Good morning, blog world!
There is so much to do in New Orleans, I know we didn't even crack half of the things on my list. We did, at least, get to all the top things we wanted to do except for one. We really wanted to check out Oak Alley but given the tour was a full day, I opted to do it another time so we wouldn't waste a whole day on a tour bus. We also didn't make it to the World War II Museum because I wanted to be able to devote at least one day there instead of stopping in for an hour.
Where to Play
Where to Play
I know it's super touristy, but I love doing a good Hop On Hop Off bus tour. It's nice to see all the sights and get a good lay of the land on our first day so we can figure out exactly how we want to plot our activities and realistically, how fast we can get from point to point. Additionally, it's nice to see the buildings from a different viewpoint. We always do one full loop on the top deck and then pick which stops we want to get off at on our next loop. It's a great time to get photos in on the first round so it's out of the way and we can really enjoy seeing the sights. The City Sightseeing tour for New Orleans was also a good deal- $44 for three full days. It includes a few different walking tours and honestly, we used this as our main transportation during the first three mornings and afternoons.
I really wanted to do the Cajun Encounters Swamp Tour and I was thrilled that they were still offering the evening tour option when we went. There's just something more interesting about a swamp at night! I love reptiles and snakes so those weren't a creepy factor for me; in fact, the only thing I had a problem with was the bugs! A giant cicada jumped into our boat at one point and we bumped a tree that housed a gigantic wolf spider. So gross! The gators were adorable and I had no idea they loved marshmallows. The tour was so much fun but seriously, make sure you're wearing bug spray! The bugs are everywhere. I actually barely dabbed on the Off! and still managed to get lucky and not have a single mosquito bite; however, beware of the chiggers. Those bugs are so nasty!
We hadn't originally planned to go to Mardi Gras World but after riding past it and peeking inside, we knew we wanted to go. It's a fun place, especially if you love taking photos! The floats are so cool and the tour is short but informative. There's even king cake!
We didn't really want to take time out to do the St Louis Cemetery tour so we went to Lafayette Cemetery instead. It's just as cool and it's free to get into since it's a public cemetery. In fact, most New Orleans filming is done here since it's public (The Originals, Double Jeopardy, etc). The only creepy thing- I had literally just walked into the cemetery when a giant moth tried to fly into my mouth! I have no idea what kind of omen that is!
I knew I wanted to take a jazz cruise so we booked the Steamboat Natchez for brunch. It was fun to see the sights from the Mississippi River and enjoy some southern cuisine and listen to jazz. Definitely a fun and unique experience!
Walking through the Garden District and the shops on Magazine Street was a lot of fun. There's some amazing food and some really adorable shops there. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and some bug spray; the grass is tall and there are chiggers in certain parts. Also, the trees have unearthed some of the pavement so it's easy to twist an ankle around here. Keep an eye out for the gigantic American Horror Story: Coven house; it's gorgeous!
We didn't spend any real time on Bourbon Street but we walked it a number of times just to get from one point to another. It's mostly strip clubs and tourist shops but it's still a real sight to see at night! Make sure to wander the French Quarter too; you'll find all the beautiful wrought iron galleries here and some interesting finds on the side streets.
There's also some really cool shops all over the place. Not just voodoo and T-shirts but kitchen gadgets, teas, spices, and some amazing unique perfumes (Hove Parfumeur was so much fun to wander). Great souvenirs!
Finally, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a trip to Jackson Square. You have to get that Instagram pic at the front of the park! There's also a really great overlook across the street, especially at sunset! So beautiful.
It's also a short walk down Decatur to the French Market; another essential New Orleans stop!
There's so much to see, we really didn't get any time to rest for five days. And we saved a bunch for next time! I also bookmarked a few spots to take Corey since we are planning to make a few trips out there together too. New Orleans is so beautiful and historic and romantic, I can't wait to show him around. It's one of my favorite places!