New Orleans, aka the “Big Easy” or NOLA, is known for many things, Jazz, Mardi Gras, Bourbon St, beignets, the Mississippi, swamps & bayous, the list goes on…
Arriving the week after Mardi Gras, the tell-tale signs were everywhere, beads hang from buildings, trees, sign posts. The party may have been over but NOLA doesn’t shut down. Bourbon St is a beehive of action all night long, it’s such a sensory overload with bands playing anything from jazz to rock right on top of each other.
I love the architecture of the Garden District and the French Quarter, although they are nowhere near as pristine as the inspired version of Disney’s Port Orleans. It’s understandable though, New Orleans has a tough battle with Mother Nature and is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
This was another city we enjoyed learning local history on the hop-on-hop-off tour. I enjoyed walking around the French Quarter and along the Mississippi River, taking in a bit of shopping at the Outlets. I highly recommend a dinner time Mississippi paddle wheel cruise, we took the Creole Queen and the food was awesome.
A swamp tour is also a must in NOLA, the bayou is absolutely beautiful and seeing the gators is always exciting. Our guide’s relatives are featured in the TV show Swamp People and he pointed out some of the filming locations from the show.
Of course no trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Cafe Du Monde for some beignets. The place was always packed and the lines long, and true to its reputation the powered sugar is everywhere! The food in NOLA is to die for, every meal was amazing, especially at the Palace Cafe, famous for its Bananas Foster, so good we went twice! We had to stay longer the second time as it bucketed down with rain, so much that the streets flooded, perfect timing to enjoy and extra cup of coffee.