Come for the music, but stay for the food. Dating back to 1783, Treme is rich in African American history. The neighborhood was once a place where free people of color could buy goods and where slaves gathered on Sundays to play music in Congo Square. Today you can visit the historic St. Augustine’s Churchthe nation’s oldest African-American Catholic parish. Treme’s Little Jazz Museum shares a historical look at the beginnings of jazz in the neighborhood. After visiting the museum, head to Louis Armstrong Park, where you can attend a free concert on Thursday evenings. Treme throbs with music throughout the week, so just follow the beat at one of the many bars in the area. And don’t leave without visiting Willie Mae’s Scottish Homefamous for its fried chicken and soul food.
2. Downtown/Garden District
Although there’s a tram, this neighborhood — with its historic homes, manicured lawns, and tall oak trees — is best explored on foot. magazine street offers six miles of restaurants, shops and art. For family Creole cuisine, go to Joey K’s Restaurant. To The Little Grocery, savor Franco-Louisiana cuisine accompanied by an extensive wine list. Oak Street’s shops and cafes are popular with college students, writers, artists and musicians. Be sure to attend a concert at Maple Leaf Barone of the most famous music clubs in town.
3. Arts/Warehouse District
As its name suggests, this former industrial district of the city is now a trendy artistic district. Begin your exploration on Julia Street, also known as Gallery Row. On the first Saturday of each month, the galleries open their doors as part of a Art walk. If you haven’t had your fill of art on Julia Street, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art has the most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world, and the contemporary art center is a multidisciplinary arts center with theatre, sculpture, photography and visual arts. For history buffs, the National World War II Museum has interactive experiences, in addition to artifacts and photos that share the history and stories behind key events. The neighborhood offers some of the best restaurants in town, with several James Beard Award-winning chefs. Fellow Rabbit offers creatives the opportunity to experience traditional French cuisine, and meet Kitchen store for Vietnamese cuisine using fresh ingredients.
Creole cottages with colorful shutters, trim and details make this neighborhood quaint and Instagram-friendly. As if the houses weren’t colorful enough, the neighborhood has a thriving street art scene, which is best explored on foot. For one of the best terraces in town, go to Bacchanale Winewhere you will find an extensive wine list and live jazz. Palace French Market is the city’s largest nighttime art market, with 38 stalls sharing the works of more than 80 local artists.
As the city’s central business district, Downtown is known for its innovative restaurants and upscale shopping. The Caesars Superdome is arguably downtown’s most recognized landmark and helped shelter 10,000 people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It has undergone several renovations since 2005 and will be renovated again before hosting the Super Bowl in 2025. The history Orpheus Theater also has an extensive concert lineup and offers tours of the Art Deco Theater on select Mondays. In the city center, take a walk in Place Lafayetteone of the oldest parks in the city. Willa John is the place to go for a morning coffee and pastry or a casual meal of sandwiches and cookies. At Pythian Market, you can find something for everyone: pizza, tacos, fried chicken and waffles, poke bowls, and more. Other restaurant highlights include Johnny Sanchez for high-end Mexican cuisine, Chophouse New Orleans at the St. James Hotel, and Brooding for a modern take on classic French cuisine.