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5 Fall Activities to Do in New Orleans (NOLA Things to Do in the Autumn)


Many people visit New Orleans in the spring for Mardi Gras, but fall can be just as fun. Here are some of the best fall activities to do in New Orleans.

New Orleans is one of the best US travel destinations year-round, but the city is especially fun to visit during the fall. While people wearing rows of metallic beads and feathered masks might not be lining the streets like they do in the springtime, there are several incredible attractions and activities to experience in the autumn.

Bourbon Street New Orleans NOLA
Crowd walking on Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. Taken by NICO BHLR via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Whether you’re a foodie who wants to get a taste of the city or you’re ready to get into the spooky holiday spirit…

Here are some of the best fall activities to do in New Orleans.

1. Go to a Music Festival

If Mardi Gras is any indication, New Orleans knows how to put on a good festival. Regardless of your taste in music, you’re likely to find a festival in New Orleans that’s perfect for you. One of the largest music festivals in the city is the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, a three-day festival that features vibrant costumes, live music, and dance parties. This year, Guns N’ Roses, Post Malone, and Beck will headline it. Another popular fall music festival in New Orleans is Praise Fest, where local musicians embrace the city’s tradition of gospel and other types of Christian music.

2. Experience a Food Festival

If you’re looking for a taste of the city, fall is a great time to visit—especially October. Throughout the month, a variety of food festivals feature tasty treats ranging from sweet to savory. Depending on your taste, you can try French-style doughnuts at the Beignet Festival (October 5), savory barbeque at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival (October 18-20), or cheesy mac at the Mac n’ Cheese Fest (October 12).

Street Jazz, French Quarter in New Orleans
French Quarter in New Orleans. Taken by J. Francisco via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

3. Take a Photography Tour

Fall in the Deep South creates some of the most photogenic conditions, such as misty mornings and stunningly vibrant leaves. As such, autumn is the perfect time to go on a photo tour. Take advantage of the area’s natural landscapes by going on a Louisiana cypress swamp tour, or take a stroll through scenic locations in the city.

By the way, if visiting New Orleans, read our guide on how to pack light before you go!

4. Witness a Saints Game

If you’re a football fan, consider catching a New Orleans Saints game. You can watch the state’s NFL team play at the massive Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which spans 13 acres and is 27 stories tall. The field has been home to the Saints since 1975. This year, you can watch the team play at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 6 and again on October 27 against the Arizona Cardinals. They’ll also be playing at home on November 10 and 24.

5. Get Into the Halloween Spirit

New Orleans takes Halloween very seriously. To help people get into the holiday spirit, the city hosts a variety of fun events and attractions throughout the month of October. Popular Halloween-themed attractions include the Scout Island Scream Park, the Mortuary, the New Orleans Nightmare, the LGBT Halloween Celebration, and New Orleans’ official Halloween parade—the Krewe of Boo Parade. If you visit the city on Halloween night, put on a costume and head to one of the neighborhood street parties on Frenchmen or Decatur Street.

Rebecca Sippel
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Rebecca Sippel
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