Are you ready to learn about America’s most exciting city?! (Full disclosure: I’m totally biased because I’ve been in love with this city since I was little!) New Orleans has everything: food, drink, history, nature, music, architecture, anything you could dream of! So settle in and learn about why New Orleans is your next adventure!
Where to Stay
Like everything, where to stay always depends on what you like to do! If you like older, larger houses with beautifully landscaped gardens, stay in the Garden District (it’s only a trolley ride away from the French Quarter). If you plan on catching Pelicans’ or Saints’ games (depending on the season) stay downtown. But you can’t go wrong staying in the French Quarter. Think of the last picture you saw of New Orleans, the old houses with the wrought-iron balconies covered in ivy, the streets lined with street lamps. That’s the French Quarter. It’s got all the jazz, food, and nightlife you can dream of!
When to Go
I prefer autumn (at the end of hurricane season) because I hate humidity, and I don’t like too much rain during my trips. New Orleans can get a little chilly in the winter. Hate crowds? Avoid New Orleans during Mardi Gras. (Common misconception, Mardi Gras isn’t just one day. Celebrations can and do happen from Epiphany all the way until Ash Wednesday.)
· The French Quarter (and surrounding areas) is easily walkable, and has a fantastic trolley system! You shouldn’t need to rent a car unless you’re getting out of the city to explore the bayous.
· Visit a cemetery. Not. Even. Kidding. New Orleans floods a lot, as you probably know, so it’s made it very impractical to bury bodies in cemeteries. Go see their solution!
· New Orleans is an open container city. Yes, that means you can carry around your margarita or hurricane (which you must try) as you please. Just don’t abuse it. Tourists are way more likely to get mugged if they’re drunk.
· New Orleans has one the oldest cathedrals in the U.S. Check out St. Louis Cathedral and the adjacent Jackson Square. You will hear live music.
· Take a tour of some sort. New Orleans is full of such rich experiences that there are plenty of tours for you to choose from: ghost, pirate, historical, architectural, jazz, food, etc.!
· Do not miss out on getting a beignet. Luckily for you Café du Monde is open 24/7!
Why You Should Go
Until somebody convinces me otherwise, I stand by my claim that New Orleans is America’s most unique city. It has the historical influences of French, Spanish, Native American, African, and British. It is birthplace to America’s most iconic music: jazz. And the food is flipping amazing! I repeat, if you love food, you’ll love New Orleans! Yes, New Orleans sometimes gets a reputation for being a little grimy, but when you host the country’s largest party, people are bound to spill their drinks once in a while. If you don’t go during Mardi Gras, it’s just as clean as any other American city.
A Little Extra
Never seen the bayou? Go on a tour (and don’t forget the bug spray!).
Really like music? Visit the Jazz and Heritage Festival usually at the end of April going into the beginning of May.
There are several, several wildlife refuges in the area, so if that’s something that interests you, make time to visit them. You won’t be disappointed!
New Orleans is still recovering from Katrina, so if voluntourism is something that interests you there are several places for you to volunteer. Check out this link to see!
Need help planning your New Orleans dream trip? Contact me (your travel counselor) to get started!
Now get out there and go!
Bonus Photo: Does anyone else find the photo below a little...distasteful/ironic/darkly hilarious? Like, they really think sponsoring an aquarium exhibit makes up for everything?