NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
When : 3 – 7 May 2015 (4 nights and 3 days)
How : By bus from Memphis, 400 miles, 11 hours
How much I spent : $223 / 200€ in total
New Orleans, NOLA for the locals, has always been a dream destination of mine. I heard a lot about it since I was young and I have always wanted to visit it. Though, I never thought it would have happened that soon in my life as it seemed like a far away location to me, but when we did our 3 months road-trip with my close friend Olivia, we realized that every location in the world aren’t that far from us anymore. All you need to do, is to book a ticket, step out of your confort zone for a while and let the magic happened!
NOLA, the city of the Jazz, turned out to be one of our favorite location we have visited in the US. After four days spent there we didn’t want to leave the hood as we fell in love with its unique atmosphere. We absolutely loved wandering down the streets and especially around the French Quarter, watching the streets’ artists and admiring the beautiful Spanish and French architecture. At night we would go listen some good live music while sipping on a beer and we would made our way to a nice restaurant to try the Creole specialities.
To plan your trip to NOLA : www.neworleansonline.com
– WHERE TO JAZZ IT UP –
Live music can be seen and heard all day long and every single day of the year in NOLA! Iconic Bourbon street is the place to be but there are also many other locations to go to in town.
(website) 641 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, États-Unis
Maison Bourbon is one of Bourbon Street’s oldest live Jazz clubs and one of only two still existing on this iconic street. Many of the most notable Jazz musicians played their magic to this legendary place where tourists and locals come to be entertained by nonstop authentic jazz and are never disappointed!
-WEDNESDAY AT THE SQUARE-
(website) Lafayette Square on St. Charles Avenue
Wednesday at the Square is a 12 weeks music festival held at the Lafayette Square from March to June every Wednesday from 5-8pm and it is FREE! Treat yourself with some delicious food and drinks from the stalls and go listen some amazing bands.
-MUSICAL LEGENDS PARK-
(website) 311 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, États-Unis
This was my favorite spot to listen some good live jazz while sipping on a beer or having a lunch on-the-go. Bands are playing every single day of the week all day long. Definitely a must!
– WHERE TO STAY –
NOLA offers many different type of accommodations and for all budget. Since we travelled for 3 months in the country we choose a hostel as it was the cheapest option, and it didn’t disappoint!
(website) 1354 Magazine Street, Greyhound Amtrack Station, New Orleans, USA
The best hostel I have been to so far, we liked everything about it! Very cheap, this accommodation has a perfect location as all the majors attractions are at walking distance. The house is so cozy and everyone from guests to staff is very friendly so you feel right at home. Free pancakes are offered every morning as well as unlimited wi-fi. The house have a beautiful courtyard where you can chill and enjoy nice dinner. Highly recommended!
– WHERE TO EAT –
New Orleans as a strong multicultural cuisine scene and great Creole and Cajun food is on offers at every corner. A trip to NOLA wouldn’t be complete without a steamy helping of Gumbo which is the most famous speciality and of course you can’t miss a beignet (French doughnut) with a cafe au lait.
-CAFE DU MONDE-
(website) 800 Decatur Street, 70116 New Orleans
This is where you will need to go for your cafe au lait and beignet. The iconic CAFE DU MONDE is always busy but you can’t miss to go while in New Orleans.
-GUMBO SHOP RESTAURANT-
(website), 630 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116
We had such a lovely night at the Gumbo Shop Restaurant and we quite treated ourselves right with big cocktails and a super nice dinner. The staff is very friendly and served quite fast not to mention the tasty and delicious food that is too die for. This place is perfect to try the NOLA ‘s specialities and I advice you to book your table in advance!
(website), 839 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
I am definitely not a big fan of sweet and I actually never eat some as I think is too rich but when you are travelling you kind of want to try out everything even if it is not your taste. And that’s exactly what we did at Magnolia Praline when trying these sweet. It was originally invented in France in the 17th century and when this treat made its way to the states, the singular almond that was originally used was replaced by a handful of the local nut, pecans. Today, variations on the praline can be found in a variety of flavors, with hot Tabasco sauce or added cream for a chewier treat.
– WHAT TO DO / MUST SEEN –
You will never get bored in NOLA as there are tons and tons of things to do while staying in one of the busiest city of the South.
-THE FRENCH QUARTER-
New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, also known as the Vieux Carré or the “Quarter” to locals is the city’s cultural hub with a very unique and intimate atmosphere. Its architecture blends on Spanish, French, Creole and American styles all together in an idyllic and enchanting setting. It is home to the iconic Bourbon Street and to many of the best restaurants in town. The French quarter is also full of boutiques from antiques and books to clothing and accessories.
The most iconic and oldest street of New Orleans dates back to 1798. Also known as “Rue Bourbon” this monumental street sits at the heart of the French Quarter. From bars, restaurants, street performers to many different kind of clubs, there are all you need to dance the night away and have a night to remember! And since Jazz was born in NOLA why not heading to Fritzel’s, New Orleans oldest Jazz club.
Why not visiting NOLA while its busiest event of the year and one of America’s famous festival! Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) can occur on any Tuesday from February 3 through March 9 and offers to visitors a colorful and crazy experience they will never forget. For parades schedules and more details, you can check everything out here and here.
For shopping, dining or just a casual stroll, no place in New Orleans is quite like Magazine Street. This six-mile-long stretch from the Garden District to Uptown features some of the best antique stores, art galleries, craft shops and boutiques to be found anywhere in the city.
-ST CHARLES AVENUE-
Described as “The Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues”, New Orleans’ St. Charles Avenue is the most superb collection of historic mansions in the South. The Avenue stretches from Uptown to Downtown and is open for all to enjoy its nature, architecture and the magnificence of a look at the New Orleans of 19th century.
-THE OLD TRAMWAY-
Getting around New Orleans by foot is pretty easy as the distances are not too far but travelling with the old tramway (streetcar) is a great way to see the city. There are three different lines: St. Charles, Canal Street, and the Riverfront, each of which originates downtown but takes you different parts of the city.
-CEMETERIES & VOODOO TOUR-
Only in New Orleans could cemeteries be major tourist attractions. There are dozens of cemeteries throughout the city, but most of organized tours will take you to St Louis cemetery, home to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau’s grave, and Lafayette cemetery, a popular location for movies shot in New Orleans.
-SWAMP AND BAYOU TOUR-
Have you ever wanted to get up close with an alligator and cruise along the mysterious, moss-draped bayous? You can by checking out one of the many swamp and wildlife tours offered by experienced boat captains in the watery regions surrounding New Orleans. The majority of the swamp tours will provide you with transportation to and from the departure points.
South Louisiana is known for its beautiful antebellum architecture and there are plenty of plantation homes that are within an hour drive from New Orleans. Oak valley Plantation as featured in Django Unchained and Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu” music video, will guide you through the history of the mansion and feel you feel like immersing yourself a little more, you can even spend the night there!
Pictures taken by Olivia Wolf and Me
Location : New Orleans, Louisiana.