New Orleans is a fun destination with incredible food, rich history and a constant flow of cocktails. The locals and visitors all seem to have a contagious zest for life that makes this city one of the best destinations in America for nightlife! This Quick Guide to New Orleans has everything you need to know to plan the perfect visit.
WHERE TO STAY
- Located directly on Bourbon Street is a luxurious hotel called Royal Sonesta New Orleans. Despite being located on one of the world’s most infamous party streets, this hotel is surprisingly quiet and immaculately clean. Between the attentive staff and the gorgeous rooms, this is easily the best place to stay in New Orleans.
- Book a room on the 6th or 7th floor for access to their R Club Lounge. The lounge has complimentary breakfast and happy hour every day.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
- Although there is lots to see in New Orleans, if the purpose of your trip is to enjoy the nightlife then you might want to keep your sightseeing to a minimum to allow yourself time to sleep/recover!
- I recommend choosing only a couple of central sights to visit, and leaving your itinerary flexible.
- The French Quarter is beautiful, and a really fun area to explore. It’s filled with picturesque buildings and shops.
- The Garden District is another great area to check out. Take the street car to get there – which is a fun experience in itself.
- This was odd to me at first, but a popular thing to do in New Orleans is to visit their unique cemeteries. Lafayette Cemetery No 1 is centrally located and very interesting to visit.
- If you’re looking to get outside of the city there are plenty of tours available. The two most popular places to visit are plantains and the swamp.
- Jackson Square is a beautiful square conveniently located walking distance from Bourbon Street, in the heart of the French District. This is a great place for pictures, or to sit on a bench and relax for a bit.
WHERE TO EAT
- Deanie’s Seafood is one of my favourite places to eat crawfish. Order the ‘crawfish quartet’ to try it cooked four different ways.
- For late night eats, you can’t beat the fried chicken at Willie’s Chicken Shack.
- Herbsaint is a beautiful restaurant, and a great place to order gumbo!
- NOLA Po Boys is a local favourite for po boy sandwiches.
- Beignets at Cafe du Monde is a must!
- For delicious oysters at a great price, head to Bourbon House for their daily ‘oyster happy hour’.
WHERE TO DRINK
- There’s no better place to try a ‘Hurricane’ than the legendary Pat O’Briens.
- Tropical Isle is the place to try a ‘Hand Grenade’. Beware – they are very strong!
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is a cool place to check out, and best known for their ‘purple drank’ daiquiri.
- If you’re looking for a mature night out (and, when you get sick of sugary cocktails) head to The Jazz Playhouse for one of their nightly live jazz shows.
- Frenchmen Street is a great alternative to Bourbon Street – with lots of live music and a less party-centric vibe.
- If you get a chance, I’ve been told that the jazz shows at Preservation Hall are amazing!