New Orleans is the perfect destination for a fun-filled Memorial Day holiday weekend. The best way to celebrate the last Monday of May is by participating in all of the events, delicious creole food, and live music throughout this vibrant city.
Whether you’re looking to explore or disconnect from the busy modern world and relax, this article outlines the top fun things and Memorial Day events that will make your weekend unforgettable!
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Is May a good time to go to New Orleans?
May is one of the best months to visit New Orleans. Not only are there a number of festivals and events throughout the entire month, but New Orleans also is not in hurricane season. Good weather, Snowball season, and delicious food is the best way to spend a long weekend in May. Summer is also a good time to find a cheaper vacation to New Orleans.
1. Take a stroll through the French Quarter and explore the unique architecture.
Every trip to New Orleans this summer is complete with checking out the historic French Quarter! Walk down Royal Street to find art galleries and antique shops, explore the shops and restaurants on Decatur Street, or grab a late-night beignet at Cafe du Monde.
In the heart of the French Quarter, you can visit Jackson Square, and along the banks of the Mississippi river, see the famous St. Louis Cathedral. This iconic building is open daily for self-guided cathedral tours, and as the oldest cathedral in North America, it’s well worth a visit!
2.. Visit the Chalmette Battlefield
If you find yourself in New Orleans this Memorial Day weekend, pay a visit to the Chalmette National Cemetery and Battlefield to learn about the Battle of New Orleans. This memorial to those who lost their lives during the war of 1812 is a solemn reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by military members for our freedom.
3. Spend an afternoon in City Park and visit the world-famous New Orleans Museum of Art.
With over 1300 acres of green spaces, City Park is the perfect place for a family reunion, picnic, or outdoor fun. It’s also home to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, making it an ideal place for art lovers.
The Sculpture Garden is one of our favorite Free and Cheap things to do in New Orleans, make sure to click to read more!
4. Check out one of the many live music venues to hear some great jazz or blues.
There are plenty of live music options in New Orleans on Memorial Day Weekend. Three of the best places to visit for live entertainment are the Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen Street, Preservation Hall near the cathedral, and House of Blues New Orleans on Decatur Street.
5. Spend an afternoon visiting The National World War II Musuem
The National World War II Museum is a must-stop for history buffs visiting New Orleans during Memorial Day Weekend. Explore interactive exhibits, watch rare films from the era, or learn about Pearl Harbor in this museum dedicated to those who served the United States during a time of war.
Don’t forget the traditional national moment of silence at 3 pm on Memorial Day as Americans everywhere remember those who have served and lost their lives defending our nation’s freedom during military conflicts throughout history.
You can make it a whole day by eating at the American Sector Restaurant.
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6. Have a picnic outdoors
One way to enjoy the three-day weekend before the summer heat fills all of New Orleans is to picnic! My favorite picnic spots include The Fly along the Mississippi River or hanging out on Bayou St. John.
Grab poboys from Parkway to kick off the summer season.
7. Enjoy some of New Orleans’ famous eateries and bars.
New Orleans is a food and drink lover’s paradise during Memorial Day Weekend. Start your day with an au lait at one of the city’s many coffee shops like Cafe du Monde, then explore the unique food experiences around town.
Treat yourselfy by trying some of New Orlean’s oldest restaurants in the city like Antoine’s or Tujague’s. You may even find a traditional crawfish boil being hosted over the weekend at a brewery or bar.
Afterward, head to one of the local wine bars for a rare selection of wines from Louisiana and across the world, or try any craft cocktails from bars around town.
8. Ride your bike down the Lafitte Greenway.
Who says you need to be lazy during a three-day weekend? Grab your bike, or rent a blue bike and bike down the Lafitte Greenway! This 2.6-mile bike path will get you from the French Quarter to City Park in no time. Can you ride all that way? Stop by (drink place) and grab yourself something frozen.
9. Head on over to Algiers Point
Cross over to the other side of the Mississippi River, either by Algiers Ferry or car, and explore Algiers Point! Discover delicious places to eat, drink and shop while taking in the view of downtown New Orleans.
New Orleans is a fun city no matter the holiday! Check out our guide on What to do during Mardi Gras, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween and Christmas! If you need more ideas on where to spend a long weekend in the United States check out this post!
10. Grab a Beer at Faubourg Brewing Co.
Grab some friends and an Uber or Taxi, and head out to Faubourg Brewing for a beer and some bites to eat! Even with the name change, Faubourg Brewery is one of Louisiana’s oldest breweries!
11. Check out some of the Spooky
New Orleans has a lot of deep-rooted history and haunted places – so why not check out some of the most haunted places in the city and Louisiana? You can take one of the many ghost tours and learn about many of the spookier places in New Orleans.
12. Visit some of the best shops in New Orleans.
Magazine Street is a 6-mile stretch from the Mississippi River up to Canal St. and contains an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and cafes that will keep you entertained the entire long weekend! Magazine St. is especially renowned for its unique retail stores where you can find memorable souvenirs and clothes.
13. Take a Hop on, Hop off
One of the best ways to get around town is the Hop on – Hop off bus. Even though many of the streets are too tiny for the busses to go down, you will go around the city’s perimeter. The enjoyable unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour will give you a glimpse of New Orleans.
14. Grab some BBQ
If you want to avoid barbeque, the next best thing is to grab some delicious BBQ. You can eat it at the restaurant, bring it home for the family to chow on, or bring it to your picnic. No matter What, you will need napkins.
My Favorite places to get Barbeque is Central City BBQ or Blue Oak BBQ.
15. Attend one of New Orleans’ famous festivals & events
Have a passion for Greek culture? Swing by the New Orleans Greek Festival on Bayou St. John over Memorial Day weekend. Get ready to feast your eyes (and stomach) on some mouth-watering, authentic Greek food and lively Greek dancing! You will even see a few hellenic dancers throughout the festival.
Hosted at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, it’s not one to be missed! Make sure you purchase the dessert box because you will want to bring some home to eat later! Greek Fest is super family-friendly, so make sure you bring the whole family out!
16. Use a Military Discount at some Museums and Attractions
As a thank you to service members, many places offer discounted admissions for the Military. Those museums include the New Orleans Jazz Museum, Vue Orleans, Presbytere, Odgen Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, Museum of Southern Jewish Experience, JAMNOLA, Louisiana’s Children’s Museum, and The Cabildo. The National WWII Museum offers World War II veterans free admission.
Where to stay during Memorial Day
If you are looking for a hotel to stay in, Reach out to Sunset Chasers Travel Agency to book your trip and itinerary! Their top recommendation is to stay at Virgin Hotels New Orleans or the Royal Sonesta New Orleans for the best Memorial Day experience.
New Orleans Travel Agents
Are you looking for a New Orleans local to plan your Trip to New Orleans?
Look no further than Sunset Chasers to create the perfect New Orleans Vacation package. The sisters are New Orleans Natives and can help you plan the perfect trip, from strolling down Magazine Street to shopping the art galleries on Royal Street.
Please do not waste your vacation days and fill them with travel days. Give Sunset Chasers a visit today! Tell them Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants sent you!
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