Packed with jazz joints
While you will undoubtedly find your way to Bourbon Street to sample a Hurricane from Pat O's and a Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle, Frenchmen is the spot you should really be spending your nights. These two blocks of Frenchmen Street, from Checkpoint Charlie's and Dragon's Den on one end to Snug Harbor on the other, have more incredible live music than can be found in most cities. The best way to do Frenchmen is to wander the streets until you hear something you like and follow that music inside. Sometimes the best place to be is in the street milling about and listening to the street musicians or checking out the Palace Market that is open every night. Most of the spots have a small cover, with some of the prices jumping for performances by legends. Be sure to bring cash because many of the bars are cash only. Keep in mind that the bulk of the live music kicks off around 6. If you want a bit more description of each of the spots on Frenchmen, check out the info link below. Go forth and take in the music!
Robson Hatsukami Morgan
St. Charles Streetcar
Historic and scenic public transportation
Running since 1865, the St. Charles Streetcar is the oldest operational streetcar line in the world and you can ride it for only $1.25. Many people take the beautiful open air ride along the live oak lined Avenue to see the opulent mansions. While the large homes used to line the most of the streetcar line, the majority of the remaining mansions are between Napoleon Avenue and Audubon Park. Keep in mind that the RTA system is cash only and they return your change on a change card that you can use for future rides. You can also get a day pass for $3 so that you can hop on and off as many times as you would like. If you don't want to deal with exact change or want to see when the next streetcar is coming, download the RTA GoMobile app. The arrival times they provide don't tend to be accurate, but if you look at the tracker map, you can see how far away the next car is.
Canal at Carondelet
Cafe du Monde
Famed spot for beignets and café au lait
This iconic, New Orleans café has been doling out beignets and café au laits since 1862. People often forget that this cafe is open 24-hours, which means you don't have to wait in the long daytime lines if you come at night. Plus, beignets are a perfect post drinking snack. The line in front is for eating in and the line in the back take you to the takeout window. Be sure to bring cash because they don't take cards. Before you leave, head around the back to watch the beignets being made through a window into the kitchen. If you want to skip the craziness all together, they have a second location in City Park.
Fine art galleries, grand antiques and gift shops
Strolling down Royal Street gives you the quintessential French Quarter experience, with tons of shops, people in the streets and music all around. The best way to do it is to start at Hotel Monteleone, stopping in for a drink at the Carousel Bar if you so choose, and wander down the street listening to buskers and popping in and out of stores. Royal is known for its galleries and antique shops. There are a few you shouldn't miss including M.S. Rau Antiques that is practically a museum (and has a hidden back room), Rodrigue Studio for the iconic blue dog, Frank Relle Photography for gorgeous, dark photos of the swamps and Gallery Two, Antieau Gallery, Graphite Galleries, Red Truck and Oleander for more contemporary art. In addition to the fun souvenir shops, check out Bevolo to see where the iconic gas lanterns are made, Dirty Coast for locally-themed shirts, Krewe for designer glasses, Fifi Mahony's for fun wigs, and Glitter Box N.O. for art and jewelry made by women for women. Only one block off of Royal Street is the iconic Jackson Square that is overlooked by St. Louis Cathedral, which is worth a quick detour.
Backstreet Cultural Museum
Mardi Gras Indian costumes & second line history
The museum strives to preserve and perpetuate the unique cultural traditions of New Orleans' African American society through its costume, story, and picture filled space. Set in a converted house in the Treme, this homade museum is cash only and a must-visit if you want to learn about a New Orleans that goes beyond Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras revelry.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
Some of the best po-boys in town
Be ready to wait in a long line if you go during the lunch rush, especially on weekends. Their shrimp and roast beef po-boys are popular, but no matter what you order, get it dressed. This means it will come with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo, then you add your own Crystal Hot Sauce and ketchup to your liking. If your especially hungry, add turkey & alligator sausage gumbo to your order. A great way to get around the long line is to call in a pick-up order. Take your food to-go and head over to Bayou St. John for a picnic.