New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street

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SheBuysTravel Jill went to New Orleans on business years ago. She made the obligatory trek to Bourbon Street and saw young women flashing passersby in exchange for shiny plastic beads, watched an elaborate drag show, and rocked out to the acoustic version of “Baby Got Back.” Bourbon Street is good fun, but New Orleans is so much more, as Jill discovered on a return trip. She shares seven things to do in New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street.

Jackson Square is a must-do attraction when making your New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street list of things to see and do
Historic Jackson Square should be on your must-do list when visiting New Orleans. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

My first trip to Bourbon Street fell into the “cross it off the bucket list” category. I’ve never had a desire for an encore. Unless you’re in the mood to party hearty, Bourbon Street is probably not your happy place.

I went to New Orleans last month on business and happily discovered the New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street. If you’d like to experience it, too, here are some ideas to help you plan your trip. These seven things to do in New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street are more family-friendly than the risqué Bourbon Street nightlife. I’ve come away with a much deeper appreciation of the Big Easy and I can’t wait to go back.

1. Cemetery Tour

I went on a tour of St. Louis Cemetery Number Three, which is less popular and less crowded than Lafayette Cemetery Number One. Even though Lafayette is more popular, you’re not going to miss anything by opting for St. Louis instead…except maybe crowds.

Put "cemetery tour" on your list of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street things to do and see
Lots of photo opps at Cemetery Number 3. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

There are seven public cemeteries in St. Louis and they are free to the public (check hours before you go). I strongly recommend you go with an experienced guide. Learning the hows and whys of above-ground burial was what made the experience so memorable. That, and the gray, drizzly day that made my pictures turn out so perfectly!

Put "cemetery tour" on your list of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street things to do and see
Above ground burial at Cemetery Number 3. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

2. Cable Car Through the Garden District

If you like looking at fantastic old houses, a cable car ride through the Garden District is an awesome way to soak things in. Riding the cable car is super easy. You’ll need to find your way to the green line, and ride up and down St. Charles.

If you're looking to experience New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street, the cable cars should be part of your transportation plan
Public transportation in New Orleans is easy and cheap. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

Riding the cable car through the Garden District is a great way to relax, get off your feet, and get a sense of this beautiful city.

Don't miss looking at the beautiful homes in the Garden District. There's a lot of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street
Beautiful homes in the Garden District. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

3. Ghost Tour

I asked the concierge at the hotel I was staying at for recommendations for evening activities. His answer was, “Take the ghost tour.” I took his advice and I’m happy I did.

There are endless opportunities for ghost tours in New Orleans. You can ask for recommendations at your hotel concierge, Google it or just wander around in the French Quarter. You don’t have to find the ghost tours…the ghost tours will find you!

If you're looking to experience New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street, check out a ghost tour
Haunted apartments = higher rent! Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

I took a group walking tour that gave highlights of “the most haunted places in the French Quarter.” It was fun and informative, and I learned lots of non-ghostly factoids about New Orleans.

No two ways about it: there is a creepy vibe to New Orleans. Old buildings, above-ground cemeteries, voodoo culture? Yes. If you’re even just a little brave, have fun and explore the city via a ghost tour.

4. Have a drink on the street just because

I arrived early for my ghost tour. I’m an “arrive early” kind of girl, especially when I don’t know where I am going. I checked in and the tour operator suggested I go next door and get a drink. I’m not a girl you have to tell twice to get a drink. Huzzah!

You can still enjoy delicious drinks when you experience New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street
Walking around on a public street with my giant-sized adult slurpie was a huge novelty. I don’t know why, but I recommend the experience. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

I ordered a large strawberry daiquiri which came in a cup that was roughly the size of my head.

5. Jackson Square

Jackson Square is the heart of New Orleans. You can’t miss the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, which is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use within the United States.

Put St Louis Cathedral on your list of New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street things to do and see
Entry into the cathedral is free, although you can give a donation. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

The adjacent Ursuline Convent Museum offers an opportunity for more info and self-guided tours for a small fee.

In New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street, we love Jackson Square.
Street performers in Jackson Square. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

If you wander through Jackson Square, you will find street art, musicians and endless opportunities to people watch. This was my very favorite part of my trip. I sat in the sun and listened to some wonderful jazz. I might or might not have had one of my adult slushies in my hand.

Jackson Square street art in New Orleans is a beyond Bourbon Street experience.
Street art in Jackson Square. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

6. Eat beignets…

Most people have beignets at Café Du Monde on their New Orleans bucket list. The original location, established in 1862, is located in the heart of the French Quarter. They serve up beignets and coffee 24/7.

Try the beignets - one of our favorite experiences in New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street
The beignets at Cafe Du Monde were a little overdone and the powdered sugar was a little heavy-handed. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed with the beignets at Café Du Monde. The atmosphere was lively and fun, and I don’t regret the experience. However, if you want better, fresher beignets, go to Morning Call in New Orleans City Park.

There is a lot to experience in New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street. Search for your favorite beignets!
The beignets at Morning Call come with “sprinkle it yourself” powdered sugar and they were fresh, golden and oh-so-yummy. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

Important to note that both Café Du Monde and Morning Call only accept cash. If you want to eat beignets, bring your folding money.

7. Treat yoself

New Orleans has some amazing food and I wish I’d had days more to experience all the delicious tastes this city has to offer. I walked a lot and saw a lot of restaurants that looked delightfully quirky. I researched a lot online and got recommendations from the locals (always a good idea) on where to eat.

There is a lot to experience in New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street. Try this buttery fish dish!
Tender, blackened fish served over potatoes swimming in a buttery sauce? Yes, please!
Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

I opted to eat lunch at the iconic Muriel’s Restaurant. I couldn’t resist the atmosphere and the history (ask to see the ghost table) and the food absolutely did not disappoint.

Include a trip to Muriel's on your New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street list of things to do
Ghost table at Muriel’s. Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

Eating at Muriel’s was my big splurge and although I have a list of other New Orleans restaurants I want to try, I’d definitely do a repeat meal at Muriel’s.

There is a lot to experience in New Orleans Beyond Bourbon Street - including the flourless chocolate cake at Muriel's.
Flourless chocolate cake at Muriel’s.
Photo credit: Jill Robbins, Go with the Flow SheBuysTravel

You might think “Bourbon Street” when someone mentions New Orleans. To be sure, the Rue de Bourbon is classic “Big Easy” but this gem of a city has much more to discover. I can’t wait to go back. Isn’t that always the sign of a wonderful trip?


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