Are you looking for a family-friendly 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 city was founded by the French 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 awesome! So go and enjoy New Orleans.
Near the French Quarter is the Garden District. This neighborhood has beautiful homes and mansions. You might like to walk here, because it may be a good place for taking pictures. The Garden district began as an area of former plantations for newly arrived Americans who did not want to reside with Creoles. The area has mansions surrounded by Victorian-era homes.
The culture of New Orleans
The culture of New Orlean is rich and varied, with influences that range from French to Spanish to African. This blend of cultures is reflected in the city’s architecture, music, cuisine, festivals, traditions—and even its ghost stories! New Orleans has a long history as an important port city serving both merchants coming into town via riverboat or passing through by train on their way to the West. As a result, it has been exposed to many different cultures and worldviews over time, which makes for an eclectic mix of people and ideas that you’ll encounter in this vibrant 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. You should go there soon!
- Visiting plantations is a fun and educational way to spend your day. You can teach your children about history, especially from the past. Two great plantations are Oak Alley and Laura Plantation, both of which have a lot of history and activities that you can do with your kids.
- On Thursday evenings, museums in New Orleans are free. You can visit many different museums in the French Quarter, like The Ogden Museum of Art and The Louisiana Children's Museum. This is a great way for families to spend an afternoon having fun while learning about different cultures.
- Another fun museum to explore is the World War II museum. It is both fun for all ages and very educational for all. You can learn a lot about the American soldiers and their experiences.
- Visiting Zoos: You might not think that visiting zoos is a good idea when you go on vacation. But in New Orleans, there are two great zoos: 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!
- Visiting Theme Parks – Many people think that when they are on vacation, they only have time to visit theme parks. That is not true in New Orleans. You can have a lot of fun without spending a lot of money too if you go to Raging Waters in Metairie!
- Going to 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. This place is so great that you can't miss it if you're taking your family this year!
- When you go to see New Orleans, it is often fun to go to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. It is a place where families can have fun and learn about other cultures. You do not need to spend much money when you go there.
- One of the most unusual places that we visited was one of the above ground graveyards on a walking tour. The walking tour is inexpensive and very interesting. The grave shown above is occupied by a local resident who participated in Marti Gras each year.
- There are many other fun things to do for families on a budget in New Orleans, but these listed above should be more than enough! You will have no problems having fun there with your family as long as you follow some basic rules of safety and respect while visiting this beautiful city.
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 without spending much if any at all! Here are some tips for making it happen:
- Stay away from Bourbon Street and go on an adventure instead
- Take the streetcar or walk around town rather than Uber
- See a free show or museum
- Do not go to the casino. Save that money for something else!
New Orleans is full of history, culture, and fun activities that are sure to please the whole family. If you want to make your dollar stretch even further during a vacation in New Orleans with kids, remember these tips!
Traveling in New Orleans
When you go to see New Orleans, you may find traveling around the city can be difficult and intimidating, but if you know what to expect before arriving it can make your trip much easier.
- There are so many options for transportation in New Orleans: car rental, Uber/Lyft, Mardi Gras Buses (which is a great option since they do not require reservations), streetcar (streetcars don't require reservations either!), and a lot more.
- The best way to travel within New Orleans is via the streetcar system, as it allows you have access to all of the major areas for free! Streetcars are fun too because they're old school cars decorated in beautiful designs from Mardi Gras parades past. And let's be real, who doesn't love riding around on a classic trolley? For even more reasons to try the streetcars, check out this article.
- If you're using public transportation, the best way to get from one place to another is by walking. New Orleans isn't very big and most of its neighborhoods are connected via walkable paths (which makes it easier for streetcars too!). This means that there's no need to purchase a car or even rent one!
- If it's Mardi Gras time when you're in New Orleans, then definitely take a Mardi Gras bus. They run all day long and are free rides around the city for everyone! Plus they pick up riders on major routes only (so no random stops along the way).
- If you want to rent a car, remember that New Orleans is old. Not all of the roads are in good condition. There is also new construction going on for a streetcar line so driving can be harder than usual. But if you want to drive then just make sure that you give yourself plenty of time. Traffic is a real thing in New Orleans, so plan!
- Driving around New Orleans can be difficult because many streets are one way. If you're planning on renting a car, make sure that your hotel has parking or is centrally located. Many streets are one way, which can be confusing and frustrating!
- If you have to drive then just plan on arriving early. Traffic is a real thing in New Orleans so it's best to leave yourself some extra time if possible. It'll make your trip much easier especially because driving around New Orleans isn't very fun due to all of the construction and the one-way streets.
When you visit New Orleans, these are some of the things that will helpful
For your trip to visit New Orleans, a good set of durable luggage will be helpful. You can pack the clothes you need, but you can also use them to bring your souvenirs home.
While you are seeing the many excellent and fun places in New Orleans, your feet will thank you for a set of comfortable walking shoes.
If you are traveling to New Orleans in the summer or even late spring/early fall, you will need 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 on a budget. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below and we will answer as soon as we can! Have fun exploring all that New Orleans has to offer and enjoy your time there. Whether it be 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 because once you leave, it’s hard not to miss home sweet New Orleans.