In May, Matt and I decided we needed to take a trip for our anniversary. We were both vaccinated, but international travel still seemed like a hassle with COVID going on. So, we decided on a trip we’ve always wanted to take- a 4 day trip to New Orleans! We had the BEST time and absolutely loved the city! It is full of history, good food, and beautiful places. One of my favorite things (other than the food…we’ll get to that) was all the color in the city! No building was bland or boring and they had so many beautiful colors. If you can’t tell through my photography style, I love warm, happy colors so this definitely made my heart happy! Through this post, i’m going to share our New Orleans itinerary and the things we enjoyed doing!
I’m going to go through a couple of my favorite things we did and ate in this post so if you ever need recommendations you’ll have some of mine here! Plus it’s a great excuse to share some of the pictures I took. These are taken with a combo of my camera and my iPhone, but with a little bit of editing magic, I love them all!
All my best,
Places to stay
Okay first things first let’s talk about where we stayed! Honestly we stayed at two places because we couldn’t pick one and I’m so glad we did! They both had such different feels and I loved them both. Both places were in the garden district and I would definitely stay there again. It was much less crowded than the French Quarter and much more quiet! Plus It’s beautiful there! The first place we stayed at was The Parisian Courtyard Inn and for the last two nights we stayed at the Henry Howard Hotel. Both two were excellent but in different ways. The Parisian Courtyard Inn was romantically beautiful but it had a lot going on decorations wise. In contrast, the Henry Howard Hotel was all modern and gave a “Southern belle” boutique type feel. They also had a bar which was super fun! One thing we really enjoyed about the Henry Howard Hotel was the private balcony we were able to get. Nothing like having a drink on your own hotel balcony on a New Orleans summer night (with the bugs of course). They’re both in a great location in the garden district. You can take the street car down to the French Quarter or get an uber or rent a car, it’s not a far drive!
Things to do
- Go to Whitney Plantation! Whitney Plantation is about a 45 minute drive outside of New Orleans but so worth visiting. We took a tour bus out, but I think you could easily rent a car for cheaper to get out there. Whitney Plantation center the story of the enslaved people who lived on the planation and tells their story. Most plantations tend to focus on the family who owned the plantation but this is one of the only plantations that focuses on the stories of enslaved people. Since we were there during COVID, they had self guided tours through an app on your phone which was really interesting and well researched. I believe during non COVID times, they have guided tours though. It was sobering but we learned so much and it was one of my favorite things we did.
2. Walk around the garden district and see the pretty houses! I think there are some self guided tours you can find online, but we just walked around and admired the beautiful architecture and colors.
3. Do a cemetery tour! We saw Metairie Cemetery with the tour group, Save Our Cemeteries. Our tour guide was well informed and gave us some interesting information that we wouldn’t have otherwise known if we just walked around. Plus the cemeteries are beautiful in their own way. I definitely recommend this!
4. Go to the French Quarter and walk around! There’s also a French Market that I imagine during non COVID times would be amazing to go to. We also walked around Frenchmen Street which was pretty amazing too! I didn’t love bourbon street at all but luckily there’s a lot more you can do in the French Quarter. I also really enjoyed going to Jackson Square (my thoughts on Andrew Jackson are a bit different though…but I won’t get into that here ;)) and seeing the St. Louis Cathedral. Cafe du Monde is also right across the street from all of this which is definitely a bonus.
5. Visit the botanical gardens-Matt and I have this sort of weird tradition where we like to go to botanical gardens in different cities. We just like to see what the local flora is like! If you’re from St. Louis, you’re going to probably be disappointed because MOBOT is amazing but we still enjoyed this garden! It was small but nicely curated. And it’s in a park (sort of like Forest Park if you’re from the Lou) that has a bunch of other fun stuff to go do, like a sculpture park!
Places to eat
Alright alright alright…we’ve gotten to the good stuff! THE FOOD. New Orleans has amazing food. I seriously told Matt at one point that I hadn’t been hungry in days. We just spent our time eating and I don’t regret it. So here are a few of my favorite places!
- Commander’s Palace– We went to jazz brunch here and had a great time! It’s a three course meal and every course was sooo good. They also had a jazz trio that walked around the restaurant and patio, where we were sitting. They played one of my favorite Louis Armstrong interpretations- La Vie En Rose! A few notes about this place: 1. they do require a dress code (I won’t get into the classism of this, just wanted y’all to be aware) 2. Make sure you make your reservation a while in advance. We made ours at least a month in advance and we were left with the 1:45 time for brunch! I don’t think we would have gotten in if we had waited!
2. Cochon– We LOVED our meal here! It is a little higher end but we think it was 100% worth it. They draw from Cajun and Creole inspiration and I just can’t say enough good things, just go!
3. French Truck Coffee– This ones for my coffee shop lovers out there. I’m pretty sure we went here twice in two days! They had a great chai latte (my favorite drink) and some really yummy pastries. Matt also said the coffee was good and I’m pretty sure he knows good coffee! The garden district location had a cute patio that we could sip our drinks on and their building was so colorful. We loved it!
4. Last but definitely not least, Cafe du Monde! So I was a bit suspicious of all the hype but I’m a convert! It really is worth all the hype. Let me put it this way- I don’t like doughnuts but I LOVED these beignets. I’m pretty sure we ate beignets about 3 times in 4 days *shrug emoji*. I have no shame about it either it was 100% worth it.
Alright, I think that’s it! Here are a few other random pictures I want to share 🙂