Updated: Sep 20, 2020
A trip to New Orleans, LA (NOLA) is definitely something to write about. As an avid traveler, one of the first things I do when preparing for a vacation is to look for blogs that people have written about where I’m going. Well, here you have it! Your guide to BIG Fun in the BIG EASY. Let's get into it!!!
Where We Stayed
For this particular trip, we stayed at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center. This hotel is located across the street from Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Also within close vicinity to the hotel is Harrah’s Casino, Mother’s Restaurant (we’ll get to this a little later), and of course the infamous BOURBON Street.
The Ritz Carlton is another beautiful hotel located on Canal Street. Rated a 4-star hotel, the Ritz Carlton is designed for travelers wanting to indulge in the vitality that is New Orleans. You'll be close to many attractions such as Bourbon Street, shopping on Magazine Street, and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Fun Fact About Canal Street: Canal Street was developed wider than other streets because it was a dividing line between two cultures (Creoles and Americans). There was supposed to be an actual canal that was built, but it never came to fruition. In fact, many streets change names after crossing Canal because the French and Spanish did not want to be forced to live with the Americans and English.
Where We Ate
I have to admit, eating is my absolute favorite part of traveling. A trip to NOLA would not be complete without some of the fan favorites. A good way to try a few of the dishes, all in one is at the New Orleans School of Cooking. They have 2 options, a hands-on class, and a demonstration class. We opted for the demonstration class. Our chef for the day was Mrs. Harriet. We started out with biscuits and molasses syrup. We watched Mrs. Harriet as she cooked gumbo, jambalaya, pralines, and bread pudding…. Deelish!!!
Who goes to NOLA without getting some seafood?! Everyone says to try the chargrilled oysters so that’s what we did. We tried chargrilled oysters at several restaurants but Oceana Grill won us over. Another favorite is Drago’s. If you are a seafood fanatic I would try Deanie's Seafood, they have a great seafood platter.
Remember I said we would get to Mother's? Mother's is home of the baked ham and the famous Ferdi Sandwich. Be prepared for a long line, we waited for about an hour. Once inside, we were served quickly and everything was great. I ordered the Ferdi, it gets messy!
What is a trip to the Big Easy without a stop to Cafe Du Monde for the famous beignets! Okay, let me keep it real, I tried the beignets on a previous trip to NOLA and I was not impressed. Well, baby!! This time around they were simply amazing. Be sure to compliment the beignets with a cup of coffee, that’s important.
While I’m keeping it real, let me go ahead and talk about adult beverages. The two drinks that came up over and over in my research are the Hand Grenades from Tropical Isles and the Hurricanes from Pat O’ Brien's. Both are reasonably priced at about $10-$12 each, both are tasty. *Disclaimer: Please only indulge if you are of legal age and always drink responsibly!
What We Did
Segway Through the City I am a big fan of adventure and I try my best to engage in new things, especially on vacation. The first stop was the Segway tour, hosted by City Segway. Absolute fun! Don’t be afraid of the Segway, become one with the Segway! If it's your first time on a segway don't fret, they do a training class before taking you out on the streets. We ventured through the streets of NOLA in about 1.5 hours. It’s a super easy and fun way to see the city.
Swamp Tour Next, what’s a trip to NOLA without a swamp tour. It took me a long time to book this adventure, simply because I don’t want to be eaten by a hungry gator! But hey, if I did get eaten by a gator in NOLA, at least I could say I’d done it LOL! Rest assured, the tour went smooth, we saw at least 10 gators and I even held a baby gator….. yeah, this girl!
Italy in NOLA For all of my hopeless romantics, I have something for you too! If you are familiar with Venice, Italy, this is where the Gondolas originated. The streets in Venice are primarily waterways making boats the choice for transportation. The company that hosts the tour is Nola Gondola and our gondolier was Robert. We were taken on a 50-minute tour and Robert provided cheese, crackers, and wine glasses for our beverages. This is a sure-fire way to get the sparks flying in your relationship! Be sure to kiss under the bridge, they say it's good luck!
Bourbon Street Do I even need to go into this? Everyone knows about the infamous Bourbon Street. Live entertainment, a host of restaurants and bars, you are sure to find something you enjoy. The energy of Bourbon street is so hard to put into words. Just imagine being at the family reunion with all your favorite cousins! We truly enjoyed ourselves. But, I will say, Bourbon Street is a lot to handle lol. Definitely go during the day and at night!
Depending on when you go, NOLA can get pretty hot so be sure to dress light. Bring lightweight, comfortable clothing that will help keep you cool. We did a ton of walking so comfortable shoes are a must! Depending on where you stay, you can probably walk to most area attractions. We were able to walk to the casino, Bourbon Street, and The French Market. There are also streetcars, taxis, Uber, and Lyft. We walked most of the trip, but we did rent a car on our last day because we did a day trip to Biloxi, MS. Don't forget to get your shopping on at The French Market, Canal Street Shops, and Magazine Street.
All in all, we enjoyed our time in New Orleans. There is so much to do! Please like, comment, and tell me what you think about this guide. Also, let me know what you want to read about next! Laters…