Many moons ago, I used to work with the offshore energy industry, and found myself in New Orleans a lot for work.

It wasn’t until March 2023 that I was finally able to visit New Orleans as a tourist and finally experience some fun and not have to worry about going into the office the next morning!

March is definitely a good time to visit. It wasn’t too crazy hot yet, Mardi Gras was over and if you visit on week days – the French Quarter is actually fairly quiet!

Below is a fun list of places we visited and wanted to pass along to you! Of course there are a million other things to do in New Orleans, these suggestions barely scratch the surface!

Where to Stay

W New Orleans – French Quarter

My boyfriend, Kyle, is a Marriott rewards member and booked us at the W New Orleans – French Quarter. It’s an older hotel, but absolutely charming and adorable throughout. Almost everywhere we went was walkable, which is always a bonus. The fitness is small, but if you are like us and do Street Parking workouts, all you need are dumbbells! I would definitely stay here again.

Welcome to NOLA!
The hotel courtyard late one evening after a Joe Bonamassa concert (the concert was the catalyst for the trip).
We started off each morning with a 2-mile run along the Mississippi River and then spent another 30-45 minutes in the hotel gym.

Where to Eat

Kingfish Kitchen & Cocktails

I’m going back through my photos from Kingfish Kitchen & Cocktails and my mouth is absolutely watering. Our hotel concierge recommended eating here, and she was not wrong. We ordered oysters and samplers to get a little taste of everything, and I will never regret it. And I would get it again!

Fresh oysters!
Sampler plate and fried alligator.

Mother’s Restaurant

We met one of my former colleagues for brunch one morning at the famous Mother’s Restaurant. If you are looking for that down home, Grandma’s cooking – this is it. They are famous for their ham – but just a head’s up, they do not have bacon! I learned that the hard way.

Mother’s is actually a huge place, but there is always a line out the door!
Sausage, grits and an egg white omelet!
My former colleague, Eileen, and I – we hadn’t seen each other in probably 10 years. It was good to catch up on life.

Palace Café

Our last night in New Orleans did not disappoint. My friends Janine and Monica happened to be in town at the same time so we met them at Palace Café. Our food was to decadent and delicious. You must go and you must save room for the Bananas Foster.  A little piece of history, the Bananas Foster was supposedly invented by the Brennan family, and Palace Café is owned by them. Trust me, save room for it in your belly!

Pecan-crusted fish, oh my!
Shrimp Tchefuncte
Palace chicken
Steak and frites!
The famous bananas foster.

Café Du Monde

I mean, you have to go to Café du Monde at least once. Kyle and I visited the location at the Riverwalk Outlets after our final 2-mile run along the river before heading home. Kyle, who is very health-conscious, has never had a beignet before. We ordered three beignets (one full for each of us and split the third) and two coffees. Then we sat outside on the river. The man was silent after eating his first one. I asked him if he hated it. He stayed quiet for a little while longer before saying, “that is the best thing I have ever eaten.”

Enough said.

CDM is a must.

Where to Visit

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street is obviously kind of a given. And again, if I can just say, go during the week. The closer we got to Friday, the busier the streets got, but on a Monday and Tuesday night, it wasn’t too crazy at all!

Not too crowded! I think this was a Monday night.

The National WWII Museum

The Greatest Generation remains those that fought for the entire world during WWII. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is an absolutely phenomenal museum, honoring both sides of the world where the war was fought. Kyle and I stayed for a couple hours taking it all in and learning so much. The Museum is very well laid out and I definitely highly recommend visiting.

All aboard the Train Car Experience to see the sights, sounds and emotions of going off to war.
The number of war casualties is mind-blowing.
A dark time in our history, Japanese internment camps.

Saenger Theatre

If you can catch a concert at the Saenger Theatre, be ready for a visual feast. The theatre was originally built in 1927 but was sadly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It reopened again in 2013 after a $53 million revitalization project. It was restored to it’s 1927 glory, featuring the original color scheme, carpeting, lighting fixtures and marquees. Kyle and I saw Joe Bonamassa perform and it was the best night.

Ladies – in a post-COVID / Work From Home world, I mistakenly tried to wear heels to the show (and we walked). It was the most painful experience and I ended up walking back to our hotel barefoot on the streets. 0/10 do not recommend heels in New Orleans (I’m an idiot).

The theatre lobby lighting isn’t the best, but oh well.
Gorgeous architecture.

Cajun Encounters

I wanted to see alligators so bad on this trip, so I booked an afternoon for two with Cajun Encounters. Located across Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell, they do offer hotel shuttle service, but Kyle and decided to drive across the water (with a pitstop in Mississippi) to save some time. It was pretty humid on the bayou, but we saw alligators, racoons, some snakes and lots of birds. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely recommend checking them out!

Do you see that big snake?
Can you imagine living right here?
Hey there little fella!
Sorry folks, they don’t use giant hunks of meat to lure the gators anymore!
Early evening in the bayou…priceless.
Getting some dinner!
The alligators do get pretty close to the boat!
All the gators we saw were juvenile, but they were certainly big!
And we saw swamp racoons!
10/10 highly recommend Cajun Encounters!

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