Where y'at babes?
It's Mardi Gras season and if you're not in New Orleans to celebrate Fat Tuesday then what are you waiting for? (click here for directions) New Orleans is considered to be one of the best cities in the whole United States, its unique blend of French, African and American cultures along with its amazing jazz live music scene and one of a kind Cajun cuisine has made this city into what is known today.
If you know me, you know that New Orleans is one of my favorites cities, and it holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me of home (Guanajuato, Mexico) but with a French atmosphere. I fell in love with the city as soon as I saw the Welcome to New Orleans sign, and its architecture is one to get lost in and wish you lived there. So if New Orleans has been part of your Bucket List then keep reading as I show you my top places to visit while in New Orleans for the perfect weekend getaway. I promise you even if you go for a weekend you will definitely fall in love with this city.
1. Start your day at Cafe Du Monde
There is no other way to start a day in New Orleans than by seating at Cafe Du Monde on the corner of Jackson Square while listening to jazz music in the background with an order of delicious Beignets and a cup of Cafe Au Lait. Just like a movie scene, there is nothing more magical than mixing these two together first thing in the morning. The sweetness and fluffiness of these deep-fried fritters along with the plain flavor of Cafe Au Lait becomes the perfect combination in your mouth leaving you happy and oh so satisfy, all for about $6. And although it's usually busy, believe me, that the wait it's totally worth it.
2. Jackson Square
After you're done at Cafe du Monde, the best activity is to cross the street and tour Jackson Square. Jackson Square is the perfect destination if you are a fan of art, music and of course card reading. You can stroll down the many stores along the Square looking for the perfect souvenirs or voodoo dolls for all your... enemies. Or simply take an extra step into the culture and get your Tarot card reading and find out what is in store in your future. But before you leave the square, make sure you walk along the rail of the plaza and admire all the amazing art that locals have on sale, some of those pieces can worth from $20 to $2,000 or more.
3. St. Louis Cathedral
As a big attraction to the Square, you can not miss the great presence of the oldest cathedral in the United States. Named after Saint Louis, King of France the cathedral has been a classic landmark to New Orleans and had host millions of visitors every year. The Cathedral was designated as a minor basilica by Pope Paul VI in 1964 and was also visited by Pope John Paul II in 1987. Some say that it's also haunted and you can see two individuals from time to time, during Christmas mass and on rainy days. Chills!
4. A local favorite in the heart of the French Quarter, Deanie's Seafood
All this walking and sightseeing have gotten you hungry? Then don't hesitate on heading to a local's favorite for some great cajun food. Deanie's Seafood is a family oriented restaurant with a friendly atmosphere and definitely the best seafood around. As soon as you walk in you can immediately wrap yourself in the smell of Cajun food, serving heaping portions of New Orleans favorites such as Crawfish Etouffee, Gumbo, Crab Cakes, Po-Boy, etc. all at a great price. Deanie's is where you want to be at lunch time.
5. Pat O'Brien's The Courtyard
Now once on the French Quarter, you can not pass the opportunity to try one of New Orleans best signature cocktails. Head to Pat O’Brien’s for a little bit of history and try a Hurricane to start your night. Established in 1933 and with two locations in New Orleans the bar, and the courtyard, Pat O’Brien’s is known to be the perfect place to socialize, not for nothing is one of the most famous bars in the world. You can feel right at home by listening to piano players duel together while relaxing in the courtyard admiring its very famous flaming fountain; it is one of a kind experience. And if it wasn't enough you can take home a part of Pat O’Brien’s as all of its drinks come in your very own souvenir glasses, as well as you can purchase hurricane mix to take home. Cheers!
6. Stroll down Bourbon Street
As Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard is located on Bourbon Street, it is obvious to go ahead and stroll down this street where the party never stops! You can explore this street for hours never getting bored because there is so much you can do. From visiting bars and listening to all kinds of music, to simply admire the great buildings and balconies this street has such as the Lalaurie Mansion on Royal which says to be haunted. Check out the story here. Without a doubt, this street is where you want to be if you're looking to have fun!
7. Parade Time! (Mardi Gras Season)
Of course, if you find yourself in New Orleans during Mardi Gras season then don't hesitate to check out all the parades you can as these parades have been going on for ages and are part of what makes New Orleans so unique. These parades can be found throughout the whole city such as in Uptown New Orleans, Metairie, Covington, Mid-City, Westbank, Slidell and of course the French Quarter, which all the parades passing through the Quarter tend to be walking parades perfect for evening entertainment. You can check all the parade times and routes here to make accommodations to your itinerary believe me; you want to see this!
8. Hand me a Grenade at Tropic Isle
If you were able to watch a parade or two and have seen Bourbon Street from start to finish, you're definitely ready to have a good time. While on Bourbon make sure you make a stop for New Orlean’s most powerful drink the Hand Grenade. Invented in 1983 this drink will have you dancing all night long with its sweet taste and its heavy liquor. It definitely will make you have great memories as well as its original grenade yardstick style tube makes up for a great souvenir. P.S.Try to moderate yourself lol.
9. 711 Bourbon Heat Grill and Club
The night it's just starting, and before those grenades start to kit in, 711 Bourbon Heat Club is where you want to be. With its new renovated interior and a beautiful chandelier in the middle of the dance floor this club it's meant to keep you dancing all night long. And when the DJ has you going, and you need a break you can easily cool off on the balcony with the best view of Bourbon Street or head down to the courtyard to enjoy of fresh air and another drink before calling it a night.
10. Garden District
If your prior day was eventful the perfect way to end a New Orleans visit is by spending it in the Garden District. The garden district holds tradition, opulence, and beauty which makes it easy just to take a coffee to go and relax while strolling through the sidewalks of beautiful architecture. This area not only offers beautiful scenery but it also has shopping, delicious restaurants, cocktail bars and pubs you can also take a streetcar or a carriage ride to one of its main attraction the Lafayette Cemetery which has been part of numerous movies and books. FYI, the Garden District is the home to Anne Rice, Nicholas Cage, and Sandra Bullock.
Although pictures don't make justice if by looking at this pictures doesn't make you wished you were in New Orleans you are not from this planet lol. I hope you enjoyed this quick travel guide to my favorite city. If you ever plan on going to NOLA try a couple or all of these places and let me know what you think, hopefully, this journey will help you find your lost love just like I did.
Don't forget to follow me on social media @sashazavala or at The Daily Sash on Facebook to keep up with all of the latest adventures!
Hope you have a great day and Happy Mardi Gras!
(Looking for the owners of some of these pictures)