Home of incredible French Quarter, Frenchmen Street, National WWII Museum and many other activities to do in New Orleans on Memorial Day. We've compiled some of the best activities to do in New Orleans on this Memorial Day holiday.
While Bourbon Street can be avoided (unless it’s your first visit to New Orleans area during Memorial Day weekend - you have to experience it), the French Quarter is always a must-do, any time of year. As the city’s oldest neighborhood, the Vieux Carre is packed with gorgeous architecture, loads of history, a wealth of food and music, and a cast of characters including long-time residents, chatty tour guides, and talented street performers. Don’t skip out on historic attractions like the Historic New Orleans Collection, and be sure to take in the views of the Mississippi from the edge of the Quarter.
Marigny, the neighborhood adjacent to the French Quarter, is one of the city’s top spots for music in New Orleans. Here you’ll find a string of live music venues like Spotted Cat and dba offering jazz, blues, reggae, and rock. There’s often a brass band performing on a corner. Restaurants offering pub grub, Egyptian fare, pizza, and more will fuel you up for an energetic, music-filled stroll around the neighborhood.
The National WWII Museum is a world-class complex with award-winning exhibits showcasing the stories of those who served in WWII and on the homefront. Highlights include actual planes, jeeps, and Higgins Boats, a theater with WWII-era musical performances, a restaurant, and a fantastic gift shop with 1940s-inspired gifts and clothing. You must visit on Memorial Day in New Orleans.
This six-mile stretch has it all: shopping, dining, art galleries, unique architecture, an award-winning zoo, and friendly local business owners. During Memorial Day in New Orleans get your steps in as you shop local boutiques, then reward yourself with a meal at one of the many restaurants that offer sidewalk dining or patios overlooking the hustle and bustle of the street.
New Orleans on Memorial Day you must see the City Park is a beautifully-landscaped, 1,300-acre green space filled with moss-drenched oaks, peaceful walking paths, and native birds. Head to the Big Lake and rent a swan boat, take the kids (or embrace your inner child) at Storyland and the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Don’t miss the Couturie Forest, a diverse nature trail that features New Orleans’ highest point: Laborde Mountain, at a whopping 43 feet above sea level.
Within City Park, at the edge of the Big Lake, sits the city’s preeminent art museum. NOMA houses more than 40,000 pieces featuring pieces from the Italian Renaissance to modern works. Browse works from Monet, Degas, Rodin and O’Keefe as well as glass, ceramics, pre-Columbian art, and an extensive photography collection. Save time for the adjacent Sydney and Walda Bestoff Sculpture Garden, a beautifully-landscaped showcase of the Museum’s sculpture collection on Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans.
This French Quarter fixture since 1862 serves the the best cafe au lait alongside hot, fresh beignets at all hours. Take a peek in the window to see the magic happen, then dive in to your order of three on Memorial Day in New Orleans. If you make it out without powdered sugar on your shirt, you're doing it wrong.
Stretching from City Park to the edge of the French Quarter, this 2.6-mile linear park is a green oasis in the middle of the city. The bike and pedestrian path takes you past playgrounds, native landscaping, art, and sports fields, and is in close proximity to breweries, coffee shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Stop by the Crescent City Farmers market on the Greenway on Thursday afternoons, or check out one of the many outdoor fitness classes offered throughout the week during Memorial Day.
Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE)
Explore a different side of the South at New Orleans' newest museum. The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE) tells the unique story of Jews in thirteen Southern states from Colonial times to the present. Learn how Jews in the South were influenced by the culture of their new communities, and how they shared their own culture with these communities (which were primarily Christian) through heritage and traditions.
At the foot of Canal Street, hop aboard the Algiers Ferry to feel the power of the Mississippi firsthand. The short ride on this commuter ferry will give you an amazing view of the city and a few minutes to be one with the river. On the other side, spend some time wandering the petite neighborhood of Algiers Point: cute homes, oak-lined streets, and a few cafes and bars.