New Orleans in March is a beautiful sight to see. The weather’s warming up and people are making the most of the sunshine, cool nights, and the chance to enjoy some of the best Cajun cuisine to be found anywhere. If you decide to visit the city in March, it won’t be a matter of whether there’s anything to do. Whatever your preferences, there’s always something to do, see, and visit. To help you get started, here are nine things to check out once you find your ideal place to stay.
Finding the Right Type of Accommodations
New Orleans is not lacking options for place to stay. Along with homeowners who are willing to rent out rooms or entire homes, motels, and hotels, there are also hostels to consider. Taking the time to explore each one may allow you to find a true treasure of an accommodation.
Take the Selina New Orleans for example. Also known as the Selina Catahoula New Orleans, this 35-room boutique motel is conveniently located near the French Quarter. The ambiance is one of relative intimacy and is certainly a solid base of operations for exploring everything that New Orleans has to offer.
- Mardi Gras
Who doesn’t associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans in the spring? If you’re lucky, this celebration will take place during the early part of March, but don’t make any assumptions. Traditionally, Mardi Gras begins 47 days before Easter. Depending on how the calendar aligns during any given year, that means the celebration may get underway any time between February 3 and March 9.
If you do get lucky and Mardis Gras begins in March, there are also sorts of concerts, parades, street food, and special amusements to enjoy. Dress up as just about anything you like, but do expect to see quite a few kings, queens, court jesters, and other fun figures as you make your way around town.
Mardi Gras occurs just before Ash Wednesday, which is the opening of the season of Lent. It’s intended to be a time to celebrate, enjoy rich foods, and in general prepare for a period in which Christians traditionally turned attention to a more austere way of living in preparation for the Holy Week that occurs between Palm Sunday and Easter. That’s why you’re likely to find just about any type of celebration for Mardi Gras that interests and delights you.
- Take In a Concert
Music is in the air during March. You’ll find opportunities to attend a number of outdoor concerts by local soloists, bands, and orchestras. There are also touring companies that swing through the city in March, some of them including shows bound for Broadway, or shows with off-Broadway casts. Along with wonderful classical jazz, do expect to find just about every musical genre that one can imagine.
- Time for Sports
Basketball is big during the month of March. There are always plenty of NCAA and NBA games to take in. The Pelicans normally have a full schedule for the month and you can also take in a few Tulane Green Wave Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball events throughout the month.
If basketball isn’t your thing, maybe baseball will work. The LSU Tigers usually have several home series during March, with the games taking place at the Alex Box stadium in nearby Baton Rouge.
- Spend Some Time in the French Quarter
There’s always plenty to do in the French Quarter. There are walking tours that allow you to enjoy the beautiful architecture and learn more about the city’s history. Stop whenever you like for a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink. At night, there are plenty of clubs to enjoy. It’s easy to go from a quiet drink at a piano bar to a dance club or to a club with some of the best jazz in the city.
- Go on a Ghost Tour
If ghosts are something that you want to learn more about, there are all sorts of tours of haunted spots around the city. Visit mansions, the homes of famous individuals who are said to have practiced voodoo or other dark arts, and even hotels and other public buildings where the spirits of the dead are said to linger. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, many of the stories surrounding these places will likely give you a little bit of a chill.
- Don’t Forget the Cemetery Tours
While the French Quarter is home to cemeteries, don’t overlook other parts of the city. The Garden District also boasts of cemeteries with some colorful and well-known figures from the past. Along with being able to visit these sites during the day, there are also New Orleans Cemetery Night Tours to consider. Those may add just the right amount of spine-tingling action to make them truly exciting.
- Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day takes place on March 17, although the date is sometimes moved. In any event, the celebrations are not confined to a single day. There’s usually at least one parade on the day proper, with other parades and celebrations taking place in different parishes. In fact, the celebrations may continue all the way into April.
- Take in the Creole Queen Jazz Cruise
This evening event requires advance reservations, but it’s a chance to step back into time and enjoy a beautiful evening. The Creole Queen is a paddlewheeler that hearkens back to the days when such vessels were commonly used to move along the Mississippi River. Enjoy a bountiful Creole buffet that’s all you can eat.
Along the way, there are jazz bands that provide the perfect setting for dancing cheek to cheek as well as breaking out into joyous dancing. There are even likely to be some changes to sing along with the band. When you need a break, step out onto the deck and enjoy the breezes that cool the night air and spend some time gazing at the stars.
- Grab the Family and Go to the Audobon Nature Institute
What’s at the Institute? There’s the Zoo, home to the Soul Fest. There will be jazz, R&B, and brass bands that you can enjoy for hours. Earth Fest with it’s exhibits and open air shops is also worth a look. Don’t forget to spend some time at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium while you’re in town.
There are two points that will make your time in New Orleans even better. Do consider investing in what’s known as a tourist pass. That pass will allow you access to a number of places without having to pay additional fees. You also want to ask one of the staff at the hostel for some tips on local places to go that are a little off the usual tourist path. You’re likely to discover some wonderful places to eat as well as some clubs that only the locals usually know about.
Forget about trying to see it all during a single trip to New Orleans. Even if you’re there for the entire month of March, there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to take it all in. See what you can and plan on coming back again next year. You’ll be glad that you did.