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A Trip to New Orleans and the Bayou

I love to travel and am excited to experience the unique places the United States has to offer, as well as the rest of the world.

An Airbnb we stayed at on Bourbon Street.

An Airbnb we stayed at on Bourbon Street.

The French Quarter is a cute neighborhood on the outskirts of Downtown New Orleans that is rich in history and full of life. The colorful buildings, the unique canopies on the trees, and the music booming through the streets are alluring to all.

The French Quarter is a perfect destination for bachelor or bachelorette parties. It can also be perfect for a fun night out with friends! Those who are traveling with kids and are looking for more of a family-friendly environment can still have fun as well.

Below is a list of my experiences in New Orleans and the things you should know when traveling there.

Walk Around Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street has no shortage of delicious treats. Here were the best places we stopped for food and drinks.

Grab a Coffee

Kick off your morning with a frozen Irish coffee from Erin Rose. This is a must! I don’t like coffee, let alone want alcohol in it. However, this was amazing! It tasted like a chocolate milkshake.

Food

  • Grab some fried Gator Bites at Pat O’Brien’s and have a refreshing Hurricane drink. Alligator practically tastes and has the same texture as chicken!
  • Go to Nola Poboys to try a Poboy or Muffaletta for the first time. In my opinion, I think Poboys are over-hyped. I enjoyed the grilled shrimp and veggies a lot more, but I still feel like you have to try the Poboy just to try it.
  • Musical Legends Park looks like such a fun place that has live jazz music and a Cafe Beignet in it. Unfortunately, there was a line that I wasn't willing to wait in, and I decided to find another place to enjoy a beignet—Stuph'd Beignets. It was delicious!

Drinks

  • Lafitte Blacksmith Shop is small and also the oldest bar in NOLA. Go in for a drink and admire the history in it.
  • Fat Tuesdays, which can be found in many locations in the United States, has alcoholic slushies that can make you feel like a kid again with just that little extra fun added to it.
  • The Carousel Bar is a unique bar that can be found in Hotel Monteleone. Be sure to get there as soon as it opens to beat the crowd!

Gator and Swamp Tours

When in NOLA, you can't not take some time to get out on the Bayou...

New Orleans Airboat Tours, LLC

It was a relaxing airboat ride through the Bayou on a beautiful warm day. We were able to feed the young alligators marshmallows up close and safely. Our tour guide Ramon was amazing, very knowledgeable, and fun.

I highly recommend bringing sunglasses and paying $20 a person for their transportation ride there and back. You will get stuck there if you don’t, as Ubers typically don’t pick people up that far away from the city.

Cajun Encounters Swamp Tours

Although I didn't go on this tour myself, this seems like another tour that is worthwhile. Visitors will be able to ride on a small boat through a scenic swamp to see and feed alligators, raccoons, and wild pigs.

Enjoy a Bike Ride Through Town

Biking was a great way to tour the city without having to plan out every little detail.

Sightsee and Visit Markets

As much as I love planning ahead, getting lost in town can be a lot of fun. Ride through Crescent Park, Decatur Street, Frenchman Street, and French Quarter to soak in the culture and city views.

You can also get some sightseeing in by riding down the Moonwalk and visiting Jackson Square. Although I didn’t get a chance to ride directly through Jackson Square, I was able to see a wonderful view of it from the Washington Artillery Monument.

Find a Beignet Shop

Believe it or not, it was hard to find a beignet for me to try for the first time. There are plenty of places to choose from, but the lines are outrageous! This is especially the case at the original Café du Monde. Do not waste time in your day waiting in those lines unless it is really that important to you. In my opinion, all beignets are the same.

I was able to find a small beignet shop called Stuph'd Beignets outside of the French Quarter away from the tourists. There wasn’t a line, and they offered sweet and savory stuffed beignets! I ordered a traditional one, but I would love to try their other creations if I were to go back.

What You Need to Know Before You Go

  • The humidity can be very high.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • The pickpocketers are good. Be smart and aware!
  • If someone approaches you and says, “I bet I can tell you where you got your shoes from,” just walk away. They are trying to hustle you for money.
  • The roads are awful since the city is built on water.
  • The Ubers can be expensive and unreliable away from the city. Always have a Plan B, so you don’t get stranded.
  • Get an Air Bnb on Bourbon Street. It may be more money than those away from it, but you won't have to pay the outrageous prices of the Ubers in the evenings.
  • Bring some cash with you wherever you go. Some places are surprisingly cash only.

My Next Trip to New Orleans

Although three days were sufficient for me, I would love to venture outside of the French Quarter in the future. I briefly spent some time away from the area one evening and ate at Brown Butter Restaurant for dinner. Across the street is also an amazing ice cream and dessert shop called "A. Brocato" that has so much character to it. There was a line out the door, but it was worth it to me; you can tell they have something special going on there.

With these special places in mind, I can’t imagine the history and unique places NOLA has in her Downtown area. I look forward to the day when I can find out, and it might even be fun to do a ghost tour if I'm feeling brave enough!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jackie Zelko

Comments

Jackie Zelko (author) on May 27, 2021:

Thank you for your interest in my article!

Thea Tsayt from Spain on May 27, 2021:

I really enjoyed this article! And the pun in the title.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on May 27, 2021:

That I agree.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 27, 2021:

This is an informative and interesting travel article. Anyone visiting Bayou would find useful information here.

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