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30 Free Things to do

Thomas Jefferson paid $15 million for the entire Louisiana Territory, or about four cents an acre. That means New Orleans went for about seven bucks. Almost 300 years later, New Orleans is still a great deal.

1. Get jazzed.
Stroll along Bourbon or Frenchmen, where jazz pours out onto the street or duck into a few clubs for the full experience.

2. Dive deeper into our musical heritage.
After you’ve heard your fair share of jazz, learn about its roots at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park (916 N. Peters Street).

3. Browse art throughout the city.
It seems like you can find art in every corner of New Orleans — the galleries on Julia and Royal Streets, the Mid-City and Frenchmen art markets, Jackson Square vendors and so much more.

4. Experience Our Parks.
Walk among the centuries-old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park or Crescent Park.

5. Take in a free festival.
Through free summer festivals such as Vieux-To-Do and Satchmo Summerfest, explore the history of New Orleans and understand the culture of this unique city.

6. Immerse yourself in New Orleans history.
Stop by The Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street for a crash course on the city’s history that spans almost 300 years.

7. Enjoy the neighborhood.
Spend an hour people-watching at a coffee shop in the Faubourg Marigny, voted one of America’s 10 Great Neighborhoods.

8. Bike along the levee.
Rent a bike and go for a ride along the levee while taking in the sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River.

9. Oysters at Le Bon Temps Roule.
Head Uptown to this Magazine Street club on Fridays for free oysters as you listen to the local sounds of native musicians.

10. Shop for mansions on St. Charles Avenue.
Come on! You don’t have to be in the market to appreciate these jewels on the Avenue.

11. View the architecture of the French Quarter.
I spy wrought-iron balconies, a cornstalk fence, a hidden courtyard.

12. Get in touch with nature at Jean Lafitte National Park.
Just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans and you can immerse yourself in Louisiana’s rich ecological treasures — swamps, forests and marshland.

13. Catch a free summer show at Tipitina’s.
This uptown venue pays homage to the jazz legend Professor Longhair with free shows on Fridays during the summer months.

14. Go see Fulton Street.
Stroll through the Fulton Street promenade, home to outdoor cafes, one-of-a-kind shopping, Harrah’s Hotel and open-air concerts and festivals.

15. Celebrate the ambiance of The Roosevelt.
The $145 million historic restoration added 504 rooms to New Orleans’ hotel inventory, along with 60,000 square feet of event and meeting space.

16. Hang your business card at the Old Absinthe House.
Leave your mark on New Orleans by adding your business card to the wall at one of Bourbon Street’s oldest bars.

17. Spend Saturday morning at the Farmers Market.
Learn a bit about the famous New Orleans cuisine with free cooking demonstrations at the Crescent City Farmers Market.

18. Check out the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with its multi-million dollar renovation, is a premier venue for major conventions and sporting events, including Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

19. Haunt our “Cities of the Dead.”
Visit our famous above-ground tombs at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District.

20. Take Yourself on a Literary Tour.
See where Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate’s Alley), Truman Capote (711 Royal), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon), Walker Percy (1820 Milan) and Anne Rice (1239 First) lived.

21. Jam at Wednesday at the Square.
During the spring and summer months, the Young Leadership Council hosts free concerts in Lafayette Square featuring some of the hottest local acts.

22. Jazz in the Park.
More free concerts on Thursdays in the spring are featured in Armstrong Park, also highlighting some of the hottest local acts.

23. Be Moved by Our Spectacular Churches.
The large Catholic population of New Orleans gave rise to breathtaking churches such as St. Louis Cathedral, St. Augustine and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

24. Discover the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
Located amid the beauty of City Park, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden features one of the most impressive collections of contemporary sculpture in America.

25. Be a “Voluntourist.”
Though New Orleans is thriving, there are parts of the city that could still use some help following Hurricane Katrina. Just a few hours of volunteering can leave a lasting impact on New Orleans.

26. Walk and Talk.
Network with thousands of your fellow colleagues in the world’s most walkable city.

27. Room with a View.
Soak up the views of the French Quarter, Warehouse District and Central Business District from your newly renovated hotel room.

28. Savor Your Senses.
Savor the smells of more than 1,400 restaurants as you walk the streets of the Crescent City.

29. Tour the Oldest Restaurant in the French Quarter.
Ask for a tour of the historic Antoine’s that has hosted dignitaries, presidents and notable historic figures in its 175 years. Make sure to peek into the endless wine cellar.

30. Unique Destination.
Listen to the rattle of the historic streetcar and know that you’re truly someplace different. Where else would you rather be?

© New Orleans Family Reunions 2017

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