I had the pleasure of going to New Orleans, Louisiana for the first time this past weekend. Words cannot describe how amazing that city is. I don’t really know what I expected from it – at best I’d seen the city featured on the show “Cops” and maybe on the Food Network.
I guess my expectations were low, at best.
The city had so much more to offer than I ever thought and it was absolutely gorgeous. The people we met in New Orleans are easily the friendliest people I’ve ever been around which says a lot coming from the South.
I started my trip with a surprise upgrade to First Class from Delta – this clearly was a good indication of how the rest of the trip was going to be. I had never flow First Class and for once in my life, I was actually wishing that the little over an hour flight from Atlanta would continue on.
My friend and I got to NOLA Friday around noon. We dropped our bags off at the W – French Quarter where we were staying and decided to grab some food (obviously seafood). We stopped at Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar which was just a few blocks from the hotel. I had a crawfish po boy which was quite good and it came with some gumbo, also great. This restaurant was pretty casual and a great value for some quick, fresh seafood.
We went back to the hotel, unpacked and decided to set up a Swamp/Plantation tour for Saturday (will talk more about this later) and then get our Tarot cards read. We scheduled our 30 minute readings at HEX: Old World Witchery. I don’t really give much thought to things like this, but it was one of those “when in Rome” moments. My reading was pretty awesome, the lady (witch?) was not generic at all and was pretty right on with the reading. Overall, a pretty cool experience – definitely the place to get this done if you have any interest in that kind of stuff.
After that, we walked around for a bit then got ready for dinner. We actually choose the seafood place right across the street from the place we had lunch at because we noticed there was a huge line no matter what time of day – those people were obviously up to something. This place was called Acme Oyster House and they claim to have the “best oysters in town.” Well, I’ll go ahead and back them up on that. The Chargrilled Oysters were definitely sent down directly from heaven. As my main course, I tried a Cajan favorite, étouffée, which was also remarkable. Hands down the best Cajan I’ve ever had.
That night, we hung out for a little on Bourbon Street and noticed all the “areas” as we walked down the street. First you have the Daiquiri & Pizza district. All these places seem to serve frozen daiquiri’s and pizza. Super random. Then you slowly walk into what we dubbed the Red Light district – self explanatory. After that, you get to the Jazz/Rock & Roll places and then at the end there are the Gay bars. It’s a pretty fun area, but I couldn’t imagine how crowded it gets during Mardi Gras seeing as there were quite a bit of people there when we were.
The next morning, we headed out on our Swamp/Plantation tour. We got some package where they pick you up at your hotel and drive you out about 30 minutes to where the swamps are. We used A Swamp Adventure for our tour and really liked them. The guide was funny and informative and he took us around some pretty cool spots in the airboat. It was absolutely gorgeous out there and I even got my first gator!
After the swamp fun we went to a the Destrehan Plantation. This was definitely not my favorite – most of the building had been destroyed and not much on the plantation was authentic. It was pretty though, none the less. I’d probably go to a more “original” plantation, however if I were to do it over.
After that we naturally stopped by the St. Louis Cathedral – the Catholic in me can’t let these things slip by unnoticed, obviously. It was stunning and unlike any Cathedral I’ve seen to date (which says a lot).
For dinner we went to a really cool spot that was absolutely delish – at this time, however, the name evades me so I’ll have to edit that in later on.
Sunday, we were exhausted! We rode the St. Charles Street Car for what seemed like an eternity after we missed our stop to go to the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Alas, we got there and got to see the really cool and creepy above ground graves. Even saw some places where some people had seemingly escaped!
So there ya have it! My new favorite city in a nutshell! I can’t believe we did all of this between noon on Friday and five on Sunday! You definitely can go there for a weekend and do a lot if you plan things out right (or not because we planned nothing until we got there).
Thank you NOLA for the hospitality and love!!!