I recently had the opportunity to road trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and it basically solidified how much I love the city. Prior to leaving, my travel companions and I gathered opinions from friends, family, and co-workers, leading us to conclude that people either loved or hated the city. A lot of stigmas are attached to the city – it’s dangerous, it’s trashy, you can’t walk alone, it’s never recovered from Katrina, you get the idea. But, I’m here to tell you to ignore others opinions and head to The Big Easy and make your own opinion – I’m pretty certain it will be a positive one!
New Orleans, much like New York City, has an amazing energy. As soon as we drove in and saw the Superdome lit in the purple, gold, and green colors of Mardi Gras, we knew it was going to be a good weekend.
Some of my favorite stops in New Orleans include:
- Beignets at Cafe du Monde – side note- this famous cafe is open 24/7, and it’s an awesome location for people watching.
- It goes without saying, whether you like to party or not, you have to take at least one walk down Bourbon Street – it may be the most hedonistic place in America.
- Browsing all the amazing art galleries in the French Quarter – last time I was there I purchased two prints from the Barbara Yochum 906 Dream Studio on Royal Street.
- It may seem slightly morbid, but take the St. Charles streetcar uptown to see the Layfayette Cemetery. The aboveground cemetery really reminds me of Buenos Aires.
- Wander into one of the jazz bars on Frenchmen Street, you will not be disappointed! The bars may seem divey on the outside, but the music will blow your mind.
- If you’re visiting during Mardi Gras season, you have to see at least one of the mega parades. The floats were incredible and it’s always fun trying to catch the beads, coins, toys, etc., that crew members throw to spectators.
Alright, so you missed Mardi Gras, but that doesn’t mean you have to put off a trip to New Orleans! From April 27th to May 6th, the Jazz & Heritage Festival rolls into town with some of my favorite classic rock acts playing – The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, the list goes on…. Not only does Jazz Fest feature some of America’s best music, it also showcases the incredible food and artisans the city has to offer.
What are you waiting for? New Orleans is one of America’s most affordable and unique destinations. Start planning your trip now!
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