72 Hours in New Orleans
Updated: May 25
New Orleans - "The Big Easy" as its popularly described is a city worth taking a trip to!! The music, history, food, and fun makes it a city worth being on your bucket list! When you think of New Orleans you instantly think of the French Quarter. Popularly known as the “Crown Jewel of New Orleans" , it has fantastic architecture, rich history, street artists, beautiful churches, iconic restaurants & streets, wonderful French Market, talented street performers, and tons and tons of food & drinks. French quarters are full of culture, a lot of charm & have a great vibe! New Orleans is best described as a place a place full of long-told legends, ghost tours with curbside parties, horse hooves clop, music throbs, and flickering gaslights. With a perfect backdrop for visual storytelling, this too has a celebrity attraction as many Hollywood movies and TV Show Series have been shot here. Remember “The Originals!"
Where to stay
Inn at the Old Jail
Located just 14 miles away from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Inn at the Old Jail offers unique accommodations. If you're planning a trip to New Orleans you'll want to stay here! This striking Queen Anne structure is built in unique style with authentic touches including marble steps and original police memorabilia. The rooms are super clean and comfortable and each room has it's own history. Take in the views of the city from the rooftop terrace and garden. It is just 1.6 mi from Bourbon Street and 1.8 mi from Jackson Square and what is more it fits right in your budget.
The place is run by a cute couple - Raul and Liz. They were visiting their daughter, when they happened on the abandoned, desolate beauty and absolutely fell in love with it. That very week they became the proud owners of this broken down jail!!! After three and a half years of struggling with permissions, and changing laws and painstaking restoration of the 1902 Police Jail and Patrol Station, they opened their unusual inn and are now receiving guests from all over.
Quoting the owner of the Inn, Liz - " We have enjoyed company from all over the US and from somewhere around 50 different countries - many of whom have become repeat offenders."
If you are planning to visit New Orleans in October, don't forget to register yourself to the savory Beignet Fest which is held annually the first Saturday in October. Launched in 2016 to celebrate the beignets, this unique fest has a charitable mission - To raise money to support non-profit programs in the community that support children with autism. They also support organizations that work towards similar goals to celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings.
Beignet Fest is one of the most family-friendly festivals in the South. Admission is just $5 for adults and entry for children under 12 is free. You will get a sense of the true New Orleans tradition and community while at the Beignet Fest. It features a myriad of restaurant vendors, local and regional musical entertainment, and family-friendly activities. Celebrity judges give an award for their favorite beignet dish, and attendees also have a chance to vote on favorite sweet and savory beignets.
Mardi Gras Festival
New Orleans plays host to one of the most famous public festivities of Mardi Gras in February/March each year. It is a popular cultural phenomenon that dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Mardi Gras or The Fat Tuesday is celebrated every year as a big giant festival that marks the beginning of the Christian fasting season of Lent. The carnival is 6 weeks long and marks the beginning for official party season in New Orleans. There is a local folklore that the Grand Duke Alexis visited New Orleans in 1872 and his welcoming committee handed out purple, green, and gold beads to the party-goers that year. The trio of shades came to symbolize the festivities - purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith. Customarily people celebrate by catching beads on Bourbon. Galas, parades, and parties take over the city during the fest.
Start your New Orleans sightseeing with an artsy twist by visiting the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. Jonathan Ferrara who is an artist, activist, and entrepreneur founded the gallery in 1998 to give artists a voice. The gallery regularly exhibits art fairs in the US and Europe. Located in the heart of the Arts District of New Orleans, the gallery hosts opening receptions on the first Saturday of each month. The gallery is now open Tues-Sat from 10 am - 5 pm.
If you want to enjoy the true Louisiana flavor, head to Restaurant Rebirth for lunch. Traditional Southern cooking is taken up a notch at this Warehouse District Cajun-Creole serving, farm-to-table restaurant. The restaurant gives a rustic vibe with its brick walls and exposed wood beams. They have an impressive menu with many gluten free options. Quail La Louisiane, quail stuffed with foie gras, served with seasonal marmalade, kale, pomegranate molasses, and pickled mustard seeds is a must try. Order the mouth watering Bread Pudding Desert to top it off.
If you are looking for a great place for picnicking along the banks of Mississippi, then look no further and spend your evening at the Woldenberg Park. Named after philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg, the Riverfront is open to recreation purposes. There is lots of space to spread out and enjoy the views of the muddy river, and iconic riverboats . A handful of benches are peppered throughout, with gardens, grassy areas, jogging paths, and a small holocaust memorial. There is much to see and do in this long park, with historical markers and statues. Enjoy a bike ride, walk or just sit by a comfortable view of the water front. It is also home to various cultural festivals of New Orleans along with various local musicians and street performers. Do visit this park for a virtually interactive experience.
Christchurch Cathedral is a 200 year old congregation and is the official seat of the Bishop of Louisiana. It is the first non-Roman Catholic church in the entire region. You are awe struck by the majestic interiors, the grand ceiling, the rich history, the colorful acoustics and the incredible music. The fellowship and the spiritually serene service at the church will take you on a beautiful spiritual journey. They also have a Bodytime Bootcamp from 5:30 to 6:30 most days in the evenings. Check the schedule on their website before you visit.
Red Dog Diner
Great service and Lip smacking food!!! The Red Dog Diner has distinct style with deeply grained wood, exposed brick walls, the handcrafted communal tables and benches that give you a laid-back feeling of a wine country trip. Their menu is an eclectic mix of international influences with an emphasis on bright, healthy, Mediterranean flavors, local favorites, and homespun classics. Boutique wines & original craft cocktails can be found at their cozy Back Alley Bar. This is the perfect restaurant to end your first day in New Orleans and head back to your hotel for a good night's sleep.
To experience an incredible sense of history, architecture and a pleasant energy that is unique, visit the Jackson Square - A colorful place full of local musicians, tarot card readers, artists, painters and local artisans. There are restaurants all around you and not to forget the live music on the streets which makes Jackson Square a “must see” place!! Set up across 2.5 acre space, situated in the center of French quarter, Jackson Square is a national historic landmark recognized for its pivotal role in the Crescent City's story.
St. Louis Cathedral
Stop by, light a candle, say a prayer, learn about the history of the church. Facing Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral is among the tallest and most imposing structures in the French Quarter. The interestingly stained glass windows depict aspects of the life of St. Louis, King of France. The large altarpiece depicts faith, hope, and charity. Walking through this spiritual heaven, you get transported to a place of serenity and peace. You are amazed at the peaceful feeling that washes over you. This architecturally & amazingly well maintained Church is definitely a ‘A MUST VISIT'.
Blue Giant Nola
If you are looking for some Chinese for lunch, we recommend you try out the Blue Giant Nola. Their Crispy Hunan Fish is a must try. Blue Giant Nola is an American-Chinese restaurant in the Lower Garden District on Magazine Street. Be sure to order their fresh and yummy Dumplings - you can get them ten for eight dollars! They are pan fried and come with a nice lacy crust on the outside. Be sure to arrive a bit early as they are mostly packed during the lunch/dinner time. They also include personalized fortunes in their fortune cookies.
Located in the Garden District, Lafayette Cemetery, is one of the oldest city governed cemeteries. The unusual character and the architecture of the crypts and vaults are what makes it different. This is a classic stop if you want to experience a New Orleans cemetery and get to know some great graveside stories. There is a lot of history to be learned, apart from Marie LaVeau. This makes this place even more interesting and worth visiting!
Chef Tuck of Eatwith New Orleans
Eatwith is an experience in itself which is hosted by a local chef in their home. Be sure to get in touch with Chef Tuck for a traditional dinner while you are in New Orleans. Chef Tuck is best known for his healthy versions of traditional New Orleans recipes. Dine in New Orleans like a local at Chef Tuck's residence. Chef Tuck cooks in his open kitchen which has a marble bar that seats six. He not just hosts tourists but also share his recipes with them. From learning his family's traditional Creole and Cajun recipes to now re-creating and putting a healthy spin on dishes, Chef Tuck's dinners are full of positive energy, history, and celebration.
The Country Club
Enjoy your last day in New Orleans with a brunch at The Country Club. It has been a neighborhood secret for over 40 years and offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. Be sure to book a table before you arrive as spots fill up months in advance. The way the seating is set up - there are a few different rooms with groups of people, so it provides you a sense of privacy. If its a weekend, be prepared for a Drag Brunch between 11am and 1pm. The restaurant is beautiful with walls painted with gorgeous murals and the dining rooms are large. The bar & pool give a modern and hip look and the food is exquisite which makes it the perfect place to start your Day 3 in New Orleans.
After a heart filled brunch at the Country club, head to the the Beauregard-Keyes House. It was built in 1826 and was home to Beauregard from the 1950s, until her death in 1970. She wrote many of her classic works while at the Beauregard-Keyes House. Apart from the intricate interiors, its also home to a larfe collection of antique dolls, tea pots, and folk costumes. Explore 200 year old French Quarter history by elevating the stories of many others who lived and worked here. The home is well preserved, the gardens are lovely, but the good thing is being able to purchase books that were written here.
Backatown Coffee Parlour
Enjoy a relaxed evening with a cup of coffee at the Backatown Coffee Parlour. Since its opening in November of 2017, Backatown has been part of the reawakening of Basin Street. It’s a couple of blocks down from the Sanger Theater and is a great place for a quick bite. Located at the site of old Storyville, Backatown embodies the aura of a time where everyone from all walks of life could meet & enjoy Basin Street blues!! Not just coffee, they have absolutely yummy scones and sandwiches. Its globally-inspired decor and hand-crafted menu makes it stand out. Backatown also hosts a monthly event called Art Fusion to showcase the local art and cuisine.
M S Rau
M.S. Rau is an internationally recognized antiques dealer and a leader in rare and important antiques, fine art and jewelry. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, there is ample room for visitors to social distance while enjoying an unparalleled selection of important, original paintings created by legendary artists such as Monet, Picasso and Renoir. Visitors can also enjoy a diverse selection of exquisite jewels and incredible antiques by brands including Tiffany & Co. and Faberge. Led by its third-generation owner and published fine art expert Bill Rau, the gallery has grown by leaps and bounds since his grandfather Max Rau opened the doors.
A great place to end your evening and trip to New Orleans is Victory. Its a nice cozy place, perfect to spend a quiet evening. The bar serves interesting cocktails and a small food menu. The spirit of Victory is in its team’s pledge to preserve the elegance of a past era when cocktails were fashioned with pride and artistry. Try out the Cajun Shrimp Pizza and club with a Sangria or 'Smoke and Blood' cocktail. If you haven't been to Victory you haven't really experienced New Orleans!
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