When you travel the world, you open your mind to new wonders and possibilities. What was once unfamiliar can suddenly feel like home. Some places, more than others, have a way of capturing your heart. And some places become so special, they grow on you in such a way that they remain a significant part of your life. That holds true for me with New Orleans.
For years I've always admired what others have said of the French Quarter. The art, the food, and the celebrations. When I finally had the chance to see it for myself, it was like I was a kid all over again. I had so much fun in the two days that I was there. And let me tell you, I gained a whole new meaning of what living is all about. For me now, every day is a day to be celebrated; every day is a chance to reach my greatest potential and to experience all the good that life has to offer. I also put more faith into my creativity. I believe more in my purpose and in my passions. I credit New Orleans for sparking my new and improved outlook. It is such an inspiring place with so much soul and creativity buzzing around.
Aside from the culture, the city definitely has its quirks. I don't think I've been as fascinated with a city's history and foundational beliefs as much as I've become with New Orleans. Every block you walk has a story. Every corner holds some kind of significance. You feel it in the air, too. I think the thrill of New Orleans has a unique way of impacting your experience overall, as well. The excitement shifts your mindset. You're suddenly curious. You're suddenly wanting to find out more. It's like a hunt and you want to uncover every great discovery you can get your hands on. Don't even get my started with the shopping. I'm in love with their gift shops. Not their tacky voodoo shops. Believe it or not, the French Quarter is home to many high-end stores for interior decor, jewelry, as well as art galleries and culinary shops. Cooking classes, anyone? Yes please!
When you plan a trip around New Orleans, you will find something there for everyone to enjoy. There is plenty to do and see to keep your mind stimulated while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Bonus: I've never met friendlier people. And the food is just phenomenal.
Because this weekend marks 1 year when I visited New Orleans (and I'm feeling super nostalgic), I thought it would be a good time to share my travel diary covering the best of the French Quarter. If you're reading this and you're thinking of going here, you will not be disappointed. Share this post with your friends, too, who are thinking of visiting. It's always beneficial to know of some places to see and activities to do before you actually get there. I also recommend staying within the French Quarter, as it's the best (and safest) area in the city. Additionally, be sure to plan your time wisely. Time flies when you have fun!
I hope my recommendations are helpful in jumpstarting your travel plans to Nola!
1. HOTEL: Lafayette Hotel
This hotel is near downtown and the french quarter. It is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet close enough to experience the city's charm. Located right in the central business district, you will have a fabulous and peaceful time staying here.
2. EATS: Commander's Palace
One of the best restaurants in the area! Operated since 1880!! Commander's Palace is your go-to for fine food and dining. I had such a lovely experience there with my mother.
3. SITE SEEING: Oak Alley Plantation
Go back in time visiting the Oak Alley Plantation. Enjoy mint juleps and pecan pralines desserts as you walk around the beautiful historic grounds. The oak trees are magnificent and create perfect photo opportunities.
4. SHOPS: Fleurty Girl
If you are in the French Quarter, stop by Fleurty Girl! You will find THE cutest accessories and items for the home. When I was there, I walked out of that store with a huge bag filled with art and decor for my home office. I even invested in a "Damnit Doll" - Obsessed.
5. FILM SPOTS: Hotel Royal
Looking for vampires? Go to Hotel Royal and you will recognize inside the courtyard is where some scenes of the CW's The Originals was filmed. Super neat!