Diving into the Essence of New Orleans
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- UPDATED Feb 23, 2018
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Any local will easily tell you the top tourist spots and things to do in New Orleans. After living in New Orleans for my entire life, there are a few key places and events that I like to take my friends to, when they come to visit. This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything you should do while in New Orleans, but rather a short and sweet what not to miss list.
1. The Craft Beer Scene
Urban South Brewery also has fantastic seasonal and limited release beers just like this Peanut Butter and Jelly Time.
New Orleans and the surrounding areas have exploded with breweries and craft beers. So much, that squeezing in all the breweries in and around the New Orleans area would take more than a day. For the perfect mini-craft beer tour, start off at Nola Brewing where you can get New Orleans themed beers such as the Hopitioulas, Rebirth Pale Ale and the Irish Channel Stout. Next, go on down to Urban South, where the kids are welcomed! You can find unique tates and names such as the Charming Wit, Holy Roller and Coop’ed Up. New Orleans is so proud of their craft beer scene, that we even have the largest beer festival in the Gulf South every fall called Nola On Tap.
2. Cemetery Tour
Notable graves like voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is one of the unique graves you will see while on a tour.
When vacationing, deceased loved ones is the furthest away from everyone’s mind, but in New Orleans we not only remember our loved ones, we embrace them! The world-famous cemetery, St Louis #1 can only be accessed with a tour group, and what better way to explore the above ground tombs than with Two Chicks Walking Tour. These small groups help travelers and tourists get the most out of their vacation by offering short, intimate tours. Learning all about New Orleans cemetery tours past and the notable, famous grave sites adds just enough history to your time partying in this city.
French Quarter Fest happens in April and it is my favorite time of year. The weather is great and everyone is happy to be outside again.
At one time or another, it was quoted that Louisiana has over 400 festivals and 130 of those are held in New Orleans. Last time I checked there was only 52 weeks in a year, which means there is bound to be a festival or two while you are in town. My favorite thing to do is to attend a festival. You get the best New Orleans has to offer. Food, Drinks, Music, People watching, and more! Some of my favorite festivals include the King Cake fest in January, French Quarter fest in April, and Oktoberfest in October. Not matter what the weekend is – you can find a festival happening in the city.
Seafood gumbo is one of my favorite treats! As soon as the weather is the slight bit chilly the gumbo pot comes out and we make a batch for the week.
New Orleans is highly centered around our meals. It is not unusual that at the lunch table a group will be talking about where they want to go to dinner, or planning tomorrow’s brunch. The brunch and dinner scene is highly competitive in New Orleans and restaurants without a good reputation or service do not stick around for long. Some of the staples you need to try while in town include, jambalaya, po boys, muffuletta, red beans and rice, gumbo (either seafood or chicken and andouille), Banana’s foster, beignets, pralines and snowballs. This list of salty and sweet treats will have you eating your way through Nola. Luckily, we have an array of restaurants from inexpensive to expensive, so your taste buds will be delighted at any budget.