If you're counting your vacation dollars closely, you've come to the right spot. They don't call Mardi Gras "the Greatest Free Show on Earth" or New Orleans "the Big Easy" for nothing.
Named after two of its former residences, Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and author Frances Parkinson Keyes, this 1826 mansion is a perfect example of a New Orleans raised center hall house. With a $10 admission fee, this tour will open the doors to one of the National Registry of Historic Places.
113 Charters St. www.bkhouse.org
Built in 1795 as the seat of the Spanish municipal government, the Cabildo became the site of the Louisiana Purchase Transfer and the flagship building of the Louisiana State Museum. Admission is $6 to tour this famous building where the famous Slaughterhouse and Plessy vs. Ferguson cases were handed down.
701 Chartres St. www.crt.state.la.us
Café Du Monde
Powdered sugar on top of warm crispy beignets. What could be better in the morning? How about some café au lait! For just $5 get an order of three beignets at the World Famous coffee house.
1039 Decatur St. www.cafedumonde.com
Who doesn't love belting out "I Will Survive" at the top of their lungs? Known as the "Worlds Greatest Karaoke Bar," the Cat's Meow on Bourbon is free for all those American Idol-wannabes.
701 Bourbon St. catskaraoke.com
Contemporary Arts Center
Come admire the 10,000 square feet of modern gallery space provided by the CAC. Just $5 will open up a world of cultural exhibits, performances and amazing programs!
900 Camp St. www.cacno.org
Dueling Pianos at Pat O's
Request your favorite song and watch the dueling pianos go at it! Admission is free, but it wouldn't be a trip to the Big Easy without Pat O'Brien's famous Hurricane drink!
728 St. Peter St. www.patobriens.com
Fair Grounds Race Course
Experience the thrill of live thoroughbred racing at the New Orleans Fair Grounds from early November to late March. Grand stand admission is free!
1751 Gentilly Blvd. www.fairgroundsracecourse.com
Journey into the home once owned by literary genius, William Faulkner. Discover where "The Sound and the Fury," and "As I Lay Dying" was written. With free admission, there is time to discover a story in every room.
624 Pirate Alley
Every season is festival season in New Orleans. French Quarter Fest, Satchmo SummerFest, Po-Boy Preservation Festival, Wednesdays at the Square and, of course, Mardi Gras are all free to attend.
Free Tours by Foot
Free Tours by Foot is pleased to present the only FREE, tip based walking tours of the French Quarter and Garden District. These interesting and informative sightseeing tours will take you through many of New Orleans's legendary neighborhoods and cemeteries. Reservations are required: (504) 222-2967www.freetoursbyfoot.com
The six historic blocks of the unique Flea Market and recently renovated Farmers Market is free for all to discover the district. Whatever it is you're looking for, you'll find it at the French Market!
French Quarter Guided Tour
Tour the only European-style city in the U.S. at your own pace. Free French Quarter Guided Tour Brochures can be found at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Nineteenth Century esteemed New Orleans architect, James Gallier, Jr, was one of the most prominent architects of his time. For only $10, enjoy a stroll though Gallier's Victorian home that captures the style of a successful urban designer in post-Civil War New Orleans.
1132 Royal St. www.hgghh.org
Stroll along New Orleans historic Garden District. Take a step back into time as you admire the unique culture, including Lafayette Cemetery #1, one of the most beautiful city cemeteries.
One of the most significant residences in New Orleans, the Hermann-Grima House accurately represents the fabulous lifestyle of a wealthy Creole family prior to the Civil War. For $10 walk through this elegant mansion, and experience the Golden Age of New Orleans.
820 Saint Louis St. www.hgghh.org
Jackson Square Artists
What better way to capture the smile of the one you love than through the talents of a Jackson Square artist!
Stroll along Bourbon, Frenchmen and Fulton, where jazz pours onto the street, or duck into a club for the full experience. Many clubs don't even charge a cover!
For just $5 you can find out why the locals feel so lucky! For eating on the run, find an authentic Lucky Dog vendor in the French Quarter, and Jackson Square!
Whether you are looking for antiques, art work, the latest styles, or even a wedding dress, Magazine Street is the perfect place to start your window-shopping!
New Orleans School of Glassworks and Printmaking Studio
As the south's largest studio of contemporary art, make time to take a glassblowing, stained glass, or even printmaking class! Stop in for daily free demonstrations and window shop for unique gifts!
727 Magazine St. www.neworleansglassworks.com
Walk among the centuries- old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park.
For only $5 you can visit the very first pharmacy in the U.S. Learn how the Pharmacy Museum showcases its extensive collection and provides education to preserve the history of Louisiana pharmacy and healthcare.
541 Charter St. www.pharmacymuseum.org
Discover part of the Louisiana State Museum. The Presbytere, designed in 1791, was initially used for commercial purpose, and then became a courthouse in 1847. Neighboring the Cabildo and Cathedral, for just $6, explore this once residence of the Capuchin monks.
751 Charters St. www.crt.state.la.us
Originally built as a private residence in 1750, Preservation Hall has become a World Famous musical venue in the French Quarter founded in 1961 to protect and honor New Orleans Jazz. For $12 watch jazz legends play on the stage that was once shared by Louis Armstrong.
726 St. Peter St. www.preservationhall.com
Preservation Resource Center
Like what you see in New Orleans? Take a hands-on approach to preserve the history and rich culture through the Preservation Resource Center. It's free to volunteer your time to renovate houses, work on the PRC newspaper or help with Operation Comeback!
923 Tchoupitoulas St. www.prcno.org
Window shop at the Riverwalk, which houses nationally and locally-known shops. Enjoy the Mighty Mississippi, taste beignets, and groove to some local jazz as you shop!
1 Poydras St. www.riverwalkmarketplace.com
Roman Candy Wagon
For just .75, you can bite into a tasty bit of history. Roman Candy Wagons travel all over the city selling flavorful taffee on a stick. The horse drawn business has remained true to its roots since 1915.
For a $1.25 you can travel the13 miles of the streetcar route and back in time!
This is New Orleans! Of course we have street performers on almost every corner in the French Quarter! Check out Jackson Square, Royal, Frenchmen and Bourbon Streets for a foot-stomping good band! Don't forget to tip!
St. Louis Cathedral
The large Catholic population of New Orleans gave rise to breathtaking churches such as the St. Louis Cathedral. It is free to enter and admire the oldest running Cathedral in the U.S.
615 Pere Antoine Alley www.stlouiscathedral.org"Voluntourist"
It costs nothing but a big heart to volunteer in the Big Easy. Just a few hours of volunteering can make a lasting impact on New Orleans.