Exploring New Orleans
I turned 30 in January. New Orleans popped into my head as a good place to celebrate the start of my 30s and a city that would have decent weather this time of year, so Ben and I booked a short trip to the Big Easy last month right after my birthday. It was the first time there for both of us.
Our hotel was downtown so we could walk to the French Quarter in about 15 minutes. I know there is so much to see in New Orleans besides the French Quarter and tourist highlights but with our limited amount of time we mostly stuck to the main touristy areas. The weather was even better than we thought it would be, so walking was our main mode of transportation, and we rented bikes one afternoon. At the end of our three and a half days we had walked a total of 33 miles and biked 13 miles (which clearly negates all the food I ate).
It’s not an exaggeration to say we enjoyed almost every minute of the trip. If I had to pick some highlights to share they would include:
- Jazz at Preservation Hall–we booked tickets ahead of time so we didn’t have to chance waiting in line and not getting in. It’s a tiny and popular venue.
- Lunch at The Commander’s Palace–it’s pricey and fancy but totally worth it. We saved a little on the meal by going for lunch.
- Beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter
- Biking to get shrimp po-boys at Domilise’s
- The muffaletta at Central Grocery–best. sandwich. ever.
- Wandering around and people-watching
Bring tons of $1 bills with you. New Orleans has a big tipping culture and it is expected to tip musicians if you stop to listen for a little while.
Here are a few travel guides we referenced when planning the trip:
- Trip Advisor: 3 days in New Orleans
- New York Times 36 Hours in New Orleans
- Joy the Baker food guide to New Orleans
- Design*Sponge 24 Hours in New Orleans
We also relied on Yelp for reviews and highlights.
We got up at 3:30 a.m. to start our trip home. The end of a trip is always bittersweet: I love having a bunch of new memories to recharge me, and there is some comfort in getting back to a routine, but breaking the routine and experiencing a new place and culture is just what can make a trip so exciting. I always kind of hate when it comes to an end.
I guess that’s also what makes me excited for wherever our travels might take us next…