Things happen after dark in New Orleans. Think night events in art galleries, non-stop partying on Bourbon Street, and lively dinner jazz cruises on the Mississippi River – and even at the cemeteries. Bob Dylan wrote:
The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere…Around any corner, there’s a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going.
Want some exciting things to do after dark in The Big Easy? Here are 7:
1. Join a New Orleans Ghost Tour
Travel Channel listed New Orleans as one of the most haunted cities in America. The easy availability of daily ghost tours means that tourists have many options. If you like to try out free walking tours (you pay tips), check out Free Tours by Foot. Tours are available daily starting at 7:30 p.m. and you meet at the steps of St. Louis Cathedral. The walk is about a mile and the tour lasts about two hours.
If you prefer the comfort of being driven around in an air-conditioned van, join the popular Bloody Mary Ghost Tour. The three and a half hour tour includes group meeting at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar, driving past historic sites, visiting cemeteries and tombstones, ghost hunting, thrilling stories and more.
2. Enjoy Live Jazz at Preservation Hall
For jazz music lovers, no trip to New Orleans is complete without visiting the historic Preservation Hall. Go for an authentic experience of a live jazz concert inside a non-air-conditioned and packed room.
Nightly shows are available for an audience of all ages at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
3. Stroll on Bourbon Street
According to New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, it is Fat Tuesday every day of the week on Bourbon Street. And did you know it is legal to drink on the streets in New Orleans?
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is known for its bars, restaurants, shops and clubs. The street is electrifying after dark and if you are looking for a historic bar, go to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in America.
4. Late Night Eats
Unlike many cities in America, late night eats are available in New Orleans – from sit-down full-course meals to take-out orders. New Orleans Official Guide has a list of recommended places for late night eats. Here are 5 of our picks:
- Hoshun on St. Charles Avenue
- Coop’s Place on Decatur Street
- Cafe du Monde on Decatur Street
- Down the Hatch on Sophie Wright Place
- Verti Marte on Royal Street
5. Safari After Dark Camp Out
Fall Safari After Dark Camp for families are available from October to December at the Audubon Zoo. However this activity is not open for children under 5. Experience the wonders of nature at night, get a behind-the-scenes tour, and join in the fun of night hikes, craft making, fireside activities and animal encounters.
More information: Safari After Dark
6. Join a Pub Crawl
A guided pub crawl will give you ample opportunities to meet people from around the world who are out for a good time just like you. Each evening event includes two guides, drinks and entrance fees in five bars, clubs and lounges, free pizza and lots of fun.
More information: Pub Crawl
7. Dinner Jazz Cruise on Steamboat Natchez
For a slow and relaxing evening, book an evening dinner jazz cruise on Steamboat Natchez, New Orleans’ famous steamboat. Catch the view of the city from the Mississippi River, enjoy a casual buffet-style dinner, stroll on the decks and enjoy live jazz music on board.
Travel tips to help you plan your trip to New Orleans
- Should you fly or drive? Use Travelmath’s Fly or Drive Calculator to help you calculate the cost to fly or drive.
- Or should you take the bus or the train? Use Travelmath’s Bus or Train Calculator to help you decide.
- Take a look at this New Orleans mileage chart.
- Find out the airlines flying to New Orleans.
- Where to stay in New Orleans. Check out the list of hotels.