While travelling, everyone wants to believe they are not doing just touristy things. I am one of them. So I always google and do my research on the place I am going to well in advance. And I try to balance touristy things with road-less-traveled things to do. We went to New Orleans in December and it's definitely one of those places I really wouldn't mind going again to. Now, I know how travel blog posts can be really boring (sometimes I find them boring too), so I wouldn't judge you if you don't want to go any further! I am writing this post for those googlers like me who might stumble upon this while doing their research on NOLA and might find it helpful ;)
Tying to pass it on!
New Orleans is known for its cajun and creole cuisine. Food is amazing with a lot of flavour. If you are a seafood lover, this is the place to be. Did you know Bananas Foster was created in New Orleans?
- The Gumbo Shop -
- Nola (Bourbon St) - The.best.seafood.etouffee.ever
- Arnaud's Restaurant - Brunch with a view of the gorgeous St Louis Cathedral . I had Banana Fosters here, of course I did ;)
- Pat O'Brien's - The Piano Bar was fun and we had Hurricane. It's a must-try drink that's very specific to New Orleans.
- Cafe Du Monde - Went at 1:30 AM and had the best coffee and beignets. This coffee tastes very close to south Indian filer coffee.
- The Old Absinthe House - Must Try Sazerac here. Yum!
We booked our stay through www.Airbnb.com . It was a condo owned by a doctor who lives in Florida. It was a quaint little condo which was built in the early 1900's. Located in Chartres St, it gave us easy access to all the places. We could walk everywhere to Bourbon St to Canal St. That's the best way I would recommend to explore New Orleans.
- Preservation Hall - You MUST visit this place to listen to some awesome Jazz. They have performances at 8 PM, 9 PM and 10 PM every night. There's usually a line so make sure you are there a little before time.
- Algiers Point - Take a Ferry on the Mississippi to Algiers Point. It's only a 10 minute ride. Point is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in NO and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the magnolia lined streets, quaint little cafes and beautiful houses.
- Old Point Bar -
After a leisurely stroll, we stopped here for drinks. Looks like there were a lot of movies filmed here. They had pics all over the place with movie stars. Apaprently, this is where one of the scenes of Ray was filmed. Well, they did have a pic of Jamie Foxx with the owners.
- Streetcar - You have to take the street car just because it has so much history. It's quite old and slow, but there's something about the ride that take you back in time.
- Garden District - We did a foot tour of the garden district and it was totally worth it. With coffee in hand ( it was at 8 in the morning), it was a leisurely walk/tour and you know a lot about New Orleans, the people , architecture and history. We took this tour. I would highly recommend this free tour. Our guide Sarah was friendly, warm and funny. I would suggest that you book the tour in advance just to be safe.
- Frenchmen Street - Frenchmen Street is the new Bourbon Street. Lots of street musicians and amazing restaurants and hipsters, this makes it the perfect place for a night out. But head there before it gets too touristy ;)
- Swamp Tours
- Plantation Tours - You'll get a taste of Southern living and history.
- French Market - Must visit this one. Have breakfast here and stroll around. It has a lot of local artists and local, fresh produce.
- Masks - You cannot not buy a mask when you are in New Orleans. Mardi Gras or no Mardi Gras. Pick one while you are there, you never know when you might get invited to a masquerade party.
We went in December. The temperature was almost fall-like. Carry a light jacket, you might need it in the evenings. And of course comfortable shoes. There's a lot of walking involved.
- There are quite a few places which only take cash and you might need them for the amazing street musicians and performers like these. BTW How cool are these guys, right?
PS: Leaving you with this beautiful song.