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24 Things To Do At Every Hour In New Orleans

The Crescent City is the REAL one that never sleeps. Suss out this spectrum of incredible stuff to do, see, and dabble in at any given time when you Follow Your NOLA.

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7:00 a.m. – Merchant

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What better way to mark your entry into the nearby French Quarter than with a stomach full of fresh crepes? Merchant’s adorable diner-style counter is simply the cutest place to get your adventures started with a sweet or savory plate of these particular pancakes.

8:00 a.m. – Crescent City Farmers Market

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The Saturday morning market scene in the Warehouse District is stacked with the freshest local seafood, veggies, and flowers where it's easy to shake hands with local chefs, sit in on demonstrations, and dance to guest musicians.

9:00 a.m. – Spitfire Coffee

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This city cornerstone for coffee snobs near and far, baristas fill your cup with ultimate care, and have totally perfected the local classic Cafe Au Lait.

10:00 a.m. – Backstreet Cultural Museum

Decades ago, local resident Sylvester Francis began documenting the culture and traditions of the Tremé neighborhood with a Super 8 camera – now all archived and captured in a dedicated museum celebrating the special neighborhood. Exhibitions cover spectacles like beautifully ornate Mardi Gras indians, jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs, and of course, those joyful and spontaneous second-lines.

11:00 a.m. – St. Claude Alternative Arts District (Bywater)

The revival of life in the Marigny/Bywater is a bohemian hotbed of street artists, rogue galleries, and holistic study rooted in the neighborhood's Healing Center – a shared space filled with local purveyors of health, wellness, and development from physical therapy and yoga, to food co-ops and a renewable energy council.

Noon – Old New Orleans Rum Distillery

Kerinin / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: kerinin

Sure, you only woke up a little while ago, but you're in New Orleans now, so why not have rum for lunch? You can take a tour as early as noon, tastings included. This entirely local distillery is run by a gang of artists and musicians in the 9th Ward, and every bottle has custom art.

1:00 p.m. – Crescent Park

Infrogmation New Orleans / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: infrogmation

Beginning with a brand-new path that opens around the Bywater, this 1.4-mile strip runs along the Mississippi River toward the French Quarter. Trees are still blossoming around the newly architected section that began its build in 2008.

2:00 p.m. – District Donuts

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From the Bywater westward to the Garden District, this essential stop in the neighborhood offers sweet and savory (slider!) choices for all meals of the day, but the highlight strikes as soon as the doors open. Their fresh, huge, delicious donut varieties change daily, announced via Instagram and the restaurant's front window.

3:00 p.m. – Derby Pottery & Tile

Slide up Magazine Street to this spot that specializes in handmade tiles replicating the street names all over the city, Water Meter cover replicas, and handmade tableware filled with fleur-de-lis, so you have NOLA in your hand or your house all the time.

4:00 p.m. – Pizza Domenica

Quinn Dombrowski / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Via Flickr: quinnanya

You can go anywhere with a drink in your hand around this town, but let's face it: Happy Hour is on a totally different level with the addition of half-off pizza by local culinary legend John Besh. Now open in a new dedicated location Uptown!

5:00 p.m. – Free Park Shows

People United For Armstrong Park are honoring the Tremé throughout the summer with block parties in the Tuba Fats Square section of the downtown park, and kick off their months-long Jazz in the Park series to cover September and October.

Then, in the spring, you can indulge in 12 weeks' worth of free music immediately after work every year with Wednesdays at The Square. It's the perfect time to check out large acts that normally sell out other venues regularly. This year included Anders Osborne, The Iguanas, and Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

7:00 p.m. – Kayak/Paddleboard on Bayou St. John

No airboats needed to float through Sportsman's Paradise! Whether doing a little water workout or just watching the sunset on the banks, this is your ideal space for spending the magic hour. Swing over to Restaurant Row on Esplanade Avenue afterwards, where you can sample authentic tastes of New Orleans' main European foundations – Spain at Lola's and France at Café Degas.

8:00 p.m. – Preservation Hall

This storied hall opens for its first set at 8 p.m. every night. You can catch local all-stars, or stick around for the nationally touring house band led by Ben Jaffe when they're not on the road or playing with the likes of Pretty Lights and My Morning Jacket. Recently, tons of widely recognized rock stars from Trombone Shorty to Foo Fighters have had secret sit-ins.

10:00 p.m. – Frenchmen Street: Maison / d.b.a.

There's always action on Bourbon Street, but the soul of the Quarter sings and struts through every front door of the clubs lining Frenchmen Street. Make your arrival time 10 p.m. to catch the second set of bands stopping in or sticking with their residencies any given night.

1:00 a.m. – Lost Love Lounge

Courtesy of Dave Minsky / Via

A lovely haunt in the Marigny with an insanely delicious variety of Vietnamese delights and a rotating social calendar that includes weekly stand-up, spelling bees, and communal Sunday TV watching!

2:00 a.m. – Maple Leaf Bar

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: This is hands down the best venue in the city. Make the trip from the Quarter up to Carrollton to check out its charming courtyard and no-frills room featuring superjams and residencies that go way past curfew. Any night you could witness once-in-a-lifetime moments with local legends.