New Orleans, Travel

New Orleans – Beyond Bourbon Street

What comes to mind when you think of New Orleans?  Bourbon Street, beignets, drinking liquid sugar out of a hand grenade?  All of those are absolute musts, but there is more to experience in the big easy than the obvious.  I might not be an expert, but my love for this vibrant city is strong, and with each visit I’m seeking new experiences!

There are never-ending activities in New Orleans, however, I’ve listed some of my “must-do’s” when I visit the Big Easy.

First things first, I always start in the French Quarter to hit up my favorite touristy spots! 

Take an Uber to the French Market.

Get a mufaletta from Central Grocery.

You’ll obviously need something sweet, and maybe a caffeine pick me up.  Head to Café Du Monde for beignets and a café au lait.  I’ve tried other beignets and they just don’t compare.

Around the corner from Cafe Du Monde, walk up the ramp to Washington Artillery Park for the best view of Jackson Square.

Take a stroll through Jackson Square to the St. Louis Cathedral.

Head to the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone for a cocktail.

Walk down Royal Street to take in the beautiful architecture of the Quarter.

When you’re in New Orleans, it’s almost necessary to have a drink in hand at all times.  Some classic Quarter stops are:

Aside from the booze, I’m hoping that one of the reasons you headed to NOLA, was for the live music scene.  Head to Preservation Hall.  A standing room only, no cameras allowed, classic music venue, right in the French Quarter.

Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub is another great option for live music.

For dinner, I really enjoy Three Muses off Frenchmen Street.  Live Jazz music and great food! 

Frenchmen Street is the spot for authentic live jazz music. A few popular stops on Frenchmen are:

I highly recommend taking an entire day to bike around the Garden District, Magazine Street, and Irish Channel to Audubon Park.

We rent bikes from Art District Bike Rental near the Garden District.  Rentals are $20 per day, you can’t beat the price!

Breakfast in New Orleans is the best.  As with every meal, there are a ton of options, but a few of my favorite breakfast spots in the Garden District area are:

After breakfast, it’s time to bike off some of those calories! First stop, take a photo in front of the recently painted “Greetings from NOLA” mural on the side of The Renaissance Shop, LLC building. This new addition is part of a cross country mural project, creating landmarks through public art.  You can check out where else the Greetings Tour has traveled to here.

Grab a mimosa from The Vintage. And while you’re there, see if this button actually gets you more champagne…

Ride along Magazine Street (or the more bike-able Constance Street) to Ashley Longshore Studio Gallery. Here, you will be brought to an instant smile with colorful pop art paintings and sculptures.

At this point, you may want to grab a roadie on your way to Audubon Park. Check out Le Bon Temps Roule, a no-frills dive bar that slings a delicious bloody mary.

Next up, the beautiful Audubon Park. The entire park has lush scenery, but make sure you stop at the Tree of Life. Find a bench, and soak in the few quiet moments you may have during your trip.

From Audubon Park, I recommend taking St. Charles Avenue through the Garden District. St. Charles is an oak tree lined Avenue, with gorgeous homes one after another.

For many, the above ground cemeteries are a main attraction in New Orleans. Lafayette Cemetery No.1 is a quick stop off if you’re wanting to check that off the list.

If you’re hungry, I suggest eating at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar, or the newly opened Nole’ Restaurant (Cajun influenced, Latin American cuisine) which includes multiple Instagram worthy shots.

Hot Tin, inside The Pontchartrain Hotel, is an absolute must for arguably the best view in town.

If you’re into breweries, head a bit South to Urban South Brewery. Delicious craft beer, games, and even a bounce house, make this one of the most fun breweries I’ve been to!

A few other breweries to check out nearby are:

If you find yourself on Tchoupitoulas Street near the breweries, you might as well stop in the famous Hansen’s Snow-Bliz. There’s probably a line, but you should never be in too much of a rush for the best shave ice in town.

One of my favorite places to hang out after all the cycling is Tchoup Yard. Frose’, a colorful courtyard, and a chill vibe have brought me back multiple times.

If you have extra time to spend, and are looking for another out of the French Quarter option, New Orleans City Park is a great choice. The Botanical Garden, and the Sculpture Garden are two of my favorite spots in the park.

One thing you can’t do, is leave New Orleans without eating a Po Boy. Parkway Bakery & Tavern, in my opinion, has the best one in town. It also happens to be only minutes from City Park!

I could go on forever about all the places I love in NOLA, but at this point, you’re probably sick of seeing the words “New Orleans” and “favorite.” Comment below if you have any other must-do’s when you travel to the Big Easy!!