With two days in New Orleans, you’ll be enchanted by its top-notch restaurants, charming neighborhoods, historic streets, and intriguing ghost stories. For a taste of it all, spend a day exploring the city, then day trip to the surrounding Cajun Country. Here are a few ways to maximize two days in and around the Big Easy.
Day 1: Explore the City
Morning: Get to know the French Quarter, the historic heart of New Orleans. Explore the narrow streets, marveling at the Spanish architecture and soaking in the history at major sights such as Jackson Square, the French Market, and the riverfront. Be sure to try Café du Monde’s famous beignets and café au lait. A hop-on, hop-off tour is a great way to access the city without wasting any time.
Afternoon: Discover the leafy Garden District on a walking tour. Just upriver of the French Quarter, this area is home to stately mansions and lovely architecture. There’s history here, too, at places like Lafayette Cemetery #1, where the eerie above-ground tombs house some of the city’s most famous residents.
Night: Eager for ghost stories? This notoriously haunted city has them in spades. Nighttime ghost tours wend through the Garden District and the French Quarter, offering a peek into the city’s creepy past. You’ll learn plenty of history this way, too, as you tour haunted mansions, bars, and restaurants.
Day 2: Get to Know Cajun Country
Morning: Rise early and take a leisurely ride over the Mississippi River and into Cajun Country, a short drive from New Orleans. The vibrant Cajun culture comes alive here as you spend the day on a Cajun country tour learning about the region’s food, music, history, and natural environment.
Afternoon: Step aboard an airboat with a Cajun guide for a wildlife-spotting expedition in one of the area’s cypress swamps. Learn about native birds, healing plants, and the swamp’s most famous reptile, the massive alligator. You’ll hear plenty of colorful stories from your native tour guide along the way.
Night: End your day with a tour of a nearby plantation, one of the engines of the South’s pre–Civil War economy. Options include the Laura Plantation and Oak Alley, both of which stand as stately tributes to the antebellum age. Learn about this important piece of history as you tour the homes, view the slave quarters, and walk the verdant grounds.