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Best of the Bayou – A New Orleans Travel Guide

NEW ORLEANS TRAVEL GUIDE

The Best Food and Sights in the Bayou

New Orleans 4 day Itinerary city travel guide shershegoes.com
Comprehensive Hotel and Accomodation Guide to New Orleans

New Orleans is an easy weekend getaway from almost anywhere in the United States. From the debauchery on Bourbon Street to the shade found underneath ancient Spanish oaks, I was excited to experience all that the Bayou had to offer. My favorite part of the trip ended up being the food! New Orleans has fluffy beignets, decadent oysters rockefeller and exotic seafood galore. Set to the backdrop of jazz and French creole sophistication, you can’t help by enjoy the art of slow Mississippi living. Read on for the best restaurants and sights to experience in a quick 4 day jaunt to New Orleans.

For more photos, check out the hashtag #shershegoes_NOLA on instagram (@shershegoes)

Top Experiences in New Orleans


Soak up the scenery of the historic French Quarter, tour the elegant Garden District and experience the supernatural through the city’s cemeteries. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

GARDEN DISTRICT

FRENCH QUARTER

STREETCARS

Stroll along the grand mansions of the Garden District, home to some of New Orleans’ wealthiest. See if you can spot Sandra Bullock’s and Archie Manning’s houses.

The oldest, most visited section of the city is here along with bars, restaurants and antique shopping galore.

Hop aboard the world’s oldest continually operated streetcar! The three main routes, St Charles, Canal and the Riverfront, will take you all across the city.

OAK ALLEY

CEMETERIES

CITY PARK

Plantations were once the mainstay of the state’s agrarian economy. Visit the genteel mansions at Oak Alley and be transported back in time.

The city is a swamp so the dead are housed in elaborate above ground mausoleums. Visit St. Louis #1, the burial place of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau, for a haunting experience.

New Orleans’ prettiest green space is home to Spanish oaks, live moss and gentle bayous. Spend an afternoon at the art museum and relax in the gardens and waterways.

Where to Eat


Commander’s Palace

Come for lunch, grab a 25 cent martini and try their 2 or 3 course menu option. I recommend the turtle soup, creole cuban sandwich and bread pudding souffle. Commander’s Palace is a fancier option in the Garden District – reasonable prices but make sure to look a bit more polished. From the French Quarter, take the no. 12 St Charles train. Afterwards, wander around the beautiful homes in the Garden District and maybe check out the famous cemetery!

Cafe du Monde

The undisputed cafe to get your beignet fix while in New Orleans is Cafe du Monde. The beignets come out piping hot with a doughy texture and lots of powdered sugar. Wash it all down with a cup of cafe au lait, but don’t expect to leisurely linger. It’s not so much a “cafe” as a stand with a roof awning and some lawn chairs.

Cafe Beignet

Meanwhile, Cafe Beignet is more centrally located right in the French Quarter. The beignets here are great too and come much larger. If you’re looking for an actual cafe with plenty of seating and short lines, Cafe Beignet wins on convenience.

Sobou

Sobou has really innovative creole cuisine, with things like yellowfin cones with avocado ice cream and sweet potato and chicory beignets. The spot is a bit trendy so there was a bit of a wait during prime dinner time and a couple things I wanted to try on the dessert menu had sold out. That being said, the owners of Sobou are also the owner’s of Commander’s Palace, so you’re definitely in good hands if you come here! For more photos and a complete review, you can check out my previous post here.

Green Goddess

Green Goddess is a highly recommended eclectic restaurant with many vegetarian and gluten free options. I stopped by for a light lunch and enjoyed the food – pictured is the pork belly and red eye gravy. It’s a tiny spot that you’ll walk right by if you’re not looking for it off a side alley in the French Quarter. There’s some outdoor seating spots as well. The menu had a wide variety, including some Indian influence and we also tried the rolled uttapam which was pretty flavorful.

Felix

At Felix’s you can try oysters three ways: oysters au naturel, rockefeller or chargrilled. We had a sampling of each along with some po’boy sandwiches. If you’re looking to try something exotic, Felix’s also serves alligator. It comes in a garlicky sauce so you don’t necessarily taste anything different than normal, but the texture is overwhelmingly chewy.

Where to Stay


Hyatt Regency New Orleans

The Hyatt Regency is located in the Central Business District, one neighborhood away from the French Quarter. Rooms have a view of the Superdome and the area has excellent restaurants, many museums (National D-Day Museum, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art) as well as the Art District. Rooms are more modern than the neighboring Hyatt French Quarter and a great deal less expensive.

$$ | Read my in-depth review here or check here for the latest prices. 

Hyatt French Quarter

Excellently located in the center of the French Quarter with quaint rooms and a gorgeous interior courtyard. The Hyatt French Quarter has free wifi and is minutes from Bourbon Street and the Historic  New Orleans Collection by foot.

$$$$ | Read my in-depth review here or check here for the latest prices. 

Le Pavillon

A luxury old world hotel, Le Pavillon has elegant, classic rooms and is centrally located in the French Quarter. The hotel primarily caters to business travelers but anyone will enjoy the city views from the rooftop Jacuzzi and outdoor pool. Tired after a long day of sightseeing and shopping? Dine in at the hotel restaurant, The Crystal Room – it serves excellent French food.

$$ | Check here for the latest prices. 

Crowne Plaza New Orleans

Luxurious and modern, this 4 star hotel in the French Quarter has it all. All guests have access to free wireless internet, a rooftop pool and express check-in and check-out. The Crowne Plaza New Orleans hotel is conveniently within walking distance to all the main attractions and has ample parking spaces.

$$ | Check here for the latest prices. 

Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans

The Royal Sonesta is a luxurious option within the French Quarter and features a stunning pool, gorgeous on site restaurants and a beautiful pool. The hotel is within close proximity to all the restaurants and shopping on Jackson Square and Bourbon Street as well!

$$$ | Check here for the latest prices. 

The Bourbon Orleans Hotel

Check into this modern 4 star hotel in the French Quarter and be greeted with a welcome drink. The Bourbon Orleans is just a short stroll from Jackson Square and the main sites and rooms are comfortable, clean and well equipped with free wifi, coffee makers and iPod docking stations. In the warmer months, make sure to use their stunning saltwater swimming pool!

$$ | Check the latest prices here.

Adventures in the South


Music, Mtns

and Monuments

8 days | from $983

An incredible tour of American capitals – business, political, and musical…

Learn More

Highlights

of the Deep South

9 days | from $1784

There aren’t many places that can match the Deep South for charm, character…

Learn More

Southern

Adventure

13 days | from $2255

Make your way through 11 of the USA’s southern states on this adventure ride…

Learn More

Tastes & Sounds

of the South

10 days | from $2426

Enjoy the South’s music and food, from Elvis’s Graceland to Creole cooking…

Learn More


Have you been to NOLA? Let me know your recommendations in the comments below!

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[…] Green Goddess 307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130 Tel: (504) 301-3347 Hours: 11:00am till 9:00pm on Wednesday – Sunday No Reservations Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

[…] Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

[…] Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

MaggieMarch 26, 2016 - 3:35 pm

I haven’t been to New Orleans but I would love to go! Can I just add that your blog is absolutely beautiful! One of the more stylish blogs I’ve come across in terms of layout, etc. It’s clear you put a lot of love into this! I’ll be back again for sure. :) Have a great afternoon!

[…] Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

[…] Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

[…] (There were two Hyatt hotels in New Orleans and we decided to try them both out. You can find my review of the more modern Hyatt Regency New Orleans in the Central Business District here.)   Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

[…] Headed to New Orleans for a long weekend? Check out my city travel guide and 4 day itinerary here. […]

SherMarch 27, 2016 - 4:40 pm

Thanks so much for the sweet message Maggie. I hope you make it out to NOLA eventually :) Have a great day!

JoyceMarch 28, 2016 - 9:14 am

This makes me want to go back to New Orleans again! So crazy how we ended up going to the same places that one year lol

Characters & Carry-ons

Inga BauMarch 28, 2016 - 9:27 am

I am absolutely in love with New Orleans and hope to visit one day. I appreciate the culinary arts, the atmosphere, the culture and absolutely love every single thing I can find about it. Now I just need to get together enough money to finally go on a trip. :F

VarunMarch 28, 2016 - 9:41 am

Wow!! Brief and yet detailing!! Nice guide but never been there yet. This would come in handy

ROBERT LEEMarch 28, 2016 - 9:43 am

Being in the Philippines, and never having visited New Orleans, the only time I get to see New Orleans was in movies… I was watching a movie not too long ago… I can’t remember the title of the movie, but … yeah, I think it is the Client!

Seeing some of the photos you posted, I could almost picture how beautiful it must be there.

Frank PriegueMarch 28, 2016 - 12:17 pm

New Orleans has long been on my bucket list of vacation destinations. The combination of music, cuisine and history not to mention this is a true party city keep coming there. You are making me crave beignets and coffee.

Renee GroskreutzMarch 28, 2016 - 2:19 pm

Last time we were in New Orleans we stayed at the Ritz. It was the only time that I have stayed at a Ritz and it was amazing. I love New Orleans so very much but not in the summer.

JoannaMarch 28, 2016 - 5:38 pm

It looks like a wonderful place to visit, the architecture and all the flowers are gorgeous! The tours though are ridiculously expensive in my opinion. I would never pay so much for just 10 days.

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:05 pm

Hey Varun – glad you enjoyed the guide and that it was helpful!

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:06 pm

Great minds think alike Joyce :)

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:07 pm

Hey Inga – yes the culture and food is just so unique and interesting in new orleans! Definitely feels so different from here in NYC so I really enjoyed the trip. Hope you make it out there eventually!!

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:08 pm

Hi Robert! Ooh I haven’t seen the Client. I always get inspired to see places from movies too! I watched 12 years a slave and it’s part of the reason why I decided to go visit the Louisiana plantations like Oak Alley. Definitely get inspired by great films!

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:09 pm

Hi Frank! Thanks for stopping by. Not going to lie, after I wrote this I was reminiscing about the amazing beignets that I stopped by whole foods and bought a six pack of pain au chocolats haha woops!

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:10 pm

ooh the ritz! must have been glamorous Renee. I went back in early spring so luckily the heat wasn’t bad. I can’t imagine what a swampy city must feel like in the summer yikes!

SherMarch 28, 2016 - 6:13 pm

Hey Joanna – appreciate you stopping by. I would definitely recommend NOLA and it’s convenient if you fly in directly and stay in the French Quarter. That being said, if you’re new to the south or the US i think tours are a good option to cover a lot of ground in a condensed period of time. The tours cover multiple states and include transportation, lodging, guided tour operators and most meals so for about $100-200 a day and to include all that, I think that’s quite reasonable. I know some people prefer to backback and stay in hostels to cut costs, but to be honest I don’t travel like that so I make use of tour groups sometimes! It’s also a nice way to meet groups of other people (esp your own age for say, Contiki or GAdventures). Curious how you travel and what your daily budget typically is? I’m always looking for ways to save on travel!

JillMarch 28, 2016 - 7:29 pm

To visit New Orleans is definitely on my bucket list!
Jill
http://jilldap.blogspot.ca

ChelsheafloMarch 28, 2016 - 10:30 pm

I wish I could visit New Orleans someday! :)

xoxo,
|CHELSHEAFLO|

http://chelsheaflo.blogspot.co.id/

JeanneMarch 29, 2016 - 12:34 am

Stunning post Sher! So many cool addresses! Thanks for sharing!
♥♥♥
Jeanne
http://www.fashionmusingsdiary.com

veena hussainMarch 29, 2016 - 1:04 am

Love this post. Amazing guide. The pictures makes me want to visit the place, it is indeed beautiful.

Mich SantillanMarch 29, 2016 - 1:34 am

Omg, I think I wanna live in New Orleans. I added this to my bucket list!

DanielMarch 29, 2016 - 5:22 am

Thanks for the tips!!

Daniel x
The Daniel Originals | Instagram: danielpoonvignez
New Post: If I were to spend the day in Las Vegas

LindaLibraLocaMarch 29, 2016 - 5:25 am

I have never been to New Orleans, but it is one of the places I´d love to visit one day. It has a romantic ring to it. Or maybe I just read too many Anne Rice novels.

Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

Dana IvyMarch 29, 2016 - 11:35 am

Can I tell you how long I have been trying to get to New Orleans! Foreverrrrr!! Almost went for my bachelorette party but it was too expensive to fly there at the time! Need to go and when I do, totally referring back to your guide!

Xox Dana Ivy // http://www.iadorewhatilove.com

LaurenMarch 29, 2016 - 1:25 pm

This post is amazing!! I would love to go to New Orleans and this makes me want to go even more! Love your tips and photography!

xo Lauren
http://www.earthtostyle.com/

LexesMarch 29, 2016 - 1:27 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I’m going to New Orleans next year for a national bowling competition! The park looks so gorgeous; I’m definitely going to check that out!

JessicaMarch 30, 2016 - 9:17 am

great guide! I hope to visit New orleans and will definitely use this guide.

Sandra M.March 30, 2016 - 11:57 am

These pics are just stunning ! Have to had New Orleans to my Bucket list definitely !

Ana De- JesusMarch 31, 2016 - 3:33 am

If the Green Goddess caters to vegetarians then I am so there, well if I lived in New Orleans that is. It seems like there is a huge range of things to do in New Orleans.

SherMarch 31, 2016 - 10:47 am

Yes! I hope you try it, it’s a cute spot Ana.

SherMarch 31, 2016 - 10:53 am

Hey Jessica! So glad you found it useful. Thanks for the kind words.

SherMarch 31, 2016 - 10:53 am

Hi Sandra – yes! NOLA should definitely be on any bucket list :) It’s such a unique city and the food is amazing

LilyApril 1, 2016 - 2:20 am

Really great post. Very informative and easy to follow. Lots of great tips for where to go too.

SherApril 10, 2016 - 1:18 pm

Thanks Lily – glad you found it useful!

[…] Spook yourself out for Halloween with a voodoo visit to N’awlins. Hotel rates plummet to just over $200 / night – a 35% discount compared to the week of Mardi Gras. Looking for things to do in the French Quarter? Check out my previous posts on the city or read my NOLA Eats guide here. […]

[…] Read more: Best of the Bayou – A New Orleans Travel Guide […]

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