new orleans is unlike any city I have EVER met. it oozes with culture, charm, and craziness. there are musicians and ghost stories on every corner. the food is unreal! and true to the southern style. i knew i would like it, but i fell in love. every street is unique and full of history. 

my favorite day was spent in the garden district. THOSE HOUSES!!!!! the st. charles street car makes it so easy to get from the french quarter to the garden district with a $3 day pass. i linked the self guided tour we used. it was full of fun historical facts about the homes. you can pay to do one with a guide, but it's much more enjoyable to go at your own pace. afterwards we ate at District  and it was incredible. don't skip the doughnut! 

Garden District Self Guided Tour 

Garden District Info 


  • surrey's cafe (garden district)

  • cafe amelie (make reservation in advance, the brussel sprouts and shrimp and grits are out of this world) 

  • petite amelie (lunch version of cafe, similar menu!)

  • cafe beignet (#1 beignet) 

  • cafe du monde (#2 beignet)

  • cochon (dinner)

  • cochon butcher (lunch)

  • the gumbo shop (YUM, the line goes quick)

  • willie mae's scotch house (small parties get in quick! rated number one fried chicken in america by food network and travel channel) 

  • district (garden district) 

  • elizabeth's (brunch)

  • brennan's (brunch) 

  • royal house (you can sit on the balcony)

  • commanders palace (garden district) 

  • lafitte's blacksmith bar (for historical purposes!)


DO NOT miss Preservation Hall!! it was one of my favorite things i've ever experienced in any of my travels. you wait in line for an hour or so before the show, it's a twenty dollar cover fee, all ages are welcome, and no phones allowed. it's a little old concert hall where charming jazz musicians put on an incredible show. you're transported back in time and its magical. i felt like i was in that scene from la la land "It's conflict and it's compromise, and it's just... it's new every time. It's brand new every night. It's very, very exciting!"  

we also went to the spotted cat, which was amazing as well. frenchman street has a lot of music options to choose from! it's more of a local crowd, and they play real jazz. 

we went on a ghost tour through the french quarter. 

this one was rated #1 thing to do in new orleans by the history channel, travel channel, and discovery channel. buy tickets in advance! here are some other options.

being a major lover of american history, this was extremely fun for me! the ghost stories are fascinating. this city has such a vibrant, important, and dark history. pirates, wars, vampires, slavery, french and spanish rule!


other things to do:

drive to the gulf of mexico for a beautiful beach day (1 hour away)

plantation tours-- oak alley, laura, and evergreen are within a few miles of one another so you could hit all three (1 hour away) 

swamp tours (1 hour away)

audubon park-- audubon zoo is awesome! the tree of life is also beauuuutiful. 

world war 2 museum 

NOMA new orleans museum of art 

don't miss the faulkner house book store! 

take a ride on the mississippi river on the steamboat natchez