Make your New Orleans visit even more unforgettable by seeing these 11 attractions

New Orleans

New Orleans is a city full of culture, history and charm, but also of surprises. If you want to explore beyond the usual tourist attractions and discover some hidden gems, here are 10 under-the-radar or offbeat experiences you can have in the Big Easy.

Rock N Bowl

If you love bowling, music and dancing, you will love Rock N Bowl, a unique venue that combines all three. You can enjoy live music from local bands playing zydeco, blues, rock and more, while you bowl on one of the 18 lanes or hit the dance floor. There are also two bars, a game room and a kitchen serving delicious burgers and barbecue.

The Pharmacy Museum

Step back in time and learn about the history of medicine at the Pharmacy Museum, located in the French Quarter. This museum showcases a collection of old bottles, tools, instruments and devices that were used by pharmacists and doctors in the past. You will see things like heroin as a painkiller, leeches as a treatment and a chloroform inhaler for childbirth.

The Museum of the American Cocktail

If you are interested in the art and science of mixology, you will enjoy the Museum of the American Cocktail, which is part of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. This museum celebrates the history and culture of cocktails, from their origins to their innovations. You will see exhibits of rare bottles, books, tools and memorabilia related to cocktails, as well as taste some samples at the bar.

The National World War II Museum

The National World War II Museum is an impressive and immersive museum that tells the story of the Second World War from an American perspective. You will see exhibits of artifacts, vehicles, weapons, uniforms and personal stories that bring to life the history and heroism of the war. You will also experience interactive displays, multimedia presentations and 4D films that recreate the battles and events of the war.

The Algiers Mardi Gras Festival

If you want to experience Mardi Gras without the crowds and chaos of Bourbon Street, head to Algiers Point across the river for the Algiers Mardi Gras Festival. This festival is a free, family-friendly event that features a community parade, food vendors, arts and crafts booths and live music. You will see colorful floats, costumes and masks that celebrate the culture and traditions of Mardi Gras.

Biking on the Lafitte Greenway

One of the best ways to see New Orleans is by bike, and the Lafitte Greenway is a scenic and convenient route that connects City Park to the French Quarter. The 4.6-kilometre trail passes through historic neighbourhoods, parks, art installations and local businesses. You can rent a bike from one of the many shops around the city, such as Dashing Bicycles on Broad Street or Alex’s Bikes in the Faubourg Marigny, and enjoy a leisurely ride along this urban oasis.

Nola Brewery

If you’re a fan of craft beer, you’ll love Nola Brewery, one of the oldest and largest breweries in New Orleans. The Tap Room offers a wide selection of beers on tap, from IPAs to stouts to sours, as well as a kitchen serving McClure’s barbecue. You can also take a free tour of the brewery on Fridays at 2 p.m., or join one of their special events, such as trivia nights, comedy shows or crawfish boils.

Swamp Tour with Cajun Encounters

If you want to experience the wild side of Louisiana, take a swamp tour with Cajun Encounters and see the natural beauty and wildlife of the bayou. You’ll ride on a comfortable and safe boat with a knowledgeable guide, who will tell you about the history and ecology of the area, as well as the Cajun culture and traditions. You’ll also get to see alligators, turtles, snakes, raccoons, birds and more up close, and even feed them marshmallows if you’re brave enough.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum and research center that preserves and showcases the rich and diverse history of New Orleans and the Gulf South. The collection spans over 10 historic buildings in the French Quarter, each with its own exhibits, galleries and courtyards. You can see paintings, maps, documents, photographs, furniture, costumes and more that tell the stories of the people and events that shaped the city. You can also join a guided tour of the Williams Residence, a 19th-century townhouse that belonged to the founders of the collection.

Studio Be

Studio Be is a massive warehouse turned into an art gallery by local artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums. The gallery features stunning murals, sculptures and installations that explore themes of social justice, resistance and identity. The artworks are inspired by the history and culture of New Orleans, especially the Black community and the civil rights movement. The gallery is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and admission is $15.

Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture

Mardi Gras is one of the most famous and colorful festivals in the world, and you can learn all about it at the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture. The museum displays hundreds of costumes, masks, beads and accessories that were worn by parade participants and revelers over the years. You can also see videos, photos and memorabilia that document the history and traditions of Mardi Gras. And if you want to join the fun, you can dress up in some of the costumes and take pictures in the photo booth.

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