To be honest, I was in pain after two days in New Orleans, but this city was totally worth it. When I travel to a city for the weekend, I make sure to see everything that looks interesting to me. Therefore, I loved writing up this guide describing how to spend one day in new orleans. I don’t claim to be an expert of the city, but I must say I had a damn great time at the places suggested below.
1. Acme Oyster House
I got to New Orleans around noon, therefore, my first order of business was to find a great place to eat. I knew that I wanted seafood and something authentic. I was reading about the baked oysters at Acme Oyster House on my favorite travel app, Foursquare. When I walked over, I was amazed to see a line out the door on a Thursday afternoon. Since I was solo, I was able to get a spot at the bar right away. I suggest trying to sit at the oyster bar, unless you are in a large group. There is a lot going on and the guys shucking the oysters are fun to shoot the shit with. I decided since I was on vacation, it was time for a drink as well. I ordered a bloody mary, and of course, the famous baked oysters. The oysters were amazing, sizzling on a platter loaded with garlic. I sometimes crave them when I am at home, they were that good. I will definitely be coming back here next time around (with gum of course).
2. Carousel Bar & Lounge
When I told my co-workers I wanted to go to a carousel bar that moved, they all thought I was crazy. Maybe it was the child that still lives inside me, but I thought to myself, “who the hell wouldn’t want to drink here?”. One of the other main reasons I wanted to explore the city on my own for the day. I like to make my own agenda, and a lot of friends think my interests are unusual. Luckily again, because I was solo, I was able to snag a spot at the bar. The Carousel Bar & Lounge is actually a hotel bar which makes it quite busy. I decided to keep the spirits going and keep on drinking. I met a lot of interesting people from all over. Surprisingly, the city is popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties. The carousel moves slow enough, but fast enough to make a few turns while you sit down for a drink. It is cool to see the hotel from different angles, as it is very beautiful and has that southern charm to it. The Carousel Bar area would be the perfect spot to bring a date.
3. Gallery of Fine Art
At this point in the day I was feeling pretty toasty. I left the Carousel Bar and was walking around the French Quarter on Royal Street. There are tons of art galleries, shops, and little boutiques. One could probably spend the day here buying cool shit they do not really need. Like me, I bought a purple hat at Goorin Brothers and to this day I have not worn it once. I happened to walk past this art gallery and noticed something strange. I wasn’t sure if it was the booze at first, and then I realized there was a live cat passed out in the window. I stood there for a good five minutes taking several photos and the little guy never budged. He is the house cat of the gallery, so make sure to check him out if you are in the area!
4. Watch a live band
If you walk around the French Quarter you will definitely run into several live bands playing in the street. I saw quite a few and they all were unique and sounded like professionals. This photo of the live band is one of my favorite pictures that I have ever taken. I tried to enter it in one of Delta’s music hashtag competitions and was shocked it didn’t win. Anyways, I was walking around on a Thursday and it was quite lively, therefore I am sure on the weekend even more so. Make sure to drop them some cash, they definitely deserve it. This is definitely how to spend one day in New Orleans.
5. Buy a mask
At this point of the day I was walking around with a beer wrapped in a brown paper back and puffing on a true blue cherry flavor. I actually hate the smell of cigarettes and even the idea of them, but once in a while I will partake in a true blue. I happened to be in New Orleans around Halloween so it was fun walking around and trying on the Mardi gras masks. This little shop was special to me because of the cat hanging out in the store. I don’t remember the name of it, but there are tons of mask stores around the French Quarter. A lot of the masks reminded me of the movie Eyes Wide Shut. There were some beautiful and strange ones at the same time.
6. Voodoo Authentica
One strange thing to check out in New Orleans is either the Voodoo museum or a Voodoo doll shop, specifically Voodoo Authentica. You can also take a free tour by foot, but I did not do that. I was just interested to see what things they could have in one of these stores. This store specifically is not like the touristy stores that you will find in the French Quarter. It is actually a shop for practitioners, and they come to Voodoo Authentica to find different materials for their craft. I ended up buying a Voodoo doll specifically for “hearts desire”. Unfortunately when I brought it home my dog got a hold of it. Let’s just say that was the end of that, and I never got any “hearts desire”.
7. Go out on Bourbon Street
After spending quite the day drinking and shopping in the French quarter, I took a break and met up with my co-workers finally. Everyone met at the Marriott and we had a catered dinner. The group set out for Bourbon Street of course. Our first stop was to a slushy bar so everyone could try the famous Hurricane drink. I can honestly say that it doesn’t taste like there is really any alcohol in it, but it is VERY strong. After a few of these you will need to be carried home. By the end of the night I somehow fell, and ripped the knee part of my jeans. The best thing about this is that the rip was a straight line, and actually looks great on! As I mentioned in the beginning, by the end of the trip I was in pain. This was just the first night of the fun.
8. Get a late night snack at Cafe Du Monde
After a great evening, I knew I wanted my night to end at Cafe Du Monde. I had been planning on getting a beigne since I booked my flight to New Orleans. And it is as sweet as it looks in the photo. The hot chocolate is definitely a nice touch with the snack. I usually don’t eat dairy, but I made a huge exception for this. You can not come to NOLA without coming to Cafe Du Monde. They are open 24 hours, so there is literally no excuse in the world to miss this. I think after this trip my body had more sugar than it had in a whole year with all of the hurricane slushy drinks combined with beigne’s and hot chocolate. But what the hell, it was a vacation after all.