Why not go to New Orleans? It’s a city unlike any other. With so much history, it feels like you are in another country. The food is unique, the music is incredible and the architecture is unlike anything you’ve seen before. You can spend hours walking around the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, visiting old restaurants that have been there for decades. If you have never been before or if you’re looking for some unique adventure this year then I highly recommend taking the trip down south, because New Orleans is waiting for you.
Known for its absinthe bars, New Orleans is also home to the oldest bar in America. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, founded in 1772, is still open for business. If you’re looking for a place to drink some of the green fairy then this is definitely the spot for you. Be advised, absinthe is not for everyone and it can be a very strong drink! If absinthe isn’t your thing then you should definitely stop by the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. You will feel like you’ve been whisked away to another place (hello, France?) with their amazing rotating bar that sits atop of the hotel. The bartenders are some of the best in town and they can make anything your heart desires.
Another famous spot is the Pat O’Brien Bar, considered one of the most famous bars in the world. It was originally built as an absinthe bar and it still serves the drink today in multiple must-have cocktails. It’s definitely worth a visit, but be prepared for a long line!
The architecture in New Orleans is absolutely amazing. The old buildings are beautiful and the new ones fit in well with their surroundings. It’s not hard to tell that The French Quarter was influenced by its European history. Many buildings are decorated with wrought iron balconies, which are also great for people watching and enjoying a cocktail. Make sure you stop by Hotel Monteleone and take a look at their amazing decor. The hotel, built in 1886, has been updated to maintain that old world charm. For some of the best architecture in town then you have to check out The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum located on Chartres Street, which is one of my favorite streets in the French Quarter. They are famous for their collection of Egyptian Revival pieces and they also hold a ton of medical equipment from the 19th century. Creepy!
New Orleans is known to be a city of ghosts and considered one of the most haunted cities in America. If you’re looking for some spooky fun then I highly recommend going on the haunted ghost tour that runs every night at 8pm in The French Quarter. There’s even one where you can ride in a hearse! New Orleans ghost tours are extremely popular, so much that I believe even skeptics will enjoy them and get a little spooked. If you’re looking for a more family friendly tour then I suggest the French Quarter Phantoms Tour. It’s a little less scary and perfect for kids.
The food is definitely what makes New Orleans stand out from anywhere else in America. Cajun cooking has always been popular, but it shows even more when you’re visiting Louisiana . There’s a lot of seafood and it is all fresh and delicious. From beignets to gumbo, there is something for everyone. The best part about it is that most restaurants are very affordable, so you can try as many different things as you want!
One of my favorite restaurants in town is Royal House, located on Royal Street. It’s a fresh seafood and oyster bar which are both very popular here! There are so many delicious options that you just have to try them all at least once. I recommend checking out the shrimp po’boy or any of the seafood dishes. Yum!
Bonus: Special shoutout to Cochon Butcher is located on Tchoupitoulas Street, one of my favorite restaurants in town.
Another thing that makes New Orleans special is the music. While jazz originated in this city, there are many other styles to be heard throughout town. You can hear live music every night on Bourbon Street and even more if you’re looking for blues or rock n’ roll. The music in New Orleans is so interesting because there are a lot of genres and styles mixed in together. Make sure you check out the famous Preservation Hall for some of the best jazz you’ll ever hear.
If you want to learn more about the jazz culture here, I recommend checking out the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. It was established in order to preserve all the musical history that New Orleans has to offer.
The culture in the city is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. With its unique past, it’s not hard to see why New Orleans has such an amazing atmosphere . You know you’re truly somewhere special when visiting. For example, after hundreds of years of oppression the black community here has begun to take the city back. There’s a lot of interesting murals and galleries to check out if you want a better understanding of the city’s past. But better yet, the New Orleans African American Museum is a great place to start.
Make sure you check out and support the black owned bars such as the famous We Dat’s Chicken & Shrimp, a popular spot with locals, as well as Bennachin, which offers vegetarian options. New Orleans has so many amazing bars and restaurants to check out! There’s also the black owned restaurant called Dooky Chase that is a must visit. The food there is always on point and perfectly seasoned, not to mention the amazing atmosphere.
New Orleans is known for an inclusive scene for the LGBTQ community and has been for many years. The city hosts one of the largest pride festivals in the country, which brings in people from all over to celebrate. New Orleans is a very welcoming city that embraces everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe in. There’s something for everyone here!
The best gay bars I suggest are Oz and the Bayou, located on Bourbon Street. This is where you’ll find some of the best drag queens in town! There’s also a number of lesbian bars, such as The Company Bar and Frenchy’s. Both are located in the Marigny district and are definitely worth a visit!
New Orleans has an incredibly rich history as well as many interesting things to see and do. From its culture to its drinks, its music to its architecture, it’s unlike any other place in the U.S. It’s easy to see why this continues to be one of the best places to travel domestically. There is always something to do here and the people are so friendly and welcoming. Enjoy your trip!
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What do you love about New Orleans? Let us know in the comments below!