June 25, 2012

Free Things To Do In The Big Easy

If you're new to the blog, you might not know that I'm New Orleans obsessed.  If you're a LoaLM veteran, then you know exactly what you're in for.  Today I bring you some totally free, yet incredibly fun, things to do while you're in New Orleans.  


1. Listen to free music on Bourbon, Frenchmen and Fulton, where jazz pours out onto the street.   Many clubs don't charge a cover so listening in won't cost you a dime.  Here's a directory of great clubs in the area.


2. Browse art in the French Quarter and Bywater. Check out the galleries on Julia and Royal streets, the Jackson Square street-art vendors, and the Mid-City and Bywater art markets.  (One of my personal favorite street artists is a man named Ricco Rideaux.  We have several of his pieces in our home.)

3. Take the family to the park: Some favorite outdoor experiences include wandering beneath centuries-old oaks at City Park, picnicking in picturesque Audubon Park, or enjoying views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park.
 
4. Get a free history lesson at the Historic New Orleans Collection, located at 533 Royal Street in the French Quarter.  There you can get a crash course in New Orleans history.

5. Bike the levee. You can either bring your own wheels or rent a set and go for a ride along the levee while taking in the sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River.


6. Take a self-guided tour to the haunted homes of Madama LaLaurie (1140 Royal), the Gardette-Leprete House (716 Dauphine Street), the Beauregard-Keyes House (1113 Chartres Street), Marie Laveau (1020 St. Ann Street), or the Degas House (2306 Esplanade Avenue), just to name a few.
 
7. Tour the oldest restaurant in the French Quarter — historic Antoine's, which has hosted dignitaries, presidents and notable historic figures in its 160 years.  Make sure to peek into the endless wine cellar.

8. Catch a free summer show at Tipitina's, which pays homage to jazz legend Professor Longhair with free shows on Fridays during the summer.

9. Haunt New Orleans' famous aboveground tombs at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District or St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street, which is believed to be the final resting place of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Knock three times on her crypt and make a wish.


10. Take a self-guided literary tour to the homes of literary greats Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate's Alley), Truman Capote (711 Royal), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon), Walker Percy (1820 Milan) and Anne Rice (1239 First).

*Some info. from http://www.neworleanscvb.com/