Laissez les bons temps rouler! – My guide to enjoying the Big Easy,

This may be a little biased but I believe that New Orleans is the best city in the world. The food, music and all around culture of this beautiful town is unlike any other.  People who are planning to visit always ask me for advice on what to do so I put together this guide of my favorite things. For over a year it’s been tucked away in a folder on my laptop but here it is for the world to see. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to experience this gem of a city.

Food

New Orleanians are really proud of their cuisine therefore, it’s really tough to find bad food here. With so many great places to dine in the Cresent City you can’t go wrong. Here a some of my favorites:

Cafe Du Monde, of course! – I’ve been coming here since I was in diapers. Then it was Beignets (our version of the donut) and chocolate milk but I’ve since graduated to Cafe au lait’s.  Don’t wait to be seated because it’ll never happen. Just wait in line, if there is one, and take the first available table you find when your turn is up. 1039 Decatur St.,www.cafedumonde.com

Mother’s Restaurant – Mother’s is famous for their ham but I prefer the classic shrimp po-boy. There is usually a line but it’s well worth the wait. 401 Poydras Street, www.mothersrestaurant.net

Court of Two Sisters – It’s a little pricey but you’re paying for the experience of sitting in a traditional courtyard with live jazz music. The food is great also. I recommend the jazz brunch with your girlfriends or a romantic date with your sweetheart.  613 Royal Street, www.courtoftwosisters.com

Resist the urge to eat the day away and enjoy some of these attractions:

Bourbon French Perfumes – This 164 year old perfumery is located in the heart of the French Quarter and is a great place to peruse for original, one-of-a-kind scents. My favorite is Kus Kus with it’s fresh, almost baby powdery aroma. I wear it all the time and it always brings me back. You can also have a custom made scent created just for you.  805 Royal Street, neworleansperfumes.com

Jackson Square – You can’t miss it. It’s located on Decatur Street (across from Cafe Du Monde) and on most Saturdays you can witness some beautiful outdoor weddings. Learn more here.

St. Louis Cathedral – Ground was broken for this majestic building in 1907. Since then hundreds of thousands of visitors have peered inside this breathtaking structure, including the pope in 1999. cathedralstl.org

Magazine Street – This funky area is a great place for shopping with plenty of unique antique shops and boutiques. You can also enjoy the restaurants and bars that are dotted here and there. magazinestreet.com

Ride the St. Charles streetcar – For just $1 you can head to the Garden District and enjoy the beautiful architecture. You can find a map and schedule here.

Cruise down the Mississippi River – The Natchez is a majestic paddle boat that takes guests on an unforgettable journey down the mighty Mississippi., www.steamboatnatchez.com

Stroll through a cemetery– New Orleans cemeteries are unlike any others.  The tombs are above ground and absolutely beautiful. Check out this map of cemeteries courtesy of Curbed New Orleans. Fun fact,  the renowned Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be buried at St. Louis #1 cemetery.

The French Market – A Great outdoor market with delicious food vendors and great shopping.  Here you’ll find good deals on t-shirts, sunglasses, knock-off handbags, alligator heads and anything else you can imagine. www.frenchmarket.org

Check out neworleanscvb.com for other ideas and a calendar of events.

Here are some other great things about New Orleans:

– If you’re in a restaurant and haven’t finished your beer, no problem just take it with you!

– Hand grenades are our specialty drink and can only be found (authentically at least) in New Orleans. Pace yourself b/c they are strong (and very sweet).

– We are very proud of our football team so if you’re a Saints fan there’s no end to the paraphernalia that can be found. Who Dat?!

Geaux Saints!

– If you’re easily offended then stay away from Bourbon Street. There’s plenty of bars and strip clubs where, throughout the day, ladies stand on the street to entice passerby’s to step inside. If you’re laid back, however, enjoy the show!

I think that everyone should visit New Orleans at least once in their life so they can experience the rich culture that only the Big Easy has to offer. Whether it’s for the jazz and history or the liquor and night-life, there really is something for everyone in good ole’ Nawlins.

Author: Ashley Zoerner

I'm originally from New Orleans, LA and grew up in the nearby town of Waveland, MS. I graduated from Georgia State University with a communications degree in 2010. Since then I've traveled the country and world meeting the most interesting people. My dream is to tell people's stories and share my passions with the world.

6 thoughts

  1. Great guide Ashley. I’ve never explored New Orleans in-depth, so this will give me a nice head start on planning the trip. Thanks!

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