Free Things to Do in New Orleans
Quite honestly, there are scads of free things to do in New Orleans… something for everyone. I photograph many weddings in the New Orleans area and I get the same question every time… what should we do while in New Orleans? Keep reading, to learn more about several popular choices. The hardest part is deciding which one to enjoy first.
- Tour the Garden District. This stunning neighborhood, home to lavish mansions, is easily one of the most beautiful areas in New Orleans. Free tour maps are available at the French Quarter Visitor Center.
- Walk around City Park. The 1,300-acre park is home to the largest collection of live oak trees in the world. There are a number of walking and bike trails to explore. Playgrounds and wide-open spaces are plentiful, providing lots of room for children to run around.
- Listen to a concert at Lafayette Square. A 12-week concert series takes place here each year. The lineup includes a number of local bands you don’t want to miss. These concerts take place every Wednesday and are free to attend.
- Stroll down Magazine Street for some serious window shopping. Here you’ll find a wide variety of shops, situated in historic buildings, selling everything from designer clothing to folk art and antiques and a whole lot more!
- Watch a parade. The streets of New Orleans see their fair share of parades, particularly during Mardi Gras season. These parades, which are always free, provide a great way to immerse yourself in the fantastic culture of the city. As a wedding photographer, I also recommend watching a 2nd line parade with a couple who just married. What a unique and fun way to witness someone’s special day!
- Sample delicious cuisine. New Orleans-style cooking is a unique blend of African, French, Spanish, Cajun and Creole traditions. For an “insider look” at what the fuss is about, check out Crescent City Farmers’ Market. They sell fresh (local) produce and are known to host free cooking demonstrations from time to time.
- So this last one is technically not free, but super inexpensive… take the Algiers Ferry ($2 per rider) over to the other side of the Mississippi River. Soak in the views while on the ferry of the French Quarter skyline and Crescent City Connection bridge. When you get on the other side, grab a po-boy and cocktail at the Dry Dock Cafe. The Old Algiers Point bar is also a super iconic location for a drink. You will meet some really nice locals as well. If you would like to see some glass blown art, head over to the Rosetree Blown Glass (just a few short blocks from the Ferry). They specialize in the creation of blown art glass in the Venetian style of furnace work and have one of the largest contemporary art glass galleries in the South!
This is just the beginning when it comes to free things to do in New Orleans. However, these options are all a good representation of what’s available. Get ready… get set… experience New Orleans!
If you are thinking of marrying in New Orleans and having a small destination wedding or elopement, reach out to us!