Let me just start off by saying New Orleans family vacations are so underrated! There is SO much culture in the city, things to see and do, and some of the most delicious food. It honestly seems like its own little country when you’re there. Traveling here is a great way to explore another culture without traveling too far! Whether traveling to New Orleans for an adult trip like a wedding or a bachelorette party (which I did!) or on a family vacation, Nola should be in your top places to one day experience. Also, who doesn’t love a place that has drive-thru daiquiris, am I right? Keep reading for a landry list of some of my favorite things to do in New Orleans!

I love to travel with my family so much, and because New Orleans is dear to my husband’s heart, I knew a trip with the kids was so needed one day! When we had the opportunity to stop in Louisiana for my son’s 11th birthday on our family road trip across the country I jumped on it. If you want to read more about our cross-country road trip adventure or my top tips for traveling with kids, you can head here. As a traveling elopement photographer and content creator, I knew there would be so many amazing things to photograph! 

Without further ado, here are all of my top things to do, see, and eat in New Orleans! Again, whether you’re in the city for a family vacation or fun-filled adult trip (hello bachelorette party), there’s something for everyone!


Is New Orleans a Safe Place to Travel?

** You do need to be SMART when traveling to New Orleans and do your due diligence and research on safety. A lot of areas are no longer as safe as they once were for tourists since the Coronavirus. Because of this, please be sure to stay out of unknown streets and neighborhoods, keep to tourist areas and NEVER find yourself alone. For reference, I’ve included some safe areas at the end of this blog when looking for air bnbs or other activities! My husband lived in New Orleans for many years, so I knew some of the lay of the land, but we were sure to be back in our hotel or car once it got dark just to be extra safe traveling with kids. On a bachelorette trip for a friend, I shared my location with my husband so he knew where I was at all times also.


Where to Stay in New Orleans: 

We chose and loved The Old No. 77 boutique hotel because of it’s aesthetic matching our son’s personality perfectly, but here are some other New Orleans hotels we looked at that also had great prices! New Orleans is known for being haunted (if you believe in that stuff, which I do!), so the overall feel I got when looking at photos of each hotel was important to me. There is so much history in these buildings that were turned into hotels and I wanted to be sure we were safe physically AND spiritually while traveling as a family!

The Old No. 77 Hotel

When I saw this hotel online while my family and I were driving across the country I immediately knew it was the one to celebrate my son’s birthday at. The antique vibe is so freaking cool and the bar and restaurant downstairs for my husband and I to enjoy in the room after the kids went to bed solidified things.

Not only was the hotel room so chic, but it was pet-friendly too! We were driving to our new home in California with our 70 pound German Shepherd, so it was essential that she had somewhere to stay while we explored the city of New Orleans. If you add the upgraded pet package, the hotel supplies a pet bed, food and water, AND welcome kit full of treats! I thought this was adorable. The only downside was parking, which we had to do in a lot a couple blocks away, but this seemed common when staying in the city.


Other Boutique Hotels in New Orleans worth looking at:

Ace Hotel

One11 Hotel

Virgin Hotels


Air Bnbs in New Orleans

When searching for an air bnb for my best friend’s bachelorette, I found SO many great options! My recommendation when using an air bnb in this area though, is to only book with Superhosts. This way you know the host is safe, and most likely the area. But before booking, google the area and try to see what’s around. I personally had people to ask about the location who had lived in Louisiana for years so if in doubt, you can always reach out to me as well! Safety first is the key when traveling here, if you haven’t caught on. We had many Uber drivers tell us how unsafe the area was getting as they drove. You know it’s bad when even locals are trying to protect you!

Here is an amazing boho air bnb that I stayed at on one trip to New Orleans. The neighborhood was quiet, and the home was absolutely beautiful! These hosts also own multiple other properties in the area that look equally great.

Again, wherever you stay when traveling to New Orleans, please do your research and be sure you’ll be in a safe neighborhood! Mandeville and Covington are safe towns outside of New Orleans if you’re looking to stay somewhere quieter while traveling and just visit the Downtown area for a few hours. This is a great option for families!



Things To Do in New Orleans : Food 

Cafe du MondeThis little coffee and beignet shop is such a popular one! If you’re unable to travel to New Orleans to try their famous beignets, they deliver! But if you’re lucky enough to be in town these (very messy) treats are hot and fresh at all hours. Just remember to bring cash!

The Corner – We ate here for the Seafood on my son’s birthday and had such a great experience! The waiters were so kind, the food was great, and the drinks were strong! This is the perfect restaurant to bring kids to eat during the day also. It was quiet and everyone working there enjoyed our rambunctious table!

Sno Balls – This icy treats are a fan favorite in New Orleans! Especially as a way to beat the heat in the Summer because it gets HOT and muggy.

Copeland’s – If you’re looking for delicious food and drinks that are on the fancier side, Copeland’s restaurant is the place to go! Not only is this spot family-friendly, but it’s in a town outside of the city of New Orleans called Slidell. There are also more locations all around Louisiana if you’re road tripping!

Some other spots, my husband had me include, but that I haven’t personally tried: Creole Bagelry and Port Of Call



Things To Do in New Orleans : Experiences

Honey Island Swamp Tour – The Honey Island Swamp Tour is an absolute must every time I travel to New Orleans! Not only is the boat tour so beautiful, but it’s so much fun! The swamp guides tell you a little history about the swamp and people that live around it. They joke around making the tour an overall good time. If you’re lucky, you’ll see alligators, raccoons and more animals that come right up to the boat! It gets VERY windy when you speed up, though. So be sure not to take your hair too seriously that day, and maybe bring a blanket if you have a baby with you (like we did).


Haunted Ghost Tours – There are honestly so many ghost tours to choose from in New Orleans! I did a walking tour that was amazing. You even visit the Laulaurie home from American Horror Story. I highly recommend clearing your energy after any haunted tour though, or after being in New Orleans in general. There is some dense, negative energy that you truly don’t want to bring home with you. For more information on energy clearing, head to this post!

Ride the Streetcars to the Garden District 

Mardi Gras

The Carousel Bar – The Carousel Bar and Lounge is a bar inside of Hotel Monteleone located in the French Quarter. The entire hotel is absolutely gorgeous from the minute you walk in, but this bar is unique because it moves! The bar you sit at is on a rotating platform that very slowly spins in a circle while you drink. If spinning isn’t your thing, there are also plenty of other tables and a second bar that doesn’t move. Inside the hotel is an upscale restaurant called Criollo Restaurant if you get hungry as well!

Mississippi River cruise


Things to Do in New Orleans – Family Vacation or Bachelorette Party Ideas {Catherine Julia San Diego destination elopement photographer content creator}


Things To Do in New Orleans : Shopping

Jackson Square – Jackson Square is a historic landmark located in the French Quarter. It’s walkable with lots of shops, restaurants and artists displaying their art for sale throughout. You’ll also find tarot card readers here if that’s your thing! I think tarot is always fun to try, but take any advice with a grain of salt in places like this.

French Quarter – The French Quarter is a neighborhood full of hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and more. The famous Bourbon Street is located here!

Magazine Street – This is literally miles of shopping, dining, local boutiques, art galleries and more!



Things To Do in New Orleans : Nightlife

Bourbon Street – Bourbon Street is a famous street extending 13 blocks in the French Quarter. It’s known for being wild and crazy! I don’t recommend taking children onto this street if you’re traveling with family, but we did drive by so my son could see. Bourbon Street is loaded with bars, loud music, and Mardi Gras beads! I had a blast here on a girls’ trip, but it’s definitely a place to be smart and safe as things can get very wild at night.

The Dungeon – This is a mysterious bar located down an alleyway on Bourbon Street that leads directly to the bar. The Dungeon is unique because there are NO cameras allowed inside. Workers here WILL yell and potentially kick you out if they see photos being taken. It’s loud, mysterious, dark, and full of hardcore metal music and cages. So if this isn’t your vibe, I would skip this bar! But I had heard stories and had to check it out for myself. Everything is so unique from the punk skeleton decor to the chains and cages you can dance inside of. Nicolas Cage apparently hangs out here too!

Pat O’briens Courtyard Restaurant + Piano Bar – Pat O’s is a local favorite and has three bars to choose from! These include a patio, main bar, and dueling piano bar. The piano bar is my personal favorite where you can recommend songs for each pianist to play. Pat O’brien’s is also known for its famous hurricane cocktail.

Tropical Isle – The Tropical Isle bars are known for their famous hand grenade cocktails! This bar has five locations on Bourbon Street, but is definitely not a place for children. It has live entertainment, souvenirs, and a fun party vibe!



Looking for More Travel Inspiration + Information?

I hope you’ve been inspired for your next family trip with all of these fun things to do New Orleans! I’m always here providing as much family fun + family vacation tips + tricks as possible, along with adult-only travel ideas. So head to my blog for even more travel information! Comment below if you have ever been to any of the places I suggested or what your favorite thing to do in New Orleans is. There are honestly so many more experiences I could list and know I’m forgetting about. I’d love to hear what you love doing in New Orleans!




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