If you're thinking about going to New Orleans for a special event, I'd say...go!
It was exactly one year ago, 13 of us girls got on a plane to head out to New Orleans (aka: NOLA) for my bachelorette! Wow, time flies. It was honestly one of the best times of my life, simply because I was able to explore a city with my closest girlfriends. For my bachelorette-sary (yeap, just made that up!), I thought I'd share 10 things you can do in NOLA with your girls (or any group for that matter!). Prepare for some major photo haul and some travel tips!
In no particular order, here are 10 things to consider in the great city of NOLA!
1. Rent an AirBnb
Considering we had a huge group, it was most cost efficient to stay at an Airbnb for the 3 nights we were there. If you stayed at a hotel on Bourbon street, it would be pretty costly averaging around $150-$300/night only fitting up to 4, depending on hotel of course. We stayed about a mile away from Bourbon and it was nice to have a quiet and huge house to go back to with plenty of room for all of us.
This was our house while we were there. So cute!
2. Beignets, Baby
Three words. Cafe Du Monde. Who doesn't know about this place? I thought this place would be overrated and I was REALLY hoping it would live up to the hype...and it did! I had at least 2 of them and easily could of had more...but you know, I was watching my "figure" before my wedding :p Their iced Cafe au Lait was refreshing in the heat and coupled well with the beignets. This place is a definite must-try spot.
3. French Quarter
French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. Filled with live music, bars, restaurants, vendors, people, and more people. There's bound to be something interesting going on, whether it be live street shows, jazz bands, lots of Gumbo, Po' Boy sandwiches, oyster bars, or historic architecture. Walk around and enjoy the heart of New Orleans!
4. Frenchmen Art Market
The arts district of New Orleans. We went here at night and I would say we enjoyed this place more for the scenery than the items that were sold. Not because we didn't like the items, but because we didn't go for the shopping per se, but moreso to walk around. The highlights were the string lights that lit up the place beautifully, some art installations, and the various vendors that were there. There was a good amount of people even at night. So if you are into vendor fairs with one-of-a-kind items, check out the Frenchman Art Market...at night!
5. Bourbon Street
Definitely the vegas strip of New Orleans! This street is in the French Quarter and probably the most famous street of New Orleans. Known for their jazz bars, bars, and more bars, really good chicken tenders, parades, drinking, and lots of festivities. We also saw at least 3 other bachelor/bachelerotte groups on this street and we all struck up conversations with them and quickly became friends. There's PLENTY to do here. We went back here a couple of times because well....it was the place to be. But beware..at night, it smells like pee! Everywhere! During the day it was fine, it was just hot and humid since we went in July. THE street to enjoy with your (huge) party.
6. Jazz Bars
I think this was one of my favorite things we did!! I love jazz music, and it's not that often we go to jazz bars here in Los Angeles, so I knew hitting up a jazz bar in New Orleans was going to be one of the must to-dos. We visited a jazz bar called "Fat Catz" and we had a BLAST. When we went in initially, it was pretty empty, probably cause it was only 5pm. We stayed because the artist was killin it on stage! It got us all dancing and eventually some of us were even brought on stage to dance. With all the noise we were making, it drew a crowd into the bar ... that was the highlight of that day! I would come here again when I'm back in NOLA.
7. Chargrilled Oysters
DROOL!!! The South is known for foods like Gumbo, Jambalaya, Po' Boy sandwiches, chicken tenders, and crawfish. But the chargrilled oysters were hands down my favorite of what I ate. The harmony of melted butter, garlic, and cheese on these juicy grilled oysters...makes me drool just thinking about it. I would go back to NOLA just for these. Anyone know of any amazing chargrilled oysters in Southern California? If you're not into oysters, these won't be for you but if you do love oysters....these are to die for. Period.
8. Bar Hopping
Piggy backing off of #6 on jazz clubs - ditch the clubs or getting bottle service, and just go bar hopping! This is pretty straight forward and I would highly recommend this. There's so many bars that play live music (usually jazz) prior to the DJ hitting their playlists so you get the best of both worlds. Jazz music and today's hits. TIP for girls: Forget your high heels too! No need. The streets of NOLA are not well kept, lots of potholes, so don't even bother wearing your stilettos when you go out at night. Throw on your cute sandals and dance the night away!
9. Ghost Tours
For about $25, you can go on a 2 hour ghost tour where the guide goes through history of the"haunted" houses while walking through different areas of the French Quarter. Like all tours, it all depends on the tour guide. It was interesting to learn about the history of New Orleans throughout this tour. We have some funny running jokes from this tour, so if you're either really into haunted stories or looking to just create fun(ny) memories with your group, check it out!
10. Private Chef
I guess this is something you can do anywhere with your group, but this was so memorable to me, I just had to mention it. The last night we were there, my bridesmaids organized a surprise dinner with a private chef at our AirBnb. I had absolutely no idea this was going to happen. But when we walked into our house and I saw everything, I just remember feeling this overwhelming joy and appreciation I had for my friends who planned this whole trip for me, that I started to cry. Jason from Headwaters Cafe was our chef and he cooked up some delicious HEALTHY food for us! After eating deep fried stuff all weekend, his food was just what we all needed. He made us everything from salads, to a number of side dishes, to juicy meats, and mini desserts. No wonder Jason was on "Top Chef"! It was a real treat. Thanks again Jason!
So that just about sums up some of our more memorable things we did in New Orleans! It was so much fun and I'm nostalgic thinking about this trip. Hope this list helps out your group and please let me know other things to do that wasn't mentioned! Would love to hear them.
To the next adventure!