The Most Instagrammed Places in New Orleans
If cities were people, then New Orleans would probably be one of the hottest -- as evidenced by the crazy abundance of Instagrammers snapping over-saturated shots of the town’s various charms. And to figure out precisely which of those charms are the most popular, we crunched the numbers, and put together this list of the 20 most Instagrammed spots in the city.
What began as the “D-Day Museum” has blossomed into a truly impressive historical record of the second World War, from the beach landings at Normandy to the Pacific Campaign, the battle of Midway, and everything in between. You know those famous Higgins boats that were so instrumental on D-Day? They were built in Louisiana. There is not a small amount of pride there.
There are some pretty glorious-looking private university campuses in America, but this one is clearly the most glorious-looking in New Orleans. Or within several hundred miles, for that matter.
Oh my, the Fair Grounds! Nothing like witnessing the glory of everyone dressed up in their crazy suits and hats on the opening of racing season over Thanksgiving, and of course there’s the whole phenomenon of Jazz Fest. Don’t forget your shrimp boots!
17. 7th Ward
The 7th Ward/Treme has some serious history to it, not all of it good, but its charms are difficult to deny, and clearly outweigh its warts. It is literally the oldest African-American neighborhood in the country, as evidenced by Congo Square in Armstrong Park. There is a very good reason the HBO series was named after this neighborhood. (That is a good series, too, and you should definitely watch it.)
We are very obviously biased here, but the sculpture garden adjacent to NOMA is most likely the best example of modern and classical al-fresco sculpture in the country. And also because it’s in City Park, you have the benefit of those wonderful objects d’art being surrounded by incomparable greenery. And they have movies there, when the weathers is good. And oh yeah, IT’S FREE. See why we’re biased?
The funniest thing about NOMA is the fact that the signs leading to it say “NO MUSEUM OF ART THIS WAY” (or similar). That’s of course a giant lie. There IS in fact an art museum in Mid-City/Bayou St. John, and it’s a grand ol' doozy of one, too. Definitely worthy of an afternoon filled with photography.
Sure, it’s a convention center, one that hosts lots of conventions and conventioneers. But the sheer size of the place, man! It seems to go on forever. Like the Superdome, there are some very painful memories there from 2005, but also like the Superdome, it has been reborn in style, and we’ll never let that terrible era get in the way of our playing host to any conventioneer who wants to celebrate in NOLA.
NOLA is swimming in riches like Scrooge McDuck when it comes to beautiful hotels, but this is surely a notable one. Especially because it’s the site of Borgne restaurant, which will make all of your #foodporn dreams come true at the hands of Chef Brian Landry.
There’s some very serious history about this market, not the least of which is the birth of the muffaletta sandwich at the Central Grocery, invented in the desire to satiate the Italian-American fruit and produce vendors back in the day. It’s still a great place to get some snaps to this day. And also a muffaletta, obviously.
11. House of Blues
Yeah, HOBO might have more famous outposts in the nation, but the one in the French Quarter is one hell of a spot to see a big show in a relatively intimate environment. And good for you if you’re able to gain entrance to the Foundation room, which is like drinking in a damned sultan’s tent.
10. Frenchmen Street
The adage “Frenchman is the new Bourbon” might cause a fair amount of agitation for Marigny locals (or transplants), but you simply cannot deny that Frenchmen is probably the best place to enjoy live, local music on any given evening. And often for free, too. Have fun with the parking, though!
Of all the famous and historic churches in New Orleans (and believe us, there are a LOT), this one is the great granddaddy of them all, and an indispensable aspect of the French Quarter skyline, especially when viewed on a foggy morning or during “magic hour” on the Algiers ferry.
Two words: fire fountain. Yeah, that’s a fountain, but also FIRE. But even beyond that, and the notorious hurricanes, Pat O’s is a cool spot to photo, especially the dueling piano bar.
7. City Park
Between the famous Peristyle, the ancient live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, the acres and acres of green space and lagoons, you’d be incredibly insane not to want to snap photos in City Park. In fact, many people choose it’s glorious natural splendor as a spot for engagement photos (which may or may not include the writer of this list).
Yeah, it’s a silly corporate name. But that’s where the Pelicans fly, and if you didn’t before believe in the magic of flight, watching Anthony Davis (and his glorious unibrow) will clearly turn that opinion on its head. Geaux Pels! Also, it’s a fantastic place to see a concert, more modern, smaller, and intimate than the Superdome.
Also known to locals as “church,” the Superdome is an impressive feat of sports architecture, and probably the most recognizable aspect of the NOLA skyline. Not content to wallow in the misery of everything that happened there in 2005, it has since been gloriously restored, and, on Sundays during football season, it’s probably the happiest place in the entire city.
It might pale in size and beauty in comparison to City Park or Audubon (see below), there’s no denying the allure of the square named after President Andrew Jackson. It’s a lovely place for a quick rest and a repast, and of course it’s just over-brimming with history.
Of course you’re going to get some serious IGers snapping shots in the Vieux Carre, and there is clearly a solid reason from that, between the iconic architecture, the art galleries, and the hanging gardens, it’s a serious treat for the eyeballs (and phone shutters).
No visit to NOLA would be complete without an order of beignets and hot cafe au lait, and the snowy peaks of powdered sugar on top of a pile of doughnuts from Cafe du Monde just screams for a photo. Or several.
1. Bourbon St
Well, this was clearly going to be a front-runner, right? With all those neon lights, neon drinks, and the general opportunity to see a little flesh (even though we frown on that boobs-for-beads nonsense), there’s a lot to see, and a lot to “'Gram.” And some of the oldest bars and restaurants in the city (and the country!) are on Bourbon, from Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop to Galatoire’s and the Old Absinthe House.
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Scott Gold is a writer in New Orleans who dearly loves City Park. Follow him on Twitter @scottgold.