TRAVEL: A Weekend in New Orleans – The Ultimate Guide

We recently spent a long weekend in The Big Easy, and wow what a town!  We were able to successfully avoid the 20-something debauchery of Bourbon Street, and have come up with the ultimate New Orleans Guide for those of us who are no longer in our 21+ years.  Since we only had three days, we packed as much as we could into our weekend.

Day One:

French Quarter – make sure to see the Jewelry and Antique shops on Royal St., the crazy bars on Bourbon St. and the historic Jackson Square.

Lunch at Johnny’s Po-Boys – we tried their shrimp po-boy “dressed”.  Not for everyone, but certainly a unique experience.

Pre Dinner Drinks at the Carousel Bar at the Monteleone on Royal St.

Dinner at Kingfish – great local fare with the Southern touch.

Sazeracs or French 75’s at Pat O’Briens and the dueling pianos – yes, quite touristy, but a really fun vibe.  Tip:  Do NOT order the “Famous” Hurricane drinks here – they taste like KoolAid.  Trust us.

If you are still going (like we were), walk down Decauter St. for some live Jazz on Frenchman Street: Three Muses, Snug Harbor, or our favorite, the Spotted Cat.

Day Two:

Beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde.  It’s a New Orleans institution any time of the day, and is well worth a visit.  If there are really long lines for tables, head to the back for the “to-go” window and have your beignets in Jackson Square across the street.

Mardi Gras World – Yes, very touristy, but great history of the Mardi Gras and incredible warehouse tour of floats and characters. Surprisingly fun!

Napoleon House for drinks – this historic house was offered to Napoleon in the 1800 as a refuge during his exile. Make sure to get a Pim’s Cup and try to get a seat on the back patio.

Concert at Preservation Hall – this is a MUST.  We recommend getting seats in advance (approx. $36 vs. $20 standing room only).  The standing room tickets are first-come, first-served and not guaranteed.  This was our most special and unique NOLA experience – great jazz band!

Dinner at Jacques-Imo’s Cafe – take a cab – their fried chicken was SO worth the wait! They don’t take reservations, so go early or after the show.

Day Three:

Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace – this is a legendary place in New Orleans, and their 3 course brunch  is out of this world. If you are up for it, martinis are just a quarter.

Tour Lafayette Cemetery across from Commander’s Palace

Stroll through the Garden District and oogle at the enormous historic homes. Walking tour

Walk down Magazine Street for some amazing antique-ing.

Make your way to the Columns Hotel – you will really feel like you’re in the South.  We had Mint Juleps while sitting on the front patio under the trees and columns.

Dinner at NOLA back in the French Quarter.

Davenport Lounge at the Ritz Carlton – great people watching and amazing jazz.  Fantastic way to wrap up our trip.   We can’t wait to go back!


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