Five Things to Do in New Orleans
New Orleans is a vibrant, dark-eyed city with one of the juiciest souls you’ll ever meet. The streets are lined with houses too eerily beautiful to be real– wrought iron banisters frozen in ornate twists frame the doorways, and sturdy boxes of burgeoning begonias line the shuttered windows. Artists stand with their oil paintings in the square, happy to talk about the nightmares that inspired their beautiful works. Outdoor cafes sell sugar dusted beignets and coffee swirling with cream. Above ground graveyards boast mausoleums shrouded in roses, and dark stone angels, wings dripping with ivy. There is a strange brightness to everything, but in the smaller shops and quieter streets you get a sense that everything is tinged with darkness, sensual and haunting. New Orleans is one of the most intriguing cities I have ever set eyes upon, and I promise you that you won’t want to miss it.
Treat your senses to a New Orleans Jazz Club
We’ve all heard incredible stories about the renowned House of Blues, but I would personally recommend seeking out a smaller venue found on Frenchmen Street, a local’s favorite. Home to newer, up-and-coming performers, The Blue Nile has an atmosphere that is sexy and raw.
Take a brief trip to Bourbon Street
Known for its Mardi Gras tradition of topless girls and debauchery, this street has gotten a pretty bad name for itself. While a lot of the hype about drunken frat boys and overpriced restaurants is true, it is worth at least swinging by. Most of the bars here are open all day long and serve mind blowing Bloody Marys– a drink that New Orleans is known for getting right. Since this area is frequented by tourists, there is generally a good live musician or band in any given restaurant, even if their music is a bit lacking in the soul you’ll find on Frenchmen Street.
Stroll through one of the many “Cities of the Dead”
New Orleans is known for its gorgeous and lavish above ground cemeteries. It can be strangely pleasant to take a walk through the rows of mausoleums and headstones, reading the old family names and observing the elegant stone statues.
Check out the creativity in the Artists Market
New artists and regulars alike gather on a square in the middle of New Orleans every morning to showcase their jewelry, paintings, photography, and sewn items. Caricature artists will offer to render you comically, more serious artists will discuss the inspiration behind their latest landscape painting, and yet others will casually chat with you about the city. The Artists Market is definitely a source of New Orlean’s unique flavor, and not to be skipped.
Food, food, food, food, food
The more restaurants and local cafes you can try during your visit to New Orleans, the better! Make sure to try out the local favorites! Beignets, jambalaya, po’ boys, fried oysters, gumbo, pecan pralines and coffee with chicory– basically anything involving seafood, lots of spice, and loads of sugar, (the more the better). One of the top rated restaurants for N’awlins style food is Commander’s Palace, found on Washington Avenue in the Garden District. Beautiful patio seating, hearty brunches and lively jazz music await you!