Oh My NOLA!
My first trip to New Orleans was a short one. Two days. Following a hike in the Grand Canyon and a fourteen hour drive through Texas you'd think I was ready for two days of rest and relaxation. But for those of you who are familiar with the city of New Orleans, you know that there's a magic there that gives strength to even the most weary traveler. Not through sleep though. Rather through the endless supply of music, dancing, beignets, coffee, and...
Well, you should go see for yourself. There's so many things to do in NOLA that I could write a whole book. Yet right now I'll simply share with you the gems of that first magical weekend. Use them wisely and remember that you can always come back. You'll certainly want to!
Muriel's Jackson Square was the best meal I tasted on that first weekend in NOLA. Crawfish crepes and turtles soup were a standout. I recommend skipping entrees and indulging in multiple appetizers (like A LOT of appetizers) and wine. This way you get to taste more and it's all so delicious. After dinner scotch recommended on the balcony.
Avoid Bourbon Street like the plague. Ask a cab to bring you here after dinner instead for a whole slew of live music. You can spend a whole night on this one block hearing some of the most amazing bands play a variety of styles and songs.
Cafe Du Monde
Sure it's touristy. Some say overrated. But after drinking all night on Frenchmen street with your ears still ringing at 3am you'll appreciate the coffee and starchy goodness of their beignets.
Didn't actually make it here but it's highly recommended by those in the service industry there and abroad. Basically an after hours bar that avoids glam of bourbon street. Also one of oldest structures in New Orleans and a National Landmark!
A nice change of pace from the Bourbon Street craze. It's in a residential part of town so you have to take the trolley, but that's part of the charm and if you ask around you'll find it…eventually.
If you go for a run to work off the meals I recommend getting away from the downtown area. Traffic makes for a frenzied night life but isn't the best for breathing deeply.
Airboat Tours of The Bayou
If you get a chance to get a bit south of NOLA and it's not too cold, I highly recommend taking an airboat tour on the bayou. The sunsets are beautiful and you might just get to hold a gator...if you're into that sorta thing.