Read my foodie Nola recap here.
Can you even with this gorgeous New Orleans scenery? I can't get over how lively and unique the city is. One of my favorite moments was when a street-playing jazz band serenaded me with the Happy Birthday song. In what other world does that happen??
The city plays host to so many delicious eateries that it's surprising how many other activities there are to do that don't involve eating. NOLA is full of rich culture and history and countlesss things to do. I can't wait to head back to Louisiana to experience it ALL. In the meantime, these are five of my favorite things to do in New Orleans that don't involve eating.
Shopping on Magazine Street
Eeek! Shopping! I'm sure it comes as no surprise, but shopping and I go way back. When I asked all of my friends what is one thing "non-touristy" that I should do when in Nola, they all said "Magazine Street." Don't mind if I do. This street is adorable. It's decked out with vintage shops, boutiques, and brunch spots that are to die for. The antique stores are fascinating, and I would have spent a lot more money in the boutiques if I hadn't just paid my car insurance *womp womp*. Magazine is quaint, fun, and a must-do when in Nola.
Jazz Clubs on Frenchmen Street
Speaking of MUSTS, can one go to New Orleans without a little jazz? Frenchmen Street is the place to be. I absolutely loved every minute it. We first stopped by The Spotted Cat, which was definitely happening but way too small and too crowded for my taste. We dipped into Blue Nile for a signature cocktail and some sultry blues, but it was kind of dead, so we walked over to Balcony Music Club. If The Spotted Cat was too crowded, and Blue Nile was too dead, BMC was jussssst right. The music was the perfect mix of jazzy tunes and 90s covers—could a girl ask for more? I also drank a couple of mudslides that were delicious and effective. Done drinking and hungry AF? The street is lined with plenty of restaurants for late night munching. Winner winner chicken dinner.
Hemline French Quarter
Obsessed doesn't begin to cover it. This is by far one of the chicest boutiques I've ever seen, and I don't give that compliment to just anybody. Everything from the gorgeous clothing to designer bags to the impeccable decor was perfect. And it doesn't hurt that they carry all of my favorite brands. Free People? Check. Show Me Your Mu Mu? Yep. Vanessa Mooney? Absolutely. If you're not heading the the Big Easy anytime soon, make sure you follow them on Instagram. You won't be sorry. (But your bank account might be.)
St. Louis Cathedral
The regality of this cathedral is overwhelming. The outer architecture is literally stunning, and the indoor ornate craftsmanship is unmatched. It almost took my breath away when we walked in. The love and respect inside the church was palpable. I personally love looking at all architecture, but I think churches are absolutely magnificent. This is one of the most majestic ones I have ever been inside of, and I'd recommend stopping in this place to anyone, religious or not.
The cemeteries in New Orleans are like a microcosm of the whole city: haunting, yet beautiful. After exploring downtown in the hot hot heat, we made out way to the mostly shaded Saint Louis Cemetery. We didn't stay for a tour, but we enjoyed exploring the land, reading the graves, and paying our respects to the resting place. It was definitely a little creepy, but it is a wonderfully authentic New Orleans experience. There are many famous cemeteries in the town, and I'm sure they all carry the same vibe.
I had so much fun on this trip! The only thing I regret not doing was a haunted tour. What are some of your favorite things to do in New Orleans? What are your must-sees when in town? Tell me in the comments!