If there’s one thing we learned from our long weekend in New Orleans, it’s that you never know what’s going to happen in this sultry and enchanting city. You never know where you’re going to end up – no two days or nights are the same.
Which is strange because New Orleans is one of the most written about, talked about, dreamed about cities in the world. It’s everything you’d imagine it’d be, and nothing like it either. It’s a hub of fun and excess, a cuisine of rich étouffée sauces and world-famous oysters and crawfish, easy days and long, long nights. The out-of-state licence plates and visitors who never left say much about the Crescent City’s infectious spirit.
We arrived in the evening and threw ourselves straight into Bourbon Street madness. Jet-lagged, the neon rowdiness of the street can repel as much as it attracts, but its fun spirit is undeniable. The real charm of the French Quarter – the historic and cultural heart of the city – lies elsewhere, however. So we walked (okay, stumbled after a few of those lethal hurricane cocktails) around Jackson Square, ducked into the impressive St. Louis Cathedral (which is one of the city’s oldest buildings) and then wandered along the art and antique-filled Royal Street.
Of course, music is everything in New Orleans and jazz is everywhere. In the French Quarter, the tiny and historic Preservation Hall was an authentic, and very rustic, jazz experience. Away from the tourist-laden Bourbon Street, Frenchmen Street is beating musical heart of the city, packed with clubs playing everything from dancefloor jazz to drum’n’bass.
Obviously we’re no good at keeping secrets – for more of our favourite spots, check out GuidePal’s New Orleans guide.