48 Hours in New Orleans

Start your morning by getting breakfast at The Ruby Slipper (they have multiple locations so you can pick the one closest to you). Oh, and get the bananas foster French toast. It's heavenly. Or go get actual bananas foster at Brennan's on Royal St. in the quarter. Super fancy pants and has a delicious brunch. And it’s where bananas foster was invented. 

While you're on Royal Street, just take a stroll. There are so many cute boutiques, art shops, and there's live music all around. Bourbon St. is the next block up and parallel to Royal, but it's a completely different world. You should see that crazy spectacle at least once. It's very similar to 6th Street in Austin, but so much worse (err or better?). 

Wander around, people watch, listen to music, and even dance in the street. Then lunch is a perfect time to have a Po'Boy (a New Orleans staple). Head to Johnny's Po-Boys or Killer PoBoy’s, which is in the back of a bar called Erin Rose on Conti St. 

Walk all the way to the end of Royal or Bourbon, and you'll run into Frenchman St. This is where most locals hang out to listen to live music, dance, and drink. If you go on a Saturday night check out d.b.a. ($15 cover but one of the few bars on the street with a cover) and see John Boutte. He sounds like Sam Cooke and is just an amazing New Orleans treasure. 

Go across the street to the Spotted Cat and listen to jazz, and then go next door to a super cool night art market with lots of neat local artists. Maison on Frenchman usually has really good live music too. Frenchman is pretty chill on Sunday nights, but they do have swing dancing with a live band at d.b.a. which is really charming and fun. There's also a restaurant next door called Snug Harbor excellent (although a little pricey) or go across the street to a divey hole in the wall called Apple Barrel, and upstairs is a really good Italian restaurant called Adolfo's. 

The best spots to drink? Well, pretty much everywhere. Here are my favorite cocktail bars if you’re up for an incredible bar crawl

And absolute favorite place to eat? Dinner at Cochon. It's as cool as it gets in New Orleans. Order anything. It's all completely fantastic. Other favorite spots to check out Willie Mae’s Scotch House for amazing fried chicken, Toups' Meatery for their lamb neck & meatery board, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you to go to Cafe du Monde. Yes, du Monde is a must for any visitor or tourist, but also get beignets at Morning Call. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you think theirs are better too. 

If you have time (and transportation) try to get out on a swamp tour. There are charter buses that will take you out, but depending on the size of your group it’s significantly cheaper to rent a car. Cajun Pride Swamp Tour came highly recommended and it was a ton of fun. Yes, you will definitely see gators. Lots of gators. While you’re at it, grab food at literally the best seafood spot I’ve ever had: Crab Trap Seafood. Absolutely get the boiled shrimp and a soft shell basket. 

There are also a lot of great museums in New Orleans.  The WWII museum is excellent and there are two museums in Jackson Square next to the St. Louis Cathedral (the heart of the quarter) that are dedicated to Katrina and NOLA history. Also the New Orleans Museum is lovely and you can take the Canal Street Car right there. The museum is in City Park, which is such a beautiful park. It's huge. Next to the museum is the sculpture garden which is beautiful and free.  

Get out and see as much of New Orleans as you can. Take a walking tour or two (or three!). There are regular walking tours, haunted night tours, cemetery tours, and different parts of the city. The guides are locals and will share so much charm, pain, and history about what I consider to be the most magical place in the US and perhaps the world. 

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