Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
Between hurricanes, floods and oil spills, New Orleans has certainly taken a beating in the last couple of years but this is one city that will never be knocked out. Founded in 1718, you'll still find many traces of old world charm among the city streets in New Orleans. You're also going to find some amazing food, plenty of new friends and music the likes of which you've never heard before.
One trip is all it takes to know what it means to really miss New Orleans.
First required stop in New Orleans would be the French Quarter. This is ground zero for all the fun, music and food you want to sample while in New Orleans. Yes, you could hold off for Mardis Gras as your New Orleans bucket list trip. Truth be told, it's kinda like Mardis Gras all year long. Other great times to visit NOLA are Halloween, Christmas and anytime the Saints are playing. The French Quarter knows how to decorate and celebrate.
Start in Jackson Square which is the center of the Quarter. Every day, the square is lined with local artists selling their wares and palm readers doing their things. As you start wandering the streets you'll stumble onto art galleries, antique shops, cafes, museums, restaurants and bars. You'll also be treated to some live music as small combo band set up on various corners to warble away. Make sure to check out the original French Market and of course, Bourbon Street where there's usually a party always happening.
Storyville and the Garden District
Just on the other side of the French Quarter is Storyville. It's a section of New Orleans where jazz was actually born as it was being played in the many gentlemen's clubs at the beginning of the 1900s. Beyond Storyville is the Garden District where you'll find some amazing homes and gardens. There are also wonderful restaurants in these neighborhoods as well. Best of all, you can take a streetcar to get there. Yes, that would be a streetcar named desire (at least from a poetic perspective).
The Food and Music
There are plenty of both food and music in New Orleans. If you should happen to find yourself there during a food or music festival all the better. You best bet for both is to ask the locals where they go. They won't steer you wrong. Often you might find a place off the beaten track that is as good if not better than the four star restaurants. This is where you can let Yelp be your guide. As for the music, you really just need to walk around and listen. You're sure to find what you're looking for. Just be sure you don't leave without having at least one po' boy, one bowl of gumbo and one bowl of Jambalaya. You'll be booking your return trip in no time at all.