March 9, 2015 | New Orleans

Jackson Sqaure with St. Louis Cathedral In The BackgroundNew Orleans Things To Do

Some travelers turn up their noses to anything deemed "touristy," but if the do that in New Orleans, then they will probably miss out on a lot. Sure, it's great to see New Orleans like the locals do. But even locals like to stop and take time to appreciate some of the more popular sites and activities the city has to offer.

So we say go for it! Be a tourist!

Here are a couple of things we recommend you do on your first (or second, or third) time  in New Orleans:

Go For A Carriage Ride

Start of your New Orleans experience with a horse drawn carriage ride around the city. It’s a great way to learn more about the city, get oriented with its legendary streets and plan your attack for the rest of your vcation.

Visit Jackson Square

You can’t miss Jackson Square; it’s just one of the spots that you have to stop at while you’re in town.  It’s also one of the most photographed spots, not just in the city, but in the entire United States. Around the square is a number of talented artists working and showing off their work. On the Chartres Street side of the square is the oldest Catholic cathedral in North America. On the Decatur side is Café Du Monde, a must visit spot for their beignets and café au lait.

Ride The Street Car

For just a $1.25 you can ride one of the streetcars to explore the city beyond the Quarter. The Canal Street line takes you out to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art. City Park is a 1300 acre park, making it one of the largest public recreation areas in a major in the United States. The Museum of Art holds a collection of more than 40,000 objects including French, American, African and Japanese art.

Enjoy The Jazz

New Orleans is the birth place to jazz and the notes still fill the air through out the city. There’s a number of great places to hear jazz performed. Start off at Maison Bourbon Jazz Club, one of only two jazz clubs that still exist on Bourbon Street.  Also worth checking out is My Bar @635, which has live music from jazz to zydeco every night of the week and the House of Blues because you never which local or international act will be performing there.

Take A Cemetery Or Ghost Tour

New Orleans is full of history and a great way to learn about the city’s previous residents is with a cemetery or ghost tour. The cemetery tours take you deep inside what they call the Cities Of The Dead, tombs that are built above ground. The ghost tours take you to some of the most haunted sites in the country and teach about the stories behind these legends.

Just so you know, there's nothing wrong with being a tourist in NOLA, so go ahead and go exploring, take those pictures and doing all of the touristy things. You're missing out on a beautiful city with lots of history if you don't.

Next week, I’ll have a post for you on how to enjoy New Orleans like a local, so stay tuned!