New Orleans is one of our favorite cities to visit. It is rich in history, colorful in personality, and there are layers and layers of unique experiences from the cuisine, music, garden district, cemeteries, and Bourbon Street–it’s an enriching adventure. It’s not for everyone–but if you thirst for diverse culture, hunger for flavorful food, and want stimuli which brings alive all five senses (and even the sixth if there’s a sensitivity), then have some breakfast at The Old Coffee Pot, head over to Musical Legends Park, grab a cafe au lait from Cafe Du Monde, salivate at a multitude of choices for dinner plans, enjoy a nightcap at Pat O’Briens, head to Fritzel’s for some New Orleans blues and jazz, and then prepare for some mighty fine people watching.
We have been to New Orleans several times. This blog post only covers a six-hour visit, so it didn’t include a lot of our must-see places. It was our friend Patrick’s first visit, so it’s a wonderful memory of 2017 which demands to be included. During our six-hour stay, we walked the following streets:
Our first stop was Bourbon Street, which was under construction. Shops were still open and selling New Orleans souvenirs–t-shirts, hats, Mardi Gras masks, voodoo dolls, shot glasses, just name it. There were the frozen drink places, the male and female stripper establishments (Bourbon Street is not appropriate for children as there are scantily-clad hawkers for these establishments in the street), and live music coming from everywhere. There are a myriad of street performers from little boys drumming on buckets to silver painted statue mimes.
The most famous of the street performers is a clarinet player named Doreen–a famous face for New Orleans. She has mad skills and the band who plays with her isn’t bad, either. If the chance to see Mrs. Doreen perform presents itself, watch and listen and put a healthy donation in her bucket. She’s worth every goosebump (video below):
We missed her this trip as she was performing at a second line jazz funeral–a New Orleans custom to honor the dead. I’m throwing in a video of a second line parade funeral below as another unique nuance to New Orleans culture.
Some of the sights we caught along Bourbon Street:
After a quick perusal of Bourbon Street, we stopped to have lunch at Pat O’Brien’s, an establishment well known for a potent drink called the Hurricane. Mike and Patrick had one of those sweet concoctions, and I elected to have the bloody Mary.
Since we were all “still in there,” especially Mike, (inside joke–what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans), we headed to beautiful Jackson Square where we enjoyed work from local artists, unique musical performances, and more street performers.
We took a small tour while in Jackson Square and saw a few more sights of New Orleans. The Dixieland river boat was boarding, which we did on a previous visit and the music was fantastic. We witnessed a wedding party getting photos done, and enjoyed another wedding ‘second line’ procession–the brass band escorting the dancing bride and groom and wedding guests through the streets to the reception venue. We saw majestic old homes in a portion of the Garden District. One of the most striking sights for me was traversing a historic French Quarter street with modern-day downtown New Orleans a few steps away.
After Jackson Square, we headed across the street to the famous Cafe Du Monde for an afternoon pick-me-up. The delicious New Orleans style chicory coffee and some beignets were just what the doctor ordered. There was a healthy breeze on the day we visited, so powdered sugar rained across the seating area and stuck to shirts and jeans. It was a relaxing way to end our afternoon visit to the unique city.
We always wish we had more time to visit and do all the things there is to do in New Orleans. This was just a quick touristy day to show our friend, Patrick, what it’s all about. There is so much more to do and see. Here’s Patrick’s video of his memories of the Big Easy:
This was another one of those wonderful travel memories–enjoying the journey and appreciating the destinations.
Wishing you safe travels.
P.S. I am behind on blogging some of our experiences because I’m too busy living them–that’s a good thing. So, I’ll be doing some TBT (throw-back Thursdays) posts of past adventures in the coming weeks.
New Orleans Amazon pick of the day: CLICK HERE
I enjoyed your narrative and photos, especially the ones of your feet with street names. You got the most out of a few hours!!
Absolutely love the feet with the street names! What a colorful place that New Orleans is. Maybe someday we’ll get there.
That’s a lot packed into a six-hour visit. What fun. I think I would enjoy New Orleans, so different from Minnesota. All three of my children have been there–vacationing, national church youth gathering and helping with clean-up after Hurricane Katrina. They all enjoyed their visits to this unique city.
Thanks for the writeup. I haven’t been in New Orleans in decades–one time when I was young and thin I wound up walking 15 miles in high heels home from mardi gras to the place we stayed way out of town–those shoes photos crack me up!
That woman must have lungs of steel to play and sing so much–good for her!
I’m glad you’re having fun and then get to post when you can.
I can’t imagine walking New Orleans in heels! I walked in sneakers and it still hurt! It’s worth it, though–I love that city.
I did it in about 1980, so I was young then!
Wow; as the others said, you packed a lot into 6 hours!
What fun! We are excited to go there (soon) and I will be referencing this article when we get there for sure!
I think you’ll love New Orleans, Joy. I can’t wait until you go so I can hear what you think about it!
There is nothing wrong with being behind in blogging! Living it is what it’s all about. As you can probably tell, I’m spending this morning catching up on my reading – We’ve been ‘living’ too! I promise I’ll blog about it soon, lol.
LOL! I’m so behind on my comments and reading. I do it all in chunks and usually days and days after posting. But, enjoying the journey is a good thing!