By Travel Ambassador Jessica Buck from Journeys With Jessica
The Big Easy is famed for many things; namely its wacky Mardi Gras parade, it’s strange voodoo history and its hangover inducing hurricane cocktails. However, away from its popular attractions and iconic trademarks, you’ll find a whole host of weird and wonderful things to do in the birthplace of Jazz music. Let’s take a look at just a few of them…
Attend the Mardi Gras Parade
One of the most iconic parades on the planet, the annual Mardi Gras takes place in New Orleans every year the day before Ash Wednesday and is a spectacle to behold. Also known as Fat Tuesday, the first reference to the event dates back to 1718 and is one of the best loved carnivals in American history. With colourful costumes, crazy dance routines and incredible live jazz music, Mardi Gras has become a cult event in the calendar and attracts thousands of tourists year after year.
Take A Ghost Tour
There's no better place to indulge in a paranormal experience than in New Orleans. Dubbed the capital of voodoo, and with strong links to all things spooky, this city is brimming with haunted houses and gruesome graveyards. Take part in a ghost tour and be led around some of the city's most notorious dark spots, including The Pharmacy Museum, the eerie St Louis cemetery and Lalaurie Mansion. Whatever you do, don't end up alone!
Visit The Abandoned Jazzland
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans was left battered and broken. The ever popular Six Flags Amusement was badly hit by the hurricane, sinking beneath the muddy waters and leaving behind nothing but metal frames and debris. Destroying everything in its path, Six Flags inevitably shut down but it's remains can still be seen if you fancy hopping over the fence to the abandoned Jazzland. Where else can you see smashed up clowns, muddy mermaids and voodoo dolls frozen in time? The abandoned Jazzland has attracted hundreds of explorers eager to discover the wreckage from Katrina, but, beware, it is illegal to visit these grounds so enter at your own peril!
Have A Drink At Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House
Situated in the historic French Quarter, this 200 year old bar has remained largely untouched since it was founded back in the 1800s. A battle between outlaw Jean Lafitte, a pirate working in and around the Gulf of Mexico, and general Andrew Jackson, who had come to New Orleans to prepare the city for the impending war of 1812, took place over the course of three weeks and ended when Lafitte's men defeated those of general Jackson. The bar, where absinthe is still served from the same water dripping fountains and where there are the same ornate furnishings and musty brick walls, very much looks the same now as it did all those years ago and has become something of an icon in the historic French quarter.
Listen to The Singing Oak
Located right in the heart of City Park, the Singing Oak is renowned for its enchanting tunes attracting tourists and locals day after day. With an array of wind chimes strung from the branches, all tuned to ring out in time, a harmonious symphony floats across the park and creates a beautiful calming melody. Tourists visit to listen to its enchanting tunes and it makes for an amusing afternoon out which is fun for all the family.
Have you ever visited New Orleans before? If you’re looking for quirky and alternative things to do, you’ve come to the right place by finding this article! These are just a few of the weird and wonderful things to do in NOLA, but we know there are many more crazy activities on offer in this unique city.