24 Hours in New Orleans: How to Spend the Day in This City and Not Miss Anything

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog



New Orleans is a culturally diverse city that overflows with activities for every age and interest. That makes the Big Easy a perfect place to check out authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine, hoppin' live music, and a wealth of historic buildings. Here are seven great things to do in New Orleans:

Mardi Gras World

When it comes to things to do in New Orleans, Mardi Gras may be at the top of your list. However, if you’re unable to attend the actual festival,  Mardi Gras World, lets you celebrate the event year-round. The 300,000-square-foot warehouse stores the city's Mardi Gras floats when they’re not in use, and offers guided tours.

The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum features several permanent galleries that highlight WWII milestones such as D-Day. There's also a collection of vehicles and war equipment. This includes a B-17E Bomber, a Howitzer, and a Sherman Tank. There are also interactive exhibits to engage visitors, bringing this turning point in American history to life.

Audubon Zoo

The Audubon Zoo is a delight for visitors. Nearly 2,000 animals live on the zoo's spacious 58 acres. This attraction also features a Louisiana swamp exhibit, a great way for you to experience the wonders of the local environment when you don't have time to take a boat tour of the bayou.

Treme Walking Tour

Treme is known as the cultural heart of New Orleans, and it beats with a rhythm of music, history, food, art, and local characters. In just a few hours, you can take a walking tour that encompasses most of the attractions. This is a great option for blues and jazz enthusiasts and people who love classic New Orleans architecture.

The Old U.S. Mint

History buffs put the Old U.S. Mint at the top of their list of things to see in the French Quarter. Built in 1835, it is the only American building that minted currency for both the Union and the Confederacy. The New Orleans Jazz Museum is housed inside the structure. Go on the right day, and you may be able to catch a concert.

Confederate Memorial Hall Museum

Did you know that the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum is also known as the Battle Abbey of the South? It earned that name from the building's exterior. New Orleans is famous for buildings with elaborate architecture, but this museum is truly stunning.

Longue Vue House & Gardens

This three-story home and its accompanying gardens are, in a word, lovely. The 8-acre property includes 22 fountains and ponds, and gardens with seasonal flower displays. It makes an excellent backdrop for selfies and family photos. Meanwhile, the historic home, built in Classical Revival style, serves as a museum, and showcases a resident artist.

Make the Most of Your New Orleans City Stay

When you book a city stay to extend your American Queen or American Duchess river cruise, you'll never have to worry about how to spend the extra time. Our American Queen Steamboat Company Exclusive Attractions Pass is packed with a wide range of activities. Highlights include:

  • historic buildings such as Longue Vue House and the Old U.S. Mint

  • exploring Confederate and WWII history

  • strolling through the Audubon Zoo and the Treme District

Whether you're planning things to do in the New Orleans French Quarter or venturing a little deeper into the city, there's a wealth of culture, adventure, and fun waiting for you. Contact us today to find out what cruises and city adventures are available.