Anyone who watched “American Horror Story: Coven” seemed to be itching to go to New Orleans. The nightlife in NOLA has been it’s main pull for many travelers from Mardi Gras to bachelorette parties. But it’s the history and culture that really caught my attention.
Sure, we spent some time in the French Quarter on Bourbon Street and Jackson Square, but that was only a small part of what made the trip to New Orleans worth while.
My family rented a house on the bayou in Slidell, a small town on the north west side of Lake Pontchartrain about an hour from downtown New Orleans. I couldn’t imagine staying the city. The parties last until the sun comes up and it is in a constant state of noise and congestion. Most cities are like this, but the narrow streets and low buildings make escaping from the hustle and bustle impossible. So, staying on the water gave us a nice relaxing week.
My favorite things about New Orleans included two main things: food and all things spooky.
From the ‘buy one get one’ drinks to the rich cajun and creole food, I was not disappointed. Like many, trying new food is a huge travel staple and New Orleans showed their strengths. K. Paul’s was the stand out (it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had) and of course Cafe Du Monde is not to be missed (although I like the coffee better than the beignets).
The rest of the time was spent soaking up New Orleans diverse history. From celebrities who have found a home there to the vampires that may or may not still live there, the story of New Orleans is an intricate one. We took a tour of Saint Louis Cemetery which is home to the remains of Marie Laveau, Delphine LaLaurie, many others and a lightning stuck tomb built for Nick Cage. The day we went on the tour was boiling hot without a cloud in the sky and it was brutal. As you can imagine, the cemetery is packed to the brim and has zero shade, so if you can schedule this tour on a cloudy day or after the sun goes down I would definitely recommend. We then took a night time ghost tour where we learned of murders, strange deaths, vampires, and (of course) voodoo. My brother and I also spent a bit of time exploring a creepy abandoned school and adjacent cemetery in Slidell.
This was my first time in New Orleans but I am for sure planning to return at some point. My friends and I usually head to Nashville every year or so, but I’m trying my darndest to have us take a trip to NOLA instead (It’s not on my travel itinerary for this year yet, though), so I’ll keep you posted on that. For now though, I can reminisce on how great my trip was.
Have you been to NOLA? Are you planning on going anytime soon? I would love to know!
PS: This is my favorite photo of the entire trip. My dad getting bogo beers for the whole family. Too funny.