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25 Things a Culture Seeker Must Do in NOLA

For the art lovers, history fanatics, music connoisseurs and culture seekers, New Orleans is where you go to stray from the beaten path. From street poets and fine art galleries to the Philharmonic Orchestra, we’ve got art, music and dancing at every turn. And some of the best treasures lie hidden from the bustling crowds of the city.

If you really want to understand what drives the authentic spirit of this city, try these recommendations to find local art, music, history and performance, and immerse yourself in New Orleans’ culture:

  1. New Orleans Jazz Market
    Second Line
    St. Augustine Catholic Church
    Live music at d.b.a
    Dr. Bob Folk Art
    Besthoff Sculpture Garden
    WWII Museum
    New Orleans Museum of Art
    Preservation Hall
    White Linen Night
    Make a reservation at one of our James Beard Award winning restaurants.
  2. Or take a more educational approach to New Orleans’ famous cuisine by visiting the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
  3. Spend some extra time exploring Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard – the cultural crown jewel of Central City. Additional highlights include the New Orleans Jazz Market, Ashe Cultural Arts Center and Roux Carre, just to name a few. 
  4. For a truly local experience, reserve your spot for a farm-to-table dinner and concert at Paradigm Gardens.
  5. Join a second line! These celebratory parades happen quite sporadically, but you’re likely to find one strolling down the street on a Saturday night in the French Quarter or throughout Central City, Treme and Uptown on Sundays.
  6. Learn more about the history behind jazz funerals and those incredible Mardi Gras Indian costumes at the Backstreet Cultural Museum.
  7. And while you’re in Treme, visit the oldest African American church in New Orleans, or plan a trip to the nearby New Orleans African-American Museum.
  8. Take a stroll along the river through Crescent Park. Be sure to check ahead for their monthly Crescent Park Bazaar.
  9. There’s live music to be heard all over the city, but a great place to start is along Frenchmen Street, where music clubs pulse with live acts every night of the week.
  10. Mosey on into the Frenchmen Art Market and meet the regional vendors while you shop for a little piece of New Orleans to take home with you.
  11. Check out Dr. Bob Folk Art street gallery, where the phrase “Be Nice or Leave” is a part of the artist’s identity.
  12. Then head over to the Marigny Opera House for an evening show.
  13. Hop on a streetcar and head out to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. Make sure to save some time to wander through the adjacent Besthoff Sculpture Garden (bonus – admission to the gardens is always free!)
  14. Speaking of museums, you won’t want to miss the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. And if you’re in town on a Thursday, you can stick around a little later for Ogden After Hours, their weekly concert series.
  15. History buffs will want to spend hours roaming through the different exhibits at the WWII Museum. Trust us, you won’t want to leave.
  16. Stroll through the galleries on Julia Street every first Saturday of the month for show openings and entertainment.
  17. Curious about NOLA architecture? Stop by the Preservation Resource Center to learn more about all of NOLA’s unique neighborhoods and architectural styles.
  18. Go beyond the gorgeous exteriors, and tour the house museums at historic homes throughout the city.
  19. Spend the day roaming in and out of courtyards and galleries on Royal Street.
  20. Ogle over the massive diamonds, ancient sculptures and antiques at M.S. Rau. And don’t forget to ask to see the secret room.
  21. Catch the famous Preservation Hall Band at one of their three nightly shows, which are open to all ages.
  22. Fancy a night at the symphony? Perhaps you’d like to take in a Broadway show? Keep up to date with various cultural arts performances and see what’s playing when you’re in town.
  23. Head Uptown and roam through endless amount of boutiques and contemporary art galleries on Magazine Street. Then get lost wandering amongst the homes of the Garden District.
  24. Learn more about every single artist in the city and where you can find their art by visiting www.wheryart.net.
  25. Try one (or all) of these festivals and events that are known for their local art vendors.
 
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