15 free things to do in New Orleans

1. Get Jazzed

Stroll along Bourbon Street, Frenchman and Fulton,where jazz pours out onto the streets.. it never ends – right up into the wee hours of the morning!

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2. Dive Deeper into Music Heritage

After you’ve heard your fare share of Jazz, learn about it’s roots at the New Orleans Jazz National historic park (Add: 916 N. Peter’s Street)

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3. Look at the Longest Bridge in not just New Orleans, but the USA.

Keith of Velvetescape, put me in touch with his awesome friend Pauline. She brought me to see the longest bridge in New Orleans as well as the USA. It can be viewed from many points around the city. A magnificent bridge that actually escaped unscathed by the recent hurricane.  That’s her voice you hear in the background giving me the tutorial on “the bridge”;) Thank’s Pauline! The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway consists of two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana. The longer of the two bridges is either the longest or third-longest in the world depending on definitions, measuring at 23.87 miles (38.42 km) long.

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4. Immerse yourself in New Orleans History

Stop by The Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street for a crash course on the city’s history, which spans 300 years. It’s free!

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5. Enjoy the gorgeous Parks.

Walk or go for a jog among the centuries-old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park.

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6. View the Architecture of the French Quarter

Fantastically intricate wrought-iron balconies, a cornstalk fence and many hidden courtyards. Simply lovely – a great place to fall in love all over again with a loved one;) A long stroll along the French Quarter in the waning light of evening, is my idea of a great time!

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7. Shop for Mansions on St. Charles Avenue.

Well, window shopping is always free. If I owned one of these babies I would be happy person!

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8. Browse Art throughout the City

It’s seems like you can find art in every corner of New Orleans – the galleries on Julia and Royal, the Mid-city and Baywater art markets, Jackson Square vendors etc, etc. Everything is color .. everything is art.

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9. Spend a day at the Track

Did you know that you can participate for nothing, in the amazing thrill of  live thoroughbred racing at the New Orleans Fair Grounds. Feel so bourgeois walking the fairgrounds!

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10. Ride the river

The free Canal street ferry will take you along the river so that you can view the most spectacular New Orleans skyline and then drops you off in historic Algiers.

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11. Be moved by breathtaking Churches.

The large Catholic population of New Orleans means many beautiful churches you can visit e.g. St Louis Cathedral, St. Augustine and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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12. Be part of Free music Festivals

Every season is a festival season in Nawlins! I just got there in time for the end of the Jazz Festival! The other famous festivals included the French Quarter Fest, Stachmo SummerFest, Po-boy Preservation Festival and of course the infamous Mardi Gras.

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13. Bike along the Levee

Bring your bike , or hire one, and go for a ride along the levee while taking in the sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River.

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14. Catch a Free Summer Show at Tipitina’s.

This place pays homage to the Jazz legend Professor Longhair with free shows on Fridays in summer!

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15. Be a “Voluntourist”.

Though New Orleans is thriving, there are parts of the city that could still use some help following Hurricane Katrina, Just a few hours of Volunteering can make a lasting impact on this place and also on YOU. (photo of a house that was never rebuilt , aftermath of the hurricane).

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Footnote:

New Orleans, or in French , La Nouvelle-Orléans or in local slang, Nawlins,  is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The city is named after Philippe II, Duc d’Orléans, Regent of France, and is well known for its distinct French architecture, as well as its cross cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music, i.e.  the birthplace of jazz and its annual celebrations and festivals, like the Mardi Gras. On a less happy note, Nawlins is also famous for being situated on the hurricane and tornado belt.

When I arrived after a 30 hour flight from Malaysia, I did not know what to expect. Maybe I was expecting devastation in certain areas but I was really surprised that the place had rebuilt so quickly. Apparently, talking to the folks of Nawlins, they would not want to live anywhere else in the world or even the USA. Nawlins is home. Even if that means having houses wrecked etc, they take their chances. But when you see the beauty of the city, you understand why they don’t want to leave.

When the Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it caused more than 50 breaches in drainage canal levees and also in navigational canal levees and precipitated the worst engineering disaster in the history of the United States. 80% of New Orleans was flooded, with some parts under 15 feet of water.

Every year, during the hurricane and flood season (which incidentally is in a couple of month’s time) many families pack their things, pull down the shutters, board up the windows of their homes and head on out to Houston, Texas – the next city that is approximately 328 miles (528 km) away. A journey of only 5 hours can take up to 24 hours as traffic crawls out of New Orleans due to the incredible traffic jams, as seen during the last big evacuation. The last time this happened, my friend Pauline had two small boys with her and a dog. They had to keep a “potty” in the boot for emergencies. You can imagine just how harrowing the experience is. During this massive exodus the two-way highways are converted into a one-way road. There ain’t nothing going into New Orleans I tell you, just leaving. Leaving for the Hurricane Season.

The New Orleans Saga (5 part Series)

1. You Ain’t Lived if you Ain’t Eaten New Orlean’s Beignet

2. 15 Free things to do in New Orleans

3. 7 Great Eats you must not miss in New Orleans

4. 5 great Ways to see New Orleans

5. 10 Top Tipples in New Orleans

Comments

  1. Oh hit me with. All. That. J.A.Z.Z.! :D

  2. Nice! Waiting for the review on the grub :D

  3. New Orleans was always one of those places on my to go list. Then the hurricane happened. So what’s it feel like in the city? like a new rebuilt city? Or still feels old?

  4. great post! one of my dreams is to go to new orleans and eat real creole food.

  5. It’s everythin I expected!!! wow. Awesome! :) I told you, I just watched The princess and the frog, the story is at New Orleans, the street looks exactly like that!! What a beautiful place.
    Lucky girl! :)

  6. i want the fried food!!

  7. Looks and sounds like my kind of place! But just the thought of applying for a visa makes me have 2nd thoughts. And 3rd. And 4th.. And it doesn’t help the little ‘uns are begging to visit DisneyWorld in Orlando..

  8. it looks really scenic, more so than i imagined … but yeah, the last photo was a reminder of how maybe a lot of people in new orleans are really struggling, rite?

    • i also expected devastation.. but they rebuilt real quick. Apparently, talking to the folks there, they would not want to live anywhere else in the world or even the USA. Nawlins is home. even if that means having houses wrecked etc, they take their chances. But when u see the beauty of the city, you understand why they don’t want to leave.

      Gorgeous.

  9. i so wanna be there, i nearly did but cancelled last min :(

  10. So cool to hear Pauline’s voice on the video.

    Can’t wait for the food! :-)

  11. You’ve reminded me of an episode of Ian Wright’s American trip. The culture, music and food amazed me lotsa. Sounds like a fun trip, yo.

  12. SO nice, and thank you for sharing the topic. New Orleans, I love you!

  13. A great example of human resilience – things can always be rebuilt no matter what kinda disaster hits.
    Looks like a rocking trip u had, heh! Looking fwd to more posts!

  14. our lady of guadalupe sounds like a dip for nachos…. here, lady, have some guadalupe. (oh, its guacamole hor!)

  15. sounds and looks great! I definitely want to put New Orleans on my list when visiting the States next time! Thanks for sharing this post :)

  16. Great post, girl! I’ve been to NOLA three times and love it. Can’t wait for your food review, cause Nawlins has it going on! Have fun – Beverly