If your looking for a quick inexpensive getaway in the United States New Orleans is the perfect spot for you. I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans for the second time for Fourth of July Weekend. New Orleans which is known as The Big Easy and the birthplace of jazz is is filled with beautiful architecture, live music, history and my favorite Creole and Cajun food. Compared to other tourist cites such as Las Vegas and New York New Orleans is an inexpensive city to visit. I spent 3 days in New Orleans which I believe is more than enough time to explore the city’s highlights. But with only 72 hours what does one see, eat or do here’s what:
Since this was my second visit to New Orleans I wanted to stay away from the infamous Bourbon Street which is a 10 min walk from the hotel and steps away from the historic French Quarter. I stayed at Le Meridien New Orleans which is located across from Harrah’s Casino and a couple of blocks from the Shops at Canal Place.
The upscale hotel is located within walking distance of both the French Quarter and the Museum District. The 410 stylish rooms and suites are outfitted with comfortable beds, large work desks, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. I was able to book this hotel at a rate of $150.00 through an instant savings with hotels.com. If your not apart of their rewards program I highly recommend. My favorite amenity of the hotel is the lovely rooftop pool with cabanas and loungers. This was one of the main reasons I chose this hotel I love a good rooftop pool (pictured below)
As I mentioned New Orleans is known for their Cajun and Creole food. I encourage you to try these 13 must have eats. I compiled a list of my top 5 five must have eats along with the restaurants I visited.
- Chargrilled Oysters – Visit Felix Restaurant and Oyster House or Acme Oyster House
- Gumbo- Creole House and Restaurant Bar
- Shrimp Po’ Boy- Acme Oyster House
- Étouffe -Oceana Grill
- Beignets – Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet
For brunch I ate at Ruby Slipper Cafe and French Toast. To avoid the long wait I suggest to join the waitlist through the Yelp app. Unfortunately, neither restaurant offered bottomless mimosas. The last restaurant we visited Flamingo A Go Go offers bottomless mimosas/margaritas/frose for $16.00. I highly encourage you to book reservations through open table. I didn’t have reservations but I lucked out finding seating at the bar.
Go On a Swamp Tour
Have you ever watched the CSI:Miami episope where Horatio is looking for victims in the swamp on an airboat? That’s the exact visual I had when I heard Swamp Tour. Unfortunately, I wasn’t on an airboat, I was on a large boat in the swamp. That said I did get to see and even touch a live alligator, and eat alligator jerky. I highly recommend to try this activity. This was my second time doing this activity. On my last visit I went on tour with Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours and on my recent trip I used Ultimate Swamp Tour. The difference between the two is at the Ultimate Swamp Tour they offer transportation to and from your hotel and there’s a bar and restaurant on site.
Visit the New Orleans Sculpture Garden
I am very much an art lover and since this was my second time here I decided to spend the morning exploring the Sculpture Garden. The sculpture garden occupies approximately eleven acres in City Park adjacent to the museum. Atypical of most sculpture gardens, this garden is located within a mature existing landscape of pines, magnolias, and live oaks surrounding two lagoons. There are currently over 90 sculptures being displayed. Due to time constraints I didn’t get the chance to visit The NOLA Museum of Art which is right next door. I took the street car from Canal Street which took no more than 30 mins. If times allows I encourage you to visit it was definitely a memorable experience.
Admission is $5.00
Create your own Pub Crawl
Start with a Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle, after checking out a few bars on Bourbon Street head to the Monteleone Hotel for the the Carousel Bar & Lounge which has a 25-seat Merry Go Round serving up creative cocktails. The classic New Orleans hotel bar is the city’s only revolving bar. Open all day long, make sure to swing by and go for a ride. Lastly, head to Pat O’Brien’s and have a Hurricane. You won’t be disappointed.
With so much to eat, do and see, this list doesn’t cover everything New Orleans has to offer, but only the places I enjoyed In 72 Hours. Hopefully it gives you some ideas and must stop places for your future visit to New Orleans. Is your New Orleans on your travel list?