We all know I love NoLa. I’ve covered it on my blog a few times. OK, really just here. But, the love real and so I had to go back again for JazzFest. I thought I would take JazzFest off this year, but then my little brother decided he needed to go to New Orleans for the first time, and y’all, I just couldn’t pass that up!
Since I have been before, I’m just going to highlight a few of the newbie, tourist things we did and share some photos. This was actually my first time staying in the French Quarter, at a Wyndham (thanks to my sisters travel points!) and although it isn’t the first part of town I’d stay in, it did give us easy access to just about every aspect of NoLa that a first timer should see.
Pro Tip: I will hand out the same advice I gave the newbies. It can rain at any time in NoLa, so make sure your packing list includes bug spray, plastic poncho, and a sun hat and you’ll never be caught off guard.
Ok, so down to the important details, aside from visiting a few of our favorite food spots, we also tried some New Orlean’s classics, including:
Acme Oyster – This place is a classic tourist spot for a reason, the food is good! This line moves fast and it don’t play. Your whole party must be there in order to be seated, so don’t be like me and wander away. Otherwise, you run the risk of not being seated.
Brennan’s – Classic dining spot in NoLa, housed in the Banque de la Louisiane building, constructed in 1795. Brennan’s is the birthplace of the Bananas Foster. There is a dress code, so skip the cut-offs and bring a nice shirt.
Balise – This was a delightful surprise we stumbled upon while looking for more chargrilled oysters. Near the Uptown streetcar, they have a fantastic happy hour and a friendly staff.
Pro Tip: The French Quarter is packed with amazing food, so don’t just stick to what you can find on trip advisor (plenty of spots don’t even have a website). This is the one city in America where you should pick any old spot on the street and risk it, or ask the locals where they like to grab a bite.
Outside of our traditional Beer Walk, JazzFest and a trolly ride through the Garden District, we also managed to catch last minute tickets to a Pelicans vs. Warriors playoff game. A NoLa sporting event is nothing like a game anywhere else . Complete with a Trombone Shorty halftime show, the fans are wild, and the people watching is worth the price of a ticket alone.
Since we had first timers with us, my sister and I thought we should do one official tour that wasn’t a beer walk. We decided to take a Voodoo Tour, and I am so glad we did! Going in, I was a little nervous that the tour would be sensationalist, but it wasn’t. Our guide did a fabulous job of walking us through the city, and the practice’s history. All four of us enjoyed it and I learned something new about a city I thought I was familiar with (cough, *even the hungover ones had fun* cough).
Pro Tip: Just a reminder that “tip only” tours are not “pay nothing tours”, so please tip generously. Just like musicians, tips are how many people in NoLa’s tourism industry make a living.