A h, New Orleans: a city where people roll out of bed and immediately wonder, "Where should I eat today?" followed soon after by, "Where should I drink today?" And while you can (and must, really) ping-pong between an extraordinary assortment of dives, oyster bars, cocktail hotspots, and white-tablecloth eateries during your time in the Crescent City, it's only fair to take a break every once and a while… if only to give yourself time to plan the next meal.
Courtesy of Hi Lo Lounge
City Park | AAlex81/Shutterstock
Martine Boyer/Thrillist
Algiers Point, West Bank | Dante Nicholas/Thrillist
Flickr/Julie McGalliard
Courtesy of Southern Food and Beverage Museum
Euclid Records NOLA
Flickr/Don Pirolo
Flickr/Darrell Miller
Flickr/Infrogmation of New Orleans
The National WWII Museum
Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock.com
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1. Hi-Ho Lounge 2239 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Hi-Ho Lounge is one of the original venues on arts-centric St. Claude Avenue that regularly features a wide array of local and national jazz, funk, electronic, and indie rock acts. Its programming also includes burlesque shows and documentary film screenings.

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2. The Canal Street Ferry 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA (French Quarter)

Quickie geography lesson. Orleans Parish spans both sides of the Mississippi River -- known as the East Bank (where most of the action takes place) and the West Bank -- with a whole, charming-as-hell neighborhood known as Algiers Point anchoring the riverside just across from the French Quarter. The Canal Street/Algiers Ferry crosses between the two neighborhoods and offers stunning city views.

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3. End of the World Jourdan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

The End of the World is a makeshift park of sorts in the 9th Ward where the levee meets the industrial canal. It’s as no-frills as that provenance would suggest -- but also perfect for picnics, meditation, reading, and checking out fireworks on the Fourth of July.

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4. Vietnamese Farmers Market 4887 Alcee Fortier Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70129

Drive about 20 minutes northeast of the French Quarter and you'll find Versailles, an area with one of the most robust Vietnamese communities outside of Vietnam. Every Saturday morning, a neighborhood parking lot transforms into a farmers market, where predominantly Vietnamese vendors sell produce and herbs like lemongrass, daikon radishes, Thai eggplant, and pomelo grapefruit, as well as live poultry. There are some homemade foods too, like banh tet rice cakes wrapped in a banana leaf. The weekly market starts at 6am, and most stuff tends to be picked over by mid-morning so it goes without saying: get there early.

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5. Abita Mystery House 6465-72099 LA-36, Abita Springs, LA 70420

The Abita Mystery House, formally known as the UCM Museum (it stands for Unusual Collections and Mini-town) is the destination you didn’t even know you needed in your life. With an unabashedly wacky folk art aesthetic and thousands (really, thousands) of experimental taxidermy, found objects, quirky art pieces, and cobbled-up inventions, it amounts to a cathedral to kooky Americana. It may come off like a tourist trap, but more likely you’ll be mingling with grinning locals.

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6. Southern Food & Beverage Museum 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a sensory way (tasting events! hands-on exhibits!) to learn about Southern food history, from Kentucky bourbon to Louisiana boudin. The museum often hosts low-cost or free events, and does a remarkable job of placing the foods you're eating in New Orleans (and beyond) into a larger social and historical context, from kitchen tools to Creole-Italian dishes. If you’re looking to really geek out, there’s a fascinating culinary library full of Southern cookbooks waiting to be explored.

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7. Euclid Records 3301 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Euclid, the record store to end all NOLA record stores, is a Bywater gem beloved by legendary WWOZ radio hosts, jazz musicians, and everyone else with ears. Once you enter, be prepared to spend hours flipping through records and chatting with the supremely knowledgeable staff. Picking up something by a local musician is an easy way to support some of the most-deserving artists in America, and a way to take a little piece of the city home with you.

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8. Crescent Park 1008 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116

For some of the best riverfront views in New Orleans, explore the 1.4 mile, 20-acre Crescent Park that winds its way alongside the Mississippi. There’s a unique balance of grit and green space that makes the park feel wholly unique, with a signature ambiance of metal-meets-florals.

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9. Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots 1751 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70119

Nestled into its own neighborhood on the cusp of the 7th Ward and Esplanade Ridge, the New Orleans Fair Grounds isn’t just a place for betting on the ponies. The Fair Grounds offers up an almost demented variety of activities, from after dark “starlight” racing events, to “exotic” animal racing, which swaps horses for the likes of ostriches. The best day to visit the track, weirdly enough, is Thanksgiving, when New Orleanians get dressed up to the nines and come out in droves to see and be seen. Don’t even think of arriving without your sharpest look.

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10. New Orleans Museum of Art 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA 70124

Open since 1911, New Orleans Museum of Art is one of the oldest fine arts museums in the South. Its bright, marble halls are home to an extensive collection that highlights French and American art, as well as photography, glass, and African and Japanese works. The sculpture garden, too, is a sight to behold -- both in objects (there are over 60 sculptures) and landscape (live oak trees, pines, magnolias, and camellias all blend into a romantic setting).

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11. The Singing Oak 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

After a stroll through verdant City Park or a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Art, stop by Big Lake and stumble up on the Singing Oak. Hung with tinkling wind chimes and cloaked in the magic that seems inherent to the city, the ancient oak is as peaceful as it is gigantic. It's not uncommon to find tourists and locals sprawled on blankets nearby, picnic baskets in tow.

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12. New Orleans City Park 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

Out-of-towners often skip over Mid-City, a neighborhood made for canoeing down the bayou and riding bikes along the greenway. But even if you have only a morning, start with the beautifully rebuilt City Park as your home base and get to exploring. Take a stroll through the marble halls of the New Orleans Museum of Art, followed by a visit to the Singing Oak, which tinkles with chimes when the wind blows through its branches. Play putt-putt if you feel so inclined, and then refuel with beignets at Morning Call while watching a few swans float by.

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13. Island of Salvation Botanica 2372 Saint Claude Ave Ste 100, New Orleans, LA 70117

The Island of Salvation Botanica is a self-prescribed “magical pharmacie” that proves Voodoo isn't just kitsch. Operated by the legendary Haitian vodou practitioner Sally Ann Glassman, Island of Salvation is the place to go for spiritual guidance, medicinal herbs, tarot decks, or simply admiring Glassman’s esoteric artwork. This is your one-stop shop for everything from healings, readings, and altars, to tinctures and custom made gris-gris bags to fix what ails you, cleanse your house of bad energy, or banish someone from your mind.

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14. The National WWII Museum 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Since it opened as the D-Day Museum in 2000, this Smithsonian-affiliated institution has expanded into an exhaustive look at American campaigns during the Second World War. You could spend multiple days here, but if you want the highlights, head to either the "Road to Berlin" or "Road to Tokyo" wings for an immersive, emotional account of European and Pacific theaters of battle. After that, the US Freedom Pavilion displays a number of authentic land, sea, and air vehicles to ogle, perfect for the 5-year-old in all of us. Once you're properly wrung out, recuperate at the on-site restaurant and bar, The American Sector. Its sandwich-and-salad heavy menu is not in German and there are plenty of Southern favorites like a crispy oyster BLT. Like MacArthur, you shall return.

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15. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 425 Basin St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Although they tend to get hot and crowded in the heat of the tourist season, cemeteries are integral to the very fiber of New Orleans, and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is probably the most popular. There are few better ways to commune with the city than by paying your respects. Even though most of its fame is due to the scene from Easy Rider that was filmed here, its crumbling mausoleums and old-world charm are cause enough to visit.

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16. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 1427 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Garden District)

Recognizable by the bright-colored stone crypts and stately mausoleums, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the epitome of why cemeteries in New Orleans are tourist attractions. There's a lot of folk lore and mysticism that surround these "Cities of the Dead," and though you won't find the tomb of a vampire here, you will find distinguished monuments like the so-called Secret Garden, a square of four tombs built by friends, and the Smith & Dumestre family tomb.

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17. Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery 5055 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

One of the cemeteries integral to the fiber of New Orleans, Odd Fellow has survived years of flooding thanks to its location above the flood plane. Right next to St. Patrick Cemetery No. 2, Odd Fellows offers less touristy tours than the more popular St. Louis Cemetery.

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