Sometimes it seems like suddenly everyone is taking a trip to the same place (Looking at you, Iceland circa 2017). This year, New Orleans has appeared on multiple “best places to go” lists and hosted so many conferences I would be surprised if you told me your professional conference was held anywhere else. This is due largely to the city’s 300th year celebration. And more power to them, because they have a lot to celebrate.
New Orleans is famous for a lot of things: the food, the music, the culture, the history. There is an endless amount of must-do things in New Orleans. You’ll probably miss out on something incredible that everyone tells you to do, but no amount of planning can help this. You’ll just have to go back again.
Even with the scorching heat and humidity of New Orleans in the summer, I was still pulled in by the lure of the city. If anything, you should probably only go in the summer so you won’t pack up and move there immediately. It’s simply more economical that way.
Visit a museum or historic house
- New Orleans Pharmacy Museum – This is possibly the best $5 you can spend on a museum. Maybe I’m just the kind of person that enjoys learning that every person in the 19th to 20th century was suffering from constipation all the time. Maybe you are too.
- Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses – Learn about the French Quarter and New Orleans in the 1800s on the tours of these beautifully maintained historic houses. You’ll leave with far too great of an understanding of the sewage systems during that time.
- The National WWII Museum – This museum is continuously topping lists of the best museums to visit in the country. You won’t want to miss the Tom Hanks-narrated film.
Take a tour
- Flambeaux Bicycle Tours – New Orleans is a great city to bike with incredibly flat roads and cars used to cautiously passing drunk pedestrians. This bike tour was a quick and fun way to take in the city and learn about its history.
- Guided Walking Tours – There are countless guided walking tours you can go on, some involving alcohol. I chose a walking tour of the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery. Now I know where John Goodman lives and where Nicholas Cage was evicted from.
To Eat and Drink
- Willa Jean – We liked this place so much that we went their twice for breakfast. Their pastry case is legendary.
- Shaya – When people think of New Orleans food, they probably don’t think of Israeli cuisine. But this food is definitely worth a shot in between po’ boys.
Fancy Food Suggestions
Because I took this trip to New Orleans with my mother, I eschewed the traditional foods of New Orleans in lieu of some delicious, fancy dining. Check out one of these places if you want to treat yourself:
- Coquette – The five course blind tasting menu was completely worthwhile.
- Compère Lapin – Check out the adorable rabbit decor.
Pimm’s Cup at The Napoleon House
- The French 75 Bar – Get the French 75 (that seems pretty obvious, right?)
- Napoleon House – My enthusiasm for a Pimm’s Cup is already well documented, and this bar serves a ton of them every day. You can also grab a muffuletta here if you don’t want to wait at Central Grocery.
- Latitude 29 – As a noted tiki enthusiast, I can also highly recommend Beachbum Berry’s New Orleans outpost. Order anything.
This post is the fifth in my 12 Trips in 12 Months challenge. See my trips to Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City, and Windsor and London.