Hello! As you may have seen on Instagram, hubs and I are back from a long weekend in New Orleans. We had a great time, and now understand why it’s called The Big Easy! From the amazing food, to the fabulous street music and art galleries, the entire trip was fun and relaxing.
We decided on New Orleans in order to attend 311 Day. Shaun is an avid 311 fan, and has been looking forward to this trip for months. I was along for the ride, excited to experience all the history and culture that New Orleans has to offer.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and checked in at the Hotel Monteleone, a historic hotel in the French Quarter. The Monteleone is one of the oldest hotels in New Orleans (and supposedly haunted!), and is famous for their Carousel Bar, the only rotating bar front in New Orleans! While you barely feel it moving while you are seated, the bar makes a full rotation every 15 minutes. So neat!
After freshening up, we headed out to explore the city. It was a beautiful and sunny day (a much needed break from the freezing cold temps in DC!). We eventually found our was to Jackson Square, where we sat and enjoyed the gardens and stunning view of the Saint Louis Cathedral. We also did a full loop around the park, checking out all the unique art displays and musicians. My favorite part about New Orleans is all the diversity — you can have a jazz band playing next to a tarot card reader, next to a magician. You never know what you’ll get!
We were ravenous by mid-afternoon, and stopped by Chartes House restaurant to try some Cajun food. The creole BBQ shrimp was our favorite, along with the blackened shrimp jambalaya. Delicious!
On Sunday, we woke up early and headed out to try and beat the breakfast crowd at Cafe Du Monde. There were only a few people in line, and we had a bag of warm beignets in hand in no time. The beignets were divine, and totally lived up to the hype! I ordered a frozen Cafe Au Lait to drink, and it was equally delicious.
Later that day, we had some family from nearby Mobile, Alabama visit. We had a yummy early afternoon brunch at Muriel’s Jackson Square before heading out to do more sight seeing. Isn’t the interior of Muriel’s gorgeous?! So much character and natural elegance.
On Monday morning, we took a bike tour with the Confederacy of Cruisers. We opted for the Creole tour, which focused mainly in the Ninth Ward, and offers a look at New Orleans outside of the typical tourist spots. I didn’t take many photos since my biking skills were a little rusty…but highly recommend taking one of these tours to get off the beaten path a bit. Afterwards, we had lunch at Port O Call, a tiny dive bar with amazing burgers. This spot is totally worth the trek outside of the French Quarter.
That evening we had dinner at GW Fins, a seafood restaurant just off Bourbon Street. It was another great meal, despite being a bit pricey. Can you tell we pretty much ate our way through New Orleans? I’m confident I gained at least 5 lbs. and have some major working out to do this week!
It rained on Tuesday, so after a quick breakfast, we headed over to the Historic Voodoo Museum. While the museum was interesting, we didn’t think it was quite worth the $5/person charge. It was a bit cramped and didn’t have much flow to it. That being said, it was a perfect indoor activity while the rain passed through.
Tuesday evening we got ready for the 311 show, and headed over to the New Orleans Arena. I was excited to see the Super Dome in person as we entered the Arena! Our seats at the venue were amazing, and before we knew it, the start of the (5 hour) show had begun!
The show was fantastic, but by midnight, the smoke really started getting to me (it is a smoke free venue but the rules are not well followed), so we headed back to the hotel a bit early.
We flew back to DC this morning, and smothered Cooper in attention when we got back! It is crazy how much we miss the little bear when we’re gone.
A few other noteworthy places worth mentioning, that didn’t make it into the recap:
- Petite Amelie – the little sister restaurant to Cafe Amelie, a popular locally sourced bistro in the French Quarter. Petite Amelie is quaint and cozy, and fairly reasonably priced for New Orleans. I loved their coffee and salads, and the pastries also looked good. They they are closed on Monday and Tuesday (fairly common in New Orleans).
- Cochon Butcher – a combo restaurant with a little bit of everything. A casual spot with a nice vibe.
- Cafe Beignet – a small but comfortable cafe a block away from our hotel. A great place to have beignets but avoid the craziness of Cafe Du Monde. The serve breakfast all day and have an assortment of other foods as well. Also reasonably priced for the French Quarter.
- Magazine Street – we didn’t make it to Magazine Street during our visit, but heard great things. It is on our list for our next trip!
And, now we’re back to the grind. Hope everyone has a great remainder of the week!