I love vacationing in our neighboring city down south with so much soul! As y’all know I live in Mobile, AL which is only 1.5-hours away from the birthplace of jazz, or the “Big Easy”, or as locals say NOLA … aka New Orleans.
This city is rich in history, culture and lots and lots of music. New Orleans is simply the place you go to have a good time. Every time my family comes into town from out of state they fly into Louis Armstrong Airport and we spend a few days in NOLA so I find myself exploring this city a lot. However, not a lot of people spend more than a few days here so I put together a quick guide on where to stay, what to see, and where to eat.
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Where to Stay
The Saint Hotel
After trying many different hotels and B&B’s through out this city my favorite is by far The Saint Hotel, located on Canal St. and a 5 min walk from the famous Bourbon St. and the French Quarter. Rating: 4.5 Stars
Their motto is “Play Naughty, Sleep Saintly” and when you walk into this unique hotel you do just that. Offering luxury style rooms with views of the Canal St. trolley, a full bodello chic bar, the Tempt Restaurant and billiards this hotel scene sells the glamorous lifestyle.
My favorite part of the hotel was not only the chic decorated rooms but the hotel bar downstairs, the Burgundy Bar. This stylish elegant bar (picture below) is adorned with bordello chic style and offers live jazz/musicians who celebrate the signature style of Louis Armstrong and New Orleans. Every night was a party!
So… will you be a saint or sinner during your stay in New Orleans? haha Click here to book your stay at The Saint Hotel.
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What to Do/See
It wouldn’t be a successful trip to New Orleans if you didn’t walk around the French Quarter and Bourbon st.
The French Quarter is known for its multitude of historic districts and being the oldest part of New Orleans. Architecture lovers, this is for you! While walking around you will find elaborate ironwork gallery buildings on street corners, French and Spanish influences on the architecture and so many different colored buildings you’ll feel like you’re walking down a rainbow.
- If you’re going in the summer, be prepared for the heat and humidity. If you’re not from the south, just a heads up you will be dealing with some sweaty hot days and nights while roaming around the city. I suggest buying a battery operated fan that you can wear around your neck and drink lots of water.
- Please wear comfortable shoes! This city, after all, was built for walking so you will probably be doing a lot of it and having comfy shoes with you will make your day last longer.
- Always bring an umbrella. The weather down south is very unpredictable. One minute its sunny and beautiful and the next minute its pouring rain. So be prepared and carry an umbrella.
Tours to Take:
- Above you’ll see snapshots of a City Tour. The city tours (which there are a bunch of) take you in and out of the french quarter giving you history lessons and cool little facts about the city you may not have known. Some different tours include, segways, bicycles, on-off bus, and/or walking. Click here to book your City Tour.
- Below you’ll see snapshots of a Haunted History Tour. This tour is a lot of fun especially if you love to hear all the spooky stories that haunt New Orleans. Your tour guide will take you to the most haunted places, houses and cemeteries downtown while telling about their past and the stories/things people claim to see. Click here to book your Haunted History Tour now.
- If you’re feeling adventurous take a Swamp Tour. Just a little outside of the city in the bayou this swamp tour takes you on a fan boat where you will see up close and personal… alligators. Click here to book your Swamp Tour.
Oak Alley Plantation:
Another must see in New Orleans are the abundance of preserved plantations. The Oak Alley Plantation is one of the most notable ones which offers a full house/grounds tour and has original slave corders to view. Your tour guide gives you a history on the house, the family, the slave trade during this time and the crops/work done here at this plantation. Perfect for any history buff or lover of southern homes. Click here to book your tour. *Bring your AAA card or military card for a discount.
My favorite part was the amazing views of this place. The big oak trees had my jaw dropping and every time I come to New Orleans I stop by here for a quick look. The tour only lasts about an hour and is air conditioned inside (for those of you braving the summer heat). At the end of your tour, you can have a drink or a meal at the Oak Alley restaurant and browse around their gift shop to find a unique souvenir.
Get out your camera because this place is picturesque in every way. I found myself snapping pictures of every tree, every angle of the house and the porch. Which by the way the porch is major goals! Its a long, wide, wrap around porch which offers stunning views of the grounds oak trees and gardens.
Other worthy plantations to tour in the area are:
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Where to Eat and Drink
I must say, this was hands down one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Emeril’s Delmonico is a treasure and perfect for a fine dining night in New Orleans. We started our meal off with a house made cheese charcuterie board and wine(pictured below), and it just kept getting better from there.
For my main course I had the SALMON AU POIVRE; smoked salmon on a spread of caramelized potatoes and broccoli. We also ordered family style sides for the whole table to share like; mashed potatoes, creamy spinach dip, baked mac and cheese and steamed vegetables.
For dessert we decided to order one of everything so we can try it all and share; Blueberry cheesecake, bananas fosters and creme brûlée. The Bananas fosters was by far my favorite and I loved how they cooked it table side for you. We ended the night with some limoncello shots.
I highly recommend this place! Click here to see the menu.
Cafe Beignet or Cafe Du Monde:
If there is one thing you do in New Orleans you better have a beignet! These white fluffy breaded delicacies are apart of the New Orleans major food groups haha. Whether you go to the famous Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet you must give them a try.
Tip: Since Cafe Du Monde is famous for their beignets you will probably have to wait a very long time and its almost always crowded… day and night. But they are indeed worth the wait.
However, an alternative to Cafe Du Monde is Cafe Beignet (pictured below). It is right around the corner from The Saint Hotel on Canal St. and their beignets are equally delicious. *No long lines here.
Oak Alley Restaurant (if you tour the plantation):
If you are planning to tour the Oak Alley Plantation as mentioned above you will most likely be hungry and thirsty after exploring this place. On the grounds of this planation they have a full restaurant which has amazing Mint Juleps! *Try the lemon or blackberry frozen Mint Julep, it was so good!
I ordered the Rice and beans with a side salad and it was everything needed! Nothing like some good ole southern food. Click here to view the menu.
Pat O’Briens (drinking):
You’re in the french quarter, just finished your haunted tour and its insanely hot outside… time for some drinks to cool off! Head on over to Pat O’Briens for some libations, music and just a good ole time. This place is known for their amazing hurricane drinks, another New Orleans must. Click here to see the menu.
Other favorite places of mine to eat at:
Ruby Slipper Cafe – try the cinnamon pancake stake! Delicious!
The Carousal Bar – Located inside the Hotel Monteleone, the entire bar is actually a carousal haha so cool!
Desire Oyster Bar – good for some yummy oysters! Happy Hour between 3-6pm, you get 6 oysters for $6 raw or grilled.
Eat New Orleans – I have eaten her in New Orleans many times and it never disappoints.
Brennan’s – Another amazing fine dinning restaurant located in the heart of downtown.
It was such a fun trip and in just 48-hours we got to see and do everything we wanted and you can too! I hope you have fun planning your trip to New Orleans soon and that this blog post was helpful for you.
Leave a comment below on your favorite things to do in New Orleans if you’ve been before.
Thank you to the Saint Hotel for the welcoming stay.
Disclaimer: *All thoughts are my own*
Thanks for reading!
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