New Orleans is city filled with culture, whether you are looking for art and music, gambling (or indulging in any other vices), wonderful food, history or even a Mardi Gras parade…New Orleans has it all. We spent several days in the French Quarter alone, and have highlighted the top experiences you can find in New Orleans!
Many people confuse the two, but you can find both authentic Creole and Cajun food in the Crescent City. Both cuisines are known as being rustic and using locally available ingredients with simple preparations. The basic difference between the two is Creole food uses tomatoes, where as Cajun food doesn’t. There are so many classic New Orleans food – almost too many to list (but we will certainly try): Beignets, Cafe-Au-Lait, Bananas Foster, Po-Boys, Pralines, Jambalaya, Muffuletta, Gumbo, Baked Alaska, Anything with Crawfish, King Cake…the list could go on and on.
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a stroll down Bourbon Street at night. Even if alcohol and partying isn’t your thing, you can’t miss this experience for the people watching alone. There are several classic bars you must experience (a hurricane at Pat O’Brians -go early to get a spot at the piano bar and an original Hand Grenade from Tropic Isle top the list). Avoid hotels in this area as it doesn’t quite down until VERY late.
There are several walking tour companies that offer a variety of trips around the city. We enjoyed using Free Tours by Foot and used them several times. We took their Culinary French Quarter Walking Tour (this is a great intro to the city so you know where to eat during your stay) and the French Quarter History walking tour which gave a unique perspective on the history of the city.
The party in New Orleans never really stops. Plenty of bars are open during the day – so you are never far away from your next Daiquiri! So grab a go-cup or a yard long bottle and enjoy the city with your favorite cocktail!
If there is one thing you must do, it is grabbing a bag of Beignets from Cafe Du Monde. The original location across from Jackson Square is open 24 hours, but good luck not finding a line no matter the time. Around the back you will find a line for to-go. You get a bag of 3 warm beignets covered in powdered sugar. Don’t make the mistake I did and wear a black shirt, you will covered in specks of powdered sugar for the rest of the day. You can see in the back to watch the machines that work and cut the dough and marvel at how fast the serve these delicious pastries. There are many places selling their versions of beignets, but Cafe Du Monde is second to none!
Have you been to New Orleans? What is your favorite experience, join the conversation below!