Since my first visit for my 30th birthday back in 2014, New Orleans has been one of my favorite places in the United States. I have been dreaming of a return trip for awhile now, and figured my road trip around the country was the perfect excuse, especially since John had never been.
We planned on arriving into town early, but due to a brush fire and traffic on our way from Mobile, we got in later than we had hoped. Luckily, we caught a pretty gorgeous sunset over the city on our drive in, which made the long day on the road worth it. We made use of our time in the city and soaked up as much of it as we could.
In my previous post, I mentioned by love for the Dauphine Orleans. It offers a hidden paradise in the middle of the Big Easy, one I wasn’t expecting. If you’re looking to experience all New Orleans has to offer, but you’d also like a quiet place to rest your head at the end of the day, Dauphine Orleans is your place. Located in the French Quarter, but with a beautiful courtyard for a break from it all, I can’t imagine staying anywhere else when I visit the city again in the future.
Eat & Drink
The food and drinks are some of the best parts of New Orleans. On this trip, I took John to a few of my favorites and tried out a couple of new places as well.
Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
Yes, this is the touristy thing to do and I’ve done it before, but I really couldn’t help myself. Plus, it was John’s first time in the city, so he needed to try them. I don’t think the beignets at Cafe Du Monde will ever get old. They are so delicious! We arrived when there were no lines, so we were able to easily find a table and order our beignets and a hot chocolate to share.
Muffaletta at Napolean House
Italian deli meats are a favorite of mine and what I missed the most while I was a vegetarian last year. Which is why one of the dishes I had to have before leaving New Orleans was the muffaletta. We had ours at Napolean House, with a few cocktails to wash it down. We probably only needed to get the half, but we ordered the whole and even though it was huge, we managed to eat every last bite. We got to enjoy it in the courtyard too, which is my favorite spot in this restaurant.
Cocktails and Music at 21st Amendment
Prohibition is one of the most interesting times in history, which is why I love bars that take on the theme. We decided to check out 21st Amendment, which had a great vibe and well-crafted cocktails. But, the best part was the live music. The band, Kala Bazaar Swing Society, had such a unique style, we fell in love with the music and the singer’s voice. So much so, we bought two of their cds so we could take memories of the night home with us.
Cocktails at Carousel Bar
After 21st Amendment, we made our way to Carousel Bar. On my first trip to New Orleans, I didn’t make it here and knew I wanted to experience it on this trip. The bar spins around on a carousel, and although the animals are replaced with chairs, it is still just as fun as you’d imagine. There was a short wait to hop on while we were there, but a nice couple let us take their seats.
Hot 8 Bass Band at The Howlin’ Wolf
You may know their rendition of Sexual Healing, and if you don’t definitely check it out. Music and New Orleans go hand in hand, so we found ourselves at The Howlin’ Wolf on Sunday night thanks to the suggestion of a friend. Here we enjoyed bacon cheddar beignets and a pulled pork sandwich with some local beers before the show started. Then, we headed into the small back room for some amazing music, which only set us back fifteen dollars each. If you’re in New Orleans on a Sunday night, add this to your list of things to do. It was incredible to hear such talented musicians in a small space.
Wander on Bourbon Street – with a cocktail in hand!
While it may not be my favorite part of New Orleans, wandering down Bourbon Street with a frozen concoction in hand is pretty much a necessity. We were visiting on a Sunday and Monday night, so the crowds weren’t out in full force, but it was still entertaining to spend some of our time there.
Get Lost in the Streets
Often, the best part of travel is wandering the streets and getting lost. We had the best time just strolling around and hopping in shops.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in New Orleans, it’s bound to be a good time, especially if you’re with the right company. There’s great food and drinks, amazing live music, and an overall good vibe throughout the city. As always, I am already planning another trip to New Orleans.
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We were guests of Visit New Orleans and used their Media VIP Pass for discounts on cocktails at 21 Amendment and Carousel Bar. As always, all opinions are my own.