Dreaming of a future trip to the Big Easy? I fell in love with New Orleans in a way I didn't even anticipate. The city is friendly, slow-paced, and full of all kinds of indulgence. There is something for everyone to love.
- Brennan's is a New Orleans restaurant tradition since 1946. Chef Slade Rushing's innovative Creole menu borrows influences from French and Spanish ancestry with modern updates and distinct seasonal offerings. We suggest enjoying brunch with the restaurant's fresh french press coffee.
- Cafe du Monde is the original French market cafe stand since 1862. Indulge in French style beignets topped with a mountain of powdered sugar. Enjoy them with warm the cafe's signature chicory coffee. Protip: The cafe is open 24/7. If you go late at night, you'll be able to skip the lines.
- The Carousel Bar & Lounge in Hotel Monteleone is a long-time favorite New Orleans hotspot. The classic New Orleans hotel bar is the city’s only revolving bar. Take a spin on the 25-seat, bright, circus-clad Merry-Go-Round and order a classic New Orleans cocktail from the restaurant's menu. Don't forget, you can always take your cocktail to go and drink it out in the open all throughout the city.
- Cocktail Tour allows you to take a walk through the French Quarter's famous bars and restaurants and discover the famous spirits of New Orleans.
- Drink absinthe at Fritzel's on Bourbon Street. I tried absinthe at three different places, this one was by far the very best.
- Take a tour at Lafayette Cemetery Number 1. Grab one of the tour guides who are there offering historical details of the cemetery and the city. It's a truly unique NOLA experience.
- Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is one of the oldest standing structures in New Orleans, and the oldest building in the country to house a bar. Head there for a cocktail of choice and enjoy the piano playing by candlelight at night.
- Order all the seafood dishes at Pêche. It's voted best seafood restaurant in the country. My favorites were the succulent, sweet Gulf Shrimp, savory Crawfish + Jalapeno Capellini and soft, crispy Fried Bread with Sea Salt.
- Shaya is a James Beard Award winning restaurant that shares its take on modern Israeli cuisine. I loved the hummus menu with hummus topped various items including meat and vegetables and pillow-like pita that makes them the King of Pita.
- Head to St. Augustine Church in Jackson Square for Sunday 10am mass boosts Soulful Voices Choir.
If you're in search of a place to rest your head, I highly recommend staying in the heart of downtown New Orleans at Le Méridien New Orleans. They hosted me for a few nights and now there is nowhere I'd rather stay! The hotel boasts 410 guest rooms, including 22 suites flaunting dynamic designs inspired by the culture and geography of the city. Le Méridien New Orleans sits across from Harrah’s Casino and just steps from the historic French Quarter, vibrant Warehouse Arts District and some of the top restaurants and attractions in the city. Additional amenities include:
- rooftop pool with private cabanas
- 24-hour fitness facility overlooking downtown
- 24-hour in-room dining
- complimentary morning coffee
- a restaurant and sparkling wine bar, Longitude 90
If you're looking for the best things to do in New Orleans, there are many museums in the city. Le Méridien New Orleans offers an exclusive program, Unlock Art, which provides complimentary access to a few art museums including the Contemporary Arts Center, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the New Orleans Museum of Art for its guests.
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Header image: Le Méridien New Orleans
Disclosure: This post is sponsored, which USA Love List is proud to share with you because, sponsored or not, we only share stuff we love.