The Ideal Days in New Orleans
New Orleans has its own food (Creole) and it’s own style of music (Dixieland jazz) as well as its own traditions (second lines parades) and most importantly, its own style. Even though three days isn’t enough to explore all the sights, it’s enough time to provide you with an experience of all the above.
It is important to navigate the city with a plan. This itinerary covers the top spots–Bourbon Street and The Garden District, beignets and Sazeracs, while also making time to explore less visited regions (like the riverfront area of Algiers) and hidden treasures (a festive dive bar for instance). It also includes authentic Tripadvisor review and rating, which is similar to receiving a list of suggestions from a experienced and well-traveled friend.
AM: Explore the French Quarter
If you ask a local for a place to get the best beignets you’ll likely receive many different responses. However, the iconic Cafe Du Monde gets our preference, especially its original location in the French Market located in the heart of the historic Jackson Square. It’s been open for more than 160 years and only serves one thing that is beignets.
The stand is open 24 hours a day and can be very crowded, however it’s the only place that you can enjoy hot beignets or cafe au lait watching portrait artists, tarot cards readers and tumblers with acrobatic moves.
After having had a sugar high and caffeinated After a sugar-filled and caffeine-infused day, stroll these streets that make up the French Quarter (Vieux Carre to locals) and take a look at the Creole townhouses, balconies made of wrought iron and hanging gardens. Make sure you get away from the main drags however, don’t forget the Royal as well as Chartres Streets that are renowned for their antique stores and art galleries. It’s also a great time to visit Bourbon Street If you’d like to experience it without the crowds.
French Quarter Tour Options
There is only one way you can see New Orleans’ most famous–and most haunted — cemetery is by taking the tour. (Technically, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 lies outside of the French Quarter, but many of the city’s most notorious residents, such as voodoo queen Marie Laveau, are buried there.)
With its lenient liquor laws The city is best to be explored with a drink at the hand. Drink and Discover’s Drink Tour will keep the drinks flowing as you explore Jackson Square, the Pharmacy Museum as well as various other Quarter landmarks.
Find out about the scandalous side of NOLA through the fun and exciting Saints and Sinners walking tour that includes stops at landmarks such as Hotel Villa Convento and St. Louis Cathedral.
Afternoon The soul food of the day, sculptures and the second line
Hungry? Take a trip north to Treme Treme, the oldest African-American community located in the U.S. Explore the colorful homes and cottages, to the cult Creole-soul establishment Dooky Chase. The late owners Leah Chase, the queen of Creole cuisine, died many years ago, but her family members keep her memory — and her coveted recipes for gumbo and fried chicken alive.
If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a second line while you leave lunch. The parades led by brass bands are frequent during Treme (usually for funerals and weddings and other times simply because). It’s impossible to miss them as the participants in bright costumes are all dancing, singing, and waving handkerchiefs around as they walk along the street. It’s totally up to you to join in, it’s part of the enjoyment.
The next one is next is the Sydney The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Park located only a short ride on the streetcar away. It is located in a an expansive, lush City Park This garden is completely free (even an audio tour) and is an ideal escape from the smog that is the Quartier. The best tip is to visit another Cafe Du Monde location just across the street if you aren’t satisfied with your beignets yet, or need a second amount of powdered sugar.