One of my 2018 Adventure Getaways is in New Orleans, so I thought it was time to share some of the Unexpected Things to Do in New Orleans for when you come on this trip with me!
For as long as I have been alive, my memories have been defined by what I ate during those experiences. I couldn’t always tell you the name of the person I was with during that particular moment, but could describe in precise detail the Nicoise salad I had in 1995.
In New Orleans, pursuing your next great meal is a religious institution. On Bourbon Street the air is filled with competing music from rooms and doors and windows, the notes collide, mixed into a cocktail of sounds. Past a miniature doorway, under a golden flour-de-lis, you’ll find a man in shiny tasseled shoes who catches shrimp by day, play the drums as they have never been played before, tapping his feet on the old wooden floor.
At Café du Monde, a boy sits on a fire hydrant humming into his tuba and inside, powdered sugar floats in a cloud across the room as people exhale into their beignets and it drifts down again into the pores of the place.
Here in New Orleans, everyone is named Baby. It is one of the only places I now where you can indulge in the sweet sounds of a jazz singer with a sweet oily voice until early morning, and a few hours later have access to a whole lot of raw nature from which the locals make incredible food. In New Orleans, the culture, food and adventure is all part of the same beautiful, rambling meal. Since we just filmed the pilot episode of my new show “Wild Food” on Travel Channel, I thought I would share some of my favorite places with you to enjoy next time you’re in this city.
So here is our Eat, Drink, Stay, See, Acquire suggestions to help you uncover the enchanting bits in New Orleans. Let us know what yours are in the comments!
|Unexpected Things To Do In New Orleans|
Best time of Year
Anytime! Except I don’t think I would personally want to go during Mardi Gras in February. So any time but then.
Recommended Number of Days
4 days is plenty of time to walk or bike downtown at a leisurely pace while also fitting in shopping and sight seeing. You will also have time to rent a car for some day trips in the vicinity and go hunting, fishing and other adventures.
Recommended Number of People
1 to 4 people is a good group because it is an easy city for people to peel off and reconvene. I have visited solo for my book tour and to visit friends, and have also gone to film the TV show. It would also make a great place for a group of friends wanting to get away together.
Apps to Download
Eat, Drink, Stay, See, Acquire
Eat Breakfast and Coffee
- Elizabeth’s, I can smell the praline bacon from here
- Cafe du Monde
- Rue de la Course
- Cafe Du Monde, an institution
- Spitfire Coffee some say it’s the best coffee in the Quarter
- District Donuts Sliders Brew
- Verti Marte – jazz sandwich
- La Petite Grocery
- Cochon Butcher
- Ancora Pizzeria
- Central Grocery, one word: muffaletta
- Felix’s Oyster House
- Luke’s, oyster happy hour!
- Big Fisherman where you can delight in a bag of crawfish
- Booty’s Street Food
- Café Amelie for a lovely courtyard brunch
- The Joint for delicious bbq
- Commander’s Palace for a strong brunch
- Stein’s Market and Deli
- Bacchanal Wine, a great place to buy a bottle and be social
- Jacques Imo’s
- Cochon+ Cochon Butcher
- Maurepas Food
- Sylvain a really good burger and perhaps the best restaurant in the French Quarter
- Napoleon House
- Patois Restaurant
- R Bar
- The Saint
- Molly’s at the Market
- Mimi’sOne Eyed Jack’s
- The Spotted Cat
- Carousel Bar and Lounge Have a Sazerac!
- Bar Tonique
- Maple Leaf Bar
- Keife & Co for the best wine shop in town
- Billy Reid
- Funky Monkey for vintage clothing
- Antiques on Magazine
- Top Drawer
- Bargain Center
- St. James Cheese Company for a great cheese selection
- Creole Creamery for ice cream while you shop
- Garden District Book Shop
- Swamp Tour on the Bayou
- Hog Hunting Off An Airboat on the Bayou
- Nighttime bow fishing on the Bayou
- Duck Hunting if it’s the season on the Bayou
- Visit an old plantation home
- Go on a ghost tour
- Listen to a Jazz Band at Preservation Hall
- Audubon Park walk at sunset
- Soniat House is a charming B&B in the French Quarter. It feels luxurious and understated at once.