After spending three months in the US and visiting 10 states I can safely say that my favorite place in the whole country is New Orleans. Maybe that is because it’s the most European city, maybe because it simply has so much to offer. Either way, New Orleans is a must visit for anyone who loves beautiful architecture, great food, live music, history, culture and a banging nightlife. I mentioned a few of my top things to do in New Orleans before, but one post wasn’t enough to cover it all. So here are a few more must-do’s in the Big Easy:
Ride the street car
It might seem kind of mundane, but my favorite thing to do in New Orleans was riding the streetcar. Unlike pretty much every other big city in the US, New Orleans actually has a good public transportation system. The streetcars are both a historic landmark and a way to get around the city. The cars themselves are really cute and very well maintained. They will get you to all the main tourist destinations for as little as 1.25 a ride or 3 dollars for a 24-hour pass. Either pay by cash on the car itself or buy a pass at Walgreens. Although the schedules are not the most reliable, they run 24 hours a day. I loved taking the St. Charles line from Bourbon to Uptown and watch all the beautiful buildings of the Garden District roll by.
Chill out in Audubon Park
The St. Charles line will also get you to my favorite park in New Orleans: Audubon Park. Named after the famous naturalist John James Audubon who moved to New Orleans in 1821. Like a lot of places in NOLA, Audubon park was originally a plantation. It was purchases by the city in 1870 with the intention of creating an urban park. They definitely succeeded! The park spans 350 acres and houses beautiful old Oak trees, a golf course, a zoo and lots of water features. The perfect place to escape the humid city heat and lounge in the grass.
Listen to some live Jazz music
You can’t visit New Orleans and not listen to some great music. This is where Jazz music was born and raised to the art form it is today. Jazz runs through the veins of the city and there are plenty of spots to hear it. Walking through the French Quarter you’ll hear it played in the streets and the bars. Check out the Rebirth Brass Band every Tuesday night at the Maple Leaf in Uptown for some Grammy winning brass music. My personal favorite place to hear live music, Jazz or otherwise, is at Frenchmen street. All the bars here have band playing every night, but Sundays are the best i.m.o. I never made it to the end of Frenchmen Street, but be sure to check out Vaso, Maison, 30/90, Blue Nile and Apple Barrel for a great night out.
Shop at Magazine street
Tired of the crowds in the French Quarter? Check out the cool Magazine Street area instead. This is where the locals go to shop in cute boutiques and thrift stores and eat at hip bars and restaurants. Most of Magazine Street is pretty hipster and gentrified, but there are still a couple of dive bars left as well. Start your day with brunch at The Ruby Slipper and end it with beers at the Bulldog.
Eat all the Louisiana food
After spending a month in New Orleans I definitely gained a few pounds. The locals like to joke that a trip to the Big Easy means a pound a day in weight gain. And it’s no wonder with all that delicious Louisiana food! From deep-fried southern chicken to creole red beans and rice. From fluffy beignets to cajun crawfish boil. New Orleans knows how to celebrate good food!
Planning a trip to NOLA? Hit me up with your questions in the comment! Or tell me your favorite hidden gems in the Crescent City. And as always, share the love by sharing on social media 🙂