This city has been on my DREAM list for a very long time! And I’m so excited to be able to share my trip with you guys!
Stepping out of the airport of New Orleans was no surprise to be welcomed with the scorching heat that Louisiana has to offer, and it was 8pm in the evening!
But we decided that even after a 9 hour flight, it was a Friday and we HAD to go out and see what New Orleans had to offer for nightlife!
It’s about a 20 minute drive from the airport to the centre of New Orleans and most hotels are pretty close together and the French quarter and canal street are within walking distance (thankfully).
Now you have a choice, in terms of what type of holiday you’re on. Deciding where your hotel is, is important.
Hen do, stag do’s, birthday or just a party trip try and get a hotel in the French quarter! You’ll have constant access to the party scene, restaurants bars and a balcony to throw your beads off to the hottie patotties HAHA!
If it’s more of a destination trip for sightseeing then choose something just past Canal st. It certifies a close walk to restaurants and bars but the noise and drunken antics won’t be a problem.
We headed out towards Canal street and all I’ll say is once you cross that road, everything changes.
The small streets are filled with different walks of life, you’re almost taken aback by the hustle and bustle of each road you come across. Even at night the French/Spanish style comes to life.
You can hear music in the distance it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before when you approach Bourbon st!
I thought this street that we’ve all heard about or seen in movies was only busy in the weeks of Madi Gras but I was very very wrong!
Apparently it’s this busy every weekend, every bar, every restaurant, every club was open and wild.
Unlike most events or carnivals, the area felt safe and everyone was really welcoming (maybe because everyone was pretty drunk) but I’ll take that HAHA. I felt almost free, free to let my fun self out as much as I wanted, to be as happy as you wanted, nothing was at a limit. It’s very open there, you can start drinking in one bar and then continue onto another with the same drink in your hand, as long as it’s in a plastic cup. No matter how large.
We got talking to one of the officers at the airport and he told us about the special drinks that are unique to New Orleans, but drink all 5 or 5 of one of them and you’re guaranteed to be on the floor, or on the table HAHA.
One that I found particularly tasty was the Hurricane. Around $8 each and full of different rums (I’m slightly scared to mention how much rum I saw the barmaids put in mine) and sweet cherry juice which only comes in one size….
Can you guess which one was mine? HAHA..
I managed 3 of them! I think I deserve a round of applause for that.. however my head definitely hurt the next day.
You have all different people from age, to race, to style here to enjoy the amazing atmosphere. From rooftop to sidewalk, there is someone dancing, singing or swinging beads to the brave person who will show off their Who Ha’s (I tried to be as polite as possible HAHA).
If you’re looking for a bar that’s vibe is amazing and plays a wide range of music, head to Razzoo.
Set in the middle of the strip of bars on the street, you won’t be able to miss it.. with its dj setting the scene with his mic and the bar girls up on the stage, it’ll be hard for you not to be enticed.. I’m sure you’ll figure it out once you step off the plane to suitable outfits are a must for this weather but just in case you don’t believe me, make sure you wear something cool and floaty because it becomes a whole lot of sweaty in these bars! (Let’s hope I lost a couple pounds while dancing).
I chose a black polka dot bandau dress (long sleeves probably wasn’t the best idea) but it was loose and comfortable, from ASOS tall and trainers, so that I could enjoy dancing with no pain.
Dress code on Bourbon St is very chilled and casual so don’t worry too much about looking fancy.
My Hurricanes cost around $8 each and bars are all free to get into just make sure you have you I.D with you.
Overall I spent around $20 that night so for very little money I had probably one of the best friday nights out ever!
You can even enjoy a huge slice of pizza for $3.50 like I did at the end of the evening…
Oh and I still have my huge cup HAHA.
Some may not appreciate what the area has to offer as they see hundreds of excited drunks, dirty streets, tourists enjoying the cheap facilities and loud music throughout the night but you can’t create an atmosphere like it. I’ve travelled to many countries, and they all have their own style of nightlife, but honestly nothing compares to here. It’s all walks of life coming together on a daily basis, no judgment, no anger, just everyday people enjoying a night for them to forget their troubles and have fun.
After some much needed paracetamol and bottles of water, a few of us forced ourselves up for some much need breakfast and coffee.
There are many American breakfast spots within walking distance but we found a little gem of the community that locals will queue for an hour for.
The Ruby Slipper is around 4 blocks from Bourbon St on canal street and not hard to miss with it’s vintage cinema styled sign.
As Iv said before, if the locals will queue up for food from somewhere, it’s pretty certain that food is going to be great, so we waited.
It definitely didn’t disappoint and was so affordable! So make sure to find this delicious breakfast spot when you’re out there.
Canal St is a lot like your average American main road, with a CVS and Walgreens, a MAC make up store and Nike. But there is something about the buildings surrounding these modern stores that make you feel like you’re in a movie set.
The sun was shining and still as hot as ever even at 10am.
We decided to head towards the Mississippi River to see another side to the city as we headed back towards the French quarter.
Beautiful old trams still run throughout the city which makes it even more magical, every time I saw one I wondered why they were so busy… I know why now… they’re full airconned HAHA. They run every few minutes and cost $1.50 for a one way service or $3 for a day pass so very reasonable. If you’re not sure about routes or which ones to jump on, just ask one of the locals. They’re so helpful and keen to chat :).
Hoping that it would be a lot cooler walking down by the river and hopefully getting the chance to see the Louisiana steam boats we started our stroll.
Well wasn’t any cooler.. HAHA but we did get to see the Natchez steamboat in action..
They come every hour and I’m sure has a great view of the skyline when on it. It was too hot for us to go on but it’s definitely something that I’ll be doing in the future.
NEW ORLEANS HISTORY & THE FRENCH QUARTER
This year marks 300 years of the state of New Orleans being what it is and you can tell the people are very proud of that. Us being british, they had to inform us that we tried to take over New Orleans, however failed and they’re glad because they have our bad food HAHA! But they also made it very clear that we’re lovely people and love us coming over to enjoy their city.
We even posed infront of the celebratory sign that stands in front of St. Louis cathedral.
There is a natural buzz in this town that gets you excited about seeing what you can find that’s new.
The locals hang talented paintings for you to buy across the scare, some that have even been painted onto the wood from the terrible flooding that happened in 2014 to raise money.
You have tarrow card readers, hair braiders, mimers and young men showing of their talents and playing the trombone, saxophone, flute and drums which pours through the square and gives it that unique New Orleans vibe.
We decided to continue around the outside of the French quarter and came across Freshman st, where stands a food and flee market, quirky boutique shops and the odd hot sauce store which has some of the hottest sauces for you to try. (Anyone that knows me knows I wasn’t try ANY of them).
Louisiana, in my eyes has some of the best tasting food so it’s only right that when you’re there to try some of their well stewed and seasoned meat and fish.
Give Willies Chicken Shack a try, they have great gumbo. Seafood, chicken, whichever you prefer the stew is gorgeous!
They even have a drink section on the other side where you can grab you’re fun cup to take out at night and enjoy you’re Hurricanes!!
THE FRENCH QUARTER
Just walking through the small roads, turning onto a corner to find another interesting street, it’s exciting to not know what you’re going to see next.
A street band playing music, a beautiful young woman singing her heart out, window shops full of valuable antiques, a horse and carriage with interested tourists and decorations hanging off the hotel balconies from the night before, or just a drunk man chilling in the shade with some great stories of life in New Orleans HAHA.
The horse and carriages that take you around the French quarter are around $20 for half an hour or $40 for one hour. A little pricey in my eyes but they give great information about each street and you’re hidden from the heat for a while which is a definite plus.
The buildings are just beautiful! The intricate details on balconies, the wooden shutters and the brick walls against climbing ivy plants is exactly what you invision the town to look like.
After the flood in 2014 a lot of the buildings have been restored, but they have kept as much as they can from the original and have made them look just alike.
Depending on what type of holiday you’re looking for in New Orleans, you can try the high end cafes and restaurants such as Brennan’s or Cafè Beignet.
They’re two of the most famous in the French quarter and are pretty hard to get a seat in but the food and sweet treats are amazing if you do.
Or you can try the old fashioned, straight the stomach Gumbo shops that are around town.
We tried both within the time that we were there so if you’re a foodie like I am then plan part of you’re trip around your stomach!
As I spoke earlier about the heat, you will be walking around ALOT and for someone who likes the sun, I was really struggling! So try and pack practical outfits that will keep you cool and comfortable and even a sun hat or cap to keep your face covered.
I chose a mustard yellow skirts from NewLook that flowed in the wind (when there was some) which kept me cool and a light coloured top to keep the heat away. Hair up was a must for me as that’s what makes me the most uncomfortable if I’m hot. (It also frizzes like a cavewomans so get yourself some good hair control serum).
This place still puts a smile on my face when talking about it and I can’t wait to go back to explore the plantaitions and the haunted history of Louisiana!
It has so much to offer other than the party central and food that gives you explosions of happiness in your mouth. The length of American history falls back a long way through these streets and I’m definitely one to find out about it.
Everyone must go and visit New Orleans when they can! It’s an amazing experience and something you won’t experience anywhere else!