New Orleans (NOLA) has floated in my bucket list for as long as I can remember. A girls trip finally brought me there last weekend, and my, what a vibrant town! Fortunately, I got the inside scoop ahead of time from a previous local on places to visit.
New Orleans offers unique cuisine such as chicory coffee, beignets, crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, fried catfish, po’boys, and of course, Cajun seasoning. So fun to try so many new, delicious foods! (And yes, pants with a stretchy waistband is a must.)
Cafe Du Monde is a touristy hotspot, open 24 hours a day. It has served beignets and chicory coffee since 1862 in the French Market. Someone tipped us off to join the takeout line on the far side of the restaurant – a much faster way to get those beignets. Enjoy your goodies on a park bench in Jackson Square where we found this golden nugget…
This is Shannon who set up a “Poem Store” on a plastic crate in Jackson Square. For a donation, provide her with a story or a few words, and she’ll whip up a poem for you on the spot. We were thrilled with the one she created for us. Simply remarkable talent.
Throughout the city, we found creatives of all talents including jazz musicians and artists. Voodoo and tarot card readers were additional oddities in this great city.
The Big Easy is a delightfully walkable town. We chose to stay outside yet near the French Quarter. Here are a few more To Do’s…
Grab a drink at Muriel’s, peek inside the haunted Seance Lounge upstairs, and settle in on the outside balcony with a view. If you walk Bourbon Street, hop into Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, the country’s oldest bar and chock-full of ambiance.
Stroll among some of the best preserved historic mansions of the South in the Garden District. Wander through an old cemetery – most graves are above ground because the water table is so high. As we witnessed with Hurricane Katrina, the city sits in a bowl surrounded by water.
We were disappointed to miss the highly rated Hurricane Katrina Tour to better understand one of the worst disasters in modern U.S. history. It books up early, so it’s on my list for next time!
New Orleans oozes history, charm and creativity. It’s the perfect size to explore for a weekend getaway. If you haven’t visited this unique town, I’d highly recommend adding it to your bucket list.
What are your favorite jaunts in The Crescent City?
More weekend travel: Napa Valley, California