In early December I had the chance to visit New Orleans for just a few days. And I will admit I was totally smitten by the city. The people are oh so kind and of course, the architecture is beautiful.
As always, I did some internet research before departure to make sure I checked off some must see places.
For a moment I considered buying into a guided tour but I found a French Quarter Walking Tour and Garden District Walking Tour on Frommer’s website and decided to go with that instead.
I purchased a three-day public transit pass – great idea! You can ride the buses and the streetcars with it. Between the two and a bit of walking you can get anywhere you want to go. Uber also came in handy during the evening. But nothing beats traveling in historic street cars.
The French Quarter
This is what New Orleans is known for. I walked around on a Sunday morning and the streets were already quite busy so it was difficult to follow the walking tour. However, it did give me a route to follow that allowed me to see most of the important spots.
I spent some time in the Historic New Orleans Collection Museum where they had an exhibit on the architect Henry Howard as well as a great collection of New Orleans historical items. The museum is free and a great place to spend an hour or so.
High on my list of places to visit was the 1850 House and unfortunately it was closed for restoration while I was there.
The Garden District
While the French Quarter may have been a bit too busy to complete the walking tour, the Garden District was absolute perfection. Because this is a residential area, there aren’t many tourists around.
The most crowded area was around The Commander’s Palace; understandable seeing as it was lunch time by the time I got there.
As I prepared for the trip, I realized that food might actually be an issue. If you know me, you know that I love to eat in local spots when traveling; and yet it was difficult to find places. Except for breakfast/brunch, lots of places for that.
Capedeville is a contemporary American restaurant located in the Central Business District. Everything I had there was good – the burger, the truffle fries, the grilled cheese, everything.
Of course a visit to New Orleans isn’t complete without having some beignets at Cafe Du Monde.
You can choose to order at the take out window and sit at a table. Sunday mid-day, the line wrapped around the building. On Monday early evening, no wait and no business. That’s when I suggest you go, perfect for a pre-dinner snack.
Cafe at the Square is located just across Lafayette Square, also in the Central Business District. Great place for a late breakfast.
The hotel bellman suggested Mother’s; it wasn’t until the last day that I went and had breakfast there. You pick up a menu on the way and place your order at the counter. Once it’s ready they’ll bring it to your table. If you’re having pancakes, I’d suggest you go with just one, they are BIG!
My favorite breakfast spot was The Ruby Slipper, there are a few locations in New Orleans, so surely you’ll find one close to you. Suggestion here? Don’t order the espresso. Worst I’ve ever had. But don’t let that scare you because the food is really good. The place gets pretty busy, so if you’re going on the weekend, I’d get there early.
It was a short few days in New Orleans, but I really enjoyed it.