I didn’t really know what to expect in New Orleans. I knew what I wanted. I wanted men with saxophones on every street corner and sassy old women serving homemade soul food. But I didn’t know what to actually expect. We went for two days but really all the best things could be done in 24 hours if you planned ahead and got out of bed at a reasonable time, so here’s a handy guide of what to do if you ever find yourself in this fine city, even just for a day.
Morning: Take a Tour of the Swamps Going on a swamp tour was a must for this Princess and the Frog fan. Just a short drive from the city centre, you can find multiple boat companies competing for your custom. As far as I could tell, all of them were pretty similar, offering a morning boat tour that takes in the swamps and all the wildlife that calls it home. Catch a glimpse of alligators, raccoons and wild pigs as you zoom through the beautiful scenery. Our guide was really knowledgeable and charismatic (some may say crazy) which made the whole experience all the more enjoyable. It’s really easy to get to and many hostels organise daily trips here for those less willing to put in the effort themselves.
Afternoon: Explore the French Quarter
The French Quarter is the perfect place to dive into New Orleans’ rich history or just take a leisurely stroll through it’s beautiful streets. Make sure you visit the cathedral in Jackson Square and give yourself plenty of time to stop buy some cafes and bars to listen to some local jazz. The street performers are pretty talented too if the fresh air is more your thing. Just grab an ice cream, find a bench and enjoy.
Evening: Steamboat Natchez
There is no better way to experience NOLA history than on this amazing steamboat cruise. Opt to have dinner while you sail or just take in the amazing views whilst listening to the on board jazz band. Take this time to relax or explore the boat and even check out the fully functional steam engine room. If you’d rather a more educational trip then listen out for the audio tour which gives you an insight into the landmarks along the Mississippi coast line.
Night: Bourbon Street
Unfortunately, I was only 20 when I visited and the very large bouncers deterred me from even trying to drink under-age, but I heard on the grapevine that Bourbon Street is the place to go for a jazz filled night out. The live music from the bars flows into the neon lit street at all hours of the day, so even if drinking isn’t for you, you should definitely head down to soak in the true Nola atmosphere.
For lunch and dinner recommendations, check out the best things I ate here and enjoy your trip to NOLA! I want to go back already!