Last Christmas I got to spend down in New Orleans..
It was absolutely on my top 5 cities in the US to see and I'm so glad I did!
This is a pretty long post so you may want to pace yourself...
The whole place is pretty magical during Christmas time.. especially the Ritz Carlton.
Not many people know this, but you can hear some of the best jazz in all of New Orleans at the Davenport Lounge right at this hotel.
Now I did spend a good week here so this post is an all encompassing description of that trip; if at times it seem sporadic, I apologize in advance.
One of THE best things about this city is that every bar you go in to and order a drink, the first question is "Is it for here or to go?"...!!
There's no law against public drinking so let's just say my days were filled with an abundance of Bloody Mary's throughout this trip.
Another great thing is the architecture and culture. The modern blends in with old. The Caribbean culture with the French. Creole and Cajun. The people. The voodoo.
It's got a vibe of its own that I've never seen before.
And it's addictive.
It pours out of the cafes and bars and fills the streets.
There's an epic dueling piano bar called Pat O'Briens on Burbon St. that's absolutely worth a visit.
And while you're there, order up a Hurricane or two.
Almost anywhere you pop into you're bound to find mystery and allure.
With a little holiday spirit thrown in!
Another must see is the sunset from the river.
Grab a drink from the nearest bar and wander over to enjoy the view.
Having explored the majority of the city, I had the pleasure to pop in and have dinner at the Houmas House plantation.
The plantation hosts a majestic 38 acre garden and an almost 250 year old house, among other treasures.
The actual house is decorated with silver, marble, crystal and wood. All either the original artifacts or ones that would have been originally found at the house 200 years ago.
And it's all incredible.
The opulence is almost unimaginable.
So we've covered the city, the culture, the music... but what about the food?!
Though it wasn't crawfish season yet so the locals weren't too impressed.
Instead of spring and summer New Orleans goes by food seasons.. crawfish, alligator...
Talking about food I can't ignore Jacques-Imo's ...a staple in the heart of New Orleans for those craving the real Nawlin's food.
Be ready to wait though, this place is packed every night!
My suggestions on not to miss attractions in New Orleans are as follows:
FOOD! - try everything! I think I tried a different native food for every single meal for a week straight and I'm pretty sure I've yet to try it all.
Culture - get into the drinking scene... especially when LSU or the Saints are playing. This city seems like it could even out drink even the mightiest of self proclaimed heavy-weight drinkers.
Plantations - these are a big, big part of US and Southern history and it's something you won't see anywhere else.