3-DAY New Orleans, Louisiana ITINERARY
New Orleans is a Louisiana city on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed the "Big Easy," it's known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Embodying its festive spirit is Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival famed for raucous costumed parades and street parties, per Google.
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Must do, must see, must try:
This celebration is a must see, once in a life time moment - and your bead collection will improve.
DRINK MUST: GRENADE
The most amazing drink, and fun scene. Have one, or three of these lime green delights.
NOLA has some of the best haunted spots, vampire infested bars and more spooky sights.
The 3-Day New Orleans Itinerary
February through May has the ideal weather, but if you want to avoid Mardi Gras then avoid February. Summers are steamy with a nice fall, through January. Be mindful of Spring Breakers too.
Do not have a car, the parking payments are a scam. Lyft can take you anywhere especially if you're drinking. There are parking garages were you can pay as low as $8 a day and leave your car.
Language is English
Currency: US Dollar (USD, $)
New Orleans or 'NOLA' or 'Big Easy' attracts thousands of visitors each year due to it's vibrant nightlife on Bourbon Street. Besides the lovely swamp, New Orleans offers delicious food, a lively French Quarter and a haunted history. NOLA is a fun, amazing place that you should only spend a few days in, and your liver will thank you. The sights and people are like nothing else; from vampire enthusiasts, to religious patrons, foreign visitors and swamp people - you'll see it all. It's a well priced trip but won't break the bank.
Afternoon arrival to NOLA, check-in at the hotel and take a nap to prepared for tonight
7 PM - Nice dinner at Mr. B's Bistro ($, Creole)
Outfit: White jeans, black and white stripped silk tank with white, glitter keds
9 PM - Venture around Bourbon Street, drink menu:
Start with Tropical Isle and get a Hand Grenade, grab a seat and listen to the band
As you stroll, venture toward Fat Tuesday for a Hurricane slushy; ask for an extra shot
Avoid street shot girls, they are over priced and watered down
Now The Carousel Bar for a Vieux Carre, pronounce "VOO ka-RAY" - maybe split it with a friend
You can never go wrong with a daiquiri from Big Easy Daiquiris or Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris
Finally, the Huge Ass Beer from Steak Pit
Round it all up with some karaoke fun at Cat's Meow
Starving and staying out? Grab a delicious slice of pizza from Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris bar
9 AM - Big breakfast in the Southern Market district at Willa Jean ($$, Southern), try the fried chicken + Tabasco honey and ask to add sausage gravy
11 AM - Walk to the museum district toward The National WWII Museum; time spent is 3-4 hours, $18 general admission
Bring a light jacket and wear comfortable shoes
Extremely moving experience that also allows you to take home historical information with the Dog Tag experience
Option: enjoy the Creole New Orleans Bike Tour with Confederacy of Cruisers to explore everything or ride the St. Charles Streetcar and take in the city
If you need a snack, stop in the Soda Shop on the 1st floor of the museum for lemonade
Cut through Lafayette Square to see the statues and people watch as you venture to the French Market
3 PM - Prepare your taste buds for the infamous muffaletta at Napoleon House ($$, Creole); order a whole
They make a great Pimms Cup; there was a seasonal one with watermelon puree that was delicious
Stroll through French Market and do some light shopping
In the mood for a snack, try alligator on a stick
Before the tour, have a drink at Pat O'Brien's and have a seat in the courtyard
7:30-9:30 PM - 5-in-1 Ghost & Mystery Tour by Haunted History Tours; time spent is 2 hours, $25
Wear comfy shoes and prepared to be spooked by New Orleans past
Also find yourself surprised by how much history of New Orleans you'll learn; the description of the 'shot gun' style house was a personal favorite, and Drew is an excellent tour guide
Break at the Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar for the Voodoo slushy, then back to the tour
Finish your haunted evening by visiting the grim Lalaurie Mansion
10:15 PM - Late evening oyster and gumbo snack at the Royal House ($$, Cajun/Creole & Seafood) and enjoy the view from the balcony
Back to Bourbon Street for the evening
8:30 AM - Start your day with the BEST beignets at Café Du Monde ($, Coffee & Donuts); cash only
If it's a week day there shouldn't be a wait so grab a table. Weekend has are two lines; one for table service and the other on the opposite side of the building for to-go orders
9:30 AM - Wonder around Jackson Square, you're already here so take in the sights
St. Louis Cathedral, oldest Catholic Cathedral in the US (free tours but donations are appreciated)
Get your fortune told by a street physic
Buy a painting from a local artist
Stop in Pepper Palace for homemade hot sauce ranked 1-10 for your convenience; great gift for family
10:15 AM - See what medicine use to be at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum; 1-1.5 hours, $5 for a self guided tour
11:30 AM - Back to the French Market to eat anything you see
JC's Seafood for oysters and soft shell crab
Bloody Mary's from next door
Take a break at Muriel's and see if you're visited by the friendly ghost in the seance room
Ask the hostess if the room is open, grab a drink at the downstairs bar then head up to the red, velvet room
Check out from the hotel
If you have the time, take a trip to the Mississippi River Plantations - Destrehan Plantation (time spent is 2 hours, $20), Oak Alley Plantation (time spent is 2 hours, $22) or Evergreen Plantation(time spent is 2 hours, $20 - cash only)
Goodbye New Orleans. Head home.
Travel a GO-Go
Use the Google map on the left to get a lay of the land and see all the fun spots that you'll visit. Download the free PDF by clicking the icon below to have this itinerary at your finger-tips.
How to Use the Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner to view the layers (days, points of interest, route).
If you click the star, this map will be added to your Google Map account. To view, open your Google Maps, click the menu button "Your Places", select the map and it will open.
My first time in New Orleans was for a bachelorette trip. It was crazy girls that were there to eat and drink and party their way through NOLA while keeping the bride alive. My return trip was with my husband and it was his very first time there so we really needed to do it all - food, tours, Bourbon street, it all.
The Big Easy is great for some fun people watching. Drunk bach/bachelorette groups that are beyond happy. Vampires are goth to the extreme, even going as far as to have fangs. Religious groups that come out at night and will try to save your soul from the alcohol and sex on display, please do not interact. Watch for a bit at others having a go at them and then move on - you'll be happy to avoid the lawsuit.
Favorite part was a tie between the food. and the WWII museum. NOLA knows how to shuck oysters and make a good Bloody Mary. Anything you order will be delicious, and ask the waiter for their favorite. Use traveling as a way to venture out of your food comfort-zone and you can do that in NOLA with oysters, fried food legs and alligator bites. Yummy. Get full of this and then walk through the WWII and see history - the good, the bad, and the sad. This was a very powerful museum, be prepared.
Least favorite is also a tie between the smells and parking prices. NOLA has an interesting smell. I can't quite put my finger on it but as you stroll you'll catch a whiff every now and then. The city is doing better with cleaner streets/walk ways and trash pick up but there still seems to be an odor that catches you sideways. And parking, it's a rip off at hotels. Not NOLA's issue, but it's bad.
Laissez les bons temps rouler,