New Orleans, Louisiana….the big easy!
There’s truly not a grouping of words that could describe this place to a T. It’s a mix of easy going, elaboration, and all things exotic and wild. It’s something to see!
I’ve visited this spunky town on two occasions. One for my twenty-first birthday celebration, and the other with some family friends for a little girls trip. The girls were minors at the time and let me tell you, that didn’t matter at all, we had an absolute blast!
For my twenty-first my girlfriend Mac May celebrated with, as we turned twenty-FUN in the same week! Talk about trouble! Along with Mac May, my mother and Aunt Launa tagged along for what was a girls weekend for the books!
We booked our trip for the first week of October, and we could not have asked for better weather in NOLA. It was sunny and warm during the day and when the sun set, pants or a jacket allowed us to be comfortable.
What to do and see in the Big Easy:
Stroll up and down famous Bourbon Street: this one seems like a no brainer. The street is filled with restaurants, tourist shops, and an outrageous amount of bars. There’s truly something for everyone! Live Jazz music pours out of the bars at all hours of the day inviting all to stop in and have a drink. If you are big on frozen drinks, well this is clearly the place for you as there are countless amounts of daiquiri bars with any flavor you can dream of. The best thing to do….get yourself a drink and sit back and people watch! You will see some interesting scenes that I bet you won’t catch anywhere else!
Visit the French Quarter:
The French Quarter is the place to go when you need a break from the chaos of bourbon street. This is where you will find (church? Cathedral?). Street musicians and local artist surround the town square. I’m a sucker for some art and purchased an extravagant painting from a local vendor which has become one of my prized positions. You can sit for hours listening to all of the street artist as they put on a show for street goers. The French quarter offers some brand name stores along with some local boutiques. There’s also a lot of restaurants in the area. The famous Cafe Du Monde is located in the French Quarter as well! Lines can be long at times but the beignets and coffee are totally worth it. Grab you some coffee at any tourist shop for you to brew up back at home.
Visit the Lafayette Cemetery:
We took a street car out to this unique New Orleans exclusive and stayed for a couple of hours. The grave sites are all above grown due to the city being below sea level. It’s odd to say but this cemetery is a must see and is very intriguing and interesting, and in my opinion, quite beautiful. You can book tours before hand or tour the cemetery at your own leisure which is what we did. We went up and down every aisle as there are several hidden treasures within. This is a free experience. There are many cemeteries in the city, however I found this one to be the best.
This one is clearly a given! Stroll up and down Bourbon street with a drink in your hand taking in all the odd things you may come across. Stop in some of the tourist shops and see what odd and end trinkets they might have. With the countless bars and live bands filling the street, the energy here is like no other. If your wanting to go back in time to the Blues Era then you’re in the right place. Blues and jazz music fill this street at all hours of the day. Dance your way down the street and soak in the fun culture. It’s just too much fun! Have some daiquiris at one of the many daiquiri bars then stop in for a famous Hand Grenade. I would only recommend having one of these bad boys as they can knock your socks off pretty easily. There are many fantastic restaurants along Bourbon as well. We stopped into Desire for some oysters and gumbo. Do yourself a favor and find your way into The Cats Meow! My girlfriend and I had the best time at this little karaoke bar. We got up on stage and did a little birthday shimmy! Do not be alarmed if you see a disco granny riding her bike through the streets dancing to the music blaring from her bike speakers. She is what some would call a “celebrity” in this town. Hop in and join her in a line dance if you get the chance. She is quite a treat! HUGE ASS beers is another staple here in the big easy, you will understand the name of the bar when you see the size of the Beers!
Have lunch or drinks at Pat O’Briens:
They are known for their Hurricanes! Get ya one, or a couple! Their bloody mary’s are amazing if you have had a little too much the night before. The patio seating allows for you to enjoy your drinks in the sweet sunshine.
Take a stroll down Magazine Street:
This street is a little further than walking distance from the Bourbon Street area. You can take the street car or a taxi. Magazine street is a little break from all the other chaos the city has to offer. It is filled with hipster little restaurants, elegant and very unique home decor shops, and the best consignment shops I have ever seen! ( They seriously had the best jewelry pieces) I am a art fanatic and it was so hard to not package up every art piece to take home with me. There are also some pretty fun boutiques will reasonably priced adorable clothes.
EAT ALL OF THE FOOD:
I am not exaggerating when I talk about the food in this place! Get some Gumbo, Crawfish Etoufee and some oysters. Everything is filled with spices and taste so fresh. You cant forget about the street dogs either. These sketchy little street vendors have the best hot dogs and brats. Bourbon Street is also lined with many pizzerias inside of the daiquiri bars for when you need a little snack to revive you.
What to do if you have the time:
- learn the history of the city and sign up for a ghost tour. I found this to be more fun than I thought. You will start at a destination and walk through parts of the city learning different ghost stories. Most of them will pit stop at some bars along the way.
- If the weather is good and you have half of a day, book yourself a swamp tour. A little bit of a shuttle out of the city to the swamps where you can ride boats and pet real alligators! Fun for if you have a younger crowed.
- Gamble at Harrods if you’re feeling real lucky! Harrods is a decent size casino to step foot in and test your luck if you have some time. If you go during special events there is a large club in the middle that might be featuring a special performer.