Travel Guide: New Orleans, LA

You might remember that we had a trip planned to New Orleans last year, but it was cancelled due to COVID. I was so glad that we rescheduled it for this year. This trip was planned very last minute, but it was so much fun! I’ve never been down to New Orleans before, so I am excited to share what all we did while we visited.

We drove down on Thursday night, late, in order to get to New Orleans early Friday morning. It is about a 8 hour drive from Dallas. Once, we arrived we drove straight down to the French Quarter to get breakfast and start exploring. Keep reading to see what we did, where we ate, and where we stayed during our visit.

WHAT WE DID:

FRENCH QUARTER – This was our first stop of the trip. After, breakfast we just strolled around Jackson Square. There are a ton of cute shops, street performers, and more in this area. You could easily spend the whole day here exploring, which is exactly what we did.

BOURBON STREET – You can’t go to New Orleans without stopping by Bourbon Street. It was actually quite busy when we were there, so we didn’t spend too much time. But, it was definitely a must see.

HARRAH’S CASINO – On Saturday, it rained, so we decided to try our luck at the casino. We didn’t last too long in there before we gambled all the money we came in with.

OAK ALLEY PLANTATION – This plantation home is about an hour outside of New Orleans, but totally worth the drive. It was a beautiful home and there is so much history here. You can take a 15 minute tour of the home, walk the grounds, take photos (outside only) and a restaurant/gift shop. They even have a Bed & Breakfast you can stay in.

ST. CHARLES STREET / GARDEN DISTRICT – This was by far, my favorite area we visited. There were so many beautiful homes to see and lots shopping. There is also a historic trolley that runs right through this area. I wish we would have road the trolley, but we decided to walk instead.

WHERE WE ATE:

STANLEY OF NEW ORLEANS – This was our first stop of the trip! It was perfect because it is located right off Jackson Square. It is a great spot for people watching. I suggest showing up early, as it does get pretty busy down there.

SUCRE – This little French style bakery caught my eye while we were strolling through the Garden District. We stopped in for a cold iced tea and macrons.

MERIL – Brian told me before we went on this trip that he wanted to try one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants while we were visiting. So, I booked us a reservation at Meril. The food and atmosphere were fabulous! They honored our reservation even though we showed up an hour early because we were hungry.

CAFE DU MONDE – You HAVE to get Beignets when in New Orleans. There are 2 spots either, Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet. We went with Cafe Du Monde because is it the most famous, but honestly either one is really good!

FRANKIE & JOHNNY’S – Brian and I both love crawfish. So, we hunted down a lunch spot that had crawfish. Frankie and Johnny’s came highly suggested and it did not disappoint.

BOURBON HOUSE – This spot is right in the center of Bourbon Street. They only take reservations – no walk-ins allowed here. If you don’t have a reservation, don’t bother asking to get a table. I saw them turn away several different couples while we were waiting to be seated. The food and atmosphere did not disappoint!

WHERE WE STAYED:

We decided to stay about 15 minutes away from Downtown and the French Quarter. Our hotel was right on Lake Pontchartrain. We stayed at the Marriott at Lakeway. It was an easy drive to get to anywhere we wanted to go in the city. Brian and I agreed that we both liked staying on that side of New Orleans instead of staying in Downtown. I feel like we got to experience both sides of the city this way.

One thing I will say about staying in the area we did, is that we had to pay quite a bit for parking each day when visiting downtown, the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. So, keep that in mind when thinking of where you would like to stay. I think in New Orleans paying for parking and getting around is where you will spend the most.

OTHER AREAS I RECOMMEND STAYING IN:

  • Downtown New Orleans – We almost stayed here instead of the Marriott at Lakeway.
  • The Garden District – If we visit again this is where I’ll stay!

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