Under-the-Radar New Orleans

Drag Shows

It makes sense that a city known for flair, costumes, and performance would have no shortage of drag shows. During Southern Decadence—New Orleans’s own Pride festival held over Labor Day weekend—you’ll find a packed schedule of lively shows at gay bars throughout the city.


An alternative to the touristy and often costly airboat, canoe trips offer a quiet nature escape. Canoe and Trail Adventures leads trips through a variety of Louisiana swampland, with expert guides providing insight on swampland history, environment, and wildlife. Be prepared for alligator, turtle, and osprey sightings, among other wildlife.


Breweries have popped up around town in recent years serving high-quality craft beer, as well as often hosting food trucks, lawn games, and live music. Miel Brewery & Tap Room, Urban South Brewery, and Port Orleans Brewing Co. have all joined NOLA Brewery (the city's first craft beermakers) in the converted warehouses of Garden Street.

Crossing Lake Pontchartrain

A trip across Lake Pontchartrain is worth it just for the chance to cross its 23.8-mile causeway. Second only to the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China as the longest bridge over water in the world, the causeway is long enough to have its own police force and host a marathon, as it did for many years.

Indie Theater

Most big-screen multiplexes are far out of city limits, and the in-town movie scene is boutique and indie. Small theaters are often architectural wonders, each with their own quirky culture, careful pick of flicks, libations, and treats.

Comedy Shows

The comedy scene in New Orleans is smaller than in cities like Chicago or New York, but certainly active, and a fun alternate way to spend a night in town. The scene revolves around themed showcases and open mics.


Rock‘n’Bowl isn’t just for bowling enthusiasts: the venue features two bars, delicious burgers, a Ping-Pong table, and dance floor. The decor and general charm is reminiscent of an old dance hall or large barn, and the music shows likewise feel more like a friendly hoedown than a concert.

Eastern New Orleans

New Orleans East has had a hard time recovering from Hurricane Katrina, and many parts are still desolate and underdeveloped. Still, the area is rich in cultural and historical elements for those seeking a deeper understanding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. One such landmark is Fort Macomb, a 19th-century military fort built after the War of 1812 and occupied by both the Confederate and Union armies during the Civil War. You might recognize the moss-covered ruins more recently from the first season of HBO’s True Detective or Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade.

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