No matter how many places I am lucky enough to see on my travels, my mind continuously wanders back to beautiful New Orleans .
I was first interested in visiting New Orleans after reading a series of fiction books in middle school that took place in “the mysterious bayous” and “dazzling city” of New Orleans. The books, by V.C. Andrews, described it in such awesome detail I thought, “Wow, I’d love to see this city someday! It sounds like a magical place!” I am very fortunate to say that I have visited New Orleans numerous times, made some friends, and have “regular” spots where they are starting to recognize me! There is just something so truly unique and mysterious about this city that keeps calling me back!
Here are my top five favorite things about New Orleans:
1. THE FOOD !!
If you are on any sort of special diet plan, you are going to want to put that on hold the second you step out on the town and smell the delicious aromas emanating from any restaurant in New Orleans. It’s in this city that the recipes of Creole, Cajun, and French cuisine dance together to create a uniquely New Orleans flavor that will hook anyone’s palate. Here is a post I did about some of my fave places to eat and drink in NOLA!
2. The People and the History
There must be something in the air (or in the food?) there because the people of New Orleans are some of the most fun, easy-going people I have ever met ! I guess that’s why they nicknamed it “The Big Easy”: It’s easy to make friends, and that Southern charm and hospitality puts you at ease. They have such pride and passion for their city and traditions, and it shows! I got to have lunch with a pretty rad New Orleans local and fellow traveler. She has gone on some amazing adventures but loves living in NOLA, and she shares why in this post.
Being French, then being Spanish, then French again, then American . Plus War, Jazz, Storyville, Pirates, Voodoo Priestesses, and the dark and tragic decades of slavery. If walls could talk, imagine the stories that could be told . Well, walls don’t need to talk much in New Orleans. You can really feel the pulse and energy of the city’s history just by walking down the streets.
3. The Music
Sometimes when I hear jazz on the radio, or when someone plays a classic jazzy tune live, I get nostalgic for New Orleans. It is the birth place of Jazz, after all! You can hear some of the most talented musicians by just walking through the French Quarter. There’s pretty much music on every corner. If you want more of a venue experience then head over to Frenchman Street . There’s tons of great live music venues, as well as places to eat and drink.
4. Mardi Gras
Ahh yes, Fat Tuesday. I’m not into the crazy drunken “boobs for beads” party scene that takes place on Bourbon street. Contrary to popular belief Mardi Gras is a FAMILY FRIENDLY tradition . Just venture to parts other than Bourbon Street to see how much fun the Mardi Gras Season (Yes, season. Not just a day) can be.
5. The Bayou
The bayous surrounding New Orleans are another world entirely, teeming with life and swamped with distinct culture and traditions (see what I did there?). I tried to capture a bit of the breath-taking beauty of Manchac swamp in this post. If you’re in NOLA, take a break from the city and head out to bayou country!