Re:1st time New Orleans visit
There's so much to do and see, it really depends on what you'd like to do - museums, swamp tours, city tours, plantations, walking tours through the cemeteries, French Quarter, harbor cruises, Aquarium, Insectarium, Audubon Zoo., and of course wonderful food.
I would suggest stopping at Basin St. Station Visitors Center - 501 Basin St., (9am-5pm 7 days a week) the staff is very friendly, and informative. You can't leave your car all day, but can park while your'e visiting. It's also a block from St. Louis Cemetery #1, the oldest cemetery in NOLA which you can tour on your own or take with several tour companies.
Cafe de Monde - has been very crowded lately, and a little known secret (not any more) is there's another Cafe du Monde on the first floor of the Riverwalk, which has an outside deck. If you can get a table outside, you'd be amazed to just sit and watch the barge and river traffic, and the weather has been fantastic.
Cabildo - our State Museum on Jackson Square
Mon, Wed, Fri - make a lunch reservations for Commander's Palace from 12p - on (business casual dress code, no flip-flops or cutoff shorts). They have a special lunch menu under $20 which consists of your choice of soup or salad (that's a no brainer, turtle soup of course) and an entree (two offered). Meet at the gates of the Lafayette Cemetery at 10:30 with a tour guide from Save Our Cemeteries who will give you about an hour's tour - and depending on your lunch reservation at Commander's which is catty-corner from the cemetery either walk around the Garden district before or after lunch.