New Orleans | 10 Travel Tips and Recommendations
I never knew New Orleans would be a place on my travel bucket list, let alone a location I was able to cross off that list so soon. Inspired by the Halloween season and the convenient location of NOLA relative to my boyfriend’s school, we booked a weekend in early October to discover all the haunted and historic qualities this famous city has to offer.
Let me be up front: there are few bars and nightclubs on this list. These usually aren’t places I prioritize visiting when I travel, so know that famous bar crawls on Bourbon Street or unique cocktails to grab won’t be on this list. I promise, though - these activities are just as yummy, and fun! (Plus, you’re not left wasting any time with a hangover!)
Also, I’m not being paid for any of this! Just want to share my experiences.
1. When you land at the airport, schedule your AirBnb or Lyft ahead of time.
For some reason, the main airport in New Orleans (Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport) has not yet accommodated the influx of app-based driving services, and therefore it directs anyone looking to be picked up by Lyft or Uber into a crowded floor of a parking structure. Luckily, I met a nice woman who let me split with her (which saved a lot of money and more importantly, time). These apps now let you schedule your pick-up, so schedule it before you take off or as soon as you land! (I think the airport is planning to renovate in 2019, so hopefully this won’t be an issue much longer).
2. Find a place to stay that is near the Streetcar lines.
You can pay just $3/day to get around the city on the RTA Streetcar Lines, which host a bunch of streetcar stops and frequent pick-ups. Staying in a place that is walking distance to one of these stops is super helpful! Here’s a link to the RTA website and streetcar map. We stayed neared Tulane University and used the St. Charles line to get to and from the French Quarter. Be sure to download their app, too!
3. If you’re looking for a very specific AirBnb recommendation, here’s where we stayed.
It’s in a super quiet, residential neighborhood, but it was a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s modern and clean as a whistle, which is hard to find according to various Airbnb reviews for the city.
4. Grab breakfast at Toast.
5. If you like Lebanese food
(read: hummus, falafel, etc.) you need to try this restaurant—it’s the absolute best of this kind I have ever had. (So good, in fact, that when we had leftovers in the fridge I had to grab a few more bites before leaving for the airport haha!)
6. Take a haunted tour
Or any tour, really. There is SO much history in this city. I learned about France, slavery, haunted houses, voodoo, pirates, Andrew Jackson, American history, and so much more!
7. Walk Along Frenchman Street
Trinkets, souvenirs, stores, art, culture, music, jewelry galore! This street screams New Orlean from beginning to end. I’m almost certain that no two visits along this street are the same.
8. Make time for beignets (cliché, but they’re just that good).
Cafe Du Monde is busy, but for good reason. Their service is fast. Make sure you go to the location in the French Quarter and grab an order of beignets with coffee—amazing! Looking back, I think my boyfriend and I could have split an order (they come with 3) but hey…when in New Orleans….right?
9. Visit a sensible museum,
like the WWII museum, or if you’re into something a little less sensible, try the Museum of Death. What? Is it weird that I enjoyed it?
10. When you hear live jazz music,
stop and grab a drink. The musicians here are so talented!
It only took me nine months of working in the data analytics industry post-graduation to realize that I was destined for something greater.