8 Off-the-Beaten Path Attractions

Whether you've already seen all the mainstream tourist attractions or just want to skip the crowds on Bourbon Street, New Orleans has plenty of unique - and unusual - places to sightsee. Try some of these unexpected attractions and discover an entirely different side of the Big Easy.

1. Urban Kayaking
It may seem a bit unusual to spend a day kayaking through New Orleans, but the historic Bayou St. John provides an ideal trail for seeing the sights and getting a feel for the city. Paddle through a number of neighborhoods and past the Spanish Custom House, the historic Pitot House, City Park and St. Louis Cemetery No. 3. Each tour lasts an average of four hours and gives visitors a fun way to explore, exercise and enjoy New Orleans' serene setting among waterways.

2. Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Art aficionados might flock to the New Orleans Museum of Art, but they often miss out on the nearby sculpture garden, located in scenic City Park. Spend the afternoon in this urban sanctuary, and walk among towering pines, mossy oaks and blooming magnolia trees while viewing more than 57 sculptures created by artists from across the globe. If you're planning to spend the afternoon, pack a picnic and sit on one of the grassy banks or benches near the City Park Lagoon or Cascade Garden Pool.

3. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
We've all got a bit of morbid curiosity in us. Satisfy yours with a visit to the first licensed apothecary shop in the United States, which is now the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. On a one-hour guided tour, you can learn about the history of pharmacy while viewing artifacts such as apothecary jars, medical instruments and antiquated equipment - and oddly fascinating items such as preserved leeches and voodoo potions.

4. Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans Cultural Center and Collection
With its Afro-Caribbean heritage, mysterious swamplands and prevalence of voodoo culture, New Orleans is steeped in magic and lore. Visit this cultural center in the French Quarter, where you can shop for potion oils, voodoo dolls and spell-casting supplies, as well as get a spiritual consultation and reading.

5. Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
If live gaming sounds exciting, don't miss the action at the Fair Grounds, located about 10 minutes from the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans. Place your bets on sleek, muscular horses, and watch with anticipation as they careen down the racetrack. If playing slots sounds more appealing, take your pick from more than 600 slot machines, as well as Wheel of Fortune games.

6. New Orleans African American Museum
Get a unique glimpse into the rich history of Afro-Caribbean culture and its impact on New Orleans. Located in the Tremé district, the country's oldest African American neighborhood, this multi-faceted museum is home to seven historic buildings, a beautiful garden, well-curated exhibits, African American art, handcrafted furniture and Mardi Gras Indian artifacts. Sign up for a group tour to explore the museum and its historic neighborhood.

7. Original New Orleans Movie Tour
Movie buffs will love this interactive adventure, which integrates the magic of cinema with notable New Orleans landmarks. Inside the tour van, you'll munch on popcorn and watch video clips on the monitors - and then visit more than 30 actual filming sites from classic films like King Creole and A Streetcar Named Desire to modern-day flicks like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Ray.

8. Longue Vue House and Gardens
Tucked away on the western edge of the city is New Orleans' best kept secret garden! Longue Vue boasts eight-acres of stunning gardens that include extensive plant collections of camellia, the Louisiana iris, native plants and other horticultural delights. Open year-round, Longue Vue is the perfect treasure for garden enthusiasts and casual visitors to discover.

Upcoming Events

|

"Organ and Labyrinth"…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for  "Organ and Labyrinth" and Candlelight with Albinas… more

25th Annual New…

Oct 21 - 23, 2014
The New Orleans Film Festival- Louisiana's only industry-recognized film… more

Kinder Garden: Creepy…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Oct 21 - 28, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Standing in the…

Oct 21 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (no more)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

Standing in the…

Oct 21 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (No More)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

THE GUANTÁNAMO PUBLIC…

Oct 21 - 30, 2014
This traveling exhibit examines the history of the U.S. naval base in… more

The Mysterious…

Oct 21 - Nov 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

The Victory Belles…

Oct 21 - Nov 19, 2014
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Oct 21, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

Tommy Castro & the…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for live entertainment  at the Maple Leaf Bar featuring Tommy… more

Tricks... Treats...…

Oct 21 - Nov 8, 2014
Kids won't want to miss this strange tour when we pull away the mask and see… more

"America's Wartime…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Known for close harmonies, synchronized dance steps, and exuberant performances… more

GALATOIRE’S 33 BAR &…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Galatoire's 33 Bar & Steak will present a beer dinner featuring New Belgium… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Oct 22 - Nov 26, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Lagniappe…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Join local author Sally Asher as she discusses her new book Hope and New… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring YOJIMBO. more

The Ritz-Carlton, New…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans and NOLA Brewing Company have joined forces to… more

White Glove Wednesdays

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
It's one thing to read on an exhibit label that an infantryman's pack in World… more

31st Annual Halloween…

Oct 23 - 26, 2014
Join us for the 31st annual Halloween New Orleans, a weekend-long LGBT… more

"Organ and Labyrinth"…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for  "Organ and Labyrinth" and Candlelight with Albinas… more

Guidebook