Erika and I took a weekend escape to New Orleans, Louisiana to visit one of the most historic Southern cities in America. If you’ve never been, it is a vibrant city that brings together Southern history, wild nightlife, bayou nature, and lots of amazing Cajun food.
New Orleans is a big city and there is a lot to do every day of the week. We decided to focus on the famous French Quarter and Garden District areas of New Orleans.
First thing Saturday morning we were off to get breakfast…
We started with Nutella bagels that were perfectly toasted. Check out the La Divina Cafe website and give them a visit when you roll through!
Next we visited the famous Jackson Square. It is a park with a statue of Andrew Jackson and home to the iconic St. Louis Cathedral.
After that we wandered through the French Quarter, specifically Royal Street, where there is a plethora of antique shops and art galleries.
It being a busy Saturday, the streetcars (trolleys) were absolutely packed. This picture is looking out of the back of the streetcar since the entire cabin was packed and I didn’t want to post any pictures of people without their permission.
We took the St. Charles streetcar from Canal street to the 3rd street stop (from French Quarter to Garden District).
We walked south down Washington Avenue to Magazine Street. Magazine street hosts many different shopping areas, from souvenirs to furniture and more.
We grabbed an amazing lunch at Red Dog Diner. I strongly recommend the Salmon Sliders if you get a chance to stop by for a meal.
After wandering around for a little bit we decided to head back to our hotel and rest for an hour before going out for our Ghost Tour!
Sadly none of my photographs turned out well during the tour 🙁
But! I can strongly recommend FreeToursByFoot.com. They operate solely off tips which is very budget friendly compared to their competitors in the city.
The tour lasted about 90 minutes and we were guided around the French Quarter’s darker historical areas. Stops included Madam LaLaurie’s torture house, Vampire stories, and tons of other great history. I would strongly recommend our guide, Kyle. He did an awesome job!
After the tour we stopped by Cafe Du Monde for the world-famous Beignets, a staple of New Orleans culture. They are fried dough covered with powdered sugar… very tasty! I would recommend eating them with the hot chocolate or a cup of coffee.
Once we had stuffed ourselves with Beignets we headed towards Bourbon street to experience its full glory at night. Neither of us really fit into the nightlife scene (I’d rather be hiking in the middle of nowhere than swimming through a sea of people).
If nightlife calls your name, this is a 10/10! If you are like me and Erika, it’s a strong 0.5/10 as an attraction… but necessary when visiting New Orleans.
Once we made it back to our Hotel we crashed for the night. The next morning we woke up to get brunch at The Original Pierre Maspero’s, a location recommended by one of Erika’s coworkers.
After that we wandered to Envie Espresso Bar to grab some coffee. As soon as her order came the rain started to pour down on us!
Once it calmed down we saddled up and checked out of our hotel to make the six-hour drive back home to Houston. Rain storms forced sections of I-10 to close so we had to take a different route, which was a pleasant drive through the Louisiana bayous and swamps.
Overall, the city is worth a visit during your lifetime. The French Quarter has been amazingly preserved, it is like stepping into a time machine. Both of us usually prefer something at a different speed but it was really fun to hang up the hiking boots for a weekend and hit the city streets.
This is not a city for children, in my prude opinion. Too many drunk people at 9:00am, lots of walking around drivers that aren’t always paying attention, and some “eccentric” people always hanging around. But, the first time I went to New Orleans I was 12 and even though I distinctly remember some disturbing moments, I did have a good time.
If you stick the Garden District and other parts of New Orleans you would be amazed by the history (and preservation) that New Orleans, Louisiana has to offer.