We spent a weekend in New Orleans as part of our racecation adventures! We did our first Rock ‘n’ Roll race in one of our favorite cities! The recap of the race will be live soon, but for now, here’s a little snippet of our weekend in The Big Easy.
We always try to see and do as much as we can on a racecation, and this was no different! Sure, we did a lot of the touristy things, but we made our way to Magazine Street one afternoon and the shops, the wine bars, and the cute galleries were ON. MY. LEVEL and a little bit off the beaten path. I could easily spend an entire weekend just visiting that area!
Loew’s Hotel – We stayed here solely based on the proximity to the start line of the race. It was just a bonus that it was a beautiful hotel! We were upgraded, the hotel had a great vibe and the rooms were large. It sits off Poydras St., across from Harrah’s Casino, but heads up, you are still close enough to the nighttime action to hear sirens and the street performers (Celine Dion by Darth Vader was quite the show). The staff was so friendly, the minibar was stocked with gummy bears (faves!), and I thought the location was perfect for our weekend. So walkable to everything we did and where we went.
Carmo – This was such a good find. Vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters unite. So many amazing, tropical-inspired dishes here! I had the Veggie King sandwich and everything tasted so fresh and the bread was just fabulous. Plus, they have cocktails. Sandwiches and cocktails? Yes. Yes, please. It’s also a really great space with plenty of plants so you feel as tropically inspired as the menu.
Bittersweet Confections – I would highly recommend the truffles here! We tried a few other things, but the real winners were the hazelnut truffles and the dark chocolate truffles! Just a short stroll from Carmo, so, of course we topped it off with dessert. Had to.
Gianna – A trendy place on Magazine! We just grabbed drinks here, but it had a great vibe and a neat building. Everyone else looked straight out of a fashion blog or on their way to the office…seems like a great place for a happy hour! Hubs and I are still debating if the building is pink or lavender though?!
Green Goddess – We are so glad a friend suggested this place! In a city filled with seafood and Cajun-inspired dishes, it can be hard to find a lot of great vegan and vegetarian options that aren’t just salads or boring pasta. One look at the menu, and they had me at beet hummus. Don’t worry meat-eaters, there’s plenty for you as well! Fun, unique dishes for all, and I ate my weight in falafel and beets. Success! Side note: We had to sit outside (limited indoor seating) but not everyone had a jacket. Come prepared. It’s in an adorable alley but it got pretty chilly!
Auction House Market – I’m a giant fan of these popular “food halls” that have popped up in all the big cities. Why? Because I have always found a fabulous Indian restaurant. If that’s not your jam, there are plenty of other cuisines! Keep in mind, a lot of these places (at least at other food halls) frequently change as they move on to different spaces and open a storefront. Even so, there is something for everyone, and yes, it really is the most “Instagrammable” place in the city. I walked into the bathroom and 2 girls were having a full-on photoshoot. Don’t mind me just need to wash my hands. I had the paneer bowl (duh!), and hubs had empanadas (spicy!!). We paired them with drinks from the beautiful bar and capped the post-race recovery meal off with macarons. NEVER EATING AGAIN, we swore up and down as we left. Spoiler alert. We ate again.
The Sazerac Bar – This bar is inside the Roosevelt Hotel and you can tell from the murals, the decor and the bar itself it has so much history. Definitely worth stopping in for a cocktail and taking in the atmosphere! Plus we were surrounded by people headed to a Mardi Gras ball so I enjoyed seeing all the gowns!
Carousel Bar & Lounge – I have wanted to go to Carousel Bar since our last trip to NOLA. Located inside the Hotel Monteleone you’ll find the iconic Carousel Bar. We snagged seats and sipped some bubbles while we did a full lap on the carousel. I sat in a monkey chair! Don’t worry…the seats move very slowly around the bar, so even if carousels at the circus aren’t your thing, you might enjoy this adult version!
Pat O’Brien’s/Bourbon Street – We did the touristy thing and popped into Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane (to-go, obviously!) Bourbon St. is a highly entertaining experience. But then the smell hits you, and you remember you’re 30+ and prefer sipping champagne over sugary mixed drinks. Always a fun walk down Bourbon St. but I prefer to go before it gets WILD. I can’t hang!
Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza – We ended up on Magazine St. the evening of the half, so we were pretty hungry! We eventually decided on pizza and this spot really is a neighborhood pizza joint..in the best way possible! They had wine, plenty of pizza options, and cheesy breadsticks. What more could you need after running 13 miles through NOLA?! Gimme all the carbs.
Cafe Du Monde – Tourist trap? Yes. Fried dough covered in powdered sugar for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? DOUBLE YES. Tip: We have been here late at night and early in the morning. Both work great for snagging a table without a wait.
Cocha (Baton Rouge) – We got hungry on the drive home from NOLA, so we popped into Baton Rouge for lunch. This place is great, had a cute little bar, and the sandwiches were delicious! Another great find for vegetarians in Louisiana!
Rhino Coffee (Uptown – Shreveport) – So this isn’t NOLA or even that close, but this is our favorite coffee shop in Shreveport. We have been to the Downtown location before but the Uptown location was conveniently located right off our road trip route so we gave it a try! We stopped here for breakfast and coffee and let me tell you…the jalapeño cheddar biscuits did not disappoint! We could have split one and still been full and the flavor was perfection!
THINGS WE DID OR HAVE DONE ON PRIOR TRIPS
If you aren’t plain exhausted from eating, drinking, and walking your way through The Big Easy, here are a few things we have done, or want to do!
Swamp tour – Gators, hogs, and airboats, OH MY! I’ve seen a gator eat hot dogs and marshmallows. Quite the diet. Don’t go in the middle of summer. It’s a swamp. Swampy things. Mosquitoes the size of Texas. But the gators seem friendly enough. They didn’t eat the boat.
Oak Alley – One of my favorite places in the world. It’s so relaxing and incredibly beautiful. They have a few different tours, but of course, the real majesty is the tree-lined alley to the house. Think hubs will mind if I plant some along our walkway to recreate the look?!
Jackson Square – Head over to the square early in the morning. While everyone else is sleeping in, you can enjoy the park to yourself before the tour groups take over. The St. Louis Cathedral is absolutely beautiful and overlooks the square. There are a ton of artists/vendors that set up at Jackson Square, so you can get sketches of your dog, a poem about your dog, or your fortune told (yes, probably about your dog). There are quite a few street performers around this area too. Need a break from all the street art and walking? Just over the stairs, along Decatur St, you can sit and watch the action on the Mississippi. I’m just waiting for them to rename it big brown river. Seems accurate.
Canal St – The main drag in NOLA, and honestly it reminds me a lot of Vegas. Great for streetcar watching, and people watching.
Parades – I don’t care what holiday they are celebrating, you need to go see a parade in NOLA at least once! Chris Owens Easter Parade was the most memorable we’ve seen but I have a feeling they’re all that good!
French Market – You can eat, drink, and shop your way through this market. Just a short walk from Jackson Square!
Louis Armstrong Park – I’d love to see this park in the fall! Named after a jazz icon, the park features several statues celebrating music. It’s also home to concerts, several events, and a beautiful pond. This is the perfect place for some downtime, a walk, reading on a bench, or learning a bit of jazz history.
THINGS TO DO NEXT TIME
Ghost tours – Y’all. No one else will go with me so I’m going to go alone. I’ll report back.
New Orleans Botanical Gardens – Sadly, we didn’t have a chance to pop by here but we’d love to go here someday!
New Orleans Saints game – Let’s all say “Who dat?” in unison. We’ve never been to NOLA during football season but this is another to-do on my list!
Bring your walking shoes because you’re sure to want them for a weekend in NOLA!
Thanks for stopping by!