48 Hours In New Orleans

Above: New Orleans is one of the United States' most mesmerizing cities

New Orleans is the perfect weekend get away city. The obvious choices for your trip would be Mardi Gras or Halloween (which is even better than Mardi Gras in our opinion) or Southern Decadence or Jazz Fest or French Quarter Fest. Yes, this is the city that is almost always in the midst of another festival. If you haven’t spent a weekend in the Big Easy, what are you waiting for?

What to see?

Almost every corner of New Orleans is a new sight to see – from the colourful locals to the amazing architecture. Art lovers should wander Royal Street or head over to the New Orleans Museum of Art for its impressive sculpture garden. The city also boasts an aquarium and zoo if that is more your style. Or you could venture just outside of the city for a plantation tour.

What to do?

The obvious choices include hitting the jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street, partaking in one of the haunted walks, cemetery walks or vampire walks but there are many other things to do in New Orleans. Instead, you could catch the Burlesque shows at Royal Sonesta Hotel. Or head out on one of the swamp tours to see some gators.

Where to eat?

Anthony Bourdain recently announced that New Orleans has the most exciting food scene in the US. Almost every corner of Nola offers another opportunity to eat some amazing Southern or French classics. This is a city that does brunch well (and boozy), including Jazz Brunches at The Court of Two Sisters and Arnaud’s. But if you are in a rush, you must try breakfast in a go-cup from Café Envie (which also has the best boozy coffees). If you are searching for the best classic po’boys you should try Johnny’s Po’ Boy shop or the newly opened Killer Po’ Boys. The spots for lunch include amazing courtyard seating at Café Amelie or the Green Goddess. If you are craving something more high end, check out Cochon, Café Maurepas, Sylvain, Antoine’s or the classic Commander’s Palace.

Where to drink?

New Orleans invented the cocktail, and there are plenty of favourite watering holes across the city. One of the signature cocktails of New Orleans is the Hurricane (a liquor filled somewhat sweet concoction that will kick your ass – in a good way) and the place the serves the best one is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. If a classic Ramos Gin Fizz is more your style, then you should head over to Bar Tonique.  Another classic New Orleans cocktail is the Sazerac and you really should try your first one at the Sazerac bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. Based on ambiance alone, you should grab a drink at the Carousel Bar (yes, the bar looks like a carousel and rotates).

Going out?

In a city that has no last call and let’s you drink on the streets, this list could be very extensive. Head over to One Eyed Jacks if you like dancing and 80s music. If you think of yourself as a star, check out the local Karaoke nights at Good Friends. And of course, Frenchmen Street is the go-to place for amazing Jazz. And depending on the night, you just might catch Trombone Shorty performing.

Where to shop?

Shopping in the French Quarter is pretty limited outside the local Goorin Bros outpost or KREWE du optic for some amazing specs, so head over to the garden district to do some serious shopping. Hit up Billy Reid or Friend in the Garden District and be sure to check out Fraques in Warehouse district.

Where to stay?

The city offers everything from historical hotels like The Roosevelt or The Ritz-Carlton. But if modern hotels are more your style, be sure to stay at the W or Le Meridien.

Tags: New Orleans, Travel Guide

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