New Orleans can be insanely inexpensive, but only if you have the insider’s guide.
Here are 10 things to do in the city for FREE or SUPER CHEAP:
1. Get out of the heat (temps reach up to the triple digits in late june) and go to an art museum. NOMA, the New Orleans Museum of Art has free admission Wednesdays. For more information on current exhibits, upcoming exhibits, events and contact information go to http://noma.org/
2. Discover the creole tomato at the New Orleans Creole Tomato Festival. June 8-9, the French Market hosts this delicious festival that gives locals and visitors a look inside one of the main vegetables in New Orleans. Along with cooking demonstrations, the festival will have live music, kids activities, and creole tomato dishes and other local goods for sale at the farmers market. For all information, including a map of the festival visit http://www.frenchmarket.org/event/annual-creole-tomato-festival/
3. Take in some free music almost anywhere in city, but the best spot so far is local and visitor favorite Frenchmen Street. Lined with music clubs that almost never charge cover listen to live music ranging from jazz to salsa at places like Blue Nile, Spotted Cat and Cafe Negril (slinging up delicious cheap mexican food late at night).
4. Also on Frenchman Street, a local art market Thursday through Sunday nights, 7 p.m.-1a.m. Local artists feature handmade jewelry, artwork and even feathered headbands. For information or to apply to sell art go to http://frenchmenartmarket.com/
5. Cool off by the pool Sundays during the summer at the W Hotel in downtown New Orleans. The W pool is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. for WET, Adult Swim. Age: 21+. Lounge poolside and enjoy specialty cocktails, a live DJ, and snacks for FREE. Bottle service available in the private cabana. For more information or to book a cabana go to http://www.wneworleans.com/wet or call 504-207-5182.
6. Can’t get to San Fermin for the Running of the Bulls? No problem, New Orleans hosts their own version July 11-14th. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) pays homage to the famous Spanish event. In true New Orleans fashion, the “bulls” are New Orleans’ own Roller Derby Girls affectionately named the Big Easy Roller Girls. The event starts with a wine dinner at Bourbon Orleans and continues with a flamenco dancing, salsa eating pre-party the night before. Saturday, July 13 at 8 a.m. sharp the Running of the Bulls will take place. That 8 a.m. time too harsh? No worries, sangria is for sale on the streets. A few rules for the event for newbies: run at your own risk, wear tennis shoes, do not touch the bulls (they will hit you with their waffle bats and it kind of hurts too), if you are hit, stay down, do not stand still and children under ten on sidewalk. Dress code? all white with a red sash. It’s fun but be ready to run. Fast. http:nolabulls.com
7. Explore your passions for cocktails at Tales of the Cocktail a festival with educational seminars, tastings, dinners and much more. July 17th-21st with free and ticketed events. Go to http://www.talesofthecocktail.com/ to volunteer or check out the events.
8. Bust out the white linen, because honestly, August in New Orleans is so hot you wouldn’t want to wear anything else. Whitney White Linen Night, August 3, celebrates the glamorous art galleries in New Orleans with tons of gallery openings. Enjoy art, local cuisine, cocktails and music up and down the blocks of Julia Street. There will also be an after-party at the Contemporary Arts Center. For more information check out http://www.cacno.org/ for gallery info, food vendors and music closer to the event.
9. Don’t feel like keeping that linen clean? Check out Dirty Linen Night, one week after White Linen Night on Royal Street. Galleries will be serving dirty dishes (martinis, rice etc…) and live music and entertainment will be featured. Advice: wear black.
10. Finally, cool off with a little francophone love. The 15th annual French Film Fest, August 10-15, is hosted by the Prytania theater. The New Orleans Film Society and local French consulate hosts the event. All films are in French with English subtitles with the exception of Audrey Hepburn’s ‘Funny Face’. For screening info and festival info check out http://www.neworleansfilmsociety.org/pages/detail/8/French-Film-Fest