Hi friends! So let me just start by saying New Orleans has never really been on my radar as a place I need to go. Especially now that we have a baby and our trips are a little more limited than they used to be! But my parents (my dad and my stepmom) called me and were like “want to go see Ed Sheeran in New Orleans?” Ughhhhh…yea!
My dad likes to joke by asking “what is one thing you won’t find on Bourbon St.? The answer….**drum roll, please**…….A local!” So I thought I would put together a list of 5 places you would find a local!
However, for the record Bourbon St. is something you should totally do for the experience! Just for 5 minutes. It does smell worse than a barnyard but the people watching has got to be among the best in America. If you find yourself in the Bourbon St. area check out, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar. It’s the oldest bar in America and they play 90s rap music! What more could you ask for? 🙂 Also, Pat Obriens has the best dueling pianos I have ever seen. Not that I’m an expert on dueling pianos but they play great sing-along music and you can request just about any song!
1.Tour The Garden District
The Garden district is full of beautiful homes that you can “Ew and Ah” at! We rented bikes through the local bike share program to see the side streets. As two people who renovate and build homes we always love to see the local architecture. We also took the streetcar tour which will take you directly through the heart of the Garden District. You can buy a pass for the street car at any Walgreens or CVS. The ride to and from probably takes an hour. The Lower Garden District is near the university and full of fun coffee shops and bars!
2. Magazine Street
This is where locals hang out I am told. We went during the day and the streets were pretty quiet but I could see it being a little more lively at night. There were lots of cute local sandwich shops and bars. If you have time I highly recommend checking out The Ashley Longshore Gallery. Her art is collected by people like Blake Lively and other celebrities. She is touted as the modern day Andy Warhol. Even if it isn’t your style of art there is not way you won’t have a good laugh looking at her paintings!
3. The French Quarter
You cannot come to New Orleans and not go to the French Quarter. Here you can find adorable stores, cafes, sandwich shops, and art galleries. Don’t forget to enjoy hot beignets and coffee while listening to live jazz music at the famous Cafe Du Monde.
4. The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone
We stayed at Hotel Monteleone and neither the hotel nor the Carousel Bar disappointed. There are so many great things about the hotel it’s hard to know where to begin. The location of the hotel is excellent. You are two streets over from Bourbon St. and right on Royal St. in the heart of the French Quarter. The rooms are beautiful and there is a rooftop pool with amazing views of the city if you need some time to unwind. Plus the hotel is home to the famous Carousel Bar. Now we had to basically stalk someone to get a seat at the bar but it was totally worth the wait!
5. Go To Brennan’s for the Bananas Foster
One of the best things about traveling with my parents is they are total foodies so we did ALL the best food stops that NOLA has to offer and of course with that said Brennan’s was at the top of the list!
Did you know that bananas were not even a thing in America until after the Civil War? Yea me neither! Bananas Foster was originated at Brennan’s in New Orleans. They make it right at your table and it. is. amazing! Not to mention every other thing we ordered was absolutely delicious! Read the full history of bananas foster here!
**We did more than this but I thought these were the highlights. We also had an Uber driver show us around the lower 9th ward. I thought that was incredibly interesting. The lower 9th ward is one of the neighborhoods that was most impacted by Hurricane Katrina. If anyone has more recommendations please leave them below!! I definitely plan on going back and would love to try some of your favorites!**