As a first timer going to New Orleans, I had to do some extensive research on things to do during our trip there. All I knew about New Orleans aka NOLA was that it’s a party city with a considerable amount of history. As some of you may know, I’m a foodie, craft cocktail lover, and adventurer. My husband and I got a hotel right in the French Quarters, right near the famous Bourbon Street (but far enough that it was quiet in the hotel). We were there for almost a week and got to do most of the things on our checklist. Now I’ve only been there once so this is a first timer’s view on New Orleans. Based on my experience, I’ve compiled 5 Things You Must Do In New Orleans.
1. Bar Hop
Bourbon Street is the place to bar hop. I actually liked it during the afternoon and early evening since it’s not too crazy yet. The drinks were super affordable and abundant. We actually walked around pretty much all of the French Quarters which is a neighborhood within NOLA. We even walked all the way to a wine bar called “Bacchanal” from the French Quarters ( I don’t recommend since it is a super long walk but we needed the exercise after all that eating). One of my favorite craft cocktails bars was called “Bar Tonique“. We also stopped by the “Spirits on Bourbon” which was the bar Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue rescued; got their resurrection drink which came in a mug with flashing lights. There are so many bars throughout NOLA, we couldn’t possibly hit it all. I suggest you get your drinking pants on and explorer!
Whether it’s a beignet (which is fried dough with tons of powdered sugar), jambalaya, gumbo, or crawfish, it’s a foodie’s dreamland and a culinary explosion. There’s a mixture of Soul food, Creole, and Cajun; seafood is also a big thing there. A few of my favorites that I’ve tried so far were the charbroiled oysters, jambalaya pasta, and red beans & rice. If you’re unsure of where to go, surprise yourself and check out a random spot or search Yelp; another big indicator is, if there’s a line, then you know it’s good.
3. Do A Tour
There are so many tours to choose from in New Orleans. From food tours, ghost tours, and historical tours, you’re in for a treat. I wish we had more time to do more tours but were only able to do the ghost tour. Next time, I’m definitely planning to do the plantation & swamp tour. I also saw many tours on horse carriages throughout the City. For the ghost tour, we went with “NOLA Ghost Riders“. We did a three hour night tour on a bus and visited a few cemeteries; learned a lot about the history of the cemeteries as well as the infamous tombs. If you’re into that, I highly recommend doing one of these tours; I was really creeped out when we did the actual ghost hunt on a cemetery that had about 200,000 unmarked graves!
4. Take a Ride on the Street Cars
Just like San Francisco, NOLA has street cars. That’s right, street cars that are on rail tracks and it’s a super cheap and green way to get around the city. The fare is $1.25 per person and it takes you from downtown to the city outskirts. One day, we just took a joy ride for a couple of hours to see what New Orleans looked like. It’s like the city bus but more relaxing and open since the windows were wide open.
5. Go to the French Market
The French Market is a flea market on steroids. There are tons of food vendors and a farmer’s market in there. It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm and it’s 6 blocks worth of walking and shopping. It is truly one of those must see spots when you’re in NOLA. They also have events and festivals there. Check out their website for more information. French Market
Looking for a places to stay in NOLA? Check out Vacation Rentals – New Orleans Guide https://www.alltherooms.com/
Whether you’re planning your first trip there or you’ve been several times, I hope you get to do these 5 things while you’re out there. Let me know how you liked them when you do! Safe travels and enjoy!