Not going to lie, I love being a tourist and seeing iconic sites- but I also love seeing the local side of a city. I’m fascinated by how other people live, so I like to get an insider’s look.
Here are a few touristy attractions with some cool local spots you can visit the next time you’re in Nola.
Airboat Tours through the Swamps || There are several companies that offer airboat tours but the one we like is Airboat Adventures. They have good pricing, a prime location, the knowledge to answer all of your questions, and give you a great experience. When you arrive, they have a little souvenir shop. Inside, you can get up close and personal with an albino alligator! It really warms you up to seeing live gators and gets you excited for the adventure ahead. We reserved a boat that seats about 12 people with a tour guide. He takes you to several spots in the swamps and fills you with information about wildlife, nature, and history. Wild alligators will swim up to your boat in hopes of munching on marshmallows. Too cool! The swamps are a creepy yet beautiful place! I’ve grown up by lakes and beaches, but this is a one of a kind experience. I recommend wearing athliesure wear as rain or getting splashed by waves may occur. Packing a poncho in your backpack would be a smart idea, haha! See photo below for why that last sentence is funny..
French Quarter || Facing the Mississippi River, the French quarter is an iconic spot to visit in New Orleans. Home to Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, you can walk around admiring the architecture and park. In the center of it all is the statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse. You’ll also be entertained by street performers and local artists who create pieces right in front of your eyes and display them along the square’s intricate lily beautiful iron gates. Not to mention, Cafe du Monde (and their famous beignets) is located next door!
WW2 Museum || I am so glad someone suggested going to this large and amazing museum. The detailed history and intricacy of their exhibits will leave you in awe. You can see in the first photo below how they recreate the environment to make you feel like you were there. When you first arrive at the museum, they give each person a different ‘dog tag’ of a soldier’s in the war. As you progress through the museum, you scan your tag at each station and get to hear that individual’s personal story unfold. You’ll definitely want to schedule yourself out several hours to walk through everything. Unfortunately, we didn’t check closing times and only had two hours to explore. It was not enough time. We were only able to get through one exhibit. I’m already planning my next trip to Nola so I can go back and see the rest!
Bourbon Street || Bourbon Street is about as touristy as you can get in this city. It is better known for it’s party atmosphere, especially during Mardi Gras in February. If that’s not your thing, I still advise taking a stroll to see all of the action. The street is lined with multistory buildings, each one having a balcony with flags, beads, or lights strung up. Music fills the air as live bands are around every corner. I’m talking, thirteen blocks of restaurants, bars, entertainment, architecture, and history.