New Orleans is one of the most exciting and unique places to visit in the United States. It offers a mix of cultures that translates into amazing food, music, and sights that will absolutely blow your mind. In addition to the rich cultural heritage, New Orleans is simply an incredibly fun place to visit. Of course, you should visit the famous Bourbon Street, but New Orleans has a lot more to offer.
When should you go?
Of course, when most people think of New Orleans, they immediately think of Mardis Gras. While this is a fantastic event, it gets very busy, so if that’s not your thing, schedule another time. From June to August, you should also avoid if you cannot tolerate extreme heat and humidity, because this summer in Louisiana will absolutely affect you. Try to plan ahead and watch cultural events you would like to see. There are a lot of interesting things happening all year round.
What to do?
An experience not to be missed is a visit to Preservation Hall, the classic New Orleans venue is home to traditional New Orleans jazz and has been open since 1961. The Small Hall is located in the French Quarter and is a great way to go. to familiarize yourself with the music that is synonymous with New Orleans itself. Although the place does not serve food or alcohol, you can actually BYOB! Make sure to book a ticket in advance.
Make sure to visit the Garden District. While you can do it all on your own, you’ll enjoy it all so much more if you go on a guided tour that can explain all of the many influences on architecture.
The New Orleans ‘Voodoo’ tour is a walking Free Tours tour, where you can pay however you like and take you through the history of Voudo. While you might think you know what it is, Hollywood has misled us all. It has a massive influence on the history of New Orleans and is absolutely fascinating.
What to eat?
What’s a trip to New Orleans without tasting the delectable delectable that is the donut? There are two places you must visit to enjoy the classic donut treat.
The first is Café du Monde, the famous café that serves the fried dessert accompanied by chicory coffee. Make sure you bring cash as they don’t accept cards and try to get there early as this place is very crowded.
For a quieter and more scenic experience, head to Cafe Beignet for chewy donuts that will make you dream.
If you’re in the mood for lunch, you should definitely try a muffaletta sandwich. This is a contribution from Italian immigrants who came to New Orleans and worked in the French Quarter. The sandwich is made on Sicilian bread with provolone, Swiss cheese, mortadella, salami and olive spread. It’s incredibly delicious, I promise.
New Orleans is known for several hearty stews. This includes okra, which has two main varieties: Cajun and Creole. Cajun okra contains chicken and not tomatoes, and Creole okra uses shellfish, okra, lots of tomatoes, and a rich, dark sauce.
Another delicious hearty meal is of course the Jambalaya, an Afro-French-Spanish hybrid dish that incorporates seafood, meat, rice, vegetables and plenty of spices. You might think of it as a combination of African jollof, French jambalaia, and Spanish paella.