Y’all this post has been a long time coming! I have promised for a little over a month that I would sit down and share the short little trip to New Orleans, LA we took earlier this summer/spring. While this was not my first trip to NOLA it was R’s so I had a blast getting to show him some of the amazing places in New Orleans.
Truthfully, NOLA is a place I believe everyone should experience at least once in their life. There are so much rich history and culture in this water town. However, it is not a place I believe you need to spend more than a couple of days in.
Of course, there are fun places like bourbon street and world-renowned places like Cafe Du Monde, but once you have seen many of these things they don’t often change. That is why I believe New Orleans really is the perfect trip to fit into one weekend.
Where We Stayed
We stayed in the (pretty) newly renovated Renaissance Per Marque in the French Quarter on Commons Street. Although we didn’t have an amazing view from our side of the hotel, we were in walking distance to everything in New Orleans and the main strip, the pier, and bourbon street were all a 5-10 minute walk or less!
Our hotel had so much character and was one of the original “high rises” in New Orleans. Couple that with the fact that it has been redone pretty recently and I would stay it was one of the best & nicest places to stay in New Orleans.
Eats & Drinks
There are so many great places to eat and drink in New Orleans. We were able to go to opening weekend at a new restaurant called The Governor on our first night. It was right near to bourbon street on Chartres St. IThe food was absolutely amazing! They offered items from Fried Chicken and Waffles to Oysters, Boy Pos, Pasta, and more! They also had a special drink with fresh strawberries that was probably the best I’ve had in New Orleans!
The atmosphere was also great! Being a new restaurant it was so clean. The doors also opened directly out to the street which was so fun yet kept you cool away from the humidity. The service was also amazing and they had so many signature drinks and food specials.
Cafe Du Monde is a LEGEND! You are seriously missing out if you go to New Orleans and don’t try this place. Thier signature Beignets put all other breakfast pastries – including donuts – to shame! These fluffy, hot, powdered sugar topped treats are to die for and well worth the weight. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans be sure to take the time to actually sit inside the restaurant (rather than taking them to go). It is such a one of a kind experience! BRING CASH! They do not accept cards so it is so important that you plan ahead if you are going there.
Can you really visit New Orleans without visiting Bourbon Street? Each time I go I am so overwhelmed by all of the drink options. From places that have tons and tons of frozen drinks to one of the bourbon streets most famous – The Hand Granade at Tropical Isle – there is no shortage of places to stop in for a quick drink (or a few).
A little Bourbon Street Advice – Keep your friends close & your purse closer. I recommend a cross body that you can keep close to you at all times. While I have never felt truly unsafe on Bourbon Street you don’t want to take a chance. I have known people to get their belongings snatched right out from under them.
Fun & Shopping
There is so much to do and see in New Orleans, including lots of touristy things & shopping. Here are a few you have to do while you are there!
French Quarter – Take on the French Quarter. There are a ton of things native to New Orleans like Voo Du shops, tourist shops, cool old buildings, and so much more!
Magazine Street – Take a walk down magazine street. This cute street is filled with great shops, fun restaurants, good drinks, and more! Rather than being all tourist & t-shirt shops they have more well-known brands such as West Elm, Free People, and the best Urban Outfitters (I did some serious damage there)
Visit a Cemetary – You might be thinking WHAT?! but they are actually really cool and if you get on the right tour you might even here some really awesome history facts and stories about the cemeteries and why they look the way they do.
The Pier – The pier in New Orleans is beautiful. I definitely recommend trying to hit it at sunrise or sunset. They do tons of boat tours and dinner boats right out of there that look like a blast. There are also a few casinos (if that is your thing) that are right next to it as well.
The Aquarium – I swear you are never too old to love the aquarium. The one in New Orleans is amazing. I haven’t been in a few years but I hear the just keep making improvements to it. It is also right on the water and a great size! Perfect for an afternoon or with kids!
Take the Trolly – While it can be easy to get lost getting on and off trolleys take this one! It takes you by several of the prime locations in New Orleans and some of the drivers are up for a history lesson! You have the opportunity to learn a ton about the community from the locals which is one of my favorite things in new places!
Find Some Live Jazz Music – After dinner, one evening venture down near The Governor and Bourbon Street and listen for live music. Even on Sundays, you can find great musicians down there playing Jazz Music while you enjoy dinner or an evening drink.
Have you been to New Orleans? What are your must-dos while you are there? I would love to give more restaurant recommendations but truthfully a couple that I ate at were not so amazing so if you have any you love please please comment below! As always if you have any questions let me know!