Smoothie King Center 

Smoothie King Center is where you’ll catch many top indoor sporting events and concerts coming through New Orleans. The multi-purpose indoor arena sits adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It’s also the home of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. There’s always a long list of popular concerts and events on the schedule, so check to see what’s who’s playing during your visit.


1501 Dave Dixon Drive | New Orleans, LA | 504.587.3822

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Saenger Theatre

The historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans is one of the Gulf Coast’s premier live entertainment venues. Heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the ‘Grand Dame of the South’ reopened its doors in September 2013 after an extensive restoration. The 1927 design lives on in this iconic live performance venue.


1111 Canal Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.525.1052

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Orpheum

The Orpheum is an immaculately renovated historic theater with just over 1,400 seats to accommodate concerts, films, and private events. Originally built in 1918, the performance art theatre recently celebrated “100 Years on Stage” (1921-2021).


129 Roosevelt Way | New Orleans, LA | 504.274.4870

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House of Blues

The House of Blues has become one of the best places to see live music – featuring a plethora of local, regional, and even a few touring national acts. Besides great live music, the rock and blues-themed chain offers southern dishes, including po’boys, jambalaya and more.


225 Decatur | New Orleans, LA | 504.310.4999

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Preservation Hall

If you’re a fan of live jazz performances, then you must make plans to attend an upcoming show at Preservation Hall. Situated in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street, the venue presents intimate, acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts featuring ensembles from a collective of more than 50 local master practitioners.


726 Saint Peter Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.522.2841

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Joy Theatre

Built in 1947, the Joy Theatre is a historic landmark on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans. Originally used as a movie theatre, the venue is now a multi-purpose theater for live music, stand-up comedy, private functions, and corporate events.


1111 Canal Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.528.9569

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The Civic Theatre

The iconic Civic Theatre is a 1,200-seat theater. The theatre was originally built in 1906 and completely renovated in 2011. The venue is now used for concerts, plays, films, corporate events, and private parties.


510 O’Keefe Ave. | New Orleans, LA | 504.272.0865

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Le Petit Theatre

“Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré is one of the longest-running local theaters in the United States (founded in 1916). As the name indicates, it’s a more intimate theatre setting with a seating capacity of just over 300 seats. Located just off of Jackson Square, this venue is primarily used for the performing arts, including dramas, musicals, comedies, and children’s productions.


616 St. Peter Street | New Orleans LA 70116 | 504.522.2081

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Marigny Opera House
Up until 1997, the Marigny Opera House was Holy Trinity church – originally designed by French architect Theodore Giraud in 1853. In the late 90’s it was repurposed as a non-profit center for local performing artists. You can see performances throughout the year of classical music, jazz, theatre and ballet. It’s also commonly used for weddings and special events.

725 Saint Ferdinand Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.948.9998

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Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts

The Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts is a theater located in Louis Armstrong Park and named after gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who was born in New Orleans. It originally opened in 1973 as the New Orleans Theater of the Performing Arts and then was renamed after Jackson in 1993. The theater was badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina but reopened in January 2009. Currently, the venue hosts concerts, comedy, ballet, opera and more!


1419 Basin Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.525.1052

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Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts – named after gospel singer & NO native Mahalia Jackson

Spend a Sunday Exploring Jackson Square

After you finish your Sunday brunch, Jackson Square is already bustling with activity. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon checking out artwork, grabbing some beignets or a muffuletta, and browsing stores throughout the area.

You’ll find artists displaying their works on the outside of the iron fence. It’s a great place to find some unique art at affordable prices.

There’s also the opportunity to have a local artist draw a caricature of their kids or the entire family. If you’re bold enough, have a seat and get your fortune or a tarot reading. You can even challenge one of the locals to a game of chess.

Throughout the day, you’ll also hear live music and impromptu musicians performing throughout the area. Besides just getting in some serious people-watching, here are some of the best things to do while hanging out in Jackson Square.

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Artists, fortune-tellers, and musicians line the streets in Jackson Square Pedestrian Mall, New Orleans.
St. Louis Cathedral

Overlooking Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the United States. Visitors can attend a daily mass at 12:05 pm, or it’s possible to get an impromptu tour from volunteer docents when available. Guided tours for groups are only available with prior reservations.


615 Pere Antoine Alley (on Jackson Square) | New Orleans, LA | 504.525.9585

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Café Du Monde

Yeah, we know Café Du Monde shows up on most “best of” New Orleans lists, but it is such a fun and unique place to grab a delicious café au lait and some of their world-famous beignets. It’s also a great place to people watch. No need to peruse the menu because that’s just about all that they offer (except iced coffee and soft drinks).

When you arrive, don’t worry about the long lines – they are a well-oiled machine and get you through quickly – and we promise it’s worth the time.


800 Decatur Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.525-4544

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Central Grocery

Just down from Jackson Square, you’ll find a gem that’s been a New Orleans staple since the early 1900s.

The small Italian market, founded back in 1906 by a Sicilian immigrant named Salvatore Lupo, created a unique sandwich now known as the muffuletta. The sandwich is made with imported salami, ham, mortadella, emmental swiss, provolone cheese, and their world-famous olive salad.

If you’ve never had one, it’s definitely worth your time to stop by for a half or share a whole sandwich with the family.


923 Decatur Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.523.1620

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Learn About the Culture: Visit a Nearby Louisiana State Museum

1850 House

Experience the lifestyle of mid-19th century prosperity and daily life in New Orleans. The 1850 House offers a glimpse of upper-middle-class life in pre-Civil War New Orleans, one of the most prosperous periods in its history.


523 St. Ann Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.524.9118

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The Cabildo

Located next to St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo is the location of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in 1803 and one of Louisiana’s most significant historical buildings.

There’s plenty to see with three floors of exhibitions showcasing the history of Louisiana, including historical documents, paintings, and 3D objects from the museum’s large collection.


701 Chartres Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.568-6968

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The Presbytère

The Presbytère was designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo. In 1911, it became part of the Louisiana State Museum. Two current exhibits are “Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana,” which traces the celebration from its 19th-century origins to the current day emergence of parades and festivities that attracts millions of visitors each year.

The “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” exhibit details the rescue, rebuilding, and renewal from the storm that devastated the city back on August 23, 2005.


751 Chartres Street | New Orleans, LA | 504.568-6968

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Frenchmen Street: A Live Music Paradise

A short 10-minute walk from Jackson Square (straight down Chartres), and you’ll discover three blocks of live music paradise known as “Frenchmen Street.” Located in the Marigny section of New Orleans, there’s an array of live music emanating from venues such as Snug Harbor, the Spotted Cat, d.b.a, and Blue Nile.

Along with an amazing music scene, there are several quaint restaurants and plenty of interesting places to kick back and grab a frozen drink or other beverage of choice. It’s also a great place for those who like to party late into the night but avoid the highly congested Bourbon Street area.


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The End (You Made It)

Thanks for checking out our New Orleans travel guide – 48 things to do in New Orleans this weekend. We hope it helps you plan your upcoming adventure to the Big Easy. When it’s over, you’ll wish you had another week to experience all that New Orleans has to offer.

No worries, the legendary city will still be there and ready to help you pass a good time down on the Bayou. Say it with me – “laissez les bon temps rouler”!!