New Orleans in 3 Days
I traveled down to New Orleans to meet up with my sister-out-law (it’s when a former in-law is still so important you keep them as family, obviously). It certainly helps to have someone who’s fun to travel with but even if you’re solo I think you’d have a great time! Check out our long weekend itinerary here:
We start out in the French Quarter, where our hotel was. Not really big on breakfast (at least at the start) so we head over to the French Market where you can get anything from knockoff sunglasses to food to handmade jewelry and more! I would definitely recommend grabbing some souvenirs here (but don’t go all out – you’ll want to pick some stuff up elsewhere I promise!).
After that we head over to the Bywater/Marigny area and grab some lunch at Pizza Delicious. FYI if pizza puts you over the “too full” edge you can check out Crescent Park or wander around looking at the colorful shotgun houses. It’s a really cute area! Post pizza and stroll we head to Bacchanal Wine where we pick up a bottle of rose (it is, after all, almost 100 degrees out so red is off the table). Luckily we were able to snag a table in the shade and listened to some local jazz while we knocked out the bottle.
For dinner we head to St. Roch’s Market for the diversity in offerings (I’m eating vegan and my travel companion is certainly not). Delicious! After dinner and a short stroll we’re off to the Palace Market Frenchmen – remember when I said you would want to buy souvenirs somewhere else? I got a beautiful print from a local photographer, shopped handmade jewelry, ceramics and managed to coat myself in glitter at the Glitter Buffet. Note on this: it was a poor choice. I’m still finding glitter to this day. Be warned.
After shopping we walked Frenchmen Street and stopped into just about every bar we passed. Alternating between DJ’s and live jazz it was great – a much more grown up crowd than Bourbon Street. We’ll end the night here, just make sure to stay hydrated if you do the same.
After feeling a bit rough this morning (thanks, Frenchmen!) we get to a slightly slower start. I also decide that I actually need breakfast so we find somewhere in the French Quarter to grab a bite and some much needed coffee. Green Goddess does the trick and is fairly quiet, tucked into a little alleyway.
Post breakfast we walk around the Quarter and up to Jackson Square. We attempt to stop at Cafe Du Monde but the line is over two blocks deep and there was absolutely zero chance we were going to bake in the sun for some snacks (you can read more about alternatives in my last post here). Taking our time we do some more shopping and pick up some much needed fans at Lost & Found and catch some live music on several corners.
The weekend we were in NOLA the Southern Decadence Festival was holding a parade so we hurried back to the hotel to catch it (our hotel was, coincidentally, on the parade route and our balcony directly over the road). It was so much fun! New Orleans knows how to throw a party, that’s for sure!
Just before sunset we head to catch a street car to the Garden District. We have perfect weather, it’s not too crowded and it’s actually rather enjoyable. The windows are down as we cruise through the massive mansions while it gets dark. After this we head to Auction House Market (seeing a food hall theme here?) for some dinner. Again, solid choice.
Not going 100 tonight, that’s for sure! We grab some bubbles from the hotel bar and take it up to our balcony, watching the post parade debauchery ensue below before calling it an early night. And by early, I mean before midnight.
Last day! We have a tour planned for 1pm to the Destrehan Plantation and a swamp tour so we take the morning to stroll the French Quarter again. We met a very nice local business owner who filled us in on where to get beignets so we head over to Cafe Beignet on Royal Street and pick up some strong coffee and, of course, a bag of beignets. We eat them at a little table overlooking a small garden area before heading up towards Decatur for the tour pickup.
The best part of the plantation tour was the Slave Revolt of 1811 museum as it didn’t gloss over the dark side of slavery in the South. After leaving Destrehan we head to the swamp tour boat launch where we pickup some beers before boarding the boat with Captain Tony. The tour let us see some gators, turtles, raccoons and a number of birds, along with a voodoo shack (according to the Captain it was an original building that they just “stood back up”) and a cemetery from a flood in 1915. The best part of the tour was Captain Tony and his stories about living in the bayou! We take the bus back to Decatur and take the long way back to the hotel, enjoying the French Quarter one last evening.
Unable to decide on where to get dinner (unfortunately the restaurant I wanted to go to was closed on Monday nights) we go back to St. Roch’s Market. The variety and options available mean it doesn’t feel like eating at the same place twice! When we’re done with our dinner we head to Mimi’s in the Marigny, a local bar with an interesting snack menu and some good music (the Vandals!).
This was our long weekend! I didn’t include my first afternoon plans in this post but the first thing I did was visit Studio Be (you can read about that here) and I would certainly squeeze it in if you can! I’ll be putting up a guide of all the places we ate and drank shortly, too, so stay tuned.
Have you been to New Orleans? Tell me all about your favorite things to do!