As travel becomes a part of our lives again, we found no better option than driving just a few hours east to New Orleans. Whenever we consider going to a city, we always look at what is there to eat + do and where we can stay at. In the case of New Orleans, we had unlimited answers to each of those questions and thanks to Visit New Orleans we were able to assemble the perfect itinerary for a weekend trip to The Big Easy.
Where to Stay
Sheraton New Orleans – located on Canal Street, just minutes away from all of the hot spots was our home base. We valeted our car for the weekend and literally did not need it until we left. The hotel is a quick ten-minute walk to Jackson Square, two blocks from the French Quarter, and a fifteen-minute walk from the iconic Superdome.
We stayed in the executive suite on the 43rd floor and had amazing views of the Mississippi River, Canal Street, and the rest of downtown. The spacious room had a bar area, couches, multiple TVs, and the best part…. being greeted by a King Cake! The executive suite allowed us access to the 42nd-floor lounge with 24/7 snacks, Starbucks coffee, and a daily happy hour.
The staff was friendly and very helpful in guiding us to the spots to check out while we were in town. The Pelican Bar is located in the lobby and is great for people to watch or just chill after a long day. And although we didn’t get a chance to go, Roux Bistro is located on-site with regional cuisine and we heard great things.
Best Place to Eat Food
Y’all already know any trip of ours is going to be centered around food and this trip was no exception. To make sure we didn’t miss any gems, we went on a food tour of the French Quarter with Destination Kitchen. The 3-hour walking tour had multiple stops at restaurants and included the history of the city and its people along the way.
The first stop on our tour was the French Market – a historical trading post that dates back to the 1700s. Originally a Native American trading post along the Mississippi River, it later evolved into a cultural and commercial hub as French and Spanish colonists opened the market up to ships and traders from all over the world.
Currently, the area is a good place to shop for wares from local artisans, food purveyors, and souvenir stands. Upfront is the food kiosks, in the middle are the handicrafts, and toward the back are the souvenir and t-shirt tables. We had some gator bites from one of the local vendors and loved the spice and rich taste of gator – our first time trying!
The Market Café
Situated right off Decatur St, the restaurant has views out into the French Quarter no matter where you sit. They have live Jazz music performed by local artists and AMAZING food. We had a shrimp Po’Boy here – the shrimp were huge and flavorful. We saw some of the patrons had ordered gumbo and it looked amazing – we’ll be back to try for sure!
New Orleans Creole Cookery Seafood
A Real Taste of New Orleans, we enjoyed this food experience, the courtyard is beautiful the food is delicious, great friendly service and staff! We had gumbo, jambalaya, and char-grilled oysters. Hands Down the Best oysters in the French Quarter in our humble opinion.
New Orleans School of Cooking
If you come to New Orleans this is a must! You get to learn a lot about the food and get that authenticity! The classes teach the essence of Cajun cooking, especially how to properly make that roux-based classic, gumbo. Although, we didn’t get a chance to take a class during the tour we did try some amazing pralines that left us wanting for more.
What to Do
There is simply so much to do year-round in New Orleans that any weekend trip will simply scratch the surface. We enjoyed a parade, a relaxing Brunch at the Four Seasons, and JAMNOLA.
JAMNOLA stands for Joy, Art & Music – New Orleans. JAMNOLA is New Orleans’ first experiential pop-up that takes audiences of all ages on a topsy-turvy stroll through the cultural gems that make the city so special.
Enjoy 12 exhibits celebrating the iconic art, music, food, and theatrics of New Orleans through the eyes of 20+ local artists and creative partners.
It was a fun experience! The artwork was incredible. It’s basically one giant Instagram photo op, but all while learning but the rich history and culture of New Orleans. Our guide was super energetic and informative.
Although we were in town a few weeks before Mardi Gras, we got to catch a parade from the Chewbacchus. The 900-member Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is a Sci-Fi themed Mardi Gras parade, as well as a self-described satirical space cult. Chewbacchus consists of over 150 distinct sub krewes, each of which pays loving (and sometimes satirical) homage to the full spectrum of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and everything in between. We loved the creative costumes from both the spectators and the Krewe.
Miss River at The Four Seasons
Our visit to Miss River inside Four Seasons New Orleans was nothing short of incredible. We absolutely loved the Food Stage where chefs extravagantly plated our signature dishes. We could write an entire blog about our experience here, the immaculate dining room, and out of this world menu, but inshore Miss River is a love letter to New Orleans.
The whole covered buttermilk fried chicken was sumptuous and plush. It was served with dipping sauces and our favorite. Other dishes we enjoyed:
Crab Au Gratin
Shrimp and Grits
Crab Meat Omelet
We were only in town for a weekend but felt like we were transported to another world on a week’s long vacation. The food, culture, and activities New Orleans has to offer makes it a worthy destination for the special occasion or just a weekend away. We can’t wait to be back soon and continue exploring what NOLA has to offer