So originally I was going to title this post “10 Reasons to Visit New Orleans in the Summer” or “Why You Should Visit New Orleans in the Summer”, but then Hurricane Barry happened and our trip itinerary got a little jumbled so instead of 4 days to explore the city we were left with 2! Do I think that 48 hours is enough time in New Orleans? No. Do I think you can see quite a good amount of the city and eat LOTS of amazing New Orleans food in that amount of time? YES! So if you only have a weekend to spend in The Big Easy I’m going to give you our exact schedule so you can check out EVERYTHING we got to see and do and eat in a short period of time!
We actually landed pretty early in the morning, but got stuck on the tarmac because of a tornado warning, then got stuck in the airport because the bags couldn’t be taken off the plane given rain, tornado warning and flooding. Once we were able to get an Uber to our hotel we basically floated there because a TON of streets were flooded (watch my New Orleans Instagram Highlight for all the hilariousness). BUT when we finally made it to our hotel, Domio Baronne St. (check out my entire review of it here…it’s legit amazing) it was around 1pm and our trip really started!
We were all STARVING and pleasantly surprised that not only did the rain stop, but the streets were dry so we walked over to Cochon for lunch! We ordered Nola Irish Channel Stout to drink (it was AMAZING) and split the Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Mayonnaise, Smoked Pork Ribs with Watermelon Pickle, Oyster & Bacon Sandwich, Rabbit & Dumplings and Macaroni & Cheese Casserole! I’m a firm believer, as are most of my friends I travel with, that splitting food is SO much better than ordering your own meal because you get a taste of everything! I highly recommend the Smoked Pork Ribs with Watermelon Pickle, Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Mayonnaise and Oyster & Bacon Sandwich if you stop by there!
Then we headed over to Cafe Du Monde, because what’s a trip to New Orleans without a trip there! We were lucky to snag a seat right away and ordered beignets and coffee as an afternoon snack! I’ve heard from a lot of people that if the line is too long at Cafe Du Monde then you can head over to Cafe Beignet, but I can’t attest to them being as good! If you have more than 48 hours in New Orleans I suggest trying them both because there’s not such thing as too many beignets!
We headed back to the hotel after that to unpack and relax a little before heading out to dinner at Commander’s Palace! This place is a New Orleans landmark known for it’s gorgeous exterior, award-winning food and many many dining rooms! Commander’s Palace was definitely one of the 2 most recommended places to eat from everyone I asked about New Orleans! When the host was showing us to our table I think we walked through about 6 dining rooms before entering the one where we’d be eating. Order the Shrimp & Tasso Henican as an appetizer, Pecan Roasted Gulf Fish as a entree and Creole Bread Pudding Souffle for dessert (order this with dinner so it comes out in time for dessert!)
We finished the night at Hot Tin Bar for a few cocktails! The Pontchartrain Hotel renovated their penthouse into a rooftop bar and the views and drinks are picture perfect. If the decor and views lure you there then the drinks will definitely keep you! I suggest trying the Skyliner!
One thing I learned about myself while in New Orleans is that I SUCK at riding a bike! I swear I used to know how, but now at 31 I’m quite terrible at it! BUT Freewheelin’ Bike Tour made me feel as comfortable as possible during our entire tour all over New Orleans and I made it the ENTIRE 8 miles while only a few bumps and bruises. We did the Creole and Crescent Tour with Laura as our tour guide (who was seriously AMAZING! Check her out in action on my New Orleans Instagram Stories Highlight). This particular tour is one of their original tour and is perfect if it’s your first time in New Orleans because you learn and see so much! The tour is a mix of riding through all of New Orleans most famous areas including the French Quarter, Saint Louis Cemetery No. 3, City Park, Louis Armstrong Park and much more, with stops to learn about New Orleans history.
We were STARVING after the bike tour so we stayed in the French Quarter and had lunch at the Gumbo Shop! The food at this place was everything I expected to eat in New Orleans! Start off with a Honeydew Daiquiri, then split the Creole Combination Platter (which has Shrimp Creole, Jambalaya and Crawfish Etouffee) and Shrimp Po Boy with a friend because they are both to the die for!
After lunch we explored the French Quarter a little more before heading back to the hotel to change for dinner.
We opted for bubble and bites for dinner at Effervescence, NOLA’s first champagne bar, and let me tell you this is a restaurant I can get onboard with! The restaurant itself was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stepped foot in, the owner was the sweetest women ever who took time to talk with us and explain her whole vision and process of opening Effervescence (her first restaurant!), and the food and drinks were BEYOND delicious! My favorite parts were definitely the champagne cages they used as napkin rings, the oysters (obviously) and the champagne flights, yes CHAMPAGNE FLIGHTS! You guys, why isn’t this a thing everywhere…I’m officially changing my new favorite drink to champagne flights.
Then we headed on a Ghost Tour with Ghost City Tours. We did the Killers and Thrillers Tour, and if your a fan of true crime and all things haunted then this is the tour for you! Our guide was seriously amazing (check her out in action on my New Orleans Instagram Stories Highlight) and I was completely enthralled in every story she told us! Look up the story of the Turkish Sultan’s Palace for a taste of what you’re in store for if you book this tour!
Some of the girls went for drinks on Bourbon St. after the Ghost Tour and I didn’t join them, but I’m wishing I did! I thought we would’ve had another opportunity to go to Bourbon St. and Frenchman’s St. but didn’t so this is one thing I definitely need to go back and do. How can you not have a few drinks on Bourbon St., even if you only have 48 hours in New Orleans it’s a must??
The other most recommended restaurant to visit in New Orlean’s was Brennan’s, the birthplace of Bananas Foster! If you only have 48 hours in New Orleans make your Brennan’s reservation NOW!! Brennan’s is famous for their beautiful space (as you can tell by the photos) and for all their food, but I suggest going to Breakfast/Brunch! Plan on sharing because they’ll be way too many things on the menu to just decide on just one or two items! I highly recommend New Orleans Style Coffee, Cajun Bloody Mary, Crispy Shrimp Crepes, Crab & Avocado Toast, Eggs Hussarde, Eggs Owen and of course BANANAS FOSTER!
The last thing we did was walk through the Garden District which was pretty high on my list of things to do in New Orleans! It was raining while we wandered around, but we still got to see a lot. Do I wish it was a beautiful sunny day? Yes…but we made the most of it. If you’re headed to New Orleans visiting the Garden District has to be on our itinerary! Fun Fact: Sandra Bullock and Jay-Z and Beyonce live in the Garden District Area of New Orleans!
Now if you followed along on this trip in real time on Instagram, then you know this is the point where we went to the grocery store and loaded up on food and drinks and proceeded to get trapped in our hotel for 2 days, but I’m going to wrap this up here because the chance of that happening to you is slim to none!
Looking for more travel guides? Check out my most popular posts from the past year:
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