June 6, 2017

A New Orleans Adventure

New Orleans is a city that after going once, you've seen it all, or most of it at least. That's how it was on my recent trip there and I don't mean that in a bad way at all! We planned on going to New Orleans a few months ago (before we found out I was pregnant) because it's a place we had never been to together and one I had never been to at all for that matter. I did some light research and gathered a handful of recommendations of things to do and places to eat at, but besides that, I was excited to just get out and explore.

One of the first things I noticed about the city is that everyone was super friendly. It reminded me a lot of the South. I also noticed that a lot of the things that were recommended to-do were within walking distance from the hotel we stayed at, or a short UBER ride away. This was super helpful in terms of us accomplishing all we wanted to do! With that, I thought it would be fun to share the places we went that I thoroughly enjoyed.
 
Activities and To-Do's
 
Magazine Street and Royal Street - You can stroll these two streets for as little or as long as you want as there is plenty of shopping you can do. Be sure to check out the many antique shops and art galleries. 

Esplanade Avenue - A fun street to venture down via bike if possible to see the beautiful Victorian and Queen Ann homes. 

St. Charles Avenue - Described as "The Jewel of America's Grand Avenue" and was one of my favorite things was walking around this are.

WW2 Museum - If your a fan of history, GO! It helps if you can go on a weekday when it's less crowded.

Rent bikes - We rented bikes at American Bicycle and had a fun experience. I can't go without noting that it was a great workout and exploring on a bike brings forth a totally different experience then when your walking or driving so defiantly do it if you can.

Audubon Zoo - We decided to go on a whim and I'm so glad we did! This zoo is now one of my all-time favorites. The way they had every section laid out was really well done.
The day we went to Jackson Square and saw the Saint Louis Cathedral there were not as many people as I was expecting and it made the whole experience much more enjoyable. If you can, try to go earlier in the morning because it truly does make all the difference.
Do you recognize the house above? You may remember it as the house Benjamin Button grew up in! Will and I were exploring an area nearby when Will remembered that the move was filmed in New Orleans and we just so happened to be a street or two away from this house so we decided it would be fun to see if we could find it. The house is on Coliseum Street if you were wondering!
  
Restaurants
 
Willa Jean - If you go for breakfast, make sure to get the griddled banana bread (it comes with two large slices). The sausage gravy biscuit is just as good! The great thing about Willa Jean, besides the food and awesome location, is they take reservations and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The Ruby Slipper -They have multiple spots around the city and the one we went to was the Central Business Distract location.

Atchafalaya - We didn't have the opportunity to try this place but I've heard only great things about the brunch.

Cochon Butcher -We went here for lunch on our first day in the city. If you go, it's located right next door to Cochon so don't get the two confused! This was Will's favorite lunch spot.

Acme Oyster House - If you don't arrive early, expect there to be a line out of the door. We didn't plan on going here (we went for lunch) but we were starving and it was close by and we lucked up with only a 20 minute wait.

Mona Lisa - Given that it was Memorial weekend, a bunch of the places we wanted to try were already booked for dinner so we did a quick Yelp search one night and came across this Italian restaurant. The atmosphere was quaint and cozy and the food very good.

Kenton's - The environment was right up our alley and the service great! I'm kind of craving their Salted Caramel Croissant now that I think about it...

District Donuts - This place was recommended by several people and I'm SO glad we made the time to stop by for a mid-morning coffee and snack.

Cafe Du Monde - Most likely you've heard of this place as they are famous for their beignets and cafe au lait. I'm not a huge fan of crowds so it wasn't my favorite experience but I'm glad I can say that I went.

Drip Affogato Bar - On our last full day in Nola, it was extremely hot and humid. That evening Will and I were both craving something sweet and right around the corner was this one-of-a-kind spot. Highly recommend the Tiramisu and Cookie Monster affogato!

Other places we had on our list but didn't have time to try this go-around include Central Grocery for their Muffuletta's, Le Petite Grocery, Appoline, Parkway Bakery (I heard you should take your order across the street to eat on the banks of the Bayou St. John), Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel, and Jacques-Imos.
 

Random and Miscellaneous
 
Magnolia Sugar & Spice Praline Kitchen (Hot Sauce Bar) - My sister-in-law told me about this store and it was defiantly one of Will's favorites because of their hot sauce bar. In the very back of the store they also have an area filled with little nick-nacks and New Orleans souvenirs that were fun to look at while Will was trying all the different sauces!


Crescent Park - After a long day of exploring the city, we would go here since it was right behind the hotel we stayed at. It was a great way to unwind and watch boats and people pass by.


The Roosevelt Hotel Sazerac Bar - Since I'm pregnant, I wasn't able to drink which made going to New Orleans a little bit more of a challenge but we checked out this spot where the Sazerac cocktail was born and know Will had a really great experience and said the cocktail he got was delicious.

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