City Guide: New Orleans

As promised, I’m back today with a little city guide for New Orleans (aka NOLA). It was the port city for our cruise ship, so hubby and I went down a few days before the ship left so that we could spend the weekend there with some friends of ours that live in Louisiana.

First of all, let me say…MY WORD, IS IT HOT DOWN THERE! We’re currently having a heatwave here in Indiana and are experiencing some 100 degree + weather, but even with that..there’s just something about the humidity down south that makes you sweat through your clothes in a matter of minutes. So for those of you who live in the South and deal with that on a regular basis, I tip my sweat-soaked hat to you.

If you can stand the heat though, NOLA really is a fun and unique city. There’s a lot to take in and we didn’t even begin to scratch the surface in our two days there, but I wanted to put together a little guide of the things we did so that if any of you ever visit, you can have something to reference. I am in no way an expert on New Orleans or travel in general, really, but I will do my best!

The hotel we stayed at was the Renaissance Arts Boutique which was just a couple blocks from the French Quarter. It was a nice hotel and a good location..close enough to walk to most sights, but not noisy or anything. Although, next time we visit I might want to try an independently owned hotel..I saw several in the French Quarter that looked really charming.

We ate lunch on Friday at a place called Acme Oyster House. It’s a pretty well known place (it was featured on Man v. Food) and supposedly the oysters were delicious.

I’ll tell you right up front that I am NOT an oyster fan. I just can’t get over the slimy texture. Blech. However, the friends we were with assured me that I just had to try the char-grilled oysters. And I can honestly say they were delicious. Char-grilling them takes away all of that slimy texture and just leaves you with a salty/buttery snack. And the oysters themselves were ginormous. The hubs and I shared a dozen and I was pretty full after taking down my half. And, of course, they serve all kinds of other seafood-y goodness besides oysters there as well. So, I would definitely recommend it.

Then we made our way down towards Bourbon Street. That place is absolutely cah-razy with a capital Cah. I mean we were down there in the middle of the day and it was completely packed out with people hanging off the balconies and out of the windows. Totally insane, but it’s a NOLA staple so you kind of have to see it, right? (Sidenote: Even though I saw plenty of people with their kids, I’m not sure I would recommend it. There are lots of ‘working girls’.. if you catch my drift). So, if I put any pictures up of what we saw there, it would unfortunately turn my site into one of those where you have to verify you’re 18 or older before entering. Instead I’ll leave you with this picture I took of this wall full of Mardi Gras masks.

After I picked my jaw up off the ground, we walked over to Jackson Square, which is a historic park in the French Quarter. The St. Louis Cathedral is here (so gorgeous and reminded me of my time in Italy), as well as a statue of Andrew Jackson (whom the park was named after). I think Jackson Square was my favorite place we visited..I just love the old buildings and the surprising beauty of this park smack dab in the middle of a bustling city. This is also a hotspot for all of NOLA’s street performers and psychics. At any one time you could be getting your palm read, while watching a troupe of break-dancers, and listening to a jazz band play in the background. There’s entertainment galore! 

AND on the far side of the park is Cafe du Monde. One word: beignets (pronounced like ben-yay). Another word: scrumptious. They are definitely a must try!

As you might imagine, the city really comes to life at night. Here’s just a little sampling of what you might encounter:

I just love seeing these guys blow (like my jazz talk? I may or may not be scatting as I write this). And, yes, Jordan saved my life by pulling me out of the way of that taxi.

On Saturday morning, we visited the World War II museum, which was just a few blocks from our hotel. If you ever have the chance to visit this museum, I would highly recommend it. It was absolutely fascinating, and they had several actual World War II vets there that you could speak with. It was such an honor to be able to even shake their hands. There is a LOT to take in at the museum, so you should definitely plan on spending a few hours there. And just recently they’ve added a 45 minute 4D movie that is totally awesome. Here are just a few shots I captured.

The display on the right represents the number of Japanese troops. The display on the left represents the number of German troops. The little display in the middle represents the number or American troops. Pretty unbelievable.

After we left there, we headed back down to the French Quarter to visit the French Market. It’s basically a huge open air market with lots of various vendors selling food, jewelry, clothing, and all kinds of little knick knacks. Again, I think I liked this so much because it reminded me of Europe. New Orleans as a whole did, which isn’t surprising given the amount of influence French culture has had on the city.

That’s just a very small portion of things to do in NOLA and if we ever go back, I’ll be sure to update this guide. But hopefully that gives you some idea of what this charming city holds, and if you ever get the chance it’s definitely worth the trip!


July 21, 2011. Travel.


  1. Teddy Sippial replied:

    Great!! Nice and informative.

  2. home led lighting ideas replied:

    Lovely topics, would love to see a bit more images though!

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