My first trip of 2019 to New Orleans, Louisiana, was absolutely amazing! This was a girls trip which I enjoyed with my mom, grandma, sisters and a couple of friends. We celebrated my sister’s 25th birthday and also got to spend some time with my little sister, who’s attending Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Oh, and we arrived right on time for Mardi Gras!
Where We Stayed:
We stayed at this amazing Air BnB in Harvey, which is about 30minutes away from the city. The neighborhood was beautiful and safe, plus our host was great! If you plan on traveling with a lot of people (at least 4 or 5) then I highly suggest an Air BnB. You get your own place to yourself, don’t have to worry about noise complaints as much as you would at a hotel, and it literally feels like a home away from home. This was my first Air BnB experience, I’ll be doing a full review soon so stay tuned!
What We Ate:
It is an absolute MUST that you get some beignets while in NOLA. Cafe Beignet is a very popular spot, and you’re likely to see a line when you stop by (but don’t worry, it goes by fast). Of course you can get more than just beignets here. This is a great spot for brunch and they also have outdoor seating. I loved the vibes here, and beginning around 2pm they have a live jazz band that comes in to play!
The Gumbo Shop
I will admit, upon entering the Gumbo Shop it looked a tiny bit sketchy at first. But once you’re in, the place has beautiful Parisian vibes. You can choose whether you want to eat inside or outdoors, and the gumbo is great! I tried seafood gumbo which I believe had crab, shrimp, and maybe something else in it that I can’t quite remember. They also serve these endless French baguettes to go with the entrees. This is also a great place for creole staples!
If you have a sweet tooth, definitely stop at The Fudgery! They have ice cream, house made fudge, caramel apples and so much more. They also give away free samples so you can try before you buy.
Other Must Haves:
Willie’s Chicken Shack — Literally the BEST chicken ever. Located along Bourbon St, it’s quite the lituation with loud music and great food. You can also get one of the city’s famous Hurricane drinks for $15!
Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant — This place is located in one of my favorite spots…the French Quarter! The area is absolutely beautiful, but let’s get to the restaurant. It has a very laid back atmosphere and their seafood platters and entrees are HUGE.
A Po’Boy Sandwich — You guys, I was on a mission to try a Po’Boy sandwich before leaving New Orleans, but we ate so much this entire trip I never had room for it. I ended up having to settle for a shrimp po’boy sandwich from the airport (almost missed my flight for it 😭). It was good, but I can’t wait to go back and actually try one from a nice restaurant.
Daisy Duke’s — We went here for breakfast, but you can also grab lunch and dinner from here. I had the most delicious strawberry-banana French toast, and they also serve bottomless bloody mary’s to go (if you like those). Aside from breakfast, they specialize in seafood and Cajun fare. Plus, my sister tried their chicken tenders and they were the best I ever had. Almost made me send my French toast back!
The trolley ride is a great way to get around the downtown area and even enjoy some sightseeing. It only costs $.50 each way! We used this to get to Decatur St to check out Cafe Beignet, and Jackson Square to check out the St Louis Cathedral. There are many routes that will take you around and throughout the French Quarter. You can use this to get to museums, cemetery tours, and more!
This area is SO beautiful and relaxing. There’s fountains, flowers, statues and more. It’s also where the famous St Louis Cathedral is locates.
St Louis Cathedral (Jackson Square)
Visiting this place left me speechless. As if you’re not already blown away by the outside, once you step inside it’s just amazing — especially the ceilings. Unfortunately they say you “can’t” take pictures of the inside…but you’ll find that some people still do. You can also light candles for prayer intentions, which is a great spiritual experience to have at this beautiful cathedral.
There are so many museums throughout the city. There’s the Louisiana State Museum, The National WWII Museum, art museums and more. It’s a great way to learn about the history of the city, and on certain days you can check some out for free!
The French Quarter
The French Quarter is my #1 favorite destination in New Orleans. The vibes are everything. There’s blocks of shopping, nice restaurants, antique shops and more. This side of town can get pretty expensive though, especially the antique shops and jewelry stores.
If you are the life of the party, or just want a little turn up session while you’re out of town, this is the place to be. When we arrived to NOLA it was the last day of Mardi Gras, and let me tell you, Bourbon Street was LIT. However I’ve heard from locals that it’s always like that. I wouldn’t call myself a party girl, but I’d definitely say you have to check out Bourbon Street at least once. One crazy night was enough for me, lol!
Also, be sure to check out Decatur St. It’s where Cafe Beignet is located, walking distance to St Louis Cathedral, near The Fudgery, and there’s also a mall nearby with nice gift shops inside!
All in all, this trip was everything and definitely set the tone for traveling all 2019. I can’t wait to continue exploring and capture every moment. I definitely plan on making a return, especially since I have the excuse of my little sister attending school here. Also, I highly recommend Lyft or Uber as your primary mode of transportation if you’re visiting for Mardi Gras.
If you’ve been to NOLA, please share your favorite destinations and restaurants so I can check them out next time!