3 Days in New Orleans: The Perfect New Orleans Itinerary

Indulge in jazz-filled streets, savor Creole cuisine, and explore the vibrant culture of the Big Easy. Follow this 3-day New Orleans itinerary for best results!

West Parker
By
West Parker
July 18, 2024

We were hit by a wall of humid air filled with the distant sounds of jazz and the aroma of spices. It was like entering another world, one where the streets pulsed with music and every corner held the promise of a new culinary adventure. We'd spent weeks planning our 3 days in New Orleans, pouring over travel guides and pestering our well-traveled friends for tips. Our families had raised eyebrows when we announced our destination ("Isn't it dangerous?"), but we were determined to experience the magic of the Big Easy for ourselves.

Now, standing on Bourbon Street with a hurricane cocktail in hand (when in Rome, right?), I couldn't help but grin at Sarah. "Ready for three days of jazz, jambalaya, and joy?" I asked. Her excited nod told me all I needed to know – our New Orleans adventure was about to begin, and boy, were we in for a treat.

If you're planning to spend 3 days in New Orleans, buckle up! This New Orleans 3-day itinerary covers all the must-see attractions, hidden gems, and mouthwatering eats that make this city a one-of-a-kind destination. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, a music lover, or just looking for a good time, the Big Easy has something for everyone. So, let's dive into how to make the most of your three days in New Orleans!

Pre-Trip Planning: When to Visit, What to Pack, and Where to Stay

Before we jump into the day-by-day breakdown of your perfect New Orleans itinerary, let's talk about some essential pre-trip planning. Trust me, a little preparation goes a long way in making your 3 days in New Orleans unforgettable.

When to Visit New Orleans

Timing is everything, especially in a city that loves to party as much as New Orleans. Here's a quick rundown of the best (and not-so-best) times to visit:

  • February to May: This is prime time, folks. The weather is pleasantly cool, and the city is buzzing with festivals, including the famous Mardi Gras in February or March. Just be prepared for crowds and higher prices during Mardi Gras season.
  • December and January: Want a quieter experience? These months offer mild temperatures and fewer tourists. Plus, you might catch some unique holiday traditions.
  • Avoid: The humid summer months (June-August) can be brutal, and don't forget that hurricane season peaks from September to November. Trust me, you don't want to be caught in a torrential downpour on Bourbon Street (been there, done that, got the soggy t-shirt).

What to Pack for Your New Orleans Adventure

When it comes to packing for New Orleans, think comfort, style, and preparedness. Here's your essential packing list:

  • Comfortable walking shoes (you'll thank me later)
  • Light, breathable clothing (it can get hot and humid, y'all)
  • A light jacket or sweater for air-conditioned spaces
  • Rain gear (umbrella or light raincoat)
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • A small day bag for exploring
  • Your party spirit (it's New Orleans, after all!)

Pro tip: Leave some room in your suitcase for souvenirs. Those pralines and hot sauce bottles add up!

Where to Stay in New Orleans

Choosing the right place to stay can make or break your New Orleans experience. Here are some top picks for different budgets and preferences:

  • French Quarter: Hotel Monteleone - Historic luxury with a famous Carousel Bar. Perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action.
  • Garden District: The Pontchartrain Hotel - Boutique charm with a rooftop bar offering stunning city views.
  • Warehouse District: Ace Hotel New Orleans - Hip, modern option with a rooftop pool.
  • Budget-friendly: The Quisby - A cool hostel in the Lower Garden District, great for solo travelers or those on a tight budget.

Remember, New Orleans is a city where location matters. Try to stay near a streetcar line for easy transportation, and don't be afraid to explore neighborhoods beyond the French Quarter.

Safety Guidelines: Enjoying New Orleans Responsibly

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Is New Orleans safe?" It's the question my mom asked at least ten times before our trip. The truth is, like any big city, New Orleans requires some common sense and awareness. But don't let safety concerns stop you from enjoying all the Big Easy has to offer. Here are some tips to keep you safe and sound during your 3 days in New Orleans:

  1. Stick to well-lit, populated areas, especially at night.
  2. Use the buddy system when out late (more fun anyway!).
  3. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Use reputable transportation options like licensed taxis or rideshare services.
  5. Trust your instincts. If something feels off, it probably is.

Remember, most tourists visit New Orleans without any issues. Just use the same street smarts you'd use in any unfamiliar city, and you'll be fine. Now, let's get to the good stuff – your 3-day New Orleans itinerary!

Day 1: French Quarter Fancies and Bourbon Street Blues

Morning: Beignets and Historic Squares

Fresh beignets dusted with powdered sugar on a plate at the iconic Cafe du Monde in New Orleans
Starting the day with beignets at Cafe du Monde is a New Orleans tradition. The powdered sugar gets everywhere, but it's so worth it!

Rise and shine, it's time to kick off your 3 days in New Orleans with a bang! Start your day early (trust me, it's worth it) and head to the iconic Café du Monde for a classic New Orleans breakfast.

As you approach Café du Monde, you'll likely see a line snaking out the door. Don't let that deter you – the wait moves quickly, and it's all part of the experience. Once you're seated, order a plate of beignets (pronounced ben-yays) and a café au lait. Watch as your waiter brings you a plate of pillowy, deep-fried pastries buried under a mountain of powdered sugar. Take a bite, and try not to make the rookie mistake of inhaling as you eat – unless you want to look like you've been in a snowball fight!

The combination of the sweet, crispy beignets and the rich, chicory-laced coffee is the perfect fuel for your day of exploration. As you eat, take in the bustling atmosphere of the café. The clinking of dishes, the chatter of excited tourists, and the calls of street performers outside create a symphony that's uniquely New Orleans.

Key Information:

  • Location: 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
  • Hours: Open 24/7
  • Price: Under $10 for beignets and coffee

Why Visit: It's a New Orleans institution that's been serving up beignets and café au lait since 1862. You can't say you've been to New Orleans if you haven't been to Café du Monde!

Insider Tip: If the line at the original location is too long, there's another Café du Monde in the nearby Riverwalk mall with shorter waits and the same delicious beignets.

Once you've licked the last bit of powdered sugar off your fingers, take a short walk to Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter. This historic park is surrounded by beautiful 18th-century buildings, including the stunning St. Louis Cathedral.

As you enter the square, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. The beautiful iron fences, manicured gardens, and horse-drawn carriages create a picturesque scene that's straight out of a postcard. Take a moment to admire the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in the center of the square, then turn your attention to the artists and street performers that line the perimeter.

Jackson Square

View of St. Louis Cathedral from Jackson Square in New Orleans, with street artists and performers in the foreground
Jackson Square is always buzzing with energy. I love watching the street artists at work with the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral as a backdrop.

Jackson Square is a hub of artistic activity. You'll see painters working at their easels, capturing the beauty of the square on canvas. Fortune tellers offer to read your future, while musicians fill the air with the sounds of jazz and blues. It's a feast for the senses and a perfect introduction to the vibrant culture of New Orleans.

Don't miss the opportunity to step inside St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in North America. The interior is just as impressive as the exterior, with soaring ceilings, beautiful stained glass windows, and a sense of peace that contrasts with the lively atmosphere outside.

Key Information:

  • Location: 700 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
  • Hours: Open 24/7 (Cathedral hours may vary)
  • Price: Free to visit the square

Why Visit: Jackson Square is the cultural and historic heart of New Orleans, offering a perfect blend of architecture, art, and street entertainment.

Insider Tip: For a unique view of the square and a great photo op, head to the riverfront behind the square and climb the stairs to the top of the levee.

Afternoon: French Quarter Wanderings

Colorful historic houses with ornate wrought-iron balconies lining a street in New Orleans' French Quarter
The French Quarter's architecture is like eye candy. Our tour guide shared fascinating stories about each building's history.

After lunch, it's time to really dive into the French Quarter. While you could (and should) just wander the charming streets, a guided tour can provide fascinating insights into the area's rich history and culture.

We opted for a walking tour with Free Tours by Foot, which offers a "pay-what-you-wish" model. Our guide, a local history buff named Jim, brought the streets to life with tales of pirates, voodoo queens, and jazz legends.

As you stroll through the French Quarter, you'll be captivated by the unique architecture. The colorful Creole townhouses with their intricate ironwork balconies are a photographer's dream. Don't be shy about peeking into the hidden courtyards – many are open to the public and offer a tranquil oasis away from the bustling streets.

Make sure to stop by some of the Quarter's quirky shops. From voodoo emporiums to antiquarian bookstores, there's something for every taste. We stumbled upon Faulkner House Books, a tiny bookstore located in the former home of William Faulkner. It's a literary lover's paradise, packed floor to ceiling with books in a space barely bigger than a walk-in closet.

Key Information:

  • Location: Various starting points in the French Quarter
  • Hours: Tours typically run daily, multiple times a day
  • Price: Pay-what-you-wish (tip recommended)

Why Visit: A guided tour offers insights and stories you might miss on your own, bringing the history and culture of the French Quarter to life.

Insider Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring water – the tours usually last about 2 hours and cover a fair bit of ground.

Evening: Jazz and Jambalaya

A steaming bowl of rich, dark gumbo served at the legendary Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans
Dooky Chase's gumbo is a bowl of New Orleans history. Each spoonful tells a story of tradition and flavor.

As the sun sets, the French Quarter takes on a different character. The streets come alive with the sound of music pouring out of every bar and club. For dinner, head to Dooky Chase's Restaurant, a New Orleans institution that's been serving up Creole cuisine since 1941.

Walking into Dooky Chase's is like entering a living museum of New Orleans culture. The walls are adorned with an impressive collection of African American art, and the aroma of Creole spices fills the air. We were lucky enough to be seated in the main dining room, where civil rights leaders once gathered to plan strategy over bowls of gumbo.

Start your meal with a cup of their famous gumbo, then move on to classics like red beans and rice or shrimp Clemenceau. Whatever you order, make sure someone at the table gets the fried chicken – it's legendary for a reason.

Key Information:

  • Location: 2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 3pm
  • Price: $$-$$$

Why Visit: Dooky Chase's isn't just a restaurant – it's a piece of New Orleans history, serving up incredible Creole cuisine in a space that's hosted everyone from civil rights leaders to U.S. Presidents.

Insider Tip: If you're visiting during lunch hours, try the buffet – it's a great way to sample a variety of Creole dishes.

Jazz musicians playing traditional New Orleans jazz in the intimate, historic setting of Preservation Hall
The raw, authentic jazz at Preservation Hall gave me goosebumps. It's like stepping back in time to the birthplace of jazz.

After dinner, it's time for some world-class jazz. Head to Preservation Hall, a no-frills venue that's all about the music. Don't let the plain exterior fool you – inside, you'll experience some of the best traditional jazz in the world.

Preservation Hall is small and intimate, with no amplification needed. The musicians sit just a few feet away from the audience, creating a connection between performer and listener that's truly special. As the band strikes up a tune, close your eyes and let the music wash over you. This is the real deal, folks – New Orleans jazz in its purest form.

Key Information:

  • Location: 726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116
  • Hours: Shows every day at 5pm, 6pm, 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm
  • Price: $25-$50 (online advance tickets recommended)zt

Why Visit: Preservation Hall offers an authentic, no-frills jazz experience that's quintessentially New Orleans.

Insider Tip: If you don't mind standing, the "standing room only" tickets are cheaper and often offer a great view of the band.

As you stumble out of Preservation Hall, ears ringing and soul singing, you might think your night is over. But remember, this is New Orleans – the night is young! Take a stroll down Bourbon Street if you're up for it. Yes, it's touristy and can be a bit wild, but it's also an experience unlike any other. Grab a hurricane from Pat O'Brien's, listen to some blues at Funky Pirate, or just people-watch from a balcony bar. Whatever you do, soak it all in – this is Day 1 of your 3 days in New Orleans, and it's only going to get better!

Day 2: Garden District Grandeur and Culinary Adventures

Morning: Streetcar Rides and Antebellum Mansions

Good morning, jazz cats! Hope you're not feeling too rough from last night's Bourbon Street adventures. Today we're heading to a different side of New Orleans – the elegant Garden District. But first, coffee!

Start your day with a quick breakfast at your hotel or grab a coffee and pastry from French Truck Coffee. Their bright yellow coffee shops are hard to miss, and their cold brew is the perfect pick-me-up for a hot New Orleans morning.

Historic St. Charles Streetcar rolling down the avenue, passing under a canopy of majestic oak trees in New Orleans
Riding the St. Charles Streetcar is like a journey through time. The views of grand mansions and ancient oaks are unbeatable.

Once caffeinated, make your way to Canal Street to catch the St. Charles Streetcar. This isn't just transportation – it's a journey through time. The St. Charles line is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world, running since 1835. As you clatter down the tracks in a vintage car, you'll pass under a canopy of oak trees and by stately mansions. It's like a scene from a Tennessee Williams play come to life.

Key Information:

  • Location: Catch the streetcar on Canal Street
  • Hours: Runs 24/7
  • Price: $1.25 per ride or $3 for a day pass

Why Visit: The St. Charles Streetcar offers a scenic and historic way to travel from downtown to the Garden District.

Elegant antebellum mansion with white columns and wraparound porch in New Orleans' Garden District
The Garden District feels like stepping into a Southern novel. Our guide pointed out this house where a famous author once lived.

Insider Tip: Exact change is required, so bring some dollar bills and quarters. You can also buy passes through the RTA GoMobile app.

Hop off the streetcar at Washington Avenue and you'll find yourself in the heart of the Garden District. This neighborhood is known for its beautifully preserved mansions and lush gardens. It's time for a walking tour!

We joined a tour with Free Tours by Foot (yes, them again – they're just that good!). Our guide, a local architect named Marie, led us through the tree-lined streets, pointing out architectural details and sharing juicy stories about the neighborhood's famous residents.

As you stroll through the Garden District, you'll feel like you've stepped onto the set of "Gone with the Wind." The antebellum mansions are a mix of Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian styles, each more grand than the last. Keep an eye out for the home of author Anne Rice, and the house where Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, died.

One of the highlights of the tour is Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Now, I know what you're thinking – a cemetery? Trust me on this one. New Orleans cemeteries are fascinating, with their above-ground tombs earning them the nickname "Cities of the Dead." Our guide explained the unique burial customs and pointed out some of the more interesting tombs, including the "Secret Society" tombs used by fraternal organizations.

Key Information:

  • Location: Tour starts at the Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St
  • Hours: Tours typically run daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm
  • Price: Pay-what-you-wish (tip recommended)

Why Visit: The Garden District offers a glimpse into the grand old South, with stunning architecture and fascinating history around every corner.

Insider Tip: Bring a camera – the Garden District is incredibly photogenic. Just be respectful and don't photograph people's homes without permission.

Afternoon: Magazine Street Meanderings

After your tour, take a stroll down Magazine Street, a six-mile stretch of eclectic shops, restaurants, and galleries. This is the perfect place to pick up unique souvenirs or grab a bite to eat.

Towering, colorful sandwich served on a metal tray at Turkey and the Wolf restaurant in New Orleans
This sandwich at Turkey and the Wolf was a flavor explosion! It's easy to see why it was named America's Best New Restaurant.

For lunch, I recommend Turkey and the Wolf. Don't let the casual vibe fool you – this place was named America's Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit in 2017. Their over-the-top sandwiches are the stuff of legend. Try the fried bologna sandwich (trust me on this one) or the collard green melt if you're feeling adventurous.

Key Information:

  • Location: 739 Jackson Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
  • Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 11am to 5pm (closed Tuesdays)
  • Price: $

Why Visit: Turkey and the Wolf serves up creative, delicious sandwiches in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

Insider Tip: Save room for dessert – their vanilla soft serve with tahini and date molasses is a game-changer.

After lunch, continue your Magazine Street exploration. Pop into Sucré for some artisanal chocolates or macarons, browse the vinyl at Peaches Records, or check out local art at Gallery Orange.

If you're a cocktail enthusiast (and let's face it, you're in New Orleans, so you probably are), make a stop at Keife & Co. This little wine and spirits shop is a treasure trove of rare and unusual bottles. The owners are incredibly knowledgeable and can help you find the perfect bottle to take home as a souvenir.

Evening: Culinary Extravaganza

Decadent bread pudding souffle with a rich sauce being poured over it at Commander's Palace in New Orleans
The bread pudding souffle at Commander's Palace is pure indulgence. Watch out for the tableside flambé – it's quite a show!

For dinner tonight, we're going all out. Make a reservation at Commander's Palace, a New Orleans institution that's been serving up haute Creole cuisine since 1893. This is the place to splurge on a memorable meal.

As you approach Commander's Palace, you can't miss its distinctive turquoise and white facade. Step inside, and you're transported to a world of old-school elegance. The staff here have hospitality down to an art form – don't be surprised if it feels like they're reading your mind.

Start your meal with their famous turtle soup, finished tableside with a splash of sherry. For the main course, you can't go wrong with the pecan-crusted Gulf fish or the lacquered quail. Whatever you choose, save room for the Creole bread pudding soufflé – it's heavenly.

Key Information:

  • Location: 1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
  • Hours: Lunch Monday to Friday, 11:30am to 2pm; Dinner nightly from 6:30pm; Jazz Brunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Price: $$$$

Why Visit: Commander's Palace offers a quintessential New Orleans fine dining experience, with impeccable service and innovative Creole cuisine.

Insider Tip: They have a dress code (business attire), so leave the shorts and flip-flops at the hotel. And if you're there for lunch, don't miss the 25-cent martinis!

Packed jazz club with musicians performing on stage and enthusiastic crowd on Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
The energy at The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street is electric. It's where the locals go for authentic New Orleans jazz.

After dinner, head to Frenchmen Street for some live music. This street in the Marigny neighborhood is where the locals go for jazz, and it's packed with excellent venues. The Spotted Cat Music Club is a favorite, with live music every night and no cover charge (but do buy a drink or two to support the musicians).

As you sway to the rhythm of a jazz quartet, cocktail in hand, you'll feel the true spirit of New Orleans washing over you. This is what the city is all about – good food, great music, and a lust for life that's absolutely contagious.

Day 3: History, Culture, and a Farewell Feast

Morning: World War II History

Restored World War II aircraft hanging from the ceiling in the Boeing Center at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans
The National WWII Museum's exhibits are incredibly moving. Standing under these planes, you can almost hear the echoes of history.

On your final day in New Orleans, it's time to dive into some history. Start your morning at the National WWII Museum, consistently rated one of the best museums in the country.

Even if you're not a history buff, the National WWII Museum is a must-visit. The exhibits are incredibly well-designed and interactive, bringing the stories of World War II to life in a powerful way. Start with the "Road to Tokyo" and "Road to Berlin" exhibits, which take you through the war in the Pacific and European theaters.

One of the highlights is the "Boeing Center," where you can get up close to restored aircraft from the war. Don't miss the "Final Mission: USS Tang Submarine Experience," an immersive exhibit that puts you in the shoes of the crew of a World War II submarine.

Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours here – there's a lot to see, and it's easy to get engrossed in the exhibits. If you need a break, the museum's restaurant, The American Sector, serves up tasty period-inspired dishes.

Key Information:

  • Location: 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
  • Hours: Open daily, 9am to 5pm
  • Price: $28.50 for adults (advance purchase online recommended)

Why Visit: The National WWII Museum offers an immersive, engaging look at one of the most significant events of the 20th century.

Insider Tip: If you're short on time, consider taking the "Final Mission" guided tour, which hits the highlights in about 90 minutes.

Afternoon: Art and Nature in City Park

People enjoying paddleboats on the serene lake in New Orleans' City Park, with moss-draped oak trees in the background
Paddleboating in City Park is a great way to beat the New Orleans heat. The shade from the ancient oaks is a bonus!

After lunch, head to City Park, a 1,300-acre oasis that's home to centuries-old oak trees, lagoons, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. You could easily spend a whole day here, but we'll focus on a few highlights.

Modern sculpture surrounded by lush greenery in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA, New Orleans
NOMA's Sculpture Garden is a peaceful oasis. I could spend hours wandering among the art and century-old oak trees.

Start at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), which houses an impressive collection of French and American art, as well as a significant collection of African and Japanese works. The museum is manageable in size, so you can see most of it in a couple of hours without feeling overwhelmed.

Key Information:

  • Location: 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays)
  • Price: $15 for adults

Why Visit: NOMA offers a world-class art collection in a beautiful setting, providing a nice contrast to the more raucous aspects of New Orleans.

Insider Tip: Don't miss the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden behind the museum. It's free to visit and features over 90 sculptures set among live oaks and lagoons.

After the museum, take a stroll through the park. Rent a paddleboat on Big Lake, visit the Botanical Garden, or just find a shady spot under a sprawling oak tree to relax. If you're traveling with kids (or you're a kid at heart), the antique wooden carousel at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is a charming throwback.

Evening: Farewell Feast on the Mississippi

The Steamboat Natchez cruising on the Mississippi River with the New Orleans skyline silhouetted against a colorful sunset
Cruising down the Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez as the sun sets over New Orleans – the perfect way to end our trip!

For your final evening in New Orleans, let's send you off in style with a dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez. This authentic steamboat offers a two-hour cruise on the Mississippi River, complete with a buffet dinner and live jazz.

As you board the Natchez, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. The boat is a beautiful example of a traditional Mississippi steamboat, with its bright red paddlewheel and steam calliope. Find a spot on the deck and watch as New Orleans slowly slips away and the sun sets over the river.

The dinner buffet features New Orleans classics like gumbo, jambalaya, and bread pudding. While you eat, a jazz band will serenade you with Dixieland

favorites. After dinner, take a tour of the engine room (yes, really!) to see the impressive steam engines in action.

As the lights of New Orleans come into view on your return journey, take a moment to reflect on your 3 days in this incredible city. From the jazz-filled streets of the French Quarter to the elegant mansions of the Garden District, from po'boys to fine dining, you've experienced the many facets of New Orleans.

Key Information:

  • Location: Toulouse Street Wharf (behind Jax Brewery in the French Quarter)
  • Hours: Boards at 6pm, cruises from 7pm to 9pm
  • Price: $89 for adults (includes dinner and cruise)

Why Visit: A steamboat dinner cruise offers a unique perspective on New Orleans and a romantic way to end your trip.

Insider Tip: Bring a light jacket – it can get breezy on the river, even on warm evenings.

Alternative Itineraries and Options

While this 3-day New Orleans itinerary hits many of the city's highlights, there's so much more to explore. Here are some alternative options to consider, depending on your interests:

For History Buffs

  • Take a guided tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the oldest cemetery in New Orleans
  • Visit the Cabildo, site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer
  • Explore the Whitney Plantation, the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery

For Foodies

For Music Lovers

  • Catch a show at Tipitina's, a legendary music club
  • Visit Preservation Hall for traditional jazz
  • Take a music history tour with a local musician

For Families

  • Spend a day at the Audubon Zoo
  • Visit Mardi Gras World to see how the famous parade floats are made
  • Take a swamp tour to see alligators and other wildlife

Tips and Tricks for Your New Orleans Adventure

  1. Use public transportation: The streetcar is a cheap and scenic way to get around. Buy a Jazzy Pass for unlimited rides.
  2. Stay hydrated: New Orleans can be hot and humid. Carry a water bottle and refill it often.
  3. Try the local specialties: Don't leave without trying gumbo, jambalaya, po'boys, and beignets.
  4. Explore beyond Bourbon Street: While it's worth seeing, there's so much more to New Orleans than just Bourbon Street.
  5. Be respectful of local customs: If you visit a cemetery, remember it's a place of reverence for locals.
  6. Check for festivals: New Orleans hosts festivals year-round. Check the calendar and plan accordingly.
  7. Bring cash: Some smaller establishments and street performers only accept cash.
  8. Don't be afraid to ask locals for recommendations: New Orleanians are proud of their city and usually happy to share their favorite spots.

Wrapping Up Your 3 Days in New Orleans: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

As we wrapped up our 3 days in New Orleans, Sarah and I couldn't believe how quickly the time had flown by. We'd eaten our weight in beignets, danced to more jazz than we thought possible, and fallen head over heels for this vibrant, resilient city.

New Orleans is more than just a destination – it's an experience. It's the way the air feels thick with possibility as you walk down Frenchmen Street, the sound of a saxophone drifting out of a dimly lit club. It's the first bite of a po'boy, dripping with remoulade sauce, or the moment when a brass band starts up and suddenly everyone on the street is dancing.

This 3-day New Orleans itinerary is just a starting point. The real magic of the Big Easy lies in the unexpected – the hole-in-the-wall bar with the best sazerac you've ever tasted, the impromptu parade that appears out of nowhere, the friendly local who tells you about their favorite hidden gem restaurant.

So take this itinerary and use it as a guide, but don't be afraid to wander off the beaten path. New Orleans rewards the curious, the adventurous, and those willing to let the good times roll. As they say in New Orleans, "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" Let the good times roll – and in this enchanting city, they most certainly will.

West Parker
West Parker
Article updated:
July 18, 2024 8:53 AM

West Parker, a Cornell University School of Hotel Administration graduate, has spent two decades as the secret weapon of the jet-set elite, crafting bespoke adventures that redefine luxury travel. Now a resident writer for Town & Tourist, this 45-year-old "Architect of Extraordinary Journeys" combines razor-sharp insights with unparalleled industry connections to deliver experiences that even the most discerning globetrotters can't help but rave about. West's expertise spans from exclusive real estate to fine dining, making him the go-to strategist for those who demand nothing but the extraordinary in their travels.

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