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GoNOLA Guide to the Ultimate Spring Break

An unforgettable spring break awaits with these ideas.

Bayou Boogaloo in May is one of many spring festivals in New Orleans, but any day at the bayou is perfect for spring break. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Let our Ultimate Spring Break Guide help you plan a trip to New Orleans that you’ll never forget.

With amazing food, beautiful weather, live music, and festivals just about every weekend, a New Orleans spring break trip is anything but standard. NOLA has something to offer for all ages and personalities. Even better? You don’t have to blow your budget to have a good time. So while everyone else is doing the same beach or boozy cruise, you’ll be giving them FOMO with all of your pics of this extremely Instagrammable city.

Your Guide to Spring Break in NOLA

See & Do

Whether you’re 18 or 45, New Orleans has something for you. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Time Your Trip with a Spring Festival — March, April, and May are packed with spring festivals just about every weekend, and many of them, like St. Patrick’s Day Parades, French Quarter FestNOLA FoodFest, and Bayou Boogaloo are free to enter!

Check out BUKU Music + Art Project for a crazy time with your friends and the best in alternative music (think Kid Cudi, Pretty Lights, Chuvrches, etc.). and, of course, Jazz Fest for two full weekends with some of the biggest legends in music.

The one, the only: Jazz Fest. (Photo via New Orleans Tourism & Marketing)
The one, the only: Jazz Fest. (Photo via New Orleans Tourism & Marketing)

Going Out (the NOLA Way) — Let’s cut to the chase. New Orleans has one of the best bar scenes in the country. But there’s much more to it than buying hurricanes on Bourbon Street.

Going out in NOLA means live music! Kick off your evening at the Frenchmen Art Market and then mosey on over to the clubs on Frenchmen Street, just walking distance from Bourbon. Or head Uptown and catch a show at Tipitina’s, a 10-minute cab ride from downtown (and worth every penny).

Find Midweek Music — You don’t have to wait ’til the weekend, especially when you’re on spring break. Some of the best times to go out are on weekdays, when you’ll find midweek Music like Rebirth Brass Band at Maple Leaf Bar or Hellen Gillet at Bacchanal Wine (my personal favorites).

*For those under 21: there’s hope for you. Some of the best venues in the city allow 18 and older to enter.

Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf Bar. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Plan an Outdoor Adventure — Go exploring while you soak up the sun and plan a day trip to a swamp or plantation, or try kayaking at Bayou St. John.

Of course you can always stick around and spend the whole day exploring the neighborhoods by foot. NOLA is such a walkable city, you never have to go far to find something entertaining.

Brush Up on Culture with Tours and Museums — Check out the new exhibit at WWII Museum. Amp up your food IQ at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum or take a cocktail tour through the French Quarter. You might come back more educated than before you left school.

History definitely comes alive when there's a real U.S. Army Air Force P-40 plane soaring just above your head in the China-Burma-India gallery at the Road to Tokyo exhibit. This room tells the stories of our second front in the Pacific: "CBI" held critical strategic importance for US forces. While nearly a dozen Japanese army divisions battled US forces on Pacific islands and at sea, a staggering 40 more were tied up in the Sino-Japanese War in China where our troops were facing nearly insurmountable odds.
A real U.S. Army Air Force P-40 plane soars just above your head in the China-Burma-India gallery at the Road to Tokyo exhibit. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Eat & Drink

Spring Break isn’t just for raging — it’s for relaxing, too. And in New Orleans, we have mastered the art of chilling with these daytime activities:

Get Happy — Happy hour in the spring means more than just well drinks and cheap beer. It’s not uncommon to find specials on oysters, crawfish, and tacos at one of these awesome happy hours.

Grab Lunch at Commander’s Palace — This famous Uptown restaurant is known for its incredible fine dining. During lunch hour you can experience all the luxury for without breaking the bank — martinis are just 25 cents (with purchase of an entree) during the midday meal.

Commander's Palace. (Photo: Paul Broussard)
Commander’s Palace. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Attend Free Beer Friday —  Head to NOLA Brewing, or try one of these sports bars for March Madness.

Spend Wednesday at the Square — These free weekly outdoor concerts at Lafayette Square are the best way to kick off your evening with delicious food, drinks and live music.

Wednesday at the Square, spring concert series
The Wednesday at the Square spring concert series. (Photo via New Orleans Tourism Marketing)

Keep it Budget Friendly

The best part about Spring Breaking in NOLA? You don’t have to kill your student budget. Especially with these helpful resources:

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