A few weeks ago, Darian and I ventured down to New Orleans for the weekend. We just needed some girl time really but then it turned in to some blog time haha (I am SO thankful for Darian!). But anyways, we had a BLAST roaming around The Big Easy. It is funny because when I first moved to Louisiana, I had my thoughts about New Orleans. Initially I think partying and the French Quarter and Mardi Gras and well...you know the drill. You think about what you see on television right? Well I quickly learned I was wrong. The longer we lived in Baton Rouge, the more we made our way down to New Orleans as something different to do. I learned that there are SO many sides of New Orleans. Yes the French Quarter is there and yes it can be crazy. But Magazine Street is just as exciting. Uptown has super cute restaurants. The Warehouse District is perfect for a night out. Really, we started going to New Orleans and would never even go to the quarter because there is THAT much to do.
SO, with that being said, I decided that I wanted to round up some of my favorite spots in New Orleans. From places to stay to places to eat, to bars and things to do...New Orleans has so much to offer. It is lively and exciting, but it is also beautiful and classy. Keep ready to see why I have fallen in love with New Orleans!
Where to Stay
There are SO many great places to stay in New Orleans. From your standard, chain hotels to cute little boutique spots, I promise you will be able to find somewhere nice to lay your head. I have a list of places I always check when I know we are heading down there so I wanted to share them here!
1. The Catahoula Hotel - I LOVE the Catahoula Hotel. This is a small boutique hotel (pictured above) in New Orleans, but it is nothing short of perfect. With the smaller space, this hotel feels like home. It's decorated perfectly and has everything you need for a weekend in The Big Easy.
2. The NOPSI Hotel - This spot is new to the New Orleans area. It is literally right across the street from the Catahoula so we ventured over there while we were in town. It is a beautiful, and classic hotel that sits in a great location in New Orleans!
3. Hotel Monteleone - I love this spot because I LOVE the bar inside! This hotel is known for the famous drinking spot, The Carousel Bar. It is an actual carousel and it spins! Definitely a fun spot!
4. The Roosevelt Hotel - This spot became one of my go-tos two years ago when we stayed there right before Christmas. They line their lobby with beautifully lit Christmas Trees and it is STUNNING!
5. Henry Howard Hotel - I have not actually stayed at this hotel but it looks SO cute! Another boutique hotel in the heart of the Garden District, this spot looks so quaint and cozy!
New Orleans is known for its food. I mean, everywhere you go, you are guaranteed to find something tasty to eat. Even if you are not in to the cajun thing, I promise you will leave New Orleans with a happy stomach!
1. Domenica - We ate at this spot on our first night and it was amazing. A pizza joint in the Roosevelt Hotel, Domenica has pizza that will leave you full and happy without a doubt! Definitely order the roasted cauliflower because it is so worth it!
2. St. Roch Market - This stop is a fun one because you have so many options! A quaint little joint in New Orleans, this market houses multiple food options. From a chicken joint, to Mexican, you have multiple options to appease your taste buds! They even have an oyster bar to serve you fresh oysters!
3. St. James Cheese Company - If you love cheese like I do then do yourself a favor and go to St. James Cheese Company. We decided to visit the location in Uptown (but there is one in the Warehouse District) and it is SO cute! With an endless supply of cheeses to choose from, they will create the perfect cheese and meat board for you, or you can order a sandwich/salad from the menu!
4. Willa Jean - BRUNCH, BRUNCH, BRUNCH!! This is the best for BRUNCH!
5. Humble Bagel - I LOVE bagels. A bagel with cream cheese, tomato and avocado is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. True life. SO, if you are in to bagels, or want something quick, then you should definitely try Humble Bagel!
6. Peche - Peche is a little more upscale but I promise it will not disappoint! Maybe plan a date night there or girls night, because the atmosphere is fun and the food is SO good!
7. Shaya - I have not been able to eat here but I am DYING to go! Everyone says it is amazing and apparently has a very unique menu!
A Pick Me Up
Two of the things people often think about when you say New Orleans are beignets and drinks. I mean there is more to New Orleans than that, but they do have GREAT options in that department. Whether you are looking for a tasty beignet, a pick me up coffee, or a good happy hour, New Orleans definitely has you covered!
1. Cafe Du Monde - I mean, you can't go to New Orleans and not try it at least once. The entire experience is worth it though and the beignets are so good!
3. Drip Affogato Bar - When Darian and I are shooting, I always want coffee. I just get worn out haha so in New Orleans, we love to stop at Drip Affogato Bar! It is small but so pretty inside. It is clean and white and the coffee is DELICIOUS! They can hook you up with a classic coffee or even ice cream!
Grab A Drink
And now to talk about happy hour...
1. Monkey Board - This is a rooftop bar at the top of The Troubadour Hotel and it is a great spot. It's perfect for happy hour and if you can get there for sunset, it has a beautiful view!
2. Piscobar - This little spot is housed inside the Catahoula, This bar is downstairs but they have a rooftop area also that is nice to visit for a relaxing cocktail!
4. The Carousel Bar - This is the bar located in Hotel Monteleone that I mentioned earlier. It is an actual carousel that turns so I would definitely suggest stopping by for a quick ride and cocktail!
What to Do
New Orleans is full of activities. I mean seriously that sounds so cliche, but there really is SO much to do! From shopping on Magazine street to happy hour in the Warehouse District, New Orleans has you covered. Here are some of my favorite things to do when I am down in The Big Easy!
1. Enjoy the Scenery - Seriously just go walk around! Take in the sites, smells and sounds of New Orleans. Most likely you will hear live music, see talent acts in the street and so much more because this city is alive!
2. Shopping on Magazine Street - I LOVE walking up and down Magazine street to visit the little boutiques!
3. The French Quarter - If you feel like visiting, you should definitely try it at least once. Head to the square and see the artwork for sure! There are a ton of great boutiques and art stores all around the quarter, and you can stop at Cafe Du Monde for a beignet!
I really have come to love New Orleans and it will always hold a special place in my heart. It never disappoints when I visit and I always find myself wanting to try new places while I am there! Whether you want a quick getaway weekend in The Big Easy, or a fun girls trip, I promise you will not leave disappointed!
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography