If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter … which you should be 😉 … you would know that I recently went to New Orleans, Louisiana. As Tau Kappa Epsilon Sweethearts in college, my friend Victoria (check out her blog For What It’s Werth) and I thought it would be fun to go the fraternity’s national conference, Conclave. Originally my boyfriend was going to go on the trip too, but things didn’t work out and he didn’t end up going. Four guys from my chapter went, which honestly I think made the trip. I loved having them there and hanging out with them! I have missed them so much since I graduated college, so it was nice to see friends. New Orleans Travel Guide
I thought this trip would be the perfect opportunity to do a travel guide post because we did so many fun things while we were there! We ate some amazing food and visited tons of attractions. And, of course, we went out and partied way too hard on Bourbon Street. By the end of the trip, I wasn’t ready to come back yet because I had so much fun. I hope that if you take a trip to NOLA you will consider this New Orleans Travel Guide while planning your trip.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans because that is where the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity conference was being held. It wasn’t super close to the French Quarter, but it was only a 20-minute walk or a short Uber ride away. I actually suggest taking the trolley while you were there. We didn’t realize how great of a deal the three-day pass was until our last night there. Plus it’s fun to take the classic transportation. Overall, this hotel was super nice and I would stay there again.
Where to Eat
Cafe Du Monde
If you like sweet treats, Cafe Du Monde is the place for you! Their beignets are the best in New Orleans. If you don’t know what a beignet is, they are a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar (they kind of taste like an elephant ear or funnel cake from the fair). Ask for an order of beignets and a cup of coffee and you are set!
New Orleans is known for its cajun and creole food, so eat it up while you are there! Oceana Grill is considered one of the best restaurants in New Orleans and is located in the French Quarter at the corner of Bourbon and Conti Streets. We ate here our last night in NOLA and I ordered the Cajun Alligator Sausage as an appetizer because I wanted to try gator while I was there. I ordered the Taste of New Orleans entré for my meal, which included creole jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice with smoked sausage. I wanted to try a little bit of everything and it was the perfect meal!
The Little Gem Saloon
We went to The Little Gem Saloon for a meet and greet event our first night in New Orleans. Our event included a gumbo and fried shrimp buffet. I love gumbo and shrimp so I was totally pumped about this! They also had fantastic cocktails and live jazz music, which I feel is a must while you are in NOLA. Later, the manager brought us bread pudding, flan, and chocolate dipped coconut macaroons and it was the cherry on top of a great first night. The bread pudding was my favorite!
Blake’s on Poydras
Blake’s on Poydras was the perfect brunch place within walking distance of our hotel. One morning we walked there for brunch and they had bottomless mimosas for $16. The food was delicious, so if you are looking for a yummy brunch place, I definitely suggest Blake’s!
What to Do
New Orleans School of Cooking
If you love cajun and creole food and want to take the tradition home with you, sign up for a class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. You also get to eat the yummy food while you are there! Gumbo Marie was our teacher for the morning and taught us how to make bread pudding, shrimp and artichoke soup, and crawfish etouffee. Not only did we learn how to make the different meals, but we learned the history behind the food. It was a great experience and I would definitely do it again! Plus they have a general store where you can buy the spices and other little goods for your cooking.
The Destrehan Plantation is the oldest documented plantation in the lower Mississippi Valley and is conveniently located only 30 minutes away from New Orleans. It was full of so much political, social, and economic history. Unfortunately, the afternoon we went it was pouring so I didn’t get a photo of the front of the home. But we were given a tour of the home and were able to see the Helvetia slave cabins. It was really interesting to see and learn the history of the plantation and the owner’s roll in making Louisiana a state.
World War II Museum
I love World War II history so the National World War II Museum was a must see on my list! I wish we had more time here because it was so interesting and there was so much to see and read. After I went, I found out my Grandpa’s name is somewhere in the museum and I am so sad I missed it. I will definitely be going back here again some day!
Bourbon Street is a whole different world… WOW is it wild (lol). We went to Bourbon Street three nights in a row and stayed out until about 4 a.m. every night. I don’t know if the party ever stops because we went by there during the day on Sunday and there were tons of people still. Our favorite bar to go to was Spirits on Bourbon. The first night they had dueling pianos as the entertainment and it was so much fun! If you want the full New Orleans experience, go party on Bourbon (or at least walk down Bourbon to see all of the crazy people).
Other bars we went to:
- Turtle Bay
- Pat Obrien’s
Jackson Square is home to the St. Louis Cathedral, which is beautiful! There are also a ton of vendors and psychics around the area. Since I was in NOLA I figured it would be fun to have a tarot card reading done. The woman that did mine seemed like one of the stereotypical older women psychics that you see in the movies. Surprisingly, my reading seemed very accurate and my friend Benj thought so also. It was a cool experience and I feel like it’s something you need to do being that New Orleans is full of magic and voodoo (scary stuff).
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk
We didn’t spend too much time here, but if you want to do some shopping while you are in NOLA the Riverwalk is a cool place to check out!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to do everything, but if we did, here are some more attractons we would have done.
- Cajun Pride Swamp tour
- Cities of the Dead Cemetery tour
- French Quarter Ghosts & Legends tour
- Garden District walking tour
- Paddlewheeler Creole Queen cruise
- Civil War Museum
- Old Absinthe House
Overall, I had such a fun and amazing time in NOLA. I would love to go back some day and check out the attractions I didn’t get to see, especially the cemetery tours! If you have any questions about New Orleans or want more information about some of the attractions I talked about, feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram or Twitter. I would love to chat about my experience! 🙂