Last week I visited New Orleans with my mom, cousin, and aunt for a girls weekend. And let me tell you, New Orleans is amazing. I have been wanting to go for years but we’ve never gotten around to it. So I was extra excited that I finally got the chance to visit. And I loved it! The city is so cool and historical (i.e. haunted) and there was so much to do.
I didn’t get to hit everything on my list, but we hit a big chunk in a short amount of time. My favorite part of the trip was honestly wandering around the city and seeing (and smelling) and that there was. I will say that the food and drinks were second to none, but I don’t know if I’d hang out on Bourbon Street again. It’s not really my scene… Smelly and there’s so many drunk people like almost always which is not really my favorite thing. But this is about my favorite spots and sights so let’s get to it!
Strolling in the French Quarter – We stayed at the French Market Inn, a hotel right in the French Quarter. It was off the main drag enough that we could go after a day or night out and relax in peace and quiet. So we would walk around the Quarter a lot and ate most of our meals around there. There’s tons of shopping and bars as well, so check out the cute boutiques, art galleries, tacky tourist shops, and wacky voodoo shops.
The architecture in the Quarter is great to gaze at as well. We did a house tour one day and got to actually go inside some of them, but the outsides are just as fun to spot and photograph. You can also walk down to the riverfront and watch the cruise ships sail in and out of town.
Beignets and all the New Orleans food – New Orleans has some of the best food: beignets, Po-boys, Cajun, and that’s just the food. There’s tons of drinks and bars to check out as well! We hit up Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet for beignets (Cafe Beignet was better, just sayin’.) There’s Johnny’s Po-boys for a wide array of Po-Boys, and the Napoleon House for a Muffuletta. We also visited PJ’s Coffee about three times a day for snacks and coffee. They have one every block, it’s like their Starbucks down there! Also I tried the chicory coffee and I loved it, but I was the only one out of my group…
Have a Sazerac at the Sazerac bar in the Roosevelt Hotel, a voodoo daiquiri at Lafite’s Blacksmith Shop , or a Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House. Or test your luck on Bourbon Street, grabbing a daiquiri from the walk up bars. or get a hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s (super fun!) My favorite place to get a drink was at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone. The bar has an actual carousel in it that spins slowly as the guests sit around the custom bar. Legend has it Truman Capote’s mother was pregnant with him while she lived there, as well as other famous literati that lived in New Orleans (cough, cough Tennessee Williams.)
Shopping on Magazine Street – If you’re a shopper, don’t miss Magazine Street. The whole length of the shopping on the street is long, so if you want to hit it all, set aside a day to do so. We only hit a chunk of it, but we went in to a ton of shops. If you love boutiques and high end antiques, this place is for you! We also went to Dat Dog down there for lunch and Sucre for dessert, two New Orleans treasures!
House hunting in the Garden District – We went exploring the Garden District to look at all the beautiful, old houses in that area. I have lots of photos (see some here) and there’s also the Lafayette Cemetery #1 near by. We walked around all the old mausoleums, the above ground graves since they can’t bury people that low to sea level. If you have time take a tour of the cemetery or neighborhood!
Take a ride on a streetcar – We didn’t use our car the whole time we were there, so we took the streetcars to get to places not in the French Quarter (Magazine St. and the Garden District). A one way trip is only $1.25 and can get you to most of the city. We actually one car all the way out and back and we got to see so much of the city, and the ride was so relaxing and breezy. They keep the windows open!
Ghost Tours – Saturday night we went on a ghost tour in the French Quarter. It was cool because there was also some history mixed in with it. We learned about Pirate’s Alley and Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates plays her in AHS Coven) and got voodoo daiquiris over our halfway break. If you’re gonna do one, do it at night. It makes it way for fun that way!
Visit the Cathedral, then get your palm read – We did go to Mass Saturday evening and when we walked out, there were the palm readers! My cousin and I got our palm read a different night, but we kept joking about going to Mass and then have our palms read. If you are in the mood, go for it! I loved it and thought it was cool and definitely an eccentricity of the city.
There was so much more I would’ve loved to hit. Have you visited NOLA? Where’s somewhere you love to go?