The first month of the year was full of celebrating with my girl friends. I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by supportive and empowering women, and to start 2020 off with so much love really did set a great tone for the year ahead. A couple of months before the new year, my best friend sent me a message that she was going to book flights to New Orleans so we could celebrate my birthday. I loved visiting New Orleans with David a couple of years ago for Christmas, but definitely wanted to go back and eat at some places we missed. Here is all the info you need to prepare for a girls’ trip to New Orleans!
If you have been here before and read any of my travel guides, we usually go with an idea of places we’d like to visit, but generally do not have an itinerary. I learned this from traveling with Amanda when we were in college. The first trip I ever went on with her was to Charleston our freshman year in college and we just wandered around the city exploring. This trip to New Orleans was our first trip together in almost 6 years (the last was my bachelorette party in Charleston), and our only plans were lunch at Cavan, beignets at Cafe du Monde, and a cemetery tour.
A Girls Trip to New Orleans: All the Info you Need to Prepare!
Things to Do in New Orleans – Where to Eat
Enjoy lunch on the porch at Cavan
The only reservation I made while we were in town was at Cavan. We lucked up with warm weather, so we sat on the porch and listened to the live jazz music. The interior of the restaurant is stunning, the food is delicious, and the staff was friendly. They spent quite a bit of time with us sharing their favorite parts of the city and gave us great recommendations! Amanda surprised me with a signature cocktail where she wrote the description, too, which was really thoughtful. Hint: It’s a French 75! And she ordered the grilled cheese and I ordered the patty melt. I cannot recommend a meal here enough!
Grab po’boys at Felix’s in the Quarter
We got the half po’boys with a side at Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Amanda got the fried crawfish po’boy with jambalaya and I got the fried oyster po’boy with Étouffée.
Brunch at Willa Jean
David and I went to Willa Jean for brunch when we went a couple of years ago and it was one of my favorite meals. We had a similar experience with their delicious pimiento cheese starter, fried chicken biscuit, and a turmeric cinnamon latte. I also recommend grabbing a slice of king cake and a frosé to go!
Get beignets to go from Cafe du Monde
I didn’t get to eat beignets on our first trip and I was really sad about it! We lucked up with a fast moving line at Cafe du Monde and grabbed ours to go to eat in Jackson Square. I highly recommend getting a coffee Au Lait to enjoy with your beignets.
Build your own charcuterie plate at Bacchanal
Bacchanal was recommended to me by my favorite hairstylist turned friend, Katy, and she nailed it! We sat out on the patio with our charcuterie plate and a bottle of wine listening to the live jazz music. We lucked up with a table right under a heater and really loved the entire experience. To build your own charcuterie plate, just pick out your meats and cheeses from the fridges and the staff will assemble and bring it out to you. It’s really a genius idea! Note: we took a Lyft here from Hotel Peter and Paul. It’s a bit out from the Quarter and the Garden district, so this is the best way to get there and back to wherever you are staying.
Order fried oysters from Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House
Mr. Ed’s on St. Charles was actually attached to our hotel, so we stopped here on our last night for dinner before turning in. We decided to try a lot of items on this menu including the crawfish spinach dip, blue cheese wedge, turtle soup, and split the seafood platter.
Things to Do in New Orleans – What to Do
It’s a beautiful, eclectic shop and a lot of fun to browse! Plus, there are shop doggies in there that need to be pet! We found this shop by strolling the Garden District, which, is my personal favorite way to explore a city.
Grab a seat at the Carousel Bar
Okay, so it’s a little touristy, but I won’t lie, I love it. I think it’s a fun concept and the Hotel Monteleone is absolutely stunning.
Stop in the iconic Sazerac Bar
This bar, located in the Roosevelt Hotel, was restored to its original decor and it is quite stately! The bar is famous for the Sazerac cocktail. Amanda and I made a point of trying all the things New Orleans is famous for, and while we tried this, I would say maybe ask the bartender or server for a different recommendation.
Stroll the Quarter
It can be incredibly crowded and overwhelming, but if you go early enough, it’s fun to take in the sights. I love the architecture and exploring the art galleries and alley ways throughout.
Grab a drink at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
This is the oldest bar in the United States and doesn’t have electric lights. It is such a cool spot towards the end of Bourbon Street. I loved that they had fires going throughout the space, making it feel quaint and cozy!
Take in live music on Frenchmen Street
Sadly, my phone died, but this is such an amazing spot to take in live music. Be sure to bring cash for covers to get into some of the venues, but even just walking down the street gives you a great sampling of the artists’ talents!
Tour St. Louis #1 Cemetery to learn some New Orleans history
Amanda bought us tickets for this cemetery tour and wow, was it informative. Our tour guide, Luke, is incredibly brilliant, witty, and leads a great tour! I highly recommend doing this tour. You get to see lots of eclectic things, including Nicholas Cage’s plot, but important historical markers like Homer Plessy (from the infamous, landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson) and Marie Laveau (a famous practitioner of Voo Doo). I highly recommend this!
Stop by Jackson Square
I love people watching in Jackson Square, but I also love taking in the street vendors.
Walk to the Elysian Bar
I’ve had the Hotel Peter and Paul on my list of places to visit for a while and the Elysian Bar is absolutely stunning. They’re famous for their spritzers, and it’s a beautiful spot right in the Marigny neighborhood in New Orleans. I highly recommend a stop here. We walked here from Jackson Square and enjoyed taking in the sights of the neighborhood prior to our time at the Elysian!
Things to Do in New Orleans – Where to Stay
We stayed at Maison St. Charles which is conveniently located right across from the Green Line and our drive from the airport was a breeze, as well. It was a walkable spot to various destinations in the Garden District and the Quarter and easy Lyft rides to places like Bacchanal. The hotel is *huge* and takes up an entire block. It serves breakfast and has coffee and tea service all day. I booked this through Hotel Tonight and was very pleased! I love the courtyard near our room and the staff was friendly and helpful! Use code MEGrant3 and you’ll get $50 off your first booking + I’ll get $50 off my next booking!
David and I stayed at Le Pavillon on our trip a couple of years ago, which has since undergone a renovation. It is quite stunning and located in the CBD, and I would recommend a stay here as well!
It was a whirlwind trip but a wonderful weekend! New Orleans is the perfect spot for a girls’ weekend or a quick getaway with your partner.
Check out how I pack a carry on for traveling here!
What I Wore in New Orleans
I’ve gotten really good at packing for trips in terms of having versatile pieces that transition well. Here’s what I packed & wore while visiting New Orleans (you can see what I wore the first time here). You can find my favorite carry-on roller bag here and my favorite travel bag here.
*If you use this link, you get $20 off your first pair of Rothy’s, and I get $20 off my next pair!
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