Places to See in New Orleans
The Garden District: Located in the upper part of the city, this is a welcome respite from the party atmosphere that imbues most of the rest of the city. Here, you can elect to see the historic mansions via riding the St. Louis Streetcar, or by walking or driving. Either way, the paths are lined with gorgeous camphor and oak trees which perfectly frame the gorgeous architecture of the area. There are some absolutely amazing restaurants and shops in this area as well, so be sure to make time to thoroughly enjoy the area!
The French Market: Spanning six blocks on Decatur Street, this is a wonderful place to visit to pick up everything from a wide array of hot sauces to beautiful dresses to elaborate carvings, gorgeous photographic prints and so much more! You could easily spend hours wandering the stalls here, browsing through countless stalls featuring clothing, books, herbs and much more. There is also an excellent street food market located here, where you can break up your day with some local fare such as freshly shucked oysters, boiled crawfish or even gator on a stick!
Jackson Square: This place is always thriving with activity, ranging from the impressive magicians and street performers that set up stage here to the artists and tarot card readers that line the wrought iron fence. Here, you can see an impressive statue of Andrew Jackson as well as venture into the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral before visiting the Cabildo, which is better known as the Louisiana State Museum.
Frenchman’s Street: Located a short walking distance from Bourbon Street, this place is where you go if you are craving a lively music and food scene yet don’t want to deal with all of the excitement and tourists from the French Quarter. The Spotted Cat tends to offer the best live music in the city, while the art market is unparalleled in its beauty.
Where to Eat in New Orleans
The Creole House: (509 Canal Street) If you want a true sample of classic creole comfort food in an environment that is at once casual yet professional, be sure to stop by the Creole House. The Bloody Mary here is a perfect balance of spicy and smoky, and they offer an impressive selection of beer, wine and other liquors as well. For an appetizer, you simply cannot do better than the sautéed crab claws paired with Texas toast, or the grilled bacon and garlic oysters. Main courses include a variety of the city’s favorites, including crawfish etouffee, shrimp and grits and creole stuffed fish.
Emeril’s New Orleans: (800 Tchoupitoulas Street) Emeril Lagasse got his start in New Orleans, and this is his pride and joy in the Big Easy, showcasing impeccable service combined with some of the most delicious food you will find anywhere in the country, much less the city. Be sure to begin the meal with the blue crab stuffed with chorizo and little neck clams, or for a meatless option, you can’t top the deliciously savory smoked mushrooms! While everything on the menu is wonderful, standout entrees include the perfectly brined fried chicken paired with collard green mac and cheese and/or the Grand Isle shrimp and grits! Anyone who has a sweet tooth will melt for their famous banana cream pie, as well as the decadent chai Crème Brule.
Muriel’s: (801 Chartres Street) In the hear of the famed French Quarter lies this structure that was built in the mid to late 1700’s. Boasting a beautiful Victorian-era dining room as well as an impressive indoor courtyard and outdoor balcony seating, this is a wonderful go-to spot for everything from a quick snack to dinner to a somewhat eerie history lesson! Dishes like the wonderfully traditional gumbo and duck breast jambalaya are true stars of the menu, while those simply craving a cocktail can indulge in the inventive Honey Child, which combines honeysuckle vodka with basil, Chambord and blackberries for a delicious compliment to any meal. Muriel’s is well known for its resident ghost, Mr. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, who is said to have built the place up to its present glory. Jourdan was gambling man at heart, and one day, he bet his beloved home in a game, loosing all claim to the property. In despair, it is said that he committed suicide in the building, in the area that is now sanctioned off in the upstairs as the séance room. There is even a table reserved for Jourdan’s ghost stationed at the foot of the stairs, which is supplied daily with wine and freshly baked bread.