New Orleans! In May!
I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans with a girlfriend this year. We were attending a reader’s conference (stop back later this month when I highlight that conference) and at the same time, did a little touring of this fabulous city.
I had quite a few things on my To Do list for New Orleans (NOLA), with only a few hours of free time over three different days. Although I didn’t hit everything on the list, I was able to see a few sites that are definite highlights. Here are my top three must-see locations if you have only a few spare hours in this magnificent city.
Tami’s TOP Three:
1. Royal Street
On three separate occasions, I took a walk and ended up on Royal street. My friend and I would head out each night after the conference, taking in the fabulous buildings and shops. Each time, we didn’t realize these sites would take us to the same place. Royal street is beautiful. The outside of the buildings was exactly as I pictured New Orleans.
Welcoming balconies that look over the streets and tourists.
Plants, flowers, bicycles, colorful chairs and tables.
Layers upon layers of steps.
Chutes and Ladders type fire escapes.
So many incredible restaurants, shops, art galleries.
There was so much to see and do. I will definitely have to come back when I have more time to wander the streets and look at everything.
Note: We were not there after 8 pm, so things could be a little different later in the evening. But during the times we were there, I spent a bit of money at the tourist shops and even bought some super cool napkins (Odd, I know. But one of the fun things I like to get and use during our many pool parties).
2. Lafayette Cemetery #1
Visiting a New Orleans cemetery was at the top of my list of To Do’s. I soon realized you can’t tour many of them by yourself. You have to book a tour and enter the cemetery with that tour group. With only a two hour window, the lady at the tourist bureau recommended the Lafayette Cemetery #1 to get the most out of my time. So, feeling like a little kid skipping out on part of the conference, I headed back down Royal street to meet my walking tour group. At 10 am it was already dripping hot. But I promise it was sooooo worth it. The tour guide pointed out different houses that belonged to people I had actually heard of, such as Marie Laveau (famous for her practice of Voodoo). He also gave another version of the history of Voodoo that I had not realized was closer to some of the homeopathic practices that are so popular today. He opened my eyes to this area and changed some of my preconceived thoughts.
I highly recommended taking one of the many tours that NOLA offers and learn a bit more about the fabulous buildings you happen to be strolling past.
3. Jackson Square
With Cafe Du Monde (and their infamous beignets and Chicory Coffee) as one of the top places to eat on my list, I had not realized Jackson Square was as popular as it was. Because the restaurant is normally so incredibly busy, we went first thing in the morning. Not only did we eat these amazing beignets without the long wait in line, but we were able to check out the incredible square BEFORE people started to pack in. I walked all around the square, and even up on to the waterfront. Everything was calm and peaceful. I could have hung out on one of the shaded benches for hours. But there was so much to pack into our short time block, so we headed back to the conference.
Later that day, we found ourselves back in the Jackson Square area for lunch. The place was PACKED! The square buzzed with people. There were artists hanging their pictures on every available area of the fence, palm and tarot readers every few steps, and musicians competing with each other on every corner. The square was so incredibly alive. It was amazing to be a part of the energy pumping through the area. And so different from that peaceful morning. It was almost like we had been in two completely separate places.
I know this is a VERY small list of places with so many things that NOLA has to offer. I had so many other things on my list of places to see, but time was limited for this trip. I am adding NOLA back to my Places to Travel list so that I can dig a bit deeper into other amazing places I know New Orleans has to offer.
Hope you enjoy this small peek into my NOLA experience. Come back next week to follow me as I taste (and drink) my way through the city.
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For more stories about my New Orleans adventures, check out my other blog posts at the following links: