Explore New Orleans

An Artful Day in New Orleans: An Itinerary

An editor's guide to an art-filled tour of the town.

Jackson Square may be home to one of the oldest active art colonies in the nation, but it isn’t New Orleans’ only arty enclave. From its many museums to its museum-quality cuisine, the Crescent City continues to rule as the culture capital of the South. 

10 am

Pick up a pour-over at Spitfire before roaming gallery-packed Royal Street. Start at Windsor Fine Art in the 200 block then work your way to the Foundation Gallery in the 1000 block. Cross over to Decatur and check out the Artists’ Market & Bead Shop.

The Artists' Market
The Artists' Market showcases works by local crafters. (©Shawn Fink)

11:30 am

Head back to Jackson Square along Chartres Street. In the square, you’ll find artists displaying their works along the black iron fence, as they have for decades. Got a minute? Get your caricature sketched.

12:30 pm

Amble toward the Warehouse Arts District and nose around the Ogden Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Southern Art, and Avery Fine Perfumery, a chic “smell gallery” across from the Contemporary Arts Center. An art glass fan? Nearby New Orleans School of Glassworks conducts free daily demos and hands-on how-tos.

Avery Fine Perfumery
Artisanal fragrances are the draw at Avery. (©Avery Fine Perfumery)

1:30 pm

Head for the New Orleans Museum of Art, where Café NOMA provides the perfect late lunch spot. Work off that flatbread pizza by strolling the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden, which counts more than 60 works by modern masters. Explore a little further into City Park and you’ll discover even more sculpture by WPA-era artist Enrique Alferez

3 pm

Bag a few arty souvenirs along Magazine Street. At Derby Pottery & Tile, former Newcomb College instructor Mark Derby creates new works from pieces of the past, while Scriptura is devoted to the art of the written word. Looking for art you can wear? You’ll find it Mignon Faget, Thomas Mann Gallery I/O, Gogo, Marion Cage and Art & Eyes.

Derby Pottery
Potter Mark Derby incorporates bits of old New Orleans into his modern mosaics. (©Derby Pottery)

7 pm

The art is edible at Square Root and Lilette. Toast the day in their respective bars or at Kingfish, where mixologist Chris McMillian is a master of the craft.