You will be spending a lot of time at the concerts and convention center, but in between you might want to check out some tourist attractions while in New Orleans. Below is a comprehensive list of highly rated tourist attractions you can add to your Essence Festival or general New Orleans trip.
1. Take a Free Walking Tour
“Free Tours By Foot” is the #1 rated tour on Trip Advisor. The tours are “free” because there is no upfront cost. It’s “name your price” style. Therefore, you tip what you want at the end of the tour. They offer daily alternating tours that change so you will need to check their schedule.
Tours: French Quarter Tour, French Quarter Culinary Tour, Garden District Tour, Voodoo Tour, Ghost Tour, and Treme Tour.
Check out their schedule/reserve your spot here.
2. Visit Café Du Monde
Yes, yes, yes. It is a tourist trap. But you can’t go to New Orleans and not try the world famous beignets at Café Du Monde! They are hot and tasty deep-fried pastries. Grab them to go, then people watch at the nearby Jackson Square Park.
3.Visit Frenchman Street.
Tourist’s tend to flock to Bourbon and Royal in the French Quarter for the lively, party atmosphere. And during Essence the French Quarter will be extremely PACKED and turned all the way up. However, Frenchman St is a equally fun entertainment district in the nearby Marigny neighborhood. Live music is the focus here and there is an abundance of bars with live music in a 3 block radius. During the evening brass bands & street performers often play outside.
Visit https://frenchmenstreetlive.com/ for more information on Frenchman St.
4. The National WWII Museum
If you are a history buff, then you definitely can’t miss the National World War 2 museum. This museum is the top rated tourist attraction in New Orleans. The Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories to take visitors inside the story of the war. You can buy tickets when you get there.
5. Go On A Swamp Tour
The Cajun Encounters swamp tour is lots of fun. You will board a boat and take a tour of the Honey Island Swamp. The captains give you detailed, interesting information about the habitat. You will see a bunch of alligators up close! The captains bait them with marshmallows so you can get great photos as they hop up. You also might see wild boar, raccoons, snakes, owls, egrets, and more.
6. Visit The Riverwalk
You can visit the Riverwalk Area to get an excellent view of the Mississippi River. Sweeping vistas, public art, family activities and jumping-off points for riverboat tours are all clustered here along a linear park and walkways. There is also an outlet mall on the riverfront.