New Orleans is, without a doubt, the most magical city in the United States. I have always wanted to go there, so when the opportunity presented itself, I had to jump on board. I prepped for our long weekend trip by reading A Confederacy of Dunces, which is based in 1960s New Orleans, along with a trusty tourist travel guide, but nothing is better than roaming the French Quarter streets on a balmy afternoon.
We stayed at Hotel Monteleone, a beautiful hotel set on the outskirts of the Quarter near Canal Street. I was initially attracted to this place online because a few of my all-time favorite writers, Hemingway and Capote, were fans of this place back in the day. I can see why – the hotel is magnificent, with high ceilings, chandeliers, and royal rooms, very grandeur. The Carousel Bar in the lobby is a tourist hot spot. I didn’t love that so much but I did take a seat and spin around the bar once with Sazerac in hand, which I quickly discovered I hate.
New Orleans is sensory overload. I tried to capture the spirit and beauty of the city with the photos above, but my amateur photography skills were no match for the backdrop at hand. I love places that inspire. It’s also incredible when you can feel the presence of centuries around you. I can’t wait to go back!
Here are my top 5 favorite things we did:
– Haunted History Ghost Tour: I am such a tourist and I don’t care. I love learning about the places I travel to. We took this 2 hour walking tour around the city and I learned so much. I’d highly recommend this!
– Honey Island Swamp Tour: I didn’t want to do this initially, but it ended up being my favorite thing we did the whole time. The entire trip from pick-up to drop-off takes about 4.5 hours, and it was totally worth it. Did you know alligators like hot dog weenies and marshmellows? Me either.
– Frenchman Street: Bourbon Street was a nightmare. Frenchman Street, deemed the “cooler” area by locals, was equally as rowdy, but definitely attracted a cooler crowd. We found the only quiet bar and listened to a folky jazz band perform until closing.
– Bacchanal Wine: I was going to list this under my favorite foods, because it was my favorite dinner we had. However, this place is by far more of an experience than a restaurant. It’s far off, about 15 minutes away from the French Quarter, but worth the drive. From the outside, it looks like nothing. But inside, it’s like being in your hipster friends huge backyard in Venice Beach, complete with a great live jazz band. Only downside, I got eaten alive by bugs. Bring bug spray!
Now let’s talk food:
– Mother’s: Go here, get the Famous Po’Boy along with the potato salad and fried chicken wings. This was hands down our favorite authentic Southern meal.
– King Fish: We ate here twice! For dinner and then lunch. I tried alligator sausage here along with rabbit. Upscale dining for the city but still reasonably priced if you’re used to LA or NY.
– Muriels: The story behind this place is haunting, and it is literally haunted. We had the raddest server, Janelle, who showed us the private rooms upstairs. Get the turtle soup, and go take a look at the dining table they have reserved every night for the ghosts that reside in the building
– Cafe Beignet: Cafe du Monde is overrated, with the exception of the coffee which was unbelievable. Go to Cafe Beignet for beignets, they’re bomb and take way less time!