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French Creole architecture through the streets of New Orleans

New Orleans is one of our favorite weekend getaways. From walking through the beautiful garden district, bar hopping on Bourbon Street, or eating your way through the French Quarter, there is so much to see and do in the Crescent City. As soon as you arrive, you are met with bright colors, beautiful architecture, and live music on every corner. A city with so much history, charm and amazing food, you are sure to always leave with fun memories and full bellies.

How to Get to New Orleans

If you're flying into New Orleans, your destination will be Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), located just a short 20-minute drive from the French Quarter. Once you land, you have multiple transportation options with taxis, rideshare services, and airport shuttles ready to take you to your final destination.

How to Get Around New Orleans

Getting around the French Quarter is easy and walkable. To venture to other neighborhoods like the Garden District, New Orleans’ streetcar system is a charming way to explore the city. Plus, there's are plenty of rideshare options available, or you can easily rent bikes, hop on a bus, take a ferry, or call a pedicab, taxi, or a limo service whenever you need to.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

There are many unique boutique hotels and rentals throughout the neighborhoods in New Orleans. Choose the best neighborhood for you based on where you plan to spend most of your time.

French Quarter

If you want to be in the middle of it all, the French Quarter is perfect for you. The French Quarter is the oldest and most well-known neighborhood in New Orleans, home to Bourbon Street, endless restaurants, and so much more.

The Westin New Orleans
  • This is a great location in the French Quarter with riverfront views

  • Website

Photo Credit: The Westin New Orleans via

Garden District

The Garden District is great if you want to be in a quieter and more quaint area. Located upriver from the French Quarter, you will find historic mansions, Tulane and Loyola Universities, and the Audubon Park and Zoo.

Henry Howard Hotel
  • This 18-room boutique hotel is in a restored 1860s townhouse

  • Website

Photo Credit: Henry Howard Hotel

Warehouse District

Also known as the Arts District, the Warehouse District is full of art galleries, cocktail lounges, and delicious food. This neighborhood is located near the Lower Garden District and where you can find the National WWII Museum.

Renaissance New Orleans Arts Warehouse District Hotel
  • This historic warehouse turned hotel is located near Magazine St. and the National WWII Museum

  • Website

Photo Credit: Renaissance New Orleans Arts Warehouse District Hotel via

Things to do in New Orleans

There are endless sights, tours, and excursions to experience in New Orleans. Below you can find some of our top recommendations from our previous trips!

Cooking Class at the Mardi Gras School of Cooking

This hands-on cooking class in the French Quarter was one of our favorite experiences in New Orleans. We learned how to make gumbo, shrimp étouffée, and bananas foster. Classes are $150/person, and you can add a champagne bar or bloody Mary bar to any class. We really couldn’t recommend this class enough and want to take another one next time we visit!

Dark History Walking Tour of Old French Quarter

This 90-minute walking tour through the French Quarter with Jonathan Weiss was a last-minute tour that we booked through Groupon to learn about the dark history of New Orleans. There are many similar tours in this area, but we had a great time and learned many interesting facts and stories from Jonathan’s wide knowledge of the city. There’s even a quick break for cocktails from the oldest bar -Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar!

Oak Alley Plantation

Explore the history of New Orleans at Oak Alley Plantation, just an hour away from the French Quarter. Take a tour of the main house, slave cabins, and gardens. It’s a crucial aspect of New Orleans' history to discover during your visit and we highly recommend touring all of the grounds at the plantation.


There are so many charming and quirky little shops throughout New Orleans. The French quarter and Magazine Street are great places to walk along and stop in these shops. I love finding one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family and cooking supplies for myself during our visits!

Jackson Square

In the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square stands as an iconic New Orleans site. This historic park is surrounded by shops, art, and restaurants, making it a great place to walk around and sightsee during your trip!

Visit the Garden District

A great way to experience the charm of the Garden District is by taking a ride on on a streetcar and admiring the historic homes and stately mansions. We also enjoy walking along the picturesque residential streets and soaking in all the beauty of the Garden District.

Go Bar Hopping on Bourbon St.

You can't visit NOLA without visiting the iconic Bourbon St. Here you'll find endless bars full of daiquiris, hurricanes, hand grenades, and live music!

Where to Eat in New Orleans

We look forward to all the amazing food when we travel to New Orleans from crabmeat cheesecake, beignets, po' boys, and gumbo! Check out some of our favorite spots below.

Café Du Monde - $

You can’t visit New Orleans without stopping here for the iconic beignets and café au lait. The line can get long, so we recommend going at off times or coming back later if the line is extremely long. We liked going at night when it was less crowded and easier to find a table to enjoy warm, fresh beignets! Café Du Monde is also cash only so make sure you come prepared.

Eating the world famous Beignets at Café Du Monde

Palace Café - $$

The Palace Café is located on canal street and is one of our favorite restaurants in NOLA. They offer some of the best creole dishes and the staff is amazing. We love the savory crabmeat cheesecake, and you can’t miss out on the table-side bananas foster.

Photo Credit: The Palace Café via

Brennan’s - $$$

We visited Brennan’s for brunch in their gorgeous courtyard. The food, cocktails, and service were amazing, and we can’t wait to go back. We recommend the eggs Sardou and the eggs St. Charles but you really can’t go wrong with anything at Brennan’s! The pink exterior, unique interior, and courtyard are also perfect for pictures!

The Court of Two Sisters - $$$

The Court of Two Sisters is famous for its daily jazz brunch with a creole buffet and gorgeous courtyard. The buffet features creole classics like gumbo, red beans and rice, eggs benedict, shrimp étouffée, bananas foster, and so much more.

Photo Credit: The Court of Two Sisters via

Red Fish Grill - $$

Located on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, Red Fish Grill is a casual restaurant offering seafood, po' boys, oysters and cocktails. We wish we could visit more often so we could eat the bbq oysters, alligator boudin balls, and po' boys all the time! They also have a great happy hour with $7 cocktails and bar bites ranging from $10-$20 available from 3-6pm daily.

Photo Credit: Red Fish Grill

Gumbo Shop - $$

The Gumbo Shop is located in the French Quarter just half a block away from Jackson Square, and it offers authentic cajun and creole dishes. Of course, you have to try the gumbo, but everything we had was delicious!

Mother's Restaurant - $$

We can't visit New Orleans without stopping at Mother's for lunch. No matter the time, this casual restaurant is always busy but worth the wait! This authentic New Orleans home cooked restaurant is known for their po' boys, sandwiches, and all day breakfast. We love their crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, and gumbo!

The Perfect Weekend Itinerary in New Orleans

Day 1:
  • Brunch at Brennan's

  • Walk and shop in the French Quarter and Jackson Square

  • Enjoy beignets and café au lait at Café Du Monde

  • Do a walking ghost or history tour of the French Quarter

  • Have dinner at The Palace Cafe

Day 2:
  • Tour Oak Alley Plantation

  • Lunch at Mother's

  • Explore the Garden District

  • Have dinner at The Gumbo Shop or Red Fish Grille

  • Bar hop on Bourbon Street

Day 3:
  • Brunch at The Court of Two Sisters

  • Explore the French Quarter

  • More beignets at Café Du Monde!

  • Take a cooking class at the Mardi Gras School of Cooking

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