How to Spend 3 Days In New Orleans: See the Best of NOLA
Anyone’s first time in a never-ending-party city like New Orleans can be challenging to plan in a short period of time. There is so much to do and see, but it is very possible to explore plenty of points of attraction in the Big Easy in only three days.
Here is an ideal itinerary for three days in NOLA. Explore all of the major attractions, must-try restaurants, and most famous landmarks, all in one long weekend.
Day One: The French Quarter
Any trip to New Orleans should begin in the historic French Quarter. The French Quarter is recognized as the heart of the city and it attracts the most attention for the vibrant live music, bars filled with rowdy patrons, and the many festivals held here year round.
Morning: Eat Beignets and Cruise Down Bourbon Street
Upon arrival, fuel up with a New Orleans-style breakfast of beignets and cafe au lait at the noted Cafe Du Monde in the French Market. Beignets are the state doughnut of Louisiana and a New Orleans staple. This isn’t just a breakfast option — Cafe Du Monde is open 24 hours a day so fresh, warm beignets can be enjoyed at any hour.
The famed Bourbon Street is the center of activity and where the most recognized festival of all takes place: Mardi Gras. Each year the residents of New Orleans find tons of reasons to celebrate their unique customs. The diverse customs that have formed from the melting pot of cultures have beautifully designed the aura of the Big Easy.
There is much more to the French Quarter than just Bourbon Street and it is easily navigable by foot. Jackson Square is a park where the St. Louis Cathedral sits, among other statues on this historical site.
Afternoon: Enjoy Po’boys and a Royal Street Stroll
For lunch, visit an iconic French Quarter landmark called Johnny’s Po’boy Restaurant. Po’boys are the humble, traditional, and delicious sandwich of NOLA. Po’boys are served on a crispy baguette-style bread and usually filled with either roast beef or fried seafood like shrimp, crab, or crawfish.
After lunch, check out Royal Street, a street filled with antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. Royal Street is just a block away from Bourbon Street, yet it has a completely different vibe. Charming, 19th-century Southern architecture and historic landmarks fill this neighborhood.
Evening: Get Jazzy
Strolling through the famous streets of the French Quarter all day does a number on the appetite. Indulge in true Louisiana-style Southern dinner for your first night in New Orleans. For an authentic cuisine experience, try Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant.
Spend a portion of the night soaking up the sounds of live jazz at the acclaimed Preservation Hall. Jazz music is an integral part of New Orleans and Preservation Hall hosts some of the greatest local bands in an intimate setting.
A late-night stroll on Bourbon Street is an exciting way to end day one of a three-day trip to NOLA. Bourbon Street comes alive at night with neon lights and the city’s street performers.
Day Two: The Garden District
Getting to the Garden District from the French Quarter is simple using the St. Charles streetcar. The streetcar is a classic mode of transportation in this area of the city. Using Jazzy Passes, get unlimited rides on the streetcar for an entire day for only $3 per person. These passes will come in handy while touring the Garden District and nearby areas.
Morning: Explore Mansion-Lined Streets and an Eerie Cemetery
After a jam-packed first day in NOLA, take a self-guided walking tour of the serene, historical Garden District. The streets are lined with giant trees and beautiful Victorian-era mansions. The Garden District is a charming part of the city that offers a much slower pace than the French Quarter.
There are several famous mansions to check out including the Buckner Mansion and the Cornstalk Fence Mansion. The grand homes and beautiful gardens in this section of the city are definitely worth strolling around for.
After a few blocks of mansion sightings, take the opportunity to visit a legendary New Orleans cemetery. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is located on Washington Avenue and features eerie above-ground tombs, unlike any common cemetery. New Orleans cemeteries attract hordes of visitors each year due to the fascinating history, ornately designed tombs, and famous souls buried in them.
Afternoon: Visit a Famed Lunch Spot and Shop on Magazine Street
Stop for lunch at the unmistakable turquoise building on Washington Avenue known as Commander’s Palace. This is a prominent NOLA restaurant known for its elegant Creole cuisine and jazz bands. There is a dress code and reservations are recommended.
For a more casual meal, head a few blocks south of Commander’s Palace to Magazine Street. Try The Ruby Slipper Cafe for its award-winning breakfast and lunch, or Dat Dog, a noteworthy hot dog and sausage restaurant with an outdoor patio.
Magazine Street is filled with plenty of restaurants and tons of cool boutiques to explore. Interesting antique shops, coffee shops, clothing stores, art galleries, and more can be found on Magazine Street.
Evening: Tour Museums
To end the day, taking the streetcar to a new neighborhood like the Central Business District is a good chance to sneak in even more experiences in NOLA. The Central Business District offers attractions like the National WWII Museum for a riveting look back into history.
Day Three: NOLA Day Tours
NOLA is a destination for historical and cultural tours that are perfect for newcomers. For adventurous travelers, more than one tour can be done on the last day of the trip. The itinerary below is packed, so pick just one if you need to go easy on your last day.
Morning: Delve Into the Curious World of Voodoo
Voodoo tours are an interesting way to learn more about the mysterious subculture of voodoo in NOLA. The mystifying and often-misunderstood practices of the religion are illuminated in detail on voodoo tours. Learn about the practices, rituals, and history behind the voodoo religion.
Voodoo tours can be reserved at 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. depending on the day. Tours begin in the French Quarter and run for about 1.5 hours.
The tours squash rumors about the spiritual practice and dive deep into the truths of the superstitions, Haitian rebellions, voodoo holidays, and voodoo dolls. Visit one of the modern voodoo temples and learn about the “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans,” Marie Laveau.
Afternoon: Journey to the Bayous
Swamp tours are an excellent way to see the bayous of Louisiana. Most boat tours operate on a similar schedule and offer afternoon tour times around 1:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. Each tour company is slightly different, so be sure to check dates, times, and pickup locations for each.
Many tour companies offer pickup in the city and transportation to the bayous. The tours take about 1 hour and 45 minutes and transportation takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the pickup location.
Louisiana’s wetlands are brimming with alligators, wild boar, herons, turtles, bald eagles, and more. There are a couple of different ways to explore the wetlands: canoes, kayaks, and, our favorite, airboats and swamp boats.
Airboat tours are on small, fast boats that can get deeper into the swamps for a thrilling ride. Swamp boats are slower, making it easier to view wildlife at a relaxed pace.
Evening: Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour
New Orleans is known as one of the most haunted cities in the United States, but why take our word for it? By nightfall, get ready for the ghost tours of NOLA, where you can see the most haunted locations in the city for yourself.
Ghost tour companies in the city typically run tours anywhere from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Expect the tours to last 1.5 to 2 hours.
Anyone who is thrilled by the macabre will enjoy seeing the chilling sights of famously haunted landmarks like Pirates Alley and The Hotel Monteleone. Several stories of the hauntings and spirits of NOLA will be shared by guides during walking or bus tours of the city’s most haunted places.
Spend 3 Days in NOLA’s Trendiest Apartment-Hotel
Domio’s revolutionary apartment-hotel in New Orleans features a modern facility with beautifully designed apartments and a full-service concierge when you need it. Think of the convenience of a hotel stay, but without the standard limits of a traditional hotel.
Each Domio accommodation is a hand-selected, professionally decorated, full-access apartment. You can expect all of the usual comforts of home. The apartments feature kitchens stocked with cooking supplies, household amenities, common areas, comfortable bedrooms, and more.
Domio’s accommodations are made for group travel of all sizes while keeping spaciousness and comfort as top priorities. Our apartments suits the needs of a group of any size, from a studio apartment to a 16-person apartment.
If you like being close to the action but being able to fall asleep without earplugs, book a stay at Domio Baronne Street. You’ll be in the Warehouse District, close to the center of NOLA’s best attractions and mere minutes from the French Quarter, where most tours depart from.
Enjoy your three-day escapade in the Big Easy!
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Our largest unit, this one with a terrace. Perfect for big groups who like a view.
- 6 guests
- 2 bedrooms
- 4 beds
- 2 baths
Our largest unit, this one with a terrace. Perfect for big groups who like a view.
- 8 guests
- 4 bedroom
- 4 beds
- 3 baths