New Orleans

The Dryftwell Guide to

New Orleans

Introduction

New Orleans is one of the most entertaining places in the South of Louisiana because of its hospitality, festivals, daytime activities, and occasions. Because this city offers diverse music, enchanting architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine to its visitors, it is the definitive travel destination of many Americans. If you are interested in architecture and love music, we recommend adding New Orleans to your next travel bucket list. 

In this guide to New Orleans, the best season to visit, popular neighborhoods, and easy travel techniques have been uncovered. To give a complete idea, we have also covered the most popular trends, visiting spots, and things to do.

When to go

Winter

The winter season in New Orleans lasts for only the months of December and January. The weather during this time is not too cold; however, tourism is low, so you will not see crowded streets and jam packed restaurants all the time. If you want to participate in winter festivals, you can go to the Holiday Parade on the Eastside. Also, you can enjoy ice skating at the NOLA festival on Christmas with your family or loved ones. During the holiday season, the city will be lit up so you can go to the shop on Magazine Street and can enjoy a walk in Jackson Square too. 

Spring

Spring is the best season to visit New Orleans because of the festivals and events during this time. This season usually starts around February and ends in May. Because of the city's excitement and energy in these months, you will be able to enjoy a completely new and surreal scene of New Orleans. Things such as live music festivals, open food, and events will never fail to please you. During this time, you can go picnic at the parks and enjoy the famous Creole dinner with your family or friends. You can also participate in the Jazz and Heritage Festival and can stroll and shop easily because of the pleasant weather.

Summer

The months of June and July bring the summer heat in New Orleans, with the average temperature ranging around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also expect a lot of thunderstorms and rainfall around this time because the weather mostly remains unpredictable. Suppose you like the heat and want to experience the city in this weather. In that case, you can perform many exciting and adventurous activities such as taking a sightseeing tour of the French Quarter and Garden District with your friends and participating in food and ghost tours. If there are kids with you on the trip, you can plan to watch baseball games and swamps too. 

Fall

September to October is the fall season in New Orleans, but there are also cases of a hurricane during this time. If you are lucky enough to avoid the hurricane experience on your visit, you can enjoy pleasant weather and many outdoor activities in the region. Because of the engaging events during this time, such as Restaurant Week, Voodoo Music Fest, BBQ Fest, and New Orleans Film Fest, it becomes an ultimate place of enjoyment for all age groups. Many of these activities are family-friendly, so you can take kids too. 

Neighborhoods

The French Quarter

The French Quarter is the most iconic New Orleans neighborhood because of its European-styled architecture, shopping scene, and enchanting nightlife. It is added in this guide to New Orleans because of its rich history and sightseeing places. You can visit Jackson Square in this area to enjoy the bar scene, restaurants, and cafes. Also, you can take ghost and cemetery tours with your friends to experience the authentic culture. If you have an interest in music, you can visit Bourbon Street to enjoy live performances. For true antique pieces and art, we recommend visiting Royal Street because of its art and architecture shops and stalls. 

Mid-City

Mid-City is the waterfront neighborhood popular because of its drinking and bar culture. If you like to drink, you can sign up for popular drinking tours in this region. Additionally, there are many restaurants, among which Banks Street Bar and Grills and Twelve Mile Limit is the most popular. In this guide to New Orleans, we recommend you visit the New Orleans Museum of Art and City Park because they are considered the most popular outdoor activity among this area's locals. Also, there are many other gardens and cemeteries there that you can visit on a guided tour. 

The Garden District

The Garden District stands out among all the New Orleans neighborhoods because of its unique and exceptional architecture. On your visit to this region, you can see museums, churches, and other buildings built most interestingly. If you want to explore the area's history and want to get a learning experience, you can head to Saint Charles Avenue and Prytania Street. Also, there are many famous Irish Pubs around so you can take a drinking tour with your loved ones. In this guide to New Orleans, we recommend you to take a St. Charles Streetcar ride and visit the Commander’s Palace to learn about the local trends and lifestyle. 

Map

Transportation

Driving/Parking

Driving in New Orleans is very stressful because of the narrow streets and traffic. Because the city is filled with tourists almost all season, most locals usually prefer to walk on foot or use public transport to commute rather than using their personal car. Although there are plenty of car renting services available and you can use a taxi, Uber, and Lyft too, it is usually very tiresome and time-consuming. The average car parking rate is $7 per hour, but it depends on the parking area. Also, because of the close proximity of touristy spots, car parking is generally difficult to find. 

Public Transit

New Orleans has a widespread network of streetcars run by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. Since it runs in all the popular areas and tourist sites, you can travel easily. The average one-way base fare for a streetcar is $1.25, so it is a pretty affordable means of traveling. For longer distances, you can use buses that charge the same as streetcars. From the airport or hotels, you can also use shuttle services, but their rates may vary depending upon the location. 

Biking/Walking

People of New Orleans are dependent on bikes because of the excellent biking trails and flat surfaces. Since the city is completely leveled, it is very easy to ride bikes. There are plenty of bike renting services available, among which Blue Bikes are the most popular because of the large number of stations. Walking in the city is also a popular trend, especially in famous neighborhoods. If you are on vacation, you can walk or bike around in an enjoyable way and participate in city bike tours.