One Day in New Orleans

In August, we traveled to New Orleans a few days before Labor Day to kick off a fun-filled weekend trip. The main reason for our trip was to go to the Georgia Southern vs. LSU game in Baton Rouge on Saturday, so we added a stop in NOLA and Biloxi to explore and spend some time with friends.

We flew into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Thursday evening and took a Lyft {links with your Delta Skymiles for extra miles, guys!} to our hotel Le Méridien New Orleans. This was a beautiful place to stay in the heart of the Central Business District which is a lot quieter and cleaner than the French Quarter. Literally across the street from Harrah's if that's your thing, and less than a mile walk to the Quarter where you can begin to explore. The hotel has a really fun and eclectic vibe and we greatly enjoyed our stay there.

After dropping off our bags, we began to look for somewhere to go to dinner which proved more challenging at 9 p.m. in New Orleans than I had anticipated. We took off to see what was nearby and ended up at The Halal Guys which, while a chain, was absolutely amazing. I love a good gyro and this one was great--try the ghost pepper sauce, but a drop is a lot! After working all day and traveling that evening, we were tired and headed back to our room right after dinner in preparation for a long day on Friday.

Friday morning started off with the scrumptious breakfast from Bittersweet Confections. Found on picture perfect Magazine Street, we enjoyed a breakfast croissant, prosciutto, ricotta, and honey drizzled toast, a Nutella and white chocolate muffin and iced coffee before catching the free bus to Mardi Gras World. Truly a tourist destination, we were able to see from start to finish how the magnificent Mardi Gras floats are made while learning a little bit more of the history of the festival season. It was absolutely mesmerizing, and a super fun stop for all ages!

Thankfully, MGW has a free shuttle with lots of stops all over the city, so we hopped on the French Quarter shuttle and got to exploring. It ended up being a beautiful and surprisingly cooler August day, so we walked over eight miles throughout the city exploring. We took a lap around Jackson Square, admiring the architecture and the artists, before grabbing our first of many daiquiris at Willie's Chicken Shack. I'd planned on having a muffaletta lunch at Napoleon House but we were still really full from breakfast.

At 1 p.m. we joined the guided tour at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. The site of the first retail pharmacy, we were able to see and learn about old instruments, medicines, practices and beliefs from the 1800s. The pharmacist hubs was highly entertained. Once the tour wrapped up, we wandered for a while before heading to Pat O'Brien's for a famous hurricane at the piano bar. Going to a dueling pianos event is always fun, and it was a great place to cool off for an hour or so before a brief trip down Bourbon Street. Never my favorite place {wear closed toed shoes!}, it's still fun to people watch and try a new beverage or two.

After a nap back at the hotel and freshening up, we stood in line at Acme Oyster House for about 30 minutes before snagging two seats at the bar. Of course we had a dozen raw oysters, a po-boy and seafood etouffee--I even tried an oyster shooter. It was all super delicious and worth the wait! I had my heart set on taking a spin around the Carousel Bar with a French 75 in hand, and unfortunately I couldn't get a seat. We did however get a drink at the bar {which is actually a slowly spinning carousel!} and a couple of chairs in a cozy corner and were able to enjoy a fantastic jazz band after dinner! It was a ton of fun.

To top off the day, we of course had to swing by Cafe du Monde for an order of beignets before heading back to our hotel room to rest up before game day. I had hoped to go to the Ruby Slipper Cafe for brunch on Saturday, but we didn't get going early enough and ended up with a "recovery" meal of Raisin' Canes.

What are some of your favorite New Orleans stops?

You can shop my exploring outfit directly from the image below!