My Brief Travel Guide to New Orleans
In the spirit of Mardi Gras, below is a list that I put together for a friend’s sister that is visiting one of my favorite places in the world, New Orleans. To save time on revising it, I’ve left the email in the exact state to serve as a my travel guide for New Orleans.
Hey man, below is a list I threw together of stuff I would do if I’m in New Orleans and not looking at partying.
Entertainment in New Orleans:
- Maple Leaf Bar for Grammy Winning Rebirth Brass Band (video) – They play every Tuesday. Definitely go to this. It’s amazing.
- City Park – Sometimes has outdoor plays, has putt putt, and just a nice green area of the city.
- Take the Algiers Ferry across to Algiers Point, it’s a great view of the city. Plus, you can grab food/drink in Algiers or pack a picnic and eat it on the levees.
- If you’re looking to spend a day to volunteer, there are a good number of organizations in the city to do so. Some of them, I believe you will have to pay to volunteer, but that goes to re-coop the costs from transportation, food, etc…
- Bourbon Street – Even if you aren’t a big drinker, you should go here just to check it out.
- Definitely ride in one of the streetcars. I’ve actually never done this, but would recommend it.
- Frenchmen Street at night is the place to go to for Live Jazz. Over the past 4 years of going to New Orleans, this has become more and more touristy. So, some locals may seem upset about it, but definitely see live music. The Spotted Cat is a go-to/Frenchmen staple.
- If you like to gamble, there is a Harris Casino.
- The NBA team, New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Jazz until they moved to Utah), have home games until April 15th.
- Get a snowball. They’re basically snowcones, but usually with home-made syrup. Also, the more beaten down the place looks, chances are the better the snowballs are.
- World War II Museum is amazing. I’ve been there only once, but have been meaning to go again. You should go and watch the 4D immersive videos that they have. Narrated by Tom Hanks, the cinematography is so masterfully done – as well as the rest of the museum.
- Julia Street has a bunch of shops selling art. Magazine Street also has a bunch of boutique shops that sell art as well.
- Can’t forget about the French Market. it’s basically a bazaar for people selling good. You can get everything from Alligator sausage to art prints for your house.
- Preservation Hall Jazz Club – Usually very hot inside, no ventilation, but there is jazz. And that’s all you need to get by.
Food in New Orleans:
- Parkway Bakery & Tavern – Get a roast beef or another kind of po’boy.
- Bacchanal Wine – This is an outdoor eating area that is a nice place for a date in the Bywater part of New Orleans. The Bywater is a pretty up-and-coming (read: hipster) part of the city, but Bacchanal is a really chill place to spend a dinner. If you don’t know anything about wine, they’ll help you put together a wine & cheese board prior to ordering entres.
- Fancy/Expensive places in the French Quarter – I’ve personally stayed away from the French Quarter because it’s ridiculously overpriced and the food is the same quality, in my opinion. I’ve been to Sylvain, but I believe that is it.
- Cafe du Monde – This has been a New Orleans staple since 1862 and is another touristy place to go to. I would rank this up there with the Maple Leaf Bar for Rebirth, it’s something you absolutely have to do.
- Cochon is always a good place for a bite to eat.
- Yelp is also a pretty solid indicator for places to eat.
- Eat crawfish or find a friend or see if you can find someone at the hotel that knows someone having a crawfish boil. Crawfish should hopefully be in season when you’re down there, so the price won’t be ridiculous like they were last year.
Other Tips for New Orleans:
- Good luck getting a cab if you call. Perhaps have your hotel schedule them to pick you up. They’re notoriously bad in New Orleans. I don’t think Uber of Lyft has launched in New Orleans yet (sadly).
- Depending when you’ll be in New Orleans, the Crescent City Classic, JazzFest, or French Quarter Fest might be occurring.
- Magazine street has pretty upscale shops and places to eat.