When you are tasked to go to an event in New Orleans, say yes. Unless it’s flooding. Then donate the cost of your flight to the Red Cross and plan a teleconference instead.
If it’s not flooding, get ready to eat and drink way too much!
My trip to NOLA was very short. It was exactly 36 hours from the time I landed until the time I had to be back at the airport. I didn’t know I could fit so much into 36 hours. And now I’m thinking I can’t fit into my jeans after that 36 hours! But hey, it’s NOLA!
When you’re crunched for time, here are the things I did you might enjoy. Just remember, stay focused but have fun!
Stay: for such a short trip, pay a few extra bucks and stay on canal street! I stayed at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter. This hotel was perfect. Central, safe, clean, and the bell desk was awesome. I couldn’t check into my room when my flight got in so I was able to drop my bags and also leave then there in the morning while I did a few other fun activities before the airport. The staff were super nice and put up with my multiple trips to my bags and questions about the city.
Transportation: Uber. Parking is nuts. An Uber ride is $33 from the airport to canal street. Once there, you can walk to just about everything(I did!). Plus, most hotels will charge for parking so it’s worth the Uber fare to the hotel. Not using Uber yet? Sign up here and get a sweet discount!
Play: I highly recommend taking a trip (or two!) to Cafe du Monde. Be a tourist. Don’t forget your cash because Cafe du Monde is a cash based shop. No cards accepted. Get some beignets and a coffee (or iced coffee) and enjoy the most delicious fried dough and sugar combo you may ever have. Then walk it off. And keep waking. You will likely want more beignets in the morning! Or at 2am and then you will thank someone from denying you of it then. You can walk along the Mississippi and in and out of shops (tip- the shops have a/c!) NOLA has a lot of history all throughout the city.
Take some sort of history tour. I always go straight for the food tours. Other tours that might interest you could be the river ferry tour or a swamp tour. I would have loved to do a swap tour but time was not on my side for that. Next time!
Taste of Nawlins: a walking food and history tour
Do it. This tour is really great. You’ll go to multiple restaurants trying things like jambalaya, gumbo, muffelatas and po boys. I was able to find a groupon for this so it was only $40. Drinks are not included but the waiters are happy to bring you a drink at any of the stops. Not on groupon? Sign up here.
Check out the raw bar at the Bourbon House. This is a fun place to talk to other business people who are eating dinner solo. Sit at the raw bar and order ostyers. Ask for a pearl too! You may get one! I made a great friend and met a couple who was from Jacksonville too. Small world!
Pat O’Briens: stop by here for a drink. Specifically a hurricane. It’s super sweet but full of alcohol. A lot of alcohol. Take your pic with the iconic glass and listen to live piano music. It’s a fun time! I didn’t want to go here by myself so I asked a couple from the Taste of Nawlins tour if they wanted to join and they did. We had a lot of laughs that’s for sure!
The Gumbo Shop: The best gumbo in NOLA. Hands down. I repeat, hands down. I stopped here for lunch before heading to the airport. The food really was awesome. The service even better. I got a shrimp creole salad which was so delicious and some other yummy sides.
Even though this trip was super short and I was travelling solo, I made the most of it. I actually had more fun than I thought I would! I have a new appreciation for people who travel for work. Travel is tiring but opens up the doors to so many new opportunities. I loved trying a ton of new food and meeting new people. Next destination?