You love your teenage son or daughter to the moon and back. But let’s admit it—sometimes they can be a bit… difficult. The Snapchat generation would probably rather stay home with their friends or send pictures and chats than go somewhere with mom and dad. [readmore] When you go on a family vacation, it should be about having fun, relaxing, and taking it slow! Surviving a vacation to New Orleans with a teenager can be tough, but if you follow these steps you have a great chance of not only making it to the end, but also creating a great atmosphere for everyone that decides to tag along for the trip!

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Surviving Three Days in New Orleans with a Teenager

Day 1 – First Things First

Surviving Three Days in New Orleans with a Teenager
Audobon Nature Institute Zoo
New Orleans offers a ton of options for the whole family—young to old. When talking about teenagers, it’s important to find engaging options to help keep their attention. That’s why we recommend starting out the day early at the Audobon Nature Institute Zoo, Aquarium, and Insectarium. Located in the heart of New Orleans, these three parks feature stunning exhibits that are sure to captivate and bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Watch the Gorillas monkey around (pun intended) or observe sharks as they circle and swim around the massive aquarium! Once you leave the zoo, you will be right next to the French Quarter, so do some exploring with a stroll down Bourbon Street.

One of the best ways to see the French Quarter in all of its glory is on a thrilling New Orleans Helicopter Ride! See the Crescent City from the clouds on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Not a fan of heights? Try an old-fashioned New Orleans carriage ride. An expert tour guide will lead you and your family up and down the streets and fill you in on everything you need to know, from history to the best restaurants and tourist attractions around! One of those restaurants and a personal favorite of ours here at Tripshock is Cafe Du Monde. Slow down, grab some coffee, and enjoy a few of the fabulous and famous Beignets!

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Day 2 – Louisiana Countryside Done Right

New Orleans Swamp Tours
Feeding Gators on a Swamp Tour
Having hit the French Quarter on Day 1, you and the family have limitless options from here on out. How does a little fresh air and scenery sound? Enter New Orleans plantation country. A perfect place for your teen to snap some pictures to impress their friends and keep the ‘likes’ rolling in. Historic Mississippi River plantations are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire country. Add spectacular gardens, one-of-a-kind architecture, and some good old New Orleans cooking and you’ve got yourself a real crowd pleaser. That’s why we really like guided New Orleans Plantation Country Tours.

A Plantation tour will take you beyond the aesthetics and back in time where you will learn about the history of the Mighty Mississippi. Hear stories about an enormous sugar agribusiness, the lives of the slaves that powered it, and the impacts that plantations had on the growth of New Orleans. Some tours even offer transportation to and fro, which makes these deals super convenient and hassle-free! Another sweet New Orleans plantation country experience is the bayou and swamp tour. Bayou and swamp tours are a great idea for families with teens because one, they’re on a boat which is super cool no matter who you are. Two, a tour of the Bayou gets you up close and personal with amazing wildlife like alligators, snakes, and pelicans! We promise that both you and your teen will be pleasantly surprised by Louisiana's wild side!

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Day 3 – Going Out with a Bang

New Orleans Dinner Cruise
Steamboat Jazz Cruise
Bourbon Street and French Quarter? Check. Plantation Country and the Mississippi Bayou? Check. Now it’s time to explore the Big Easy’s nooks and crannies and have some serious fun along the way. One way to get a lot of excitement and even more photo opportunities for you and your teen is on a New Orleans Bus Tour, which takes you to a variety of popular districts, sights, and destinations across town. Even better, many of these buses run almost around the clock, all year long. We have found that the Hop on Hop Off Double Decker Bus is the best for this, as they give you the information and time you need to really immerse yourself in whatever you and the family decide on.

Whether that is checking out the artist studios at Mardi Gras World, exploring the beautifully-spooky St. Louis Cemetery, or immersing yourself in history and patriotism at the National World War II Museum, the bus lines will get you where you want to be! Finally, as the third day is winding down, we recommend going out in style and grabbing your family a seat on a dinner cruise down the Mississippi! An absolute New Orleans essential, historic Paddle Wheelers like the Natchez and Creole Queen will have you and the family dancing to world-class Jazz musicians and stuffing your face with the yummiest Creole cuisine you will find! As a fun, yet relaxing capper to your New Orleans adventure, we hope that as you and your teen cruise down that river and the lights begin to shine throughout the city you will look back over the last three days and think to yourselves, “when are we coming back!?”

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