This post is a summary of the January weather in New Orleans with tips on what to pack and things to do. January is a great time to visit the Crescent City as the weather remains quite pleasant throughout this month. Click on the links below to learn more. If you are coming at the start or end of the month, you may want to read our weather guides to December and February.
This post, updated for 2018, covers things to do in January in New Orleans, including a top 10 list, some free activities, things to do at night as well as with kids. January marks the start of Carnival Season, which ends on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras Day), so January means parades and celebrations. If you are coming at the start or end of the month, then you might want to read our December and February guides.
This post is a practical guide to visiting cemeteries in New Orleans, with tips on which to choose as well as explanations of what you will see. There are over 40 cemeteries in New Orleans, each with its own charm and personality. One, St. Louis Cemetery #1, allows entry only licensed tour companies, like us, Free Tours by Foot.
Taking a guided walking tour of New Orleans isn’t the only way to experience parts of this great city, but it’s arguably the best way for those who want flexibility in their schedules. But what if you can’t take one of our guided walks? No problem, we have partnered with our friends at Atlantis Audio Tours and recorded some of our best tour guides giving their tours and made them available to you at any time.
Here is how it works:
Even if you don’t download any tours, you will still have access to valuable information on sightseeing, eating and playing in New Orleans.
- The Garden District
Listen to a sample.
New Orleans does things different than just about any city. So why would Christmas be any different? Christmas in New Orleans is like no other – the lights, the decorations, and the traditions. In a word – magical! Join Free Tours by Foot for a holiday waltz through the French Quarter, as we explore the history and traditions of Creole Christmas past and present. Learn the history of Papa Noel, Revellion Dinners, and the origins of the Carnival Season, all while enjoying the sights, sounds, and lights of the Vieux Carre. This tour is part French Quarter history and sights and part holiday spirit.
This post provides details about some of the most fun and interesting activities in New Orleans during the month of December, including a top-10, free things to do, nighttime activities and family-friendly options. There are a lot of different traditional and modern festivities to consider, including a few that aren’t directly related to Christmas. If you are coming at the end of the month, you might want to read our guide to January.
This article provides an overview and self-guided tour of the French Market, the oldest market in the United States and features a long row of shops, restaurants and flea market vendors that runs along the edge of the French Quarter. We’ll address its essential history, suggest places to visit today, and list the historic sites along its length.
The French Market has been a destination for New Orleans visitors for over two centuries. Besides offering food, souvenirs, and local color, the French Market is also the oldest market in the country and arguably the oldest man-made feature of New Orleans. Long before the founding of the city in 1718, the site of the market was home to a Native American trading post.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, the French Market lay along one of the busiest ports in the world. That era’s visitors left behind many accounts of the sensory overload the market delivered. Every kind of New Orleans resident sold wares there, from new Sicilian immigrants selling fruit to Choctaw women sitting on palmetto mats selling herbs and baskets, to free women of color selling coffee. Vendors shouted or sang about their goods in many languages, fighting for attention.
19th-century accounts also dwell on the market’s filth. John James Audubon, the artist famous for painting American birds, explored the market in 1821 looking for fowl he could use as models, and was surprised to find, among the more typical game poultry, a large dead owl for sale; afterward, he described the French Market as “the dirtiest place in all the cities of the United States.”
Both sadly and fortunately, only a small portion of the market today at all suggests this former intensity. The market’s history, however, is still evident in its essential purpose, its art, and its layout. Different portions of the 19th-century market were designated for selling meat, fruits, vegetables, and dry goods, as well as specific areas for black and Native American vendors; the divisions you can see today – retail here, restaurants there, flea market there – reflect these old boundaries. And while today’s buildings were primarily constructed by the WPA in 1936-7, some of the 19th-century structures are still present.
Even beyond the French Quarter, small markets were once fixtures and organizing points for many New Orleans neighborhoods. Some are gone without a trace – one that ran along the median of Poydras Street, for example, now the hub of the city’s skyscrapers – while others, like the St. Roch Market, still function in some form. Of all of them, the French Market has been the most durable.
This post is about City Park, one of New Orleans’ hidden gems, offering a mixture of nature, food, art, and entertainment. Here we offer a self-guided tour you can use to explore the park by foot, bike or car.
City Park has been a public space for New Orleans residents and visitors since 1854, when the land, formerly belonging to the Allard Plantation, was given to the city. Most of its better-known attractions cluster near the southern corner of the rectangle – the part closest to the French Quarter. The tour focuses on that portion, with some notes on further-flung sites added at the end.
The park preserves a sense of south Louisiana’s natural state, conveniently located in the middle of the city. Natural highlights include Bayou Metairie, which captures the ambiance of local wetlands; the Botanical Gardens, which feature a wide variety of regional plants and garden styles; and the Couturie Forest, a nature preserve. Louisiana’s distinctive greenery is everywhere – huge Southern live oaks with their drooping Spanish moss, bald cypress trees with their unusual prominent roots we call “knees,” and fan-shaped saw palmetto. Birders love the park for the variety of waterfowl and other rarely seen birds it attracts. Many parts of the park include identifying placards to help you understand what you’re seeing, in terms of both animal (including alligators) and plant life.
Art is also heavily featured in the park, with the city’s largest art museum (the New Orleans Museum of Art), the free Besthoff Sculpture Garden, and an assortment of 1930s sculptures and statues added by the WPA. The Museum and the Morning Call Coffee Stand located beside it both host live music on some occasions. Morning Call also adds a food and drink dimension to the park, as do restaurants located inside the museum and amusement park. Other forms of entertainment, like a theme park for kids, a miniature train ride around the park, and an annual December lights display can add to the fun.
This post is a review of San Francisco Plantation with info on tickets, tours and an online review analysis. Known for its distinctive variation in architecture, San Francisco Plantation is a spectacle on the Great River Road. Spectators have described it as a giant layered cake or a Mississippi riverboat from a distance. The land was first owned by a free man of color before being sold off to multiple buyers throughout history. Today San Francisco Plantation is a National Historic Landmark frozen in its golden days and serves as a museum and event facility.
How to Get Here
For those unable to provide your own transportation, there are several tour companies/charters that provide roundtrip services for the San Francisco Plantation tour.
This post is a review of Houmas Plantation with info on tickets, tours and an online review analysis. Considered the “Crown Jewel” of Louisiana’s River Road, Houmas House features 8 buildings and one main structure across 38 acres of land. The plantation was first established in the 1700’s just outside Burnside Louisiana. Notably referred to as “The Sugar Palace”, at its peak the plantation produced a monumental 20 million pounds of sugar each year. There is even a tour that starts from New Orleans.