This was my second trip to New-Orleans, and it felt as good as the first time! I am sharing today a mix of these two trips, and I hope that it will give you the desire to see this city by yourself (if you do not know it already, of course!) 😉
♦ What to see ♦
1/ French Quarter.
This is certainly the most visited borough in New-Orleans, and you would love walking around it for sure! The architecture is just amazing there, with a lot of wrought iron balconies . Also, flowers and Christmas decoration all around at this time of the year.
♦ Preservation Hall –
One of the best music clubs in town! Musicians are wonderful, and the atmosphere is unique. I can assure you that being there is a unique experience (20 $ the entrance fee, arrive about 1h prior to the show if you want a seat!)
♥ Try the beignets.
They always come by 3 pieces, and there are so yummy that it’s hard to resist! You can go to one of these 2 places to taste them:
- Café du monde was created in 1862, and it might be the busiest place for beignets around the city but they are worth it.
- Café Beignet is less busy, and there are frequent musicians playing in the patio, very cool!
♦ Try to avoid → Horse and Carriage Tours –
It ‘s always difficult for me to witness exploited animals. Then, I will just say that I have seen horses with hanging tongs, who looked exhausted, and I don’t like it. If people could take a moment to think about it and change their mind before taking a ride, that would be awesome. As I often say and believe, animals are not here on earth for our entertainment, they should be free to live their life without us making decisions for them all the time. However, one of the great things that I also saw while I was there was Biking Taxis, people biking to give you a ride. I think that is a really great alternative, don’t you? (And these people are not exploited, in case someone would like to argue 😉 )
2/ Faubourg Marigny.
I enjoyed walking around this borough which feels, sometimes, more “real” than the French Quarter. There’s a really good vibe around, great coffee shops, restaurants to try local specialties, and amazing musical clubs 🙂
Some streeart to see around
… also inside bars!
♦ Don’t miss ⇒ The Spotted Cat Music Club –
I felt in love with this club 3 years ago, and I was so excited to go back there! I must say that even more when I noticed that one of the bands that I really like was playing that same night: Kristina Morales 🙂 They are excellent musicians, and the singer has a wonderful voice. I am sharing videos from the previous shows I saw there.
For a great breakfast : • The Orange Couch
For a typical dinner : • Marigny Brasserie & Bar
3/Central Business District (CBD).
This is a completely different borough with modern buildings along old streetcars.
Try Palace Café, with serves an excellent food and has great jazz bands on Sundays.
The Starbuck Coffee located on Canal Street is quite incredible… You can just enter to see it by yourself 😉
Picture credit: Tommytoy
4/ Garden District.
This borough is especially famous for its old and giant colonial houses. It is really beautiful, and definitely a must see if you have some time to go outside of the city center. The cemetery is worth the visit too.
Take the streetcar from Canal Street, it is a great experience to be in a old public transportation like that one 🙂
One of the new things I tried for this second trip, and I really loved it! You’ll have to take either a bus (91 from Marigny) or a streetcar (from CBD) to reach it. It felt great to walk around and watch wildlife. We spent some time in the Garden of Sculptures, and if you want, you can visit New Orleans Museum of Art, the biggest art museum of the city, and/or New Orleans Botanical Garden.
6/Visit a plantation.
I really wanted to visit a plantation to understand better what was people’s life in there at the time, especially for slaves. I chose Laura Plantation (1805) because it was strongly recommended to me . They have tours in French which is just perfect when you have a father who does not speak English at all 😉
Julia was our guide, and she was so passionate that we could feel all the history behind the property. The plantation is named Laura in memory of one of its inhabitant who had a major role at the time. Laura wrote her memories to tell us the truth about living in a plantation at the time (for owners and slaves). The visit was exactly what I was expecting, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to visit more plantations in the future.
For info, the regular entrance fee is 20 $ but if you buy your ticket on line, you will get a 2 $ discount.
• Quick stop to another plantation very close (5 min away!): Oak Alley. Very famous because of its oaks, this plantation was a regular set for movies like Gone with the wind. I did not have time to do a tour, but I keep that in mind for another future trip 🙂
To conclude, I would say that visiting New-Orleans is a must see if you travel to the USA. You can’t be bored here between all the different jazz & blues clubs, parks, museums, restaurants… I would go back there as soon as I have the opportunity 🙂