New Orleans aka NOLA is not your ordinary American city. It’s just, well.. New Orleans. Between the French quarter, Mardi Gras, voodoo talk, crawdaddy’s, and jazz music, there is a lot you need to know about New Orleans.
Donkey rides and gold painted “statue” men. Just another day in NOLA.
»BEIGNETS [ben-yeyz] — A must While in NOLA & where to get them 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
So my sister and I actually lived there when we were younger. I remember getting beignets (french donuts) in the French quarter and watching the factory pump them out. I don’t recall a lot from when I was younger, but I could never forget those yummy dough balls of happiness topped with powdered sugar. Maybe you have heard of the famous Café Du Monde French for “cafe of the world” or “the people’s cafe.” It is the place to go get beignets while in New Orleans. This café with a long line down the road is famous for a reason annd I just realized I could talk about beignets all day long.
Another place I was particularly impressed with is Café beignet. It is less busy than Café Du Monde, and in my opinion, just as good. Another great thing about this little café, is that they serve up more than just beignets. They also serve breakfast, lunch & most importantly (after beignets of course), cocktails. My sister and I enjoyed our food outdoors. I highly suggest you don’t leave without trying both cafe’s.
- Po boy — Traditional New Orleans Sandwich.
- Beignets — French donut.
- Pralines — Hard to explain, but essentially it’s a sugar & pecan fudge-like treat. It is not exactly like fudge though because if you try a really good praline, they are actually not chewy. Don’t buy the “famous” Aunt Sally’s brand. They are not good at all. Spend the extra money & buy fresh at a souvenir shop downtown. You’re welcome in advance.
- Banana’s Foster — A few ingredients… bananas, ice cream, & rum. Why yes “I’ll have 32 to-go please.”
- Gumbo — Stew with Seafood, chicken, okra, or sausage.
- Crawdaddy’s aka Crawfish — Not for me, but so popular there.
- Jumbalaya — Usually a spicy sausage and rice dish.
- King Cake — Famous during Mardi Gras. A delicious Danish pastry.
»WHERE TO STAY
- In French Quarter (get your wallet out — it’s expensive, but probably worth it)
- Anywhere near the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (right near the Mississippi River — for stunning views)
— OR —
We stayed at Le Pavillon Hotel, which is only a few blocks from the French quarter. A decently cheap alternative to staying directly in the French Quarter. I would have probably liked being closer because you walk a lot as it is in New Orleans, but I really enjoyed my stay there. They had a PB & J hour at around 10pm every night where there were mini PB & J sammies served with hot cocoa. It is the little things. The rooms were nothing fancy by any means, but the hotel itself is stunning! The dining/bar experience was exquisite. Did I mention the rooftop pool?
»Fave New Orleans drank — Daiquiri from Big Easy Daiquiri’s. It’s a must.
Do A Guided Tour:
There is no shortage of tours in New Orleans. I’m talking historic tours, ghost tours, drinking ghost tours, swamp tours, cemetary tours, walking drinking tours, riding drinking tours, donkey tours, food tours, boat tours, sober tours. LOL.
Since this was a sister-bonding trip, we did a walking-drinking-ghost tour. It was pretty awesome. We went to one of the oldest bars around, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop located on the famous Bourbon St. — serving up drinks since the 1700’s. Trip advisor is honestly the best for looking at all of the types of tours before traveling there because you can read reviews and prices, etc. To check out the types of tours click here.
Go to a Festival:
Just like there are no shortages of tours, the same can be said for NOLA festivals.
My sister and I went to the Bayou Boogaloo — 3 day music & arts festival in late May. Get there by trolly. Includes: several stages with different kinds of music. TIP: Bring sunscreen because even though it is in May, it is boiling hot and they charge an ungodly amount of money for sunscreen. Also, bring a floaty!
Don’t forget to just walk around and listen to the smooth jazz on the side of the street! One of the best things about New Orleans — music and art is everywhere.
Highly recommend. Cool experience and probably the best aquarium I have been to thus far. There is an option to package together the zoo, insectarium, and aquarium for a decent price, but I didn’t want to see insects. So the aquarium it was.
Walk along the Mississippi River right on the strip by the aquarium — the views are absolutely breath taking. There is art and music in every single corner.
In summary — New Orleans is amazing and you should go. Hope this was helpful 🙂 Looking for another cool place to vacay? Try visiting Old Montréal.