Sunset Girl Jackson Square | Loews New Orleans
New Orleans

Your summer travel plans don’t have to break the bank. And it’s certainly easier when you have a friend to show you around to help you take it easy on your pocketbook. Now look at you: suddenly worry-free and ready to explore! And why? Because we’re that friend, and we’re here to show you a kickin’ good time with these Top 10 Free Things To Do in the Crescent City.

Jackson Square | Loews New Orleans


1.  French Quarter & St. Louis Cathedral

The ornate, iron balconies, the smell of sugary, fried beignets, mule-drawn carriages, magicians and street performers fill Jackson Square with color and life. The French Quarter is an attraction all its own, with no admission fee. Stop inside the (air-conditioned) stunning St. Louis Cathedral on the west side of the square for a complete departure into an oasis of reverent silence.

Jean Lafitte Park | Loews New Orleans


2.  Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve

A short 17-mile drive from the city center and BAM — you’re in the bayou. You might even catch an alligator basking in the sunshine as you explore these lush Louisiana marshes and wetlands.

Art Girl | Loews New Orleans


3.  Julia Street Art Stroll

The Arts District is chock full of incredible art galleries in which to linger — and most don’t have an entrance fee. Take a stroll down Julia Street and find one that tickles your fancy.

Cemetery | Loews New Orleans


4.  Ghost Hunt at a Cemetery

These beautiful cemeteries offer a glimpse into New Orleans history with their iconic stone crypts and mausoleums. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, St. Patrick’s Cemetery No. 2, St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 are all open to the public with free admission.

St. Charles Mansion | Loews New Orleans


5.  Shop for Mansions in the Garden District

More like window-shopping, if we’re honest. But hey, if you have the means, one of these beauties would be a great place to call home. If you’re a regular plebeian like myself, you’ll enjoy the view from the sidewalk and admiring the architectural magnificence of these historic homes from afar. If your soles are aching and you need a sit-down, splurge and pay the $1.25 for a streetcar ride down St. Charles Ave.

City Skyline on MS | Loews New Orleans


6.  The Riverfront & a Ferry Ride*

Okay, so the ferry isn’t exactly free*. But it is only $2 to get you to the west bank of the river where you can explore historic Algiers Point. And there’s a stellar view of the city skyline from over there as well. Otherwise, find a bench along the Riverfront and watch the barges and riverboats traverse the muddy Mississip’.

Blue Nile | Loews New Orleans


7.  Catch Live Music on Frenchmen

Most of the jazz clubs and music venues along this strip don’t have a cover charge, so listen for what sounds good and step inside for a foot-tappin’ good time.

Sunset on Lake | Loews New Orleans


8.  Watch the Sunset on the Lakefront

Get your feet wet and enjoy the golden hour along the edges of Lake Ponchartrain.

City Park Oak Tree | Loews New Orleans


9.  Have a Picnic at City Park

Take your pick from this 1,300-acre spread of luxurious and tranquil green space, featuring bike trails, walking trails, kayaking and boating on the lake, the Botanical Gardens and even a small amusement park. If you need me, I’ll be reading under that oak tree over there.

Mardi Gras | Loews New Orleans


10.  Find a FREE Festival

The Fried Chicken Festival, Beignet Festival, Oak Street Po-Boy Festival and the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival all offer free admission, just to name a few. We always have a party going on somewhere, and normally you don’t have to look very far to find the fun.