Weekend Wanderlust in New Orleans: The Perfect Long Weekend in the Big Easy

by - 6:45 PM

I visited New Orleans for the first time back in October. It was a work trip and although I tried to see and do as much as I could, it still left me itching to go back and experience all that The Big Easy offers.

A girls trip for a long weekend in March was the perfect opportunity to revisit Nola.


Saturday

We flew in early Saturday morning, checked into our hotel and headed straight for brunch. The Ruby Slipper was the perfect first stop for our weekend getaway. There are a few different locations and most will be crowded, but you can use the NoWait App to reserve your place in line. Order the Chicken St. Charles Benedict for your first taste of that signature Louisiana fried chicken.


Chicken St. Charles Eggs Benedict at The Ruby Slipper by KelseySocial.com


We then walked down Bourbon Street, got some hand grenade slushies from Tropical Isle and wandered the French Quarter while making our way to Jackson Square.


Hand Grenade in New Orleans by Kelsey Social


The rest of the day consisted of more to-go drinks and aimless wanders around the vibrant neighborhoods of the city. St. Anne was my favorite street. It's further away from the crowds and full of cute, colorful houses. 


St. Anne Street Pink House New Orleans by Kelsey Social
St. Anne Street New Orleans by Kelsey Social


The Garden District was another must-see on our list. We grabbed a quick Uber to Magazine Street to look around the shops and admire the ornate houses in the area. If we weren't still so full from brunch, we would have definitely gotten treats from District Donuts.

Magazine Street tiles New Orleans by Kelsey SocialGarden District by Kelsey Social


Our final stop in The Garden District was the Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. The lounge area looks like a setting for the perfect tea party of your childhood dreams. Brightly colored plush sofas and floor-to-ceiling artwork with ornate frames line the room, including a large portrait of Lil Wayne.

On the roof of the hotel, The Hot Tin has a Tennessee Williams theme with perfect sunset views of the city. Order the "Death in the LGD" cocktail to try Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liquor originally from New Orleans.




Pontchartrain Hotel Lil Wayne by Kelsey Social
Pontchartrain Hotel Rooftop Bar by Kelsey Social


Sunday

For Sunday, we had booked a food and bike tour with Confederacy of Cruisers. Our local guide took us all around the city on a 4-hour tour to try the Creole food that's not well-known to tourists.

The highlight of the tour was eating pounds of crawfish and learning to pinch the tails and suck the heads!


Confederacy of Cruisers Bike Tour by KelseySocial.com
Bevi's Seafood Co. by KelseySocial.com


We walked off our food for a few hours before hitting up the Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleon for appetizers and drinks. The bar is a merry-go-round that slowly revolves while you drink. If you go for more than a drink, get the chargrilled oysters!

That night, we had booked tickets to a show at Gasa Gasa. Soffi Tukker was in town from New York and put on a fun electronic dance party.

After, we continued the search for good music on Frenchmen Street in the Fauborg Marigny District and easily found great live jazz at The Spotted Cat


Gasa Gasa mural by KelseySocial.com


Monday

On Monday morning, we realized there were still a few items we needed to check off our Nola Food Bucket List. An absolute must-do is coffee and beignets at the iconic Cafe du Monde on Decatur Street. It may be touristy and overrated, but it's still a great experience and the beignets are delicious.

Be sure to have cash ready because they do not take cards. Also know that the long line in the back of the building is for to-go orders while the line in the front is for tables. If there is no line in front, grab the first open table you see.


Cafe du Monde by KelseySocial.com


Then, to round out our breakfast, we explored the nearby French Market and stopped for muffuletta sandwiches at Alberto's Bistro. Don't leave New Orleans without trying this Sicilian-Cajun invention. 

Central Grocery is another popular spot for muffulettas, but we tried Alberto's after a recommendation on our food tour. The cold sandwich with melted cheese, Italian meats, and olive tapenade is delicious.


Alberto's Mufuletta by KelseySocial.com
Alberto's Mufuletta by KelseySocial.com


After the French Market, we felt as if we couldn't possibly eat our drink anything else and needed a change of scenery. The sunny day was perfect for City Park. Walking around the free park is great but we also paid the $6 to get into the New Orleans Botanical Garden. If I'm back in Nola, I'll check the events schedule first to try and catch a concert in the garden.


New Orleans Botanical Garden by KelseySocial.com
City Park bridge by KelseySocial.com


We ended our night with more crawfish - Bevi's Seafood Co. was our favorite place - and then the last food item on our must-try list: Banana's Foster at Brennan's. The caramelized banana dessert was created at Brennan's Restaurant in the 1950s.

Your server will bring out the ingredients and make the dish at your table. The atmosphere of the restaurant screams sophisticated southern and it was the perfect end to our weekend in The South. But when I go back to Nola, I'll be making reservations one night to dress in my southern best and eat a full meal at Brennan's.


Brennan's Banana Foster by KelseySocial.com

Did we cover it all for the perfect weekend in New Orleans?
Let me know if you have any suggestions for my next trip to The Big Easy!

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