4 Days in New Orleans
Updated: Aug 16, 2021
After just a couple of hours post landing, New Orleans became one of our favorite American cities that does not feel American-at all!The heavy influences of creole culture and cajun cuisine make this a unique experience and destination. Swayed by the notes of jazz filling every corner, drifted by the savory smells that lingered in my taste buds, and carried away into believing legends of haunted places. We invite you to discover the best of New Orleans through our complete 4-day itinerary, and yes! We're going way beyond bourbon street!
New Orleans is the most popular city in Louisiana on the Mississippi River and near Mexico's Gulf Coast; It is known for its festive atmosphere, exuberant nightlife, jazzy live music, and bold/ spicy culinary flavors. Nicknamed the" Big Easy," this melting pot combines historical and generational French, African and American immigrants' cultures.
Best Time to Visit New Orleans:
🔸February to May: has good comfortable weather.
🔸June to September: is extremely hot so bring sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. 🔸October to January: it begins to cool down.
🔹 January to March: Mardi Gras 🔹May: New Orleans Jazz Fest 🔹 September: Hot Air Balloon Festival 🔹October: Halloween Parade
🔹 December: Nola Christmas Fest/ Holiday light show in City Park.
⚜️ March to June: Crawfish season ⚜️ May: Food and Wine Festival ⚜️ June: Oyster Festival / Cajun-Zydeco Festival ⚜️ July: Tales of the Cocktail Carnival ⚜️ September: Fried Chicken Festival
We decided to visit at the end of September during their Fried Chicken Festival; being foodies that we are-and, we couldn't have been happier with our decision. Despite the weather still being extremely hot, lines were short, hotel accommodations were affordable, and bourbon street only slightly had that infamous vomit smell. So for us, that was a win, win! No matter when you decide to visit New Orleans, I promise you this: There will always be a party going on with the best live music, and the food will be so full of flavor, it will blow your mind!
Transportation from the airport: I have to hand it to New Orleans, the most organized airport we've been to! So easy to navigate... They even have a designated area for App related pickups 🙌🏽, so we knew exactly where to wait for our Uber. 💃🏽🕺🏽
With so much free time (not having to look for our Uber driver), we decided to take a bunch of selfies! At that moment, I knew this trip would be hassle-free and easy going...
Day 1 -- Exploring The French Quarter & sailing the Mississippi River to Algiers Point...
We arrived in New Orleans at precisely 9:11am. After Taking our Uber downtown, we decided to skip checking-in and headed off to one of our favorite breakfast spots -- Willa Jean!
We had: * Louisiana Crab Benedict * BBQ Shrimp Toast
* A couple of lattes * Cookies and milk with cookie dough
After breakfast, check into your hotel, or if it's too early, drop your bags off. We stayed in the downtown area, walking distance to the French Quarter. If you're looking to party all night, then staying in the French Quarter is ideal for you. We knew we wanted a sound free sleep, so we opted for the more relaxed downtown area. During the next 4 days, we'll be doing a lot of walking, so I recommend comfortable shoes. Now that we're luggage-free, let's start exploring Nola at its core-- strolling around the French Quarter! Grab a welcome early morning frozen drink at Erin Rose-- Open 21 hours and known to have great po' boy (a traditional Louisiana sandwich). Still, my favorite thing there is their frozen Irish coffee... so good!
Traveling with kids & Heat survival tip: If you're traveling to New Orleans during summer, the best spot to cool off at (besides a restaurant/ bar) is the aquarium... The AC is always blasting in there! Plus, you get to see cute little sea creatures. The aquarium is also an excellent google map location point to find the ferry area stop to cruise the Mississippi River. This general area has outdoor festivals (in this case, the fried chicken festival), shopping malls, and restaurants.
Near the aquarium, on canal street, take the ferry and sail the Mississippi River. *Money-saving tip: instead of booking a cruise to sail the Mississippi, take the local ferry for just $2! & get Nola's view from Algiers point. The ferry leaves every 30min and coming back every 15min.
Once on Algiers Point, you can find local bars and restaurants. The vibe in this part of town is way less touristy and very local; there's really not much happening. We were full, so instead of eating, we decided to hunt for colorful houses. We found 3 main areas with beautiful vivid, colorful houses; throughout this itinerary, I'll share all these locations with you. Beginning with Algiers Point -- our favorite homes were on De la Ronde street, Vallette street, and Oliver street. Take a look at the beauties we found!
After some strolling around, make your way back to the French Quarter via ferry.
View of Nola from Algiers Point.
If its the weekend and you make it back to the French Quarter by 2pm ( they close at 2:30pm and re-open at 5:30pm), head to Sylvain for some cocktails. After, visit Jackson Square and walk around. You'll find live music, street food, art for sale, and fortune teller gypsies...real or scam? Share your experience on a comment below if you decide to have your fortune read. New Orleans is known for its ghostly spirits. In fact, it's said to be the most haunted state in all U.S.A! In Jackson Square visit: The St. Louis Cathedral.
Nearby you'll find Pirates Alley, an 1830's cobblestone street alley full of vendors and artists hanging out. In the mood to see a show? Head on to Le Petit Theater, one of the longest-running theaters in the United States, established in 1916. Then find a nook, escape the southern heat and drink! @napoleonhousenola has the best #pimmscup we've ever had; went in for one stayed for 3! Beyond the Pimm's Cup, this is a great spot to try a Muffuletta at. The Muffuletta is an Italian on the go sandwich that's usually picked up at a deli or grocery store and served cold. Invented in 1906, this type of sandwich was created by an Italian immigrant and first made and served at the French Market in New Orleans. Years later, Napoleon House adapted this recipe and brought it into a sit-down restaurant, making it a hot dish to enhance the flavors. What's in a Muffuletta?
🔸Seeded Muffuletta bun 🔸Extra virgin olive oil 🔸ham 🔸salami 🔸 pastrami 🔸 provolone cheese 🔸Swiss cheese 🔸olive salad... Yum!
Ready for bar #4? Have cocktails inside a spinning, functioning carousel! At Carousel Bar inside the Monteleone Hotel. Touristy? Sure!! A must-do? Absolutely!!! Where else can you feel like a kid and grown-up at the same time!?! Plus, they make fantastic craft cocktails here. This is a great spot to try one of New Orleans signature cocktails -- The Sazerac, handcrafted to perfection! Heads up, this bar is always crowded, so if waiting for a seat, just keep walking straight, and you'll find a second bar that's part of the hotel, crowd-free! This is the perfect spot to wait while a chair in this carousel opens up; just keep an eye out!