Curated By: Lucas Santos & Ben Dumas
Travel Period: April 2017
Traveled With: Andrea and Toffer Noering, Sam Dumas, Lyle Maltz, Caitlin Dumas, Michelle Manning
Typical Weather: 80s and slightly humid with some breeze during the day, 65 and cool at night
Getting There: Jetblue nonstop – 3.5 hours – Approx $450 roundtrip
Getting Around: Walk, Uber, or Trolly
We had an idea of what New Orleans was going to be like based on all the bachelor parties and Mardi Gras stories we’ve heard before; however, we were pleasantly surprised by this city once we got there. New Orleans has a special type of energy and charm centered around music, food, and fun – all of which are things we absolutely love. We went down there for our friend’s 30th birthday and it was the perfect city to celebrate her milestone birthday. We strolled around, hopping into stores, restaurants, and bars during the day, enjoyed a delicious dinner at night, and then were able to hit up some music spots and bars for the night. We were there for 4 nights and it was perfect.
- Queen & Crescent Hotel – Old school styled modern boutique hotel just outside the French Quarter. Perfect location where it was a quick 5 minute walk to all the action but just far enough not to hear any of it at night.
- Ace Hotel – Just two blocks away from Queen & Crescent Hotel in a similarly great location. The hotel has an amazing lobby bar and restaurant and also has a rooftop pool which gets busy during the weekend, but much smaller rooms.
SEE & DO
- Royal Street – This was probably our favorite day-time place to walk around. They close off the street during the day so no cars can pass so it becomes a pedestrian only street with live street music all along the French Quarters. Royal street is also where so many antique shops are located, so we would pop in and start talking to the shop owners.
- Frenchmen Street – The night time music destination. So fun and lively like Bourbon Street, but much nicer. You hop in and out of different bars depending on whether the music draws you in or not.
- Frenchmen Street Art Market – Night time art market on Frenchmen Street. Really cool alley with local vendors selling crafts, jewelry, and art. Definitely a fun pit stop along your night.
- Jackson Square – Really nice square right along the river in the French Quarters. The streets surrounding Jackson Square are super lively with street performers and musicians playing for tips.
- New Orleans Trolley – The best route and probably the only one worth taking is the one that goes up St. Charles street. You’ll see some beautiful homes along the way towards the Garden District.
- Cigar Factory – This is one of the oldest cigar rolling factories in New Orleans and it also doubles down as as a smoker’s lounge. We don’t smoke cigars, but it was really cool to see the cigar rollers in action and see the dehumidifier in the back.
- Bourbon Street – A must when in New Orleans, even if it’s just a walk by. This street is nuts but you get a little giddy excitement every time you walk through it, as if you’re doing something naughty.
- Garden District & Magazine Street - Probably the most scenic and beautiful neighborhood in New Orleans where the streets are lined with beautiful Victorian homes and cute stores along the street. Also, lots of great restaurants around this area.
- Swamp Tours – We wish we had more time to do one of these swamp tours, but most of them are a decent drive away so you need at least a half day for this.
- Cochon – If you can only eat in one place in New Orleans, it should be here. Get their BBQ chargrilled oysters, their fried alligator balls, and the stewed rabbit. Everything is so good, so order a bunch of plates and just share. Also amazing cocktails and martinis.
- Peche – Awesome seafood dinner spot on Magazine street in the Warehouse District just outside of the French Quarters. Go to the Ace rooftop for sunset drinks before coming here.
- Cafe Du Monde – A beignet must for anyone visiting New Orleans. Also their iced cafe au-lait is incredible. We got ours to go and went to Jackson Square to eat them on the grass
- Cafe Beignet – A just-as-good alternative to Café Du Monde with no lines and a cuter courtyard vibe on Royal Street
- Acme Oyster House – Literally their chargrilled oysters are out of this world. We’re salivating thinking about them as we write this. If you like to eat like we do, get a dozen eat. Get there before noon or else you’ll be waiting in line for at least 30 minutes.
- Napoleon House – Best muffuletta sandwich in town. The restaurant is set in one of the oldest buildings in the French Quarters and they have a cute courtyard and also open all the doors during the day so it’s a great day time eating vibe
- Arnaud’s Jazz Brunch – If you’re in New Orleans on Sunday, go here. This is a three-course prefix brunch spot with live jazz throughout the whole day. Such a traditional New Orleans jazz vibe and such a unique experience.
- Shaya – Super under the radar spot in the Garden District, but one of the top dinner spots for any foodie visiting New Orleans. Their back patio area is so cute and perfect for a fun group dinner. We ordered a bunch of apps (short rib hummus, labneh, raw kibbeh, and crispy halloumi were our favorites) and shared it all while slugging back martinis.
- Casamentos - Amazing oyster spot, a local favorite. Stop by here for some oysters and a drink before dinner at Shaya since their two blocks away from each other.
- Parkway Tavern & Bakery – The oldest and possibly most famous po-boy spot in New Orleans. We didn’t love the fried oyster po-boy, but could not get enough of the shrimp po-boy. Also they had the best fried pickles in town. They also have an old-school root beer that was incredible.
- Commander’s Palace – Nicer restaurant with amazing happy hour $.25 martinis. Boys need a blazer and no jeans/shorts allowed. In the middle of the Garden District so this is a good jumping off point to walk around there and check out some of the homes.
- Café Amelie – Super cute outdoor courtyard restaurant with live music at the edge of Royal Street. Perfect spot for a late brunch or early lunch.
- Bacchanal Wine – Great spot for wine, cheese, and live jazz music. They have a really nice courtyard area which if you can get a table for your group is such a fun spot.
- Lafitte's Bar - One of the oldest bars in America right on Bourbon street. Fun dueling piano situation with all types of people to watch and make friends with. Check out the back room.
- Pat O'Brien's Piano Bar - One of our favorite day-time spots with the best hurricane cocktail in town. No one should have more than two because they are so strong and very sweet so you’ll feel it the next day.
- Brennan’s – Classier champagne brunch and happy hour spot on Royal Street. They have a cute courtyard area too so stop by on the earlier side of your happy hour tour for some champagne.
- Bombay Club – A hidden French Quarter gem, much more low key. Type of place you’d go if you’re in the mood for a perfect martini and some light jazz set in an old-school smoker’s club kind of room.
- Funky Pirate’s Blues Club – Great live music spot on Bourbon street. We somehow always ended up here for a drink or two along the night.
- Café Negril – Fun live music bar on Frenchmen Street. This is where we started our night on Thursday and was the perfect spot right at the heart of all the music and bars.
- Old Absinthe House – Exactly what the name suggests. Right on Bourbon Street. Strong but delicious cocktails.