Do it for the ‘Gram: some of the most photogenic places in New Orleans

Whether you’re a local who’s going on a “staycation” or you’re visiting New Orleans for the first (or hundredth) time, here’s a few places to get some good casual photos to add to the scrapbook or share on the ‘gram (or Snapchat, or Tik Tok).

by Marielle Songy
March 12, 2020

New Orleans is a photogenic city. Look up and you see our gorgeous balconies, complete with delicate ironwork. Look down and you see street names spelled out in tiles at every corner. Whether you’re a local who’s going on a “staycation” or you’re visiting New Orleans for the first (or hundredth) time, here’s a few places to get some good casual photos to add to the scrapbook or share on the ‘gram (or Snapchat, or Tik Tok).

  • Cemeteries

Here in New Orleans, our cemeteries are a little different. Just like everything else around here, they’re “extra” and people are always fascinated by our little above-ground, post-mortal coil homes. Sure, you could pay for a cemetery tour, and if you are interested in some of the history of our more well-known former residents I encourage you to do so. If you’re looking for beautiful tombs to photograph (while being respectful and mindful that these are, indeed, final resting places) then look no further than Metairie Cemetery. This is a quiet, reflective space and I always seem to see new things when I visit.

  • Greetings from NOLA Mural

Photo via Dave Rodrigue

Located at the corner of Magazine Street and Josephine Street, this “postcard style” mural has become a popular place to stop and take some photos. Posing here is fun and the work by The Greetings Tour (who did the piece) is beautiful.

  • Joan of Arc Monument


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Believe it not, one of the most famous statues that is synonymous with New Orleans has only been a part of our city since 1972, when it was gifted by France. As for the connection to New Orleans, Joan defended the French town of Orléans (the city for which New Orleans is named) from the English during the Hundred Years War. Ever since “Joanie on the Pony” has stood on Decatur, she has become a point of interest for visitors and locals.

  • The Lakefront


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Is there anything better than sitting on the lake on a nice day? Thanks to a selection of restaurants located lakeside, you can watch the boats on the water, take in a nice breeze and enjoy a sunset. You get picture-perfect views at any time of day and make memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Lakefront Airport

I always tell people that it’s worth the trip. First opened in 1934, the Lakefront Airport recently went through a renovation and reopened in all its glory in 2013. The beautiful art deco building sits on the Lakefront and you can look out of the beautiful windows onto the tarmac and watch small planes arrive and depart. Messina’s Runway Café, located in the airport, serves up breakfast and lunch in an atmosphere that will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time.

  • Mardi Gras World


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Come see where Mardi Gras is made! Located right on the river, daily tours bring you behind the scenes of where the “magic” happens and where Mardi Gras floats are made. Seeing these floats up close is a must for locals and visitors alike.

  • Monument to the Immigrant


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Erected in 1995, this statue, which depicts an immigrant family arriving in New Orleans was set to remind us that New Orleans is a port city that has long been a welcoming home to immigrants. Looking at the statue against the backdrop of the river and appreciating what it took for these brave people to pack up and come here, in search of a better life, will leave you emotional.

  • Musical Legends Park


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This small park on Bourbon Street has life-size bronze statues of New Orleans musical legends such as Pete Fountain, Louis Prima, Fats Domino and more. Live music is played in the park daily starting at 10 a.m. and Café Beignet serves up beignets and coffee. This spot on Bourbon is prime for multiple photo ops while enjoying a café au lait and people watching.

  • The National WWII Museum


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Where do I even begin? The National WWII museum is one of the great New Orleans treasures, steeped in history and full of the most spectacular things you could ever see. Actual warplanes and vehicles, uniforms worn by the allies, photos and letters, just to name a few. A small write up cannot do it justice. Get down there and see (and photograph) this amazing place for yourself.

  • New Orleans Museum of Art


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New Orleans boasts many great museums and NOMA is at the top of the list. The permanent collection at the museum features over 40,000 objects, from the Italian Renaissance to the modern era, and there are rotating exhibits on a regular basis. One of my favorite pieces is Portrait of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. I’ve seen works of Monet here and some of the most spectacular photography and sculptures. Note: only photography of the permanent collection is allowed.

  • St. Louis Cathedral


Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France is its official name, and it’s the oldest cathedral in North America. I don’t have the stats on hand, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that St. Louis Cathedral is the most photographed location in New Orleans. No list of places you must photograph, whether local or visitor, would be complete without including this monument that has stood tall in this spot, in some shape or form, since 1718. The church has been rebuilt due to fire and even a bombing but, through it all, the Cathedral survived (kind of like the great citizens of this town).

  • The Cabildo

Located just a few steps away from St. Louis Cathedral, this Spanish colonial building houses pieces of interest of American and New Orleans history. According to, artifacts included at The Cabildo are Sidney Bechet’s saxophone, a Mardi Gras Indian suit, memorabilia from Pontchartrain Beach, a K&B sign and much more. New exhibitions are always being added on all three floors and there are a lot of unique things to see.

  • Storyland at City Park


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Bring your kids or awaken the inner child in yourself! Storyland recently underwent a full renovation and it’s more magical than ever. Here you can pretend to be Alice in Wonderland (and the White Rabbit is following you) or you can be whisked off to the ball in Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage. The possibilities are endless and the photos will be, too.

  • Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA


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I love the sculpture garden! Not only is it free to enter, but the art is gorgeous and, on a nice day, you can spend hours here. I love that the sculptures feel as if they are set in the middle of a magical park. Although entry is free, a photo fee of $50 is required, if you plan on snapping pics, and the fee goes towards support of the space.

Marielle was born and raised in New Orleans. She thinks it's hard to grow up there and not let the culture and history of the city become part of you. Whether it be the jazz, food, of fabulous architecture, she thinks most would agree that things are a little spicer down here. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

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