Any decent New Orleans itinerary will include jazz and beignets, but this enchanting city boasts so much more than that! As long-time fans of New Orleans, it’s no wonder we decided to bring the biggest outdoor travel festival for women to the heart of the city.
That’s right, Wanderful is going to New Orleans! Join us at Wanderfest from 12-13 March 2022…but plan to arrive early and stay late for a truly epic New Orleans experience.
This 5-day New Orleans itinerary will set you up for the most incredible, unforgettable trip for Wanderfest, or anytime! From history to dance, local cuisine to local tunes, follow our guide and we promise you’ll enjoy the true flavor of New Orleans.
Get all our New Orleans tips and resources:
- All about Wanderfest
- A Wanderfest-Inspired New Orleans Travel Gift Guide for Women
- Plan a Trip to New Orleans: Tips from 28+ Travel Experts
- 8 Reasons Beyond Mardi Gras You Need to Visit New Orleans
Craft Your New Orleans Itinerary
First, it’s important to know where to stay in New Orleans! It’s important to note that short-term rentals like Airbnb are illegal for whole-homes or homeowners within the boundaries of the French Quarter, so exercise caution if you choose to book.
We have a few top recommendations for your New Orleans stay to make your planning easier…
- Hostelling International New Orleans
- Hilton New Orleans Riverside
- New Orleans Marriott
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
After you figure out where you’re staying, it’s time to start planning your NOLA itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival, Voodoo, & Twerking!
Getting to New Orleans is easily done from a vast array of domestic routes. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (code MSY) is located just 11 miles outside the city. If you’re driving, be sure to check your accommodations’ parking options, especially if you’ll be staying in the French Quarter.
After checking into your accommodations, hit the town with an afternoon Voodoo Walking Tour. Learn all about one of New Orlean’s unique subcultures through its legends, folklore, and history. Follow voodoo’s roots from West Africa to the French Quarter to try to grasp the wonder of this city’s fascinating cultural history.
It’s the perfect introduction to New Orleans!
After learning so much, you might need to give your brain a break and move your body instead. Join Move Ya Brass for an evening twerking class on the banks of the Mississippi River. No experience required — just a willingness to learn something new and have fun!
After working up a sweat, you will surely have worked up an appetite, too. Go out and feast on the best of New Orleans.
We recommend you seek out Queen Trini Lisa in Mid-City or order online for an al fresco picnic.
Day 2: Get to Know NOLA & More
We recommend getting an early start to beat the inevitable crowds. First thing in the morning, grab your camera to snap those stunning architectural details that make New Orleans so famous.
Of course, it’s never a bad idea to order some extra beignets for those reels we know you’re making. You can’t skip the iconic Café du Monde and their legendary beignets.
If you’re joining us at Wanderfest, you can join the photo walk to learn new skills and get some great snaps!
After loading up your camera roll, it’s time for a deep dive into New Orleans’ history and culture. We have tons of recommendations for fantastic tours to take on your visit to New Orleans.
Here are some to consider for today…and then plan for the others on Day 4 of your New Orleans itinerary.
1. You could join Know NOLA Tours with Malik Bartholomew — a native seventh-generation New Orleanian who loves history, culture, and the people of New Orleans.
Malik’s tours give an honest and powerful story of the narrative of black people, women, and the natives of the land that we now call New Orleans and the culture that makes New Orleans the special place we love today.
As Malik says, “To Know NOLA is to Love NOLA” — we couldn’t agree more!
2. Another mid-day tour option is the New Orleans Daytime Cemetery Tour with NOLA Tour Guy. Mark Twain famously referred to New Orleans cemeteries as “cities of the dead” and they are a must-see for anyone visiting New Orleans.
3. Prefer a private, indoor tour option? We recommend you learn the history of Free People of Color in New Orleans at Le Musée de f.p.c.
This historic house museum is one of the few attractions in the United States dedicated exclusively to preserving the material culture of and telling the story of free people of color.
4. You could also take a walking tour with Our Sacred Stories, owned and operated by Denise Augustine, a 7th generation Creole storyteller.
Our Sacred Stories aims to leave you just as much in love with New Orleans as Denise is. Hear the lesser-known tales and history in this 90-minute walking tour.
5. We also love All Bout Dat Tours, especially their Black Heritage and Jazz Tour.
Join for a 2.5-hour city experience filled with honest truths, soulful jazz, and tons of chances to support Black-owned businesses for your souvenir shopping!
Following your afternoon of tours and learning, it’s time to experience the real New Orleans! Take a Mambo Nights Tour with Mardi Gras Mambo Tours (MGMT) to visit two gorgeous historic locations where you savor world-famous, authentic New Orleans cuisine, with an open bar and private burlesque show, too!
You’ll also get to experience a New Orleans second-line featuring the Mardi Gras (Black-Masking) Indians. Wrap up your day with this unique New Orleans tradition followed by a stop at Batture Bistro + Bar for New Orleans-inspired offerings that infuse classic well-known dishes with a Creole twist – and it’s only a few minutes walk from the Spanish Plaza, where Wanderfest is being held!
Day 3: Explore the Bayou & Unwind with Jazz
New Orleans might entice you with its food, music, and nightlife, but a true New Orleans itinerary must include a visit to the bayou!
Head out early for an all-day adventure with a Delta Discovery Boat Tour. You’ll explore the wilds of the Mississippi River Delta by traditional fishing boat led by a Louisiana native with a real, immersive experience of this extraordinary landscape.
Looking for a half-day adventure instead? We recommend a kayaking tour of the swamp to access areas of the bayou that motorboats can’t reach!
Both of these incredible adventures can be booked by Wanderfest attendees through AdventureTripr.
After an active day out, it’s time to unwind with some fantastic local tunes! We highly recommend you seek out Robin Barnes (the Songbird of New Orleans), The Original Pinettes all-woman brass band, or the fabulous Margie Perez.
If you’re attending Wanderfest, you’ll have the opportunity to see all three on the main stage over the weekend!
Day 4: More Eating, Learning, and Bouncing!
Start your day off right with a classic New Orleans brunch. A slow start to the day is well-deserved after your bayou adventure yesterday! For brunch spots, we recommend you tap into the hyper-local knowledge of these New Orleans creators:
- Traveler Broads
- Lynn Wesley Coleman
- Tracey Wiley
- Off the Eaten Path NOLA
Keep on learning! Take whichever tours you didn’t manage to squeeze in on Day 2 to dive deeper into local culture and history.
As on Day 2 of this New Orleans itinerary, we highly recommend you follow up lots of learning with lots of movement. And there’s no better way to move your body in New Orleans than to book a Bounce & Twerk Class with Marissa, aka Moe Joe.
After that, it’s time for more music and classic NOLA nightlife. Enjoy the cocktails (or enjoy NOLA sober), and definitely enjoy the local nightlife through live music.
Day 5: Yoga + a Fond Farewell to NOLA
On departure day, don’t rush out the door first thing in the morning. Instead, start your day with a yoga class at Magnolia Yoga Studio, the first Black-Owned yoga studio in Louisiana. there’s no better way to wrap up your New Orleans itinerary and head home feeling fabulous.
Of course, if you happen to grab a few more beignets for the road, we’ll totally understand. And on your way out if you happen to be flying out of New Orleans Lakefront Airport, stop by Messina’s Runway Cafe for some traditional New Orleans cuisine by Chef Leon West.
We hope this New Orleans itinerary is helpful. Book your tours, plan your activities, and don’t forget to let the good times roll!
Join us in New Orleans at Wanderfest!
Find out all about the world’s first outdoor travel festival for women and grab your tickets to join the fun! Explore the full schedule and list of available excursions, including many on this New Orleans itinerary.
We can’t wait to see you there.