NEW ORLEANS "THE BIG EASY"
2 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS
Day 1 | Day 2
This page is the Day 2 continuation of the New Orleans 2 Days / 2 Nights first time visit travel itinerary.
DAY 2: Garden District and frenchmen street
The Day 2 itinerary focuses on some less rowdy and more local New Orleans scenes. But don't worry though, if partying is still on your mind, there is plenty of it where you're going.
Day 2 Itinerary: GARDEN DISTRICT AND FRENCHMEN STREET
1. ride the CITY SIGHTSEEING BUS TO the garden district
At this point, if you followed the Day 1 itinerary to a "T," you still haven't actually ridden the City Sightseeing Bus. Therefore, you still have much more to learn, smell, taste, and see. Get on the bus tour at the stop that's nearest to your hotel or wherever you happen to be and ride on over to the Garden District to start your excursion
Receive $3 off each ticket when you use promo code FTVNOLA at checkout.
2. Garden District Walking Tour (Included with City Sightseeing Bus Pass)
Ever hear about the beautiful mansions nestled in New Orleans? If so, then you've likely also heard about the Garden District, which hosts some of the best preserved, still lived in, elegant homes in the Southern United States. Your walking tour guide will go over the neighborhood's historic significance as well as point out homes currently owned by some famous folks. All you have to do is listen and absorb the charm/peacefulness of the Garden District. This tour is also included with the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus pass and lasts roughly 45 minutes. Tours begin daily at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm at Bus Stop 12. More information can be found on their webpage.
Don't feel like doing another guided tour? You can always walk through the Garden District on your own and marvel at the homes surrounding you. We'd also suggest adventuring down Magazine Street or through Lafayette Cemetery #1 (also free with your Hop-On, Hop-Off bus pass). Both of these areas can be explored from the same stop as the Garden District walking tour (Bus Stop 12 at Magazine and Washington).
3. LUNCH IN THE GARDEN DISTRICT
The Rum House
Creole/Caribbean Tacos...enough said. The Rum House is an incredibly popular Magazine Street spot for both locals and visitors alike. This is the restaurant we always bring friends to that are visiting New Orleans for the first time and the one that everyone always wants to go back to during future visits. The majority of the menu is Caribbean influenced, featuring savory meat and fresh seafood dishes/tacos as well as an impressive collection of rums and mixed drinks. Despite all the meat options, there are some vegetarian dishes too. There are also plenty of gluten-free options. Check out The Rum House menu on their webpage for more information. PS: if you happen to be in New Orleans on a Tuesday, it will be Taco Tuesday at The Rum House and all the tacos are only $1!
One of the most well known and high-end dining experiences in New Orleans can be found right in the heart of the Garden District, one block away from the famous Lafayette Cemetery #1 (and only three blocks from the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Stop). Commander's Palace, established in 1880, serves award-winning Haute Creole dishes, delicately crafted and perfected by world-renowned chefs. Note: reservations are usually required and the dress code is strict. For more information about Commander's Palace and their menu checkout their website.
4. Wander down magazine street
One of the most famous and bustling thoroughfares in New Orleans is Magazine Street, lined with shops restaurants, bars, and art galleries. It isn't uncommon to see celebrities, local and visiting, work their way through Magazine's many boutiques.
Starting at Washington and Magazine, you will find plenty to do in either direction. However, we suggest heading West on Magazine (away from the French Quarter), poking through the small boutique shops and art galleries. Also in this direction, you will find some of our favorite New Orleans bars and restaurants. For a nice biergarten (beer garden) feel, check out The Bulldog. If you would like to sit above the street on one of those picturesque balconies (fun fact: actually called a "gallery"), we suggest you go to the conveniently named Balcony Bar.
5. Finish city sightseeing bus tour
Once you're done exploring the Garden District and Magazine Street, jump back on the Sight Sightseeing Bus and finish up the tour loop. If you still have some time and energy before dinner, get off at another tour stop. We suggest checking out either Mardi Gras World (Stop 16) or the Art Galleries on Julia Street (Stop 17). You could check out the National WWII Museum (walk-able from Stop 17) if you were so inclined. But note, this museum is THOROUGH...so if you don't move through museums quickly, we suggest you carve out 3-5 hours to experience it.
Mardi Gras World Tickets: $20 for adults
National WWII Museum Tickets: $28 for adults
Receive $3 off each ticket when you use promo code FTVNOLA at checkout.
6. a night out ON FRENCHMEN STREET
Take a cab, Uber, or walk through the French Quarter (assuming that's where you're staying) to spend your second evening on Frenchmen Street in the Marigny.
Frenchmen Street was the birthplace of Jazz and Blues! Most people come down to New Orleans, gearing up for live music (specifically Jazz in mind) but end up getting particularly caught up on Bourbon Street (understandably so). But, if fantastic live music of all genres (yes...plenty of jazz too) and an awe-inspiring dance scene are what you're searching for, Frenchmen is where-it's-at. Frenchmen is a much more local scene compared to to Bourbon, and true New Orleans culture can be experienced at a somewhat slower pace. Frenchmen Street is located in the Marigny, one block down river from the French Quarter. We suggest checking out some of our favorite music clubs, such as The Spotted Cat, 30/90, and Maison.
Dinner on Frenchmen
Dinner and Music at Maison (Kid-Friendly Before 10pm)
Maison is one our favorite music clubs in New Orleans. They have live music every night of the week, and in our personal opinion, usually have some of the best bands playing on Frenchmen at any given time. Their Dinner and Jazz Reservation Package, though a little pricey ($35), is well worth it as it kills a couple birds with one stone: Dinner (and one specialty drink) per guest, reserved front row seating, and live Jazz music. Now that it's all written out, it actually doesn't sound that expensive. The part that makes it seem expensive...you could go to Maison and listen to music for free (probably wouldn't get a table)...but you gotta eat eventually don't you? Regardless of whether you eat at Maison or not, make sure to stop by at some point during the night and listen to a set.
Marigny Brasserie (Also Kid-Friendly)
We like recommending the Marigny Brasserie for a few reasons: (1) It's on Frenchmen Street. So, if sitting outside, you can enjoy the bustle and hum of music around one of New Orleans' favorite nightlife scenes for locals and guests alike. (2) On weekend nights, they have live music so you can eat your meal and get a show too. (3) The menu is full of classic New Orleans eats, which we assume is one of the main reasons you're visiting. Since the Marigny Brasserie is on one of the most popular streets in New Orleans, the wait can be a little long at times. We suggest making a reservation in advance if you want to eat here during peak hours.
Frenchmen Art Market
While on Frenchmen Street, make sure you walk through the Frenchmen Art Market. Many of the best artists in New Orleans live in the Marigny and Bywater (adjacent neighborhood, opposite direction from the French Quarter) and showcase their art, crafts, and jewelry at this open-air market. The market is open every night of the week and is always festively decorated. Fun tip, this is a great place to take a break since there are benches, tables, and chairs set up and ready for you. Take a load off, listen to the music bursting from the Frenchmen clubs and enjoy the artistic atmosphere.
OTHER NEW ORLEANS ITINERARIES AND ARTICLES
OVERALL NEW ORLEANS EXPERIENCE (WITH TOURS)
OVERALL NEW ORLEANS EXPERIENCE (WITHOUT TOURS)
OTHER NEW ORLEANS ITINERARIES