We recently spent a few days in New Orleans, before we boarded a cruise ship. Basically we walked a ton (a very walkable city), ate ourselves into coma’s (give me ALL the oysters), and saw some really cool sites.
We decided to stay in the Warehouse District because it was near the cruise terminals and within walking distance to a few of the attractions we wanted to see. It was about a mile walk to the French Quarter or a short inexpensive ride by Uber when our feet were tired.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites. You can’t go wrong there! Breakfast in the morning and a manager’s cocktail reception in the evening. Hello Hurricanes!
Acme Oyster House. Make sure you get here early, during the main dining times the line can get long. Also you have to have all your party there to be seated, you can’t get there early to grab a table and wait. Believe me, we tried! Unfortunately, they were out of Chargrilled Oysters when we were there (good excuse to visit again), I’ve heard they are delicious and it’s one of their signature dishes. I had an Oysters Shooter and we shared raw oysters. I must admit something, I’ve turned my nose up many times in regards to raw oysters, claiming I didn’t like them. But I found I actually do! Whenever I travel somewhere I like to try signature food items from that city or region, so since NOLA is Oyster everything, I just had to have them. We found a tiny live crab hiding under the oysters, if that isn’t fresh from the sea, then I don’t know what is.
K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. If you’re going to splurge on a nice meal or a date night in NOLA, go here. EVERYTHING is fresh and the menu changes daily based on the availability of fish for the day. They pride themselves in not having a freezer in the kitchen. You won’t find any ice cream for dessert, but you won’t miss it, especially if you have the bread pudding. We had the fried green tomatoes with fresh Louisiana Shrimp in a Caper and Dill Remoulade Sauce. So good! For my entrée I had the Blackened Drum with Crawfish. In addition to the delicious food, we had a great waiter who gave great suggestions and was very friendly and easy to talk to. We enjoy going to places where we can get the full experience. I was bummed before we got to New Orleans because I couldn’t get us a reservation online to K-Paul’s. I decided to call the afternoon that we wanted to go and I had no problems getting us in. It pays to just call in your reservation.
Red Fish Grill. We made this reservation last minute based off a recommendation from some friends who ate there the previous evening. The only thing I need to say about this restaurant is their signature BBQ Oysters with house made Blue Cheese dressing. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about them!
Cochon Butcher. We ate here for lunch to take a break from the World War II museum, it’s just down the street. We had New Orleans’ signature sandwich, the Muffaletta. I’ve never had a Muffaletta sandwich before so I have nothing to compare it to, but it was yummy. This is another place that you may have to stand in line to order and the tables are first come first serve. We had a party of 6 and were having a hard time finding a table at the peak lunch hour. The staff was great and set us up a special spot on a glass cubed table with a Star Wars display.
Café Du Monde. Coffee and Beignets are a must when in New Orleans and Café Du Monde is the most well-known place to go. You can go to the French Quarter Café, but there will be a long line so try to find a time that isn’t peak time. But here is a tip, if you happen to go over to the Riverwalk Outlet Mall, there is a Café Du Monde in the lowest level. The line isn’t nearly as long and you can take your coffee and beignets outside and watch the Mississippi River flow by.
We went on a Plantation tour one day. The tour picked us up at our hotel first thing in the morning and made it out to the famous Oak Alley Plantation for the first tour of the day. The grounds were beautiful and we walked along the path of those 28 oak trees. We stopped at another plantation, the Laura Plantation. This is a Creole style plantation house. This was a great day learning about the history of these two plantations, the people who lived in them and the slaves who worked on them.
We spent another day at the National World War II Museum. This is a great museum with tons of information. For me, it would take days to read and see everything this museum has to offer. My favorite part of this museum was the movie “Beyond All Boundaries” narrated by Tom Hanks. This is a 4D movie that takes you through the time of World War II. It was very moving and one of the best history movies I’ve seen. It’s about 45 minutes long.
We also did a tour at Mardi Gras World. This was so cool! This is where they work on the floats all year long to get ready for all the parades of Mardi Gras. I also learned here that Mardi Gras is 90% family friendly. All the craziness that Mardi Gras can be known for only happens on Bourbon Street, the rest of the activities surrounding Mardi Gras are all family orientated.
Pack comfortable walking shoes, you’ll get your steps in walking around.
Pack a rain coat or umbrella. It can down pour at a moment’s notice. This only happened one day that we were there.
Watch for the Second Line. It’s a parade through the French Quarter that a Bride and Groom lead with a band and all the wedding party and guests follow behind. I want to get married in New Orleans just so I can do this! Maybe a vow renewal is in my future!
Signature cocktails that can’t be missed; Hurricane, Sazerac, and a Mint Julep
Check out the Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone, it rotates in a circle.
We had such a good time on our first visit, that I know there will be many more to come!