A Vacation Guide for New Orleans

My New Orleans graduation trip was a success!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far! I’ve been taking time to relax, apply to jobs and spend time with friends and family. It’s weird to see how much my life has slowed down since I graduated. I know it was not that long ago, but I went from having something to do everyday to having days where I sometimes have nothing scheduled. However, last week was a bit different. I was on vacation in New Orleans! As a graduation gift to myself I wanted to go on a trip, so that’s what I did.

I want to tell you guys all about it! Here is a vacation guide for New Orleans:

Accommodations in New Orleans

While in New Orleans my boyfriend and I stayed in an Airbnb in the Garden District. It was a loft that was a renovated storage room above a garage. This place was the perfect size for two people and our hosts were amazing. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out.

The Garden District was absolutely beautiful! Apparently, Sandra Bullock lives in this area. We didn’t see her, but it would have been cool if we did! What I liked most about where we stayed though was the convenience of the location. It was in walking distance of the street car, which took us nearly everywhere we needed to go!

Budget friendly transportation

If you’ve been to New Orleans then you know that the street car is a life saver!

We saved SO much money on transportation, which helped a lot. To ride the street car it is $1.25, which is way cheaper than an Uber or Lyft! Having exact change is important because you are expected to move fast once you hop on. There are stops throughout the major areas in New Orleans and maps are located on the street cars and online as well. I would highly recommend this method of transportation!

A quick New Orleans itinerary

Day 1

Since our first day was Memorial Day there was a lot going on. To start the day off we went to grab breakfast at The Ruby Slipper Cafe on Magazine Street. The food here was so good! I ordered catfish and grits along with a mimosa made with orange juice, pomegranate juice and champagne. My boyfriend ordered french toast pancakes and an ice coffee with vodka, which was surprisingly really good!

Ruby Slippers restaurant in New Orleans
Catfish and Grits with a Biscuit and Cinnamon Butter.
Ruby Slippers restaurant in New Orleans
French Toast Pancakes with Bacon.

After we ate we explored Magazine Street for a bit. This area was nice because there are a lot of cute shops to stop into. One store we went into was selling the portal gun used in Rick and Morty!

From Magazine Street we took the St. Charles Street Car to Canal Street and explored the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street was definitely an experience (LOL). It does not smell the best and it isn’t clean, but it is a ton of fun! We found a lot of nice places to listen to live music and everyone we came across was so nice. I enjoyed being able to hear music in the streets. At every corner there was someone performing, whether it was dancing, singing or playing an instrument art was all around! It was such a good experience. Also, going through the French Quarter made me fall in love with the architecture in New Orleans. There is so much detail in every building! It was way different than Illinois.

For lunch/dinner we stopped into Saints and Sinners, which is located on Bourbon Street. Fun Fact: this restaurant is owned by Channing Tatum. It was good, but definitely not the best place we went to in New Orleans. I ordered seafood gumbo and my boyfriend ordered a burger and fries. I only got a pic of my food, sorry!

Saints and Sinners in New Orleans
Seafood Gumbo with White Rice

That night we went out and had some fun on Bourbon Street!

Day 2

Beignets!!!! For breakfast we stopped by the world famous Cafe Du Monde.

This place was AMAZING. The Beignets were literally perfect. We also made sure to order an iced coffee with them because we heard that was a great combination. I’m glad we did! The coffee tasted similar to chocolate milk, which made it so much better. I was tempted to order more beignets, but I didn’t (sadly). One thing I will say about Cafe Du Monde is that as soon as you’re able to get a waitress order RIGHT AWAY. There is open seating, so you are expected to find your own table. Then a waitress will come over to you.

It was busy when we went, so we had to flag someone down to get service, but after that things went smoothly. They’ also a cash only establishment! When your food is brought out you are expected to have the cash ready so that you can pay. When you’re done just leave your plates and cups there. If you prefer to go when the cafe is not so crowded they are open 24/7! So when you want to go is up to you.

After our delicious breakfast we went to the Nola Jazz Museum. But, on our way there we spotted the French Market! We stopped there and got a few souvenirs.

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum . This museum really touched my heart because the stories and pictures found in the museum tell a story about the history of the people there. Stories and pictures from Hurricane Katrina were displayed throughout the museum along with other facts from the 9th Ward’s history. Entry into this museum is always free! So, if you are ever in New Orleans I suggest you visit this museum. You won’t regret it.

For lunch/dinner we went to my favorite restaurant in New Orleans, The Rum House. Since it was Tuesday can you guess what I ordered? TACOS! These were the BEST tacos I have ever had. Wow.

That night we went to Frenchman Street, which was a lot different than Bourbon Street. I liked the vibe of Frenchman Street better because it was chill and sophisticated. There were a ton of jazz bands playing. Each place we went into had different performers, but the talent was never lacking. It was also less crowded, which I appreciated! After our night out we stopped by the Waffle House because I had never had it before. It was a good first experience!

Day 3

This day was heavy. I’ll start by saying that I’m a firm believer in history. The good, bad, and the ugly.

On our third day we toured the Whitney Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana. This was a very moving experience. I felt like the tour we went on was very informative and I learned a lot of things that are not taught in textbooks. Being able to see what I have heard about in books and through stories was powerful. I tried to soak in as much as I could and take as many pictures as I could, while still being present in the moment. It is something I never want to forget.

Afterwards, we went to Neyow’s Creole Cafe. This was yet another great meal. The food in New Orleans was definitely on point wherever we went! This time around I ordered a Crab Meat Po’boy with mac and cheese. My boyfriend ordered fried chicken and mac and cheese.

Day 4

This was our last day, so we had to make it count! To close out our trip we decided to spend the day at the National WWII Museum. There is so much to see in the museum, it’s insane. Honestly, to get the full experience, I think you’d need a full day. My brain hurt after reading facts for hours! It was overall a great experience though and I would recommend visiting this museum. You will not be disappointed! I learned a lot from this experience, more than textbooks have ever taught me. It was well worth our time. I didn’t take many pictures because I was so interested in reading all that I could.

Thanks for the memories NOLA

Overall, we both had the time of my life in New Orleans. I would definitely go back and visit again, because I feel like there is so much more to see! The people and food are what I miss the most.

If you are planning a trip keep New Orleans in mind. I promise you will have a great time!