As a top tourist destination in the U.S., travelers flock from all over the world to experience the one-of-a-kind charisma of New Orleans. From the people to the cuisine and everything in between, this city has something for everyone thanks to its southern hospitality with a Creole twist.
Known for famous dining experiences like Galatoires and Commander’s Palace, historic museums such as The National World War II Museum and the iconic Bourbon Street, New Orleans offers activities for visitors from far and wide. With so much to do, it’s hard to decide exactly where to start, so here’s a guide for a jam-packed weekend from a New Orleans local.
Start with a cup of mojo
Wake up at The Chloe, a 14-bedroom hotel housed in a 19th century Uptown mansion – the epitome of charm. Afterwards, stroll down for a fresh coffee at Mojo Coffee House. With two locations to choose from, you’re guaranteed to energize your day from the jump.
French Quarter delights
From distinctive French colonial architecture and picturesque gardens to enticing aromas, you will be greeted with culture and passion that fills the air in this historic area. Although the French Quarter can feel a little touristy, your NOLA visit wouldn’t be complete without it. Visit the sights like Jackson Square and the French Market. Or, just get lost strolling along the cobblestone streets.
For dinner, stay downtown in the warehouse district and make a reservation at the renowned Pêche Seafood Grill – they do seafood like nobody’s business. You’ll indulge in a contemporary dining experience that showcases the flavors of the Gulf Coast and beyond. Prepare to be delighted by the artistry of the kitchen, the warm ambiance and the outstanding service that makes Pêche a must-visit destination for foodies in New Orleans.
Once you’ve savored the last bite, end on a high on the lively Frenchmen Street to enjoy the infectious rhythm of jazz that makes NOLA so iconic. From the minute your feet touch the time-worn cobblestones, you’re in for a thrilling symphony of sights, sounds and experiences. Frenchmen Street is more than just a place – it’s the vibrant, pulsating heart of the city. Locals cherish it. Travelers rave about it. And you? You’ll lose yourself in the harmonious interplay of brass and strings, and soaking up the raw, authentic spirit of the city.
And, if you want to take your day into the wee hours of the night, the famous Bourbon Street is just a stone’s throw away. And even though most locals won’t admit it, sometimes the chaos of Bourbon Street is just what you need for a night of fun. It’s a lively extravaganza of neon lights, street performers and a contagious energy that sweeps you off your feet.
Fuel for the stomach
Hit up Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar on Magazine Street for the best biscuits and grits in town. This spunky, no-frills breakfast joint will for sure be a strong introduction to one of the things New Orleans does best: food.
After filling up on that delicious breakfast, wander down Magazine Street for some shopping, NOLA style. From unique vintage items to trendy clothes, you’ll definitely find something to spice up your closet. Try on some chic outfits at Monomin and Joseph and explore the unique antiques at Funky Monkey and Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing and Costumes.
Happiest hour of the day
New Orleans is known for many things, but having fun is king – it is the home of Mardi Gras after all. For some pre-dinner fun, head to Zony Mash Beer Project for some drinks. The diverse assortment of beers here will surprise and delight – yes, even those who usually sidestep the beer aisle! Their flavors are uniquely inviting, offering a brew to complement every palate. But the fun doesn’t stop at the beer taps – there’s also live music to help you let loose and start the night off right. As the locals say, come for the brews, stay for the tunes.
Classic creole dining
If you remember one thing from this post, you have to try Clancy’s. It’s a New Orleans favorite serving creole classics since 1983 and also a beloved haunt for locals because it’s the type of place where the staff will know your name in no time. Nestled in a cozy neighborhood on Annunciation Street, Clancy’s serves up dishes like fried oysters with brie. The food, much like the city itself, is a mix of tradition and innovation, a celebration of the old and the new. Every dish is like a love letter to New Orleans – a blend of culture, history and passion. Dining at Clancy’s is a delicious immersion into the heart and soul of the Crescent City.
Big Easy beats
Make your next destination the landmark music venue Tipitina’s. From local legends to rising stars, the performers know how to electrify the place. The energy in the atmosphere is contagious; soon you’ll find yourself singing and dancing along. Step inside, let the good times roll and let Tipitina’s whisk you away to a world where music reigns supreme and cheers fill the air.
Bite into uptown
Come morning, venture to the bustling Uptown area, where you’ll find Saba, an Israeli gem by local celebrity chef Alon Shaya. This bistro boasts shareable delights, perfect for a laid back lunch. And, if you want to add some sunshine to your meal, their outdoor patio is a wonderful spot to enjoy digging in.
Pass time in the park
Just over from Saba you’ll find the green haven Audubon Park. Take a leisurely walk (to burn off a weekend full of meals) around the golf course situated in the heart of the park with its fresh open air and towering trees arching over the walking pass. If you’re a golf lover, you can play a round. Or, if you’re traveling with kids, hit up the zoo and make some new furry friends. And the cherry on top? Audubon Park is right next to the grand Mississippi River, which is the ideal spot to hang out, throw the frisbee or watch the sunset.
Who Dat nation
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during football season, you have to experience the hometown pride and passion of the New Orleans Saints at the historic Caesars Superdome. The chants surrounding you will make your heart pound and you’ll catch yourself joining the chorus of “Who Dat” echoing through the dome. Win or lose, don’t be surprised to find yourself embracing the black and gold spirit of the Saints.
Go big and take it easy
So there you have it, the ideal New Orleans weekend from a local. From the uptown to the French Quarter, your adventure in the Crescent City is bound to be as vibrant as the city itself. And remember, as you dance to the beat of New Orleans, Faye has got you covered, ensuring that the only thing you need to focus on is savoring every moment of your unforgettable adventure.
These accommodations and websites are suggestions and Faye is in no way associated with them. This post is meant to give you ideas and inspiration on how to enjoy a weekend in New Orleans.