As you may recall, I wrote about the beautiful destination of Charleston, South Carolina and compared it to New Orleans, Louisiana, since they both have a French Quarter. I even admitted that I like the French inspired area of Charleston more than the famous streets of New Orleans (and Charleston is pretty much my favorite city across the board), but that does not mean that New Orleans is not also incredibly remarkable! In fact, chances are that most of the good things you have heard about “The Big Easy” are probably true.
For starters: the food. We love food. So much. And… OH MY GOODNESS the beignets are AMAZING. And the gumbo. And the red beans and rice. And the bread pudding. And the po’boys sandwiches. All of it. Eat as much as you possibly can, because once you leave New Orleans, you will miss the food. I know the second we left, the cravings for beignets hit immediately, and lately I have been wanting some red beans and rice like nobody’s business. Some advice: make sure you have cash. While we were there, a ton of well-known places to eat and shop did not take card, Cafe du Monde included. It is worthy to note that if you are going to Cafe du Monde purely for the beignets, there is a separate (and shorter) line you can stand in to order them to go! There are plenty of areas down the block and near the water that you can enjoy them. Bon appetit!
Now, the French Quarter component of New Orleans: There is nothing but fact spoken on behalf of how much the city loves to party. They have alcohol of every kind…everywhere. Which is particularly great if you’re looking for that sort of atmosphere and don’t mind the occasional whiff of vomit in the streets (I wish I was kidding). But, even if you are just looking to wind down a little bit, the drinks are very fairly-priced. They are also brightly colored and picture worthy–especially those hurricanes that everyone is always talking about! Around every corner are creepy voodoo shops that really are something out of the movies. They are treated like a top-secret mission, which, to be honest, makes them a little bit creepier. Signs are everywhere inside saying you can’t take any photos. We were too scared to break those rules or get our fortunes told, but hey, be our guest!
Where they do the readings looks absolutely mystifying… Eeek. Then there’s the architecture and sculpting throughout the entirety of New Orleans! I recently had a friend visiting there and was looking at her photos of all the unique landscapes and stone craftsmanship, and now I want to return to explore a ton more—there is so much to be discovered. It is so gorgeous and timeless, and there are plenty of horse drawn carriages that you can hop on board to be able to go sightseeing. The city is alive and holds so much character.
The highlight of our trip to New Orleans was on the Steamboat Natchez, cruising along in the Mississippi River. It just feels like you have stepped into Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, and the relaxing view is just phenomenal. The couple hours you spend on board really give you a genuine feel for what New Orleans is all about, along with some of its history. I would highly suggest wearing sunscreen and a hat, but there are plenty of places to sit down in the shade.
Inside the cabin, there is a dining area that hosts a splendid live jazz band, a gift shop, a variety of bars, and a handful of places to buy snacks. If you book the meal with the trip like we did, you can redeem your food from the dining area whenever you’d like. Don’t be afraid to ask for seconds (or thirds!) either! You also have to be sure not to miss the steam room on the lower deck if you get a chance to ride the Natchez. Quite a memorable experience.
Overall, New Orleans is FUN! The nickname it carries, “The Big Easy,” makes so much sense because life seems to just go with the flow when you are there. I mean, it could just be the mass amount of booze most of the tourists basically inhale, but there is mostly just something about the atmosphere and spirit of New Orleans that keeps everybody wanting to go back for more.
Until our next adventure! 🙂
Breanna & Zach