5 Free Things to Do in New Orleans

Traveling doesn't have to break the bank. Check out these free things to do when you are visiting New Orleans.

By Reader's Digest Editors
5 Free Things to Do in New OrleansPhoto Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc

Absorb art

Take a stroll through the Arts District along Julia Street. The bustling neighborhood is home to scores of galleries, as well as world-class museums. Don’t miss LeMieux Galleries Inc., The Contemporary Arts Center, Arthur Roger Gallery, Jean Bragg, Heriad-Cimino Gallery, and Ariod Ante Contemporary Crafts Gallery.

Listen to live music

Check out the French Quarter Festival, the South’s largest free music festival, held every April. Jazz, gospel, blues, classical, and Cajun acts perform on 15 stages for about 500,000 visitors. Street vendors offer regional food and drink specialties. And it all wraps up with a spectacular fireworks display!

Board a boat

Ride the Canal Street Ferry across the Mississippi. The ferry traverses the river’s natural crescent to historic Algiers Point on the West Bank. When you get to Algiers Point, you’ll find a 19th century residential neighborhood that survived Hurricane Katrina intact. Here you can stroll the Jazz Walk of Fame along the levee, or take a self-guided walking tour.

Wander through sculptures

Let the kids play hide and seek in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park. More than 50 contemporary sculptures populate the park, which occupies five acres next to the New Orleans Museum of Art. The collection includes works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Arnoldo Pomodoro, Lynn Chadwick, George Rickey, Louise Bourgeois, Fernando Botero, Siah Armajani, and Sandro Chia. A free guide is available through your cell phone.

Get your groove on

Go dancing on Frenchman Street at night. Many clubs have no cover charge, and it’s not quite as touristy as Bourbon Street. Some of the best clubs include the Apple Barrel, The Blue Nile Nightclub, The Maison, d.b.a., and Check Point Charlie’s, which also includes a Laundromat (in case you get very sweaty!).

Sources: Neworleansonline.com, Algiershistoricalsociety.org, worldtravelguide.net, New Orleans Museum of Art, frenchmenst.com

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    • http://twitter.com/CalogeroMiraEng Calogero Mira

      New Orleans, the French Quarter Festival, museums, boats and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park? Thanks.