Perhaps visiting New Orleans has been on your travel list for a long time, or maybe it is an impromptu trip. Either way, New Orleans is the perfect getaway for a long weekend. With influences from France, Spain, the Caribbean, and Native America, there is nothing quite like the unique culture in NOLA. Here are the places you must get to when in The Big Easy.
Stroll the French Quarter- Start your trip with a walk through the French Quarter. Filled with restaurants, bars, shops, and beautiful architecture, there really is so much to see and do. Jackson Square is the location of the infamous St. Louis Cathedral, and also where the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Once you have worked up an appetite, head to Café du Monde, the place to get beignets. And don’t worry if there is nowhere to sit—a friendly local will probably offer to share their table with you. From there, walk a few blocks down and check out the Natchez Steamboat, one of the historical steamboats of the Mississippi River.
Experience the Music- Known for its long history of jazz music, NOLA does not disappoint with the number of places to hear great tunes. Take a walk down Bourbon Street at any time of day and you are sure to find some street music, or even a full marching band parade. Or, head over to Frenchmen Street, one of the best for many options for live jazz music every night.
Take a Tour- Learn some history with a formal tour. There are endless choices, but if you want to get spooked, a voodoo tour or ghost tour through Saint Louis Cemetery No.1 might do it. The oldest cemetery in the city, it has tombs of a few local famous folks. If voodoo is not your thing, book a trip out of the city to tour the surrounding plantations. It is a great way to learn about the important and moving history of the area. The Oak Alley Plantation home is one of the more well-known, with 28 oak trees lining the old home’s walkway.
Visit the Garden District- Get a taste for old NOLA and take a streetcar (and yes, riding the streetcars is a must-do!) up to the Garden District. Full of large Victorian homes, and streets lined with trees, you’ll forget you are in a city. The famous Buckner Mansion is on St. Charles Avenue, which also has some fun shops. From there, head over to Lafayette Cemetery to explore the mausoleums and tombs. Bonus Tip: To truly step back in time, have dinner at Commander’s Palace, a turquoise Victorian restaurant serving up traditional Creole food.
Be a History Buff- NOLA is home to the National World War II Museum, the largest dedicated to this war in the U.S. You can listen to first-hand accounts of the war while viewing pictures and artifacts. The museum is located on Magazine Street, which is also home to many great restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
New Orleans is a city that is rich in culture, with so much going on all the time. The food, music, and people will make you remember the city long after you have left.