The Adventures: 5 Must Do New Orleans Experiences (Photography)
For years, New Orleans has been on the top of a very long list of places I wanted to visit. The historic and literary landscape of this vibrant city made me curious about how its captured the attention of authors and artists throughout history. Over the years, I've had a few opportunities where I thought a trip to the deep south would pan out, but for one reason or another, it never did.
This year, I made a pact with my self that I would visit one new place a month. Whether it was a trip locally to a new city or a flight to some place like New Orleans, it's an effort to experience new things and explore the world in my own way. When my best friend and I decided to take a trip to New Orleans to celebrate our birthday(s), I started compiling a long, long list of things I wanted to see, places I wanted to eat, and tombstones I needed to visit.
Not surprisingly, that list was extensive. However, what was surprising, was how easy it was to check so many of them off in the span of two days. How did I do it? Most nights we were up until 4AM, only to wake up and 9AM and start all over again. It also helps that much of my list was located in or near the French Quarter, and everything is walkable. Was it worth the long days and nights? Absolutely.
Of all the insane eats and streets I walked down during this whirlwind weekend, these were my five favorite New Orleans experiences.
1. Cafe Beignet
It may be a bit too obvious, but if you go to Nola, you have to get a beignet. It's like a law. However, I'd say skip Cafe du Monde and head over to Cafe Beignet. There's still a wait, but the quaint little coffee shop will make you feel like you're in France. And personally, after trying a Beignet from both, Cafe Beignet won the delicious award.
This restaurant, which features an innovative menu of modernized Southern cuisine, was one of the stand out moments of the entire trip. The food was unbelievable, the service was unparalleled, and the location was quaint. You have to leave the French Quarter for this, but it's worth it. My advice? Do the 5 course tasting menu. It's worth it.
Unfortunately, we wandered into the Carousel Bar just as it was closing. It made such an impression though, with it's real life spinning carousel, that part of me wants to go back just to get the chance to drink at the bar. Even if you don't want to take part in libations, this little spot is worth catching a glimpse of.
4. The Dungeon
Surprise, I love vampires. I grew up reading Anne Rice novels (hello, New Orleans advocate) and have been borderline obsessed with vampire mythology for years. So when one of the lovely girls we met up with suggested this vampire lair of a bar, where you're not allowed to take photos and are surrounded by people dancing in cages, I had to go. And it was worth it. I put myself in a cage, drank some alcohol, and pretended to be undead for a solid 20 minutes.
For any crystal loving, chakra cleansing, tarot card reading individual, Earth Odyssey is a must see. The small store has a collection of beautiful crystals and jewelry, and a little bit everything your soul might want. However, it was our tarot card reading by Michelle that really blew me away. This store is the real deal, none of the fake New Orleans hocus pocus. And I promise you, you'll leave feeling refreshed, inspired, and determined.
New Orleans was a magical place for me. One that I have every intention of returning to, hopefully in the near future. I will say, I'm not a fan of the Bourbon Street debauchery, and while we wandered down it a time or two, we didn't stay long. My suggestion for anyone not on Spring Break from college is to soak in everything else the city has to offer. If you love history and want to feel truly inspired, New Orleans is a jubilant, artistic vision that crawls under your skin and refuses to be forgotten.