New Orleans, or Nola as most of us call it, depends on tourism. So, I will share with you my solo weekend trip to Nola I took back in April. If you do plan a trip to New Orleans, make sure to check their official website for their most up to date information.
Living in Texas makes it east to visit Nola often. I have traveled to New Orleans way too many times, that I have already lost count. However, every time I would go, I would go with friends to go party down to Bourbon Street. So this time, I decided to explore a little bit.
I left Houston around 9 a.m. and drove down Interstate 10 (I-10 Highway) to my first destination – Oak Alley Plantation. Of course is not a road trip without first stopping at Buc-ee’s. So before embarking on my (almost) 5 hour drive, I stopped at Buc-ee’s to pump gas, and grab lots of snacks!
OAK ALLEY PLANTATION
From a sugar plantation, to a cattle ranch, to now a historic landmark, Oak Alley is over 200 years old. The Oak Alley Plantation is a National Historic site as well as a popular filming location. The “Big House” is known for the main plantation house in “Interview with a Vampire” movie.
Oak Alley plantation is in Vacherie, Louisiana – about a 45 minute drive West from New Orleans. I highly recommend making a stop and taking a tour at the Oak Alley Plantation where you can visit the slavery exhibit, the mansion and of course, the breathtaking Oak Trees. Due to Hurricane Ida, the Plantation is temporarily closed and is in the process of cleanup. Before planning a visit, check their website for updates at http://www.oakalleyplantation.com or follow them on Instagram.
After the plantation tour, I was ready to get to Nola and grab some food. I stayed at The Quisby Hostel. The Quisby is a Hostel in New Orleans located in the lower Garden District. It is a 5 minute drive to the French Quarter or you can take the streetcar, which is steps from the hostel. Oh, and did I mention is has a 24-hour bar? It was the cutest place and I will definitely be back!
MR. ED’S OYSTER BAR
I walked down to Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar which it was less than a block away from The Quisby. I sat at the bar and enjoyed some delicious seafood. Every time I come to New Orleans, I have to have oysters. To start of, I ordered a half dozen oysters and as my main dish, I got the fried fish and shrimp platter. And y’all… it was all soooo good!
The next day, I left the hostel and drove to the French Quarter. I wanted to have breakfast somewhere in that area, so I stopped at Toast which is right in the heart of the French Quarter. Since it was a Sunday, there was a little bit of a wait, but that is very common in New Orleans. I put my name down the waiting list and walked across the street where there were some shops and live music happening. After waiting for about 20 minutes, my table was ready.
I know, I know, I should’ve ordered the French Toast, but I love waffles. So I got the Waffle with an Irish Coffee. And y’all, that was a strong drink! It definitely got me in the Nola spirit! Lol.
Cafe Du Monde
Okay, if you don’t get some beignets from Cafe Du Monde, did you really visited New Orleans?
Since 1862, Cafe Du Monde is a traditional coffee shop that is open 24/7 (well, it is only closed on Christmas Day, — or when a hurricane gets too close to the city!) The popular Beignets are a delicious, warm, square French-style donuts, covered with powdered sugar. Make sure to bring cash, since it is cash only. (And yes, I did have beignets after having some waffles… Don’t judge me! Haha!!)
Jackson Square Park
In the heart of the French Quarter, you can walk around Jackson Square where there are a lot of street artist, vendors and you can catch a live band for great entertainment! So after I picked up some beignets, I walked across the street and just sat there enjoying my pastries while I people watched.
In the center of the park, you’ll find the statue of Andrew Jackson and behind it, is the St. Louis Cathedral.
Of course I had to make a stop at Bourbon Street! Even if it was just for a little bit.
The bright, fun and crazy Bourbon street is a famous 13 block street full with bars and strip clubs in the heart of the French Quarter.
Next door to the French Quarter, you can take a stroll down the Garden District where you’ll find beautiful homes, historic mansions and lavish gardens!
There were so many beautiful homes around the neighborhood. But I wanted to make a stop at this specific house. The Buckner Mansion -or for those AHS fans, Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies House – is in this area!
And that’s how I ended up my quick weekend getaway to Nola. I am planning on going back soon and checking out the cemetery tours and the swamp boat tours that are very popular, and of course, try out more food!!
Have you been to New Orleans before? What’s your favorite thing to do?