fat catzCredit: creativecommons.org/Beadmobile

Thomas Jefferson paid $15 million for the entire Louisiana Territory, or about four cents an acre. That means New Orleans went for about seven bucks. More than 200 years later, New Orleans is still a great deal. Here are 30 things to do for free in the Big Easy...

1. Get Jazzed

Stroll along Bourbon or Frenchmen, where jazz pours out onto the street or duck into a few clubs for the full experience.

2. Dive Deeper Into Musical Heritage

New Orleans Jazz National Historic Parkcreativecommons.org/Chris Waits

After you’ve heard your fair share of jazz, learn about its roots at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park.

3. Browse Art

It seems like you can find art in every corner of New Orleans. Check out the galleries on Julia and Royal Streets, the Mid-City and Bywater art markets and the Jackson Square vendors.

4. Go To The Park

Audubon Parkcreativecommons.org/Infrogmation of New Orleans

Walk among the centuries-old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park.

5. Take In A Free Festival

Through free summer festivals such as Vieux-To-Do and Satchmo Summerfest, explore the history of New Orleans and understand the culture of this unique city.

6. Immerse Yourself In New Orleans’ History

Stop by The Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street for a crash course on the city’s history, which spans almost 300 years.

7. Enjoy The Neighbourhood

Faubourg Marignycreativecommons.org/Infrogmation of New Orleans

Spend an hour people-watching at a coffee shop in the Faubourg Marigny, voted one of America's ‘10 Great Neighbourhoods’.

8. Bike Along The Levee

Rent a bike and go for a ride along the levee while taking in the sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River.

9. Oysters At Le Bon Temps Roule

Head Uptown to this Magazine Street club on Fridays for free oysters as you listen to the funk sounds of Joe Krown.

10. Shop For Mansions On St Charles Avenue

St Charles Avenuecreativecommons.org/Alaskan Dude

Come on! You don’t have to be in the market to appreciate these jewels on the Avenue.

11. View The Architecture Of The French Quarter

Stumble upon wrought-iron balconies, a cornstalk fence or a hidden courtyard.

12. Get In Touch With Nature

Just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans you can immerse yourself in Louisiana’s rich ecological treasures — swamps, forests and marshland.

13. Catch A Free Show At Tipitina’s

Tipitina’screativecommons.org/Infrogmation of New Orleans

This uptown venue pays homage to the jazz legend Professor Longhair with free shows on Fridays during the summer months.

14. See Fulton Street

Stroll through the Fulton Street promenade, home to outdoor cafes, one-of-a-kind stores, Harrah's Hotel and open-air concerts and festivals.

15. Celebrate The Ambiance Of The Roosevelt

The Rooseveltcreativecommons.org/Infrogmation of New Orleans

A $145 million historic restoration added 504 rooms to New Orleans' hotel inventory, along with 60,000 square feet of event and meeting space.

16. Hang Your Business Card At The Old Absinthe House

Leave your mark on New Orleans by adding your business card to the wall of one of Bourbon Street’s oldest bars.

17. Spend Saturday Morning At The Farmers’ Market

Learn about New Orleans’ cuisine at free cooking demonstrations at the Crescent City Farmers’ Market.

18. Check Out The Louisiana Superdome

The Louisiana Superdome, with its multi-million dollar renovation, is a premier venue for major conventions and sporting events, including Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

19. Haunt ‘Cities of the Dead’

St Louis Cemetery No. 1creativecommons.org/Cliff

Visit the famous above-ground tombs at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District or St Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street, which is believed to be final resting place of Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. Knock three times on her crypt and make a wish.

20. Take Yourself On A Literary Tour

See where Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate’s Alley), Truman Capote (711 Royal), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon), Walker Percy (1820 Milan) and Anne Rice (1239 First) lived.

21. Jam At ‘Wednesday At The Square’

During the spring and summer months, the Young Leadership Council hosts free concerts in Lafayette Square featuring some of the hottest local acts.

22. Ride The River

The free Canal Street ferry offers some of the best views of the New Orleans skyline and drops you in historic Algiers.

23. Be Moved By Spectacular Churches

The large Catholic population of New Orleans gave rise to breathtaking churches such as St Louis Cathedral, St Augustine and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

24. Discover The Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The Besthoff Sculpture Gardencreativecommons.org/Bart Everson

Located amid the beauty of City Park, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden features one of the most impressive collections of contemporary sculpture in America.

25. Be A ‘Voluntourist’

Though New Orleans is thriving, there are parts of the city that could still use some help following Hurricane Katrina. Just a few hours of volunteering can leave a lasting impact.

26. Walk And Talk

Network with thousands of people in one of the world's most walkable cities.

27. Room With A View

Soak up the views of the French Quarter, Warehouse District and Central Business District from your newly-renovated hotel room.

28. Savour The Aroma

Savour the smells of more than 1,000 restaurants as you walk the streets of the French Quarter and Riverfront.

29. Explore A World Class Venue

Browse the exhibit hall in a Convention Center that has undergone million of dollars in renovations.

30. The Sound Of The Streetcar

St Charles streetcarcreativecommons.org/Chris Waits

Listen to the rattle of the historic streetcar and know that you're truly someplace different. Where else would you rather be?

 

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