New Orleans Travel Guide

In honor of this week’s Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday celebrations I would like to share a sweet and simple travel guide to the city. Don’t forget in order to have a smooth and enjoyable experience it is important to determine your budget before heading out. Determine the max amount of money that you are willing to spend and stick to it. It’s important that you do this, if not you risk having to borrow money from friends, neighbors and God forbid the corner bum. A great way to save money includes booking your trip during the week compared to the weekend. Hotel prices skyrocket during the weekend so don’t forget to take that into consideration.

While our stay in NOLA we attended the Louisiana Seafood Festival, had ourselves a bit of local cuisine and listened to some great music. New Orleans has tons of free festivals year round, festivals ranging from food, music, art, whatever you can think of. Take advantage of the free festivals that are offered, save some money and have fun while doing it.

What kind of trip would it be without a bit of sightseeing? Take a guided tour through the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, it is well worth the money. The guide gives facts and details that would have otherwise been overlooked had you walked through the cemetery on your own. While you’re at it take a stroll and admire the beautiful homes in the Garden District. You can also take a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar and take in the city that way. This is me enjoying my view of the passing streetcars from our boutique hotel porch.

I also recommend taking a plantation tour, swamp tour or both during your stay. We enjoyed the Destrehan Plantation tour, which was about a 30 minute drive from the city. It is the closest plantation to the city and the guides give the tour while in costume. It was fun and our guide was very sweet and knowledgeable about the plantation. 

We also took a swamp tour at Cajun Pride Swamp Tours in Laplace, LA, which was also about a 30 minute drive from the city. It was fun and we even got to hold a baby alligator (with its mouth taped shut of course!). If you want to stay closer to town you can go the many museums nearby including the National WWII Museum or the New Orleans Museum of Art.

A must do in NOLA includes sipping on a Hurricane or Mint Julep in the world famous Bourbon Street and French Quarter. Walk around the shops during the day and drink a beer at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in the nation, at night. Always practice safe traveling and stay in well lit areas where there are plenty of people in sight. I have to say that there are a few shady areas, therefore use good judgment. If something feels out of place, trust your gut and turn around. Our favorite jazz bars included the Fritz Rolls Jazz Club and the Maison Bourbon.

On your way to the airport check out a local eatery Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar. It is a small, restaurant that serves excellent, authentic Cajun food. The etouffee and turtle soup are delicious, as well as the crispy catfish. This place was so good we ate there twice! If you are looking for something with a bit of class I recommend Luke (a Chef John Besh restaurant). It is a bit on the expensive side, don't say you weren't warned. They had great tasting oysters and I must say that they had an excellent burger, if not the best burger I’ve ever had. And I’m usually not one to exaggerate. If possible try eating there during happy hour, you'll save a few bucks. 

So there you have it, my guide to one of the top cities in the country. Have fun and be safe!



  1. Phillip Morales3/04/2014

    Great blog Jen. New Orleans really is a great town.


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