Top 14 Fun Things to Do in the French Quarter, New Orleans

The French Quarter is a vibrant and historic neighborhood in New Orleans‘s heart. Known for its lively atmosphere, rich culture, and unique architecture, it is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city. From iconic landmarks to delicious cuisine, let’s explore all the fun things to do in the French Quarter, New Orleans, that will delight visitors of all ages.

Jackson Square

One of the most iconic spots in the French Quarter is Jackson Square. Stunning 18th-century buildings surround this historic park, home to the famous St. Louis Cathedral. Stroll through the square, admire the beautiful sculptures and artwork, and soak in the lively atmosphere. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live jazz performance by one of the talented street musicians.

The Presbytère Museum

Located on the northwest side of Jackson Square, The Presbytère Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. This architectural gem houses two fascinating exhibits: one dedicated to the history and culture of Mardi Gras and the other focusing on the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. Explore the vibrant costumes and intricate floats, and learn about the traditions, making Mardi Gras a unique and cherished celebration.

Classic New Orleans Fine Dining

No visit to the French Quarter would be complete without indulging in the city’s world-renowned cuisine. The French Quarter is a food lover’s paradise, from mouthwatering po’boys to savory gumbo. Be sure to visit some of the classic restaurants that have been serving up delicious dishes for generations. Whether you dine at Antoine’s, Brennan’s, or Galatoire’s, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable culinary experience.

French Market

For those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture, a visit to the French Market is a must. This historic market dates back to the late 18th century and is a vibrant hub of activity. Browse the countless stalls selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to handmade crafts and souvenirs. Don’t forget to sample some delicious local delicacies, such as beignets and pralines.

Royal Street

Known for its charming architecture and eclectic mix of shops, Royal Street is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and antique lovers. Stroll down this picturesque street and admire the beautiful galleries showcasing works by local artists. If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, you’ll find a wide range of boutique shops selling unique clothing, jewelry, and home decor.

Bourbon Street

No article about the French Quarter would be complete without mentioning Bourbon Street. Famous for its vibrant nightlife and lively atmosphere, this iconic street is a must-visit for those looking to experience the true spirit of New Orleans. From lively bars and jazz clubs to delicious street food and live music, Bourbon Street offers a sensory overload that will leave a lasting impression.

Audubon Aquarium

If you’re traveling with family or love marine life, the Audubon Aquarium is a must-visit attraction. Located on the edge of the French Quarter, this world-class aquarium is home to various aquatic species. Marvel at the vibrant coral reefs, get up close and personal with sharks and learn about the importance of marine conservation through interactive exhibits.

Café Du Monde

No visit to the French Quarter would be complete without indulging in the famous beignets and café au lait at Café Du Monde. This iconic coffee shop has been serving delicious treats since 1862 and is a beloved institution in New Orleans. Take a seat at one of the outdoor tables, savor the warm, powdered sugar-coated beignets, and sip on a steaming cup of café au lait while watching the world go by.

Old Ursuline Convent Museum

Step back in time and explore the rich history of the French Quarter at the Old Ursuline Convent Museum. This beautifully preserved building, dating back to 1745, is the oldest surviving building in the Mississippi Valley. Learn about the Ursuline nuns’ influential role in shaping the city’s education system and get a glimpse into the lives of the early settlers through the museum’s impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits.

Crescent City Art

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the French Quarter is complete with exploring the vibrant art scene. There is something to suit every taste, from traditional galleries to contemporary art spaces. Discover local artists’ works, from paintings to sculptures, that capture the essence of New Orleans and its unique cultural heritage.

French Quarter Street Performers

As you explore the French Quarter, you’ll likely come across talented street performers showcasing their skills. From musicians playing soulful jazz tunes to charismatic magicians and entertaining circus acts, these performers add to the lively atmosphere of the neighborhood. Take a moment to stop and enjoy their performances, and don’t forget to show your appreciation by leaving a tip.

Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

One of the more unique attractions in the French Quarter is the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Step into a world filled with colorful butterflies fluttering around you and explore fascinating exhibits that showcase the incredible diversity of insects. From interactive displays to hands-on experiences, this museum is a great educational and entertaining destination for visitors of all ages.

Riverboat Cruise

Embry on a riverboat cruise for a different perspective of the French Quarter and the Mississippi River. Step aboard a beautifully restored steamboat and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the river. Take in the stunning city skyline views, learn about the river’s history, and enjoy live jazz music as you sail along the mighty Mississippi.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Visiting the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is a must to glimpse the fascinating world of medicine and pharmacy in the 19th century. This unique museum is housed in a historic building once a functioning pharmacy. Explore the collection of antique medical instruments, learn about the origins of modern medicine, and discover the intriguing history of New Orleans’ pharmaceutical past.

The French Quarter is a vibrant and historic neighborhood with many activities and attractions for visitors of all interests. From exploring iconic landmarks to indulging in delicious cuisine, immersing yourself in the local culture, and enjoying the lively nightlife, there is something for everyone in this unique corner of New Orleans. So, whether you’re a history lover, an art enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking to soak in the vibrant atmosphere, take advantage of the opportunity to experience the fun things to do in the French Quarter. 

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