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mar 30

Things To Do In New Orleans During the Final Four

Doreen's Jazz Band onboard the Natchez Steamboat (Courtesy Michelle Baran)

Heading to New Orleans for the NCAA Final Four men's basketball championships? Well, while you're in the Big Easy, there's plenty to see, do and eat in between games.

First and foremost, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a proper po’ boy. Opinions vary widely as to where to go for the best heaping submarine sandwiches, but if you're in the French Quarter, pop into Johnny's Po-Boys for an authentic po' boy experience.

For those who want to catch some good jazz while they're in town, head to the legendary Preservation Hall for live jazz nightly from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Not far from the quarter is Frenchmen Street, home to several bars, restaurants and music clubs where an eclectic mix of bands compete for crowds. For a bite to eat on Frenchman Street, head to The Three Muses, where innovative bar snacks and entrees are served with a big side of live music.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Jeremy Davenport plays at the Ritz-Carlton’s Davenport Lounge. Cozy up with a cocktail on one of the lounge's plush couches and enjoy Davenport's horn and vocal sounds.

Breakfast of champions? Well, you can't go wrong with beignets and a café au lait at the Café Du Monde. For something more substantial, opt for the jazz brunch at Commander's Palace, then take a stroll through Lafayette Cemetery across the street, and gawk at the amazing mansions in the surrounding Garden District. Take the St. Charles Line streetcar back to the French Quarter.

For an off-the-beaten track experience, head to the Backstreet Cultural Museum for a kitschy glimpse into New Orleans’ vibrant African American culture. Not far is the New Orleans African American Museum, which delves even deeper in the city's African American history.

Want to get out of the city? Take a Cajun Pride swamp tour for a boat ride through nearby bayous and for some live gator sightings.

To experience the Mississippi River, take a dinner and jazz cruise on the Steamboat Natchez.

Need a place to stay? Check out these affordable hotels in NOLA.

More from Budget Travel:

America's Top College Football Towns

15 Things You Didn't Know About New Orleans

A Handful of America's Nicest Easter Egg Events

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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