New Orleans is a crossroad of many cultures. It brings together the best of French, Creole, and American cultures to create a culture that is unlike any other. It is filled with constant celebration of all three cultures through the use of food, music and pure joy. Below is an itinerary of a day well spent in the Crescent City.
What To Eat
The most popular place to get Beignets is Cafe Du Monde. There are a few locations around the city, with the one on Decatur street being the original location. This location is opened 24 hours a day all year, except for on Christmas Day. To avoid the long take-out lines, you can just grab a table and have someone wait on you and eat your beignets there. If you want to take the beignets to go, there is also Cafe Beignets. Cafe Beignets has really good Beignets and it is a lot less crowded than Cafe Du Monde. There is a Cafe Beignet location on Bourbon Street that is a part of the Musical Legends Park which has live Jazz music everyday. So you can head here and enjoy great music as you load up on tasty Beignets.
Creole House is a restaurant and Oyster bar that serves Cajun and Creole cuisine. Here you can get Jambalaya, Gumbo, Oysters of course, and other Cajun and Creole classics. Many of these cuisines contain pork and it is not possible to take them out because they are often cooked in pork for hours. I got the Jambalaya Pasta and was able to take the pork out unlike with the regular Jambalaya and Gumbo. There were not many vegan options here so plan accordingly by visiting the vegan restaurants below.
Deanie’s Seafood is a seafood restaurant known for their Louisiana style seafood. You can get the boiled crawfish from here, it is absolutely delicious. If you are not into crawfish you can get other types of seafood like fried shrimp, fish and more.
What To Do
Take A Tour. There are many unique tours available for you to take in New Orleans. Choose one of the tours below to learn more about New Orleans.
New Orleans has some very unique cemeteries with many above ground tombs. The NOLA cemeteries are known as the Cities of the Dead. Here are a few of the places you can go to for a Cemetery Tour
Swamp tours take you to the Louisiana Bayou on a boat. While at the bayou, you will be able to see all of the wildlife from the trees, to the alligators, snakes, frogs and many more. There are many options for the swamp tour, kayak, airboat or a larger swamp boat. The tours generally take between 1 hour 30 mins to 2 hours.
Below are a few Swamp Tour companies you can visit
Hurricane Katrina was a category 5 Hurricane that made landfall in Florida and Louisiana in 2005. A majority of the damage occurred in New Orleans. There were over 1,000 casualties and is considered one of the most intense Atlantic Hurricanes in the United States. New Orleans was highly affected due to lack of appropriate levee infrastructure. On the Katrina tour, you will be able to learn more about the history of the city prior to Katrina, visit the levee that failed/breeched, visit the neighborhoods affected, learn about the rebuilding of New Orleans and the history of the city post Hurricane.
What to See
Saint Charles Avenue
Take a street car on Canal Street and get off at the Saint Charles Avenue stop to look at the beautiful buildings.
Frenchmen Street is known as the local’s Bourbon Street. It is the street to go to listen to Live Music and grab drinks. Some of the popular bars to visit are Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie ,Mona’s , The Maison and many more.
Visit St. Louis Cathedral
St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest Cathedral in the United States. It was constructed in the 1700s and named after King Louis IX. It is across from Jackson Square another historic sight that has a statue of Andrew Jackson. This is a great location to take pictures. Here you can also enjoy some Jazz being played around the the Cathedral.
Relax at Jackson Square
As mentioned above, Jackson Square is across from St. Louis Cathedral. At Jackson Square you will be able to see a statue Andrew Jackson and lots of greenery. It is a nice place to relax after exploring the city.
Walk Down Bourbon Street
Bourbon street is a street that runs from the corner of Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue. It is a historic portion of NOLA’s French Quarter. On Bourbon Street you will find many bars and clubs. Many festivals are held on Bourbon Street including Mardi Gras.
Grab Souvenirs on Magazine Street
Magazine Street is filled with cute little shops. It is known for its shopping and art galleries. I am not one for shopping while on vacation but it is definitely worth checking out Magazine Street for the Art Galleries.
Where to Drink
Drinking is big in New Orleans because of their lax open container rules. You can walk around the streets with open containers of alcohol just like in Las Vegas. You can carry an open container of alcohol in New Orleans’ French Quarter as long as it is not glass.
Where to Dance and Listen to Music
Hip Hop/Caribbean Bars/Clubs
Thank you for reading!