Visiting New Orleans for Budget-Conscious Families and Groups
Are you looking for a family-friendly or group trip that won’t break the bank? Have no fear. New Orleans is your destination. With tons of history, culture, and fun activities to do with kids, there are plenty of ways to experience this fantastic city without emptying your wallet. Here’s our budget-friendly guide to visiting New Orleans.
History of New Orleans
The French founded the city in 1718, and became part of the United States after Louisiana was purchased in 1803. New Orleans is full of buildings with different styles. Some homes are Spanish, some are Caribbean, and some are French. They all have the same thing in common – they’re interesting to explore and easily visible whether you are walking, driving, or touring on the city trolley system
The Garden District neighborhood has beautiful older homes and spacious mansions. It’s an enjoyable walk, with many opportunities for taking pictures. The Garden District began as an area of former plantation owners and others who did not want to reside in the same district as the Creoles. The area has mansions surrounded by Victorian-era homes. Today, it’s a wonderful place for a vacation trip with less of the chaos of the famous French Quarter.
However, if your group seeks a party, the French Quarter is the place to be. In this section of the city, there is constant activity. Many of the city festivals have parades, and a hotel in the French Quarter is likely to have a balcony view of the festivities.
The Culture of New Orleans
The culture of New Orleans is rich and varied, with world influences that range from Native American to French to Spanish to African. This blend of cultures is reflected in the city’s architecture, music, cuisine, festivals, traditions, and ghost stories!
New Orleans has a long history as an important port city serving merchants coming into town via riverboat or passing by train on their way to the West. As a result, the city hosted many different cultures and worldviews over time, which makes for an eclectic mix of people and ideas that you’ll encounter even in a short visit to this eclectic city.
Fun Places to visit in New Orleans
- If you want to have a lot of fun in New Orleans, go to the French Quarter. This is a place where people from all walks of life enjoy themselves. On Sunday, many restaurants offer brunch at a very reasonable price. Some locations may require reservations.
- Visiting plantations is a unique way to spend a day learning about how America’s past still influences the social fabric today. Two educational plantations are Oak Alley and Laura Plantation. Both have a lot of history and interactive activities for visitors of all ages.
- If you are interested in museums, check their websites before you travel. Many museums offer free admission on certain evenings or special event days.
- Another educational museum to explore is the World War II Museum. It’s interesting to tour the museum and to hear the recorded stories of how the war impacted individual lives. There are many interactive displays, and for a history buff, this museum can easily fill a full day of activity. When it’s time for a break from the tour, be sure to try the gumbo at the museum cafe.
- New Orleans has two fabulous animal attractions: The Audubon Zoo and The Aquarium of the Americas. Both offer many things to do while you learn about animals from all over the world.
- Mardi Gras World is a fun way to get in touch with New Orleans culture. You can learn about one of America’s most famous holidays and have hours of entertainment.
- On a walking tour, one of the most unusual places we visited was one of the above-ground graveyards. There are inexpensive walking tours for several graveyards in the city. We also recommend this private tour for those who want a deeper experience in learning about the history of voodoo in New Orleans and the life of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. The grave shown above is occupied by a local resident who participated in Marti Gras, and the shoes represent her participation in the annual event.
How much does it cost to have fun when you visit New Orleans?
Lots of money? Maybe not. It’s easy to have a good time in New Orleans and stay within your planned budget. Here are some tips for making it happen:
- Visit Bourbon Street as a walking tour and use a camera to capture great photos for your souvenir albums.
- Take the streetcars or walk around town when you can. Spend on an Uber or taxi if you have a large group or need a faster trip.
- Check websites in advance for free nights at the museum or free outdoor events during your stay.
New Orleans is full of history, culture, and fun activities that will be memorable for the entire family or your traveling group.
Traveling in New Orleans
When you visit New Orleans, you may find traveling around the city can be intimidating, but if you know what to expect before arriving, everything will be easier.
- New Orleans has many transportation options: car rental, Uber/Lyft, bikes, streetcars (no reservation required), and more.
- My favorite way to travel within New Orleans is via the streetcar system, which allows you to access all of the major areas for a modest ticket fee. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love riding around on a classic trolley? For more reasons to try the streetcars, check out this article about slowing down in New Orleans on the St. Charles Streetcar route.
- If you are driving or choose to rent a car, remember that New Orleans streets are sometimes under repair, so allow time for detours and traffic congestion.
When you visit New Orleans, these are some of the things that will helpful
Recommended Luggage for Travel
For your trip to visit New Orleans, a good set of durable luggage will be helpful. You can pack the clothes you need and have plenty of space to bring your souvenirs home.
Recommended Walking Shoes
While you visit the many excellent and fun places in New Orleans, your feet will thank you for a set of comfortable walking shoes.
Be Prepared for the Weather in New Orleans
New Orleans can be brutally hot and humid in the summer months. Always keep water in your backpack and plan for breaks in your day to focus on staying hydrated.
If you are traveling to New Orleans in the summer or even late spring/early fall, choose a good hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays and to keep your head cooler.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post about visiting New Orleans. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below. Explore everything New Orleans has to offer. Whether you’re discovering new foods at local restaurants or taking an adventure down Bourbon Street with friends, make sure that you soak up every moment of culture and tradition during your visit here, and you’ll certainly take a bit of the New Orleans spirit home with you.
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Our family loved travelling to New Orleans! So much culture… and amazing food, of course, we can’t wait to go back someday!
Thank you for sharing it. New Orleans is on my list, so definitely will use your tips.