Lifestyle

8 New Orleans tourist traps that are actually worth your time and money

Published On 04/23/2014 Published On 04/23/2014
Café Du Monde
Audubon Zoo
Mardi Gras World
Pat O'Brien's
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Flickr user Raellyn & Melissa
Wikimedia Commons
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1. Café Du Monde 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Originally established in 1862, Café Du Monde is the place to go for a quintessential New Orleans pick-me-up in the form of a beignet and cafe au lait. The patio, marked by a striped green-and-white awning, is a landmark in itself and the perfect place for people-watching in the French Quarter. The café gets busy during peak lunch and dinner hours, but its 24-seven schedule allows for plenty of opportunities to stop by, whether it's for a late-night sugar fix or an early-morning breakfast. Take-out orders can be placed through a quick-serve window, just be sure to take extra napkins -- those sugar-coated beignets are messy.

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2. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130-1152

Take a break from immersing yourself in beer, and immerse yourself in a world of underwater sea creatures instead at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Be sure to drop by the 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit while you're there!

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3. Mardi Gras World 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Garden District)

Mardi Gras World makes it Mardi Gras year round, serving as a museum and offering tours of New Orleans' Mardi Gras scene.

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4. Pat O'Brien's 718 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

What do you get when you combine a fun-loving Irish bar with the wildness of Bourbon St? Pat O'Brien's bar, of course. We also would have accepted "an inebriated evening" or "hungover the following day".

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5. Jackson Square 745 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

An iconic New Orleans locale since its construction in the mid-nineteenth century, Jackson Square is perhaps the most recognizable place in town outside of the Superdome. Originally designed as a military plaza, the city block-sized space is now awash with artists, musicians, performers, and street hustlers nearly 24/7. If the free-range circus gets to be a bit much, the small garden park in the center of the square provides an oasis amid bedlam. For an even calmer respite, bear in mind the square sits literally in the shadow of the steeples of St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in the United States. Its soaring, ornate basilica, generally open to the public, is worth checking out regardless of your religious affiliation.

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6. Woldenberg Park 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

This lush riverside haven has a number of art and sculpture installations throughout, as well as terrific views of boats on the Mississippi River.

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7. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop 941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

This tavern's located inside a building that was originally constructed around 1772, making it one of the oldest structures in NOLA. The cocktail selection's not bad either.

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8. Pirate's Alley Cafe 622 Pirate's Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

This historic French Quarter pirate bar might be tourist-heavy at times, but it doles out tasty eats and has a wide selection of booze, including a variety of absinthe bottles.

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