We have been wanting to plan a trip to the “Big Easy” for the longest time.
in 2019 we were thankful enough to touch down for the third time in the US with previous visits covering just about all the hotspots a bright eyed Aussie traveler would go to; including LA to New York City and Disneyworld to the Grand Canyon, so this time around we wanted to explore a city that had a different flavor, one that had been on our list for quite some time.
New Orleans has always appeared to us as one of those unique cities, one that had a complex history, melting pot of culture, delicious food and unique architecture – we knew that the next time we headed to the states NOLA would be scratched off our list.
They say third times a charm because we had the most memorable time exploring, eating and filming our way around New Orleans and we would love for you to check out our YouTube video from our time here below. So if you are thinking of heading to this incredible city keep on scrolling for our recommendations on where to stay, what to eat and top things to do during a trip to New Orleans.
Where to Stay
During our 5 day stay here in New Orleans we had the most amazing stay at the Henry Howard Hotel.
Located in New Orleans stunning Garden District, this boutique hotel is set in a historic 18-room townhouse. Each room is uniquely decorated with vintage furniture and local artwork along with a large bed, flat-screen TV, and private bathroom. We loved starting each morning enjoying a fresh cup of coffee and croissant in the garden.
The Henry Howard Hotel is two minute walk from the tram, Magazine Street is a short stroll away which is where you will find the best shopping and their are a bunch of amazing restaurants and cafes very close by.
There aren’t too many places where we can say that the best way to get around is by using old-fashioned streetcars. The historical cars are only $1.25 per ride, or you can pay $3 for an all-day pass! We used them daily to get from the Garden District to the French Quarter and vice versa.
Where to Eat
For an Original Beignet: Cafe Du Monde
This is a mandatory stop for anyone visiting New Orleans. You simply cannot leave without trying a fresh beignet from Cafe Du Monde. It is a deliciously fried, warm pastry absolutely covered in powdered sugar and is best paired with a hot coffee. There are a bunch of locations, but we recommend heading to the original located in the French Market.
800 Decatur Street
For Shrimp Po Boy: Parkway Bakery & Tavern
This famous sandwich earned its name from a couple of guys who served sandwiches to streetcar workers on strike, and has become a locals favourite ever since. The French bread here in NOLA is amazing, the perfect amount of crunch and a soft doughy middle. It typically comes with lettuce, tomatoes, dressing and your choice of meat or seafood.
Our favourite spot is Parkway Bakery and we 100% recommend trying their Fried Shrimp Po Boy with a side of fried pickles … sooooo good!
538 Hagan Ave
For Coffee: French Truck Coffee
Starting as a little yellow coffee truck, this place has turned into a full blown cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and amazing coffee. If you are visiting on a hot day we recommend trying their New Orleans Iced Coffee.
217 Chartres St
For Gumbo & Creole Food: The Gumbo Shop
If you are looking for a spot to try a bunch of creole dishes we suggest heading to The Gumbo Shop in the French Quarter. Here you can try all sorts of local dishes including Seafood Okra Gumbo, Shrimp Creole and Crawfish Etouffee.
630 St Peter
Our Favourite Beignet Spot: Beignet Cafe
We know many will say that Cafe Du Monde has the superior beignets, but after trying numerous locations Beignet Cafe hands down serves the best! We recommend waking up bright and early to explore the French Quarter while its quiet and pop into this cafe for a morning beignet and coffee.
334 Royal St
Things to Do
Explore the French Quarter
You may have heard of the party scene on Bourbon Street, but the French Quarter has so much more to offer. It is filled with boutique shops, art galleries and stunning Spanish and French architecture. We highly recommend waking up early and spending the day walking around this historic area – enjoy the talented street performers, stop by the iconic St. Louis Cathedral and simply take in this unique, cool part of NOLA.
Go Shopping along Magazine Street
This is our favourite street to shop (and eat). It is loved by both locals and tourists, where you will find an abundance of clothing stores, antique shops, boutiques, and numerous cafes, restaurants and bars. This place is a shoppers paradise!
Explore the Garden District
The Garden District is a beautiful neighbourhood and is one of our favourite areas in New Orleans. The streets here are lined with stunning oak trees and the mansions and homes here will blow your breath away. Many big Hollywood movies have been shot here and we loved spending one afternoon hunting from all the filming locations in the neighbourhood.
One of our favourite things we did during our time in New Orleans was going on a swamp tour. The swamps in Louisiana are famous for this biodiversity and wildlife. You will experience all types of wildlife including gators, wild pigs and birds as well as Cajun villages right on the water.
We booked our swamp tour with Cajun Encounters.
When visiting New Orleans we feel it is important to head out to at least one plantation to learn about this dark time in US history. If you aren’t sure which one to choose we recommend The Whitney Plantation, as it is first slavery museum in America and is dedicated to telling the history of slaves in their own words, taken from historical records.
If you are looking for a tour we suggest the Grayline Plantation Tours which will take you to The Whitney Plantation and to Oak Alley.
Something unique about New Orleans is its cemeteries. As this city is below sea level they are unable to bury their remains underground, so instead they have above ground tombs and mausoleums making them not only unique, but a rich part of their history. We recommend booking in a cemetery tour where you will learn about the famous people who remain are there as well as the burial rituals and techniques of the local cemeteries.
A big thank you to New Orleans and Company for inviting Flying The Nest to New Orleans and sponsoring this incredible trip, as always all opinions are our own.