Soft electricity scintillates through the streets of New Orleans. Its melancholy history is countered by splendidly colorful homes, physical representations of the city’s resiliency. Though Hurricane Katrina’s decade-old legacy is very apparent in parts, NOLA’s cheerful Creole spirit is downright infectious. Creepy voodoo shops, deep southern accents, and live jazz (which can be found truly everywhere) only add to its charms.
Respect the fact that New Orleans is still recovering from the devastation of Katrina. Avoid problematic areas by staying close to (though not necessarily in) The Quarter. Be prepared to cab your way around at night (which requires calling the taxi company at least 15 minutes in advance).
Anything with an elastic waist.
Sooo that diet you keep meaning to start? Yea…about that. New Orleans's cuisine is unapologetic, deep-fried deliciousness. Get drinking a Hurricane on Bourbon Street and visiting Café Du Monde out of your system, then head over to these awesome spots:
- La Petite Grocery: try the crab beignets and make sure you lock in a rez beforehand.
- Acme Oyster House: for their char-grilled oysters.
- Verti Marte: any sandwich will be insanely good, and totally affordable.
- Three Muses: for jazz and shared plates.
- Baccahanal Wine: awesome backyard garden.
Oh! And, remember to order a Sazerac, America's oldest cocktail, while you're there...
The convergence of European and Caribbean cultures in the south's swampland delivers a hilariously strange and soulful experience. Don't hesitate to strike up a conversation with your cab driver or bartender for an earful of their must-see spots; they'll be eager to share. Spend a day breathing in the bayou air, basking in the sun at a music festival (you'll be too buzzed to care about the heat), and getting spooked out at a supernatural hotspot.
- Cajun Encounters: for some quality bayou time.
- The scene on Frenchman Street: especially d.b.a. $5 gets you hours of jazz from the world’s best artists.
- Visit during one of NOLA's many music festivals: Jazz Fest, Bayou Bugaloo, and Crescent City Blues, to name a few.
- Spend one afternoon in the Garden District and another exploring St. Louis Cemetery.
- Check out the threads at Solange's boutique.
Before you go
Before you leave, go on a Netflix binge of American Horror Story’s season Coven. Set in The Big Easy, a few of the season's craziest characters are inspired by historical New Orleans figures.
- This Airbnb near The Quarter at $105/night.
- If you've rallied a crew, this one close to Frenchman Street at $108/night.
- Hotel St. Marie for as low as $100/night.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section below!