As I scrolled through my spreadsheet of places we’ve traveled, I ran into the second city we explored as a married couple and one that appeared on my long list at least twice. New Orleans, Lousiana, commonly known as NOLA. Cecil and I have a yearly tradition, on our anniversary instead of gifts, we take a trip to a new city. It is something we agreed on before we got married. On our one-year anniversary, NOLA was our big adventure. And yes I have a spreadsheet with the names of all the places we’ve visited. I am an accountant, and I have no shame in my game. Lists not only keep my days flowing smoothly but have changed my life. Check out The Art Of Being Grateful, where I show you how to get started creating your blessings list. I highly recommend making a list of cities you’ve visited and places you want to visit. Not only is it ideal for recording travels but it’s a source of inspiration. Looking back at the places we’ve visited, I would have never thought we’d get to travel the way we have. Check out our adventures in Playa Del Carmen Mexico, Heidelberg Germany, Brussels Belgium, Wiesbaden Germany and Paris France.
NOLA is a fun city with a Big Easy feel to it. It has a French flair that is hard to miss and a charm that enchants visitors from around the world. Everyone is friendly and always happy to be here. When you first arrive, if you step anywhere near Bourbon St. don’t let the smell of pee deter you from joining in on the fun. This city reminds me of Las Vegas but cheaper and a bit smaller. Las Vegas is spectacular but so are their prices. NOLA offers pizazz at a discount! My wallet is not complaining about this one.
Best time to visit
January through May. During the Spring months, Mardi Gras and Crawfish season are in full swing and the weather is mild. Along with the Jazz Fest and other events, these months are ideal for visiting the city.
Where To Stay
I recommend a stay in the French Quarter. It is where a lot of the action happens and where most tourist sights are. Book your hotel rooms through Airbnb, (where you can get up to $40 on your first booking) Booking.com (Earn up to $15 on your first booking using the link provided), or Expedia. Don’t forget to read reviews on Tripadvisor, a great source for trusty reviews.
- Astor Crown Plaza. Located on Canal St. and Bourbon St. you can’t miss it. The service is outstanding, and the rooms are comfy. Before going, I read that its location next to Bourbon street made it hard to sleep at night, but I didn’t experience that at all. The noise never quite made it to our room, so we were ok. They do provide earplugs if you need them. Location wise, it is further out than a lot of hotels. Therefore a little more walking was involved, but we didn’t mind. If you’re looking for a more centrally located hotel, stay in Place d’Armes Hotel.
- Place d’Armes Hotel. Considered one of the best hotels in the French Quarter, this peaceful and quaint hotel is near Jackson Square.
- Hotel Le Marais. Charming hotel, conveniently located within walking distance to restaurants and night life. Talk about location, location, location.
What To Do
- St. Louis Cathedral. The oldest and active cathedral in the U.S. It’s a beautiful church. Walk in there and give your thanks for being able to visit.
- Walking Tour of the city. There are free walking tours you can join. Just look one up on Tripadvisor. It’s a great way to experience the historic cobbled streets of NOLA
- The National WWII Museum. Fantastic Museum, considered to be in the top ten in the U.S. The history, artifacts, and exhibits, take you back in time and explain everything about the war.
- French Quarter. Known for its diverse architecture, Jazz clubs, restaurants and lively atmosphere.
- Jackson Square. Located in the French Quarter, this square is always lively and filled with street painters, musicians, and jugglers.
- Harrah’s Casino. Test out your luck in this big Casino.
- Bourbon Street. A street lined with restaurants, bars and fun places to hang out. Get the famous Granade on this street.
- New Orleans Brewery Tour. Like craft beers? Experience three of New Orleans breweries and their delicious beer. Transportation provided is included in the price.
- The Garden District. Historic homes line the streets of this part of the city.
- Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour. An open top city bus that is relatively new and provides transportation for one price. Great way to get around and explore the city.
- Get a Cemetery Tour or a Ghosts & Haunted Houses Tour if you’re into that. I’ve never done one myself, but from what I’ve heard they are fun.
Bars & Entertainment
The Spotted Cat Music Club. Jazz club with great Jazz, Blues, Funk and R&B music.
Cat’s Meow. Get ready to listen to drunk karaoke. Some are good and others plain hilarious.
The Krazy Corner. Bands perform, and this place comes alive. Fun place to listen to music and have a couple of drinks
Pat O’Brien’s. Fun bar with a lively atmosphere.
Where To Eat
Cafe Dumond. Eat the beignets and drink the coffee.
Original French Market Restaurant. Delicious shrimp po’boys and crawfish.
Central Grocery and Deli. Stop here and pick up the best muffuletta in town. It is a small grocery store, and from what I recall there weren’t many places to sit. This place always has a line.
Cafe Maspero. Locals love this place. The atmosphere is friendly, and the food is good. FYI, there may be a long wait line (approximately 20-45 min, sometimes longer).
What to Drink
Drink a Granade on Bourbon Streets. This stuff is good, but it will get you drunk. (Just a warning).
Drink a Hurrican from Pat O’Brien’s. These drinks are so strong it will grow hair on your chest. Not literally but it is a potent drink.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of photos of our trips to NOLA. Somehow with all the phone changes, we’ve lost them. (SAd Face.) But I do hope that you thoroughly enjoy NOLA. We love going there because it’s a fun city with delicious food.
What is a place you visit for fun? Are you planning on visiting New Orleans? If so, tell me about your trip. I’d love to hear about it. I am not an expert in NOLA and if you’re from there, what would you add?