Recently I took my very first trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. My husband and I stayed in New Orleans for two full days. We ate great food, stayed in a nice hotel, saw the sights, and enjoyed the nightlife. Although we managed to pack quite a bit into two days, it is still nearly impossible to see and do everything New Orleans has to offer.
We stayed at the Le Pavillion, a hotel located five blocks outside of the French Quarter. Staying in a hotel so close to the French Quarter was really nice because we could walk to almost anywhere we wanted to go.
We got to do a several of the must do’s that you hear so much about doing when you visit New Orleans. One of these Must do’s was to on a swamp tour. The swamp tour is nice because it gets you out of the city and into the peaceful canals of the Louisiana wetlands.
Another of the must do’s I had on my list was a ghost tour. As there are many ghost tours to choose from, we decided on the Haunted History ghost tour. They had high recommendations in their brochure and also from the concierge at our hotel. I love creepy stuff and I love history, so the ghost tour was definitely worth going to.
One of the things I have always wanted to do in a big city is go to an aquarium. I hadn’t been to one since I was a little kid, so we visited the aquarium down by the riverfront. I enjoyed visiting the aquarium. They had a lot of cool animals, including a white alligator, an anaconda, and a stingray tank in the adventure zone where we could pet the stingrays. In case you are wondering, they feel like suede leather.
Regrettably, I did not get to go to any of the cemeteries, the Garden District, or on a river boat cruise. I did look into doing these things though and they have tours for both the cemeteries and the Garden District or you can simply take a street car or cab to where you want to go.
The French Market was awesome to see. There are so many little shops to stop at and get souvenirs and lots of restaurants and dinners to get a bite to eat.
For some, you might appreciate that most of the bars along the way have walk up windows for you to order a drink. In New Orleans, you can walk around everywhere with your open container.
While I was in New Orleans I did a few things I have never done before, I ate sushi, tried oysters on the half shell, held a baby alligator, pet the sting rays, drank a hurricane and a hand grenade. These drinks are like a slushy that taste like juice. But, be careful because apparently the ingredients are a secret or so I heard from the locals.
These things I got to do in New Orleans were really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to see and do in New Orleans. I wish I could have seen more, but I guess that gives me incentive to go back.
I do, however, have some tips for those visiting New Orleans for their first time.
1. Bring running shoes and wear them.
Really, I brought a pair of boots, a pair of heels, and my running shoes.The running shoes were the only ones I wore and I still got a blister on the ball of my foot. You will be walking…a lot…so just wear the running shoes and your life will be a lot easier.
2. Don’t carry a purse if you don’t have to.
I know, I know, I need my purse too. We women keep all our things in there. Things like cameras and phones and wallets, important things. But, carrying a purse around may get in the way later. If you do carry a purse make sure it’s light weight and has a long strap you can wear sideways over your shoulder. My husband caught me putting my purse down unattended more than once because I was busy talking to people and it was uncomfortable to wear it for so long.
If you are going to take a tour, check to see if your hotel has a concierge, they can take care of anything you need right there from the hotel. The tours of all kinds fill up fast and you don’t want to show up and there not be any room.
4. Get the coupons.
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans you can go to the New Orleans tourism website and either order their free booklet and coupons or you can choose to download them and print. If you get to New Orleans and want the coupons than you can get them there. The website has directions on where to find them.
So, those are a couple of the little tips I learned during my visit to New Orleans. Have a fun trip and stay safe.