If I had to describe New Orleans, I’d say it’s a crazy booze-fueled Neverland where tourists keep on eating, dancing and hooking up with strangers until they’ve happily lost a decade of their life expectancy. In other words, it’s probably everything you need in your life right now.
In my opinion, you should give your mum a big hug, get a one-way-ticket and stay there forever. But since you might have to come back home to feed your pup and finish the bottle of rosé you opened this morning, I’ll stick to a three-day itinerary.
Day 1 – French quarter & Garden district
Start with a walking tour in the famous French quarter. My personal favorite is the free Voodoo walking tour with Robi Gilmore, who’s like the spiritual baby of Ru Paul and Rebel Wilson but actually also a voodoo priest. You’ll learn that Hollywood’s twisted depiction of the religion is far from the truth and how voodoo, slavery and Catholicism are deeply intertwined. I swear Robi makes it fun somehow.
After the ego boost from realizing you got up before 11am to go sightseeing like a real grown-up, take the streetcar to the Garden district and stop at the Lafayette Cemetery. Check out some old tombstones if you’re into that, then head to the Commander’s Palace across the street. The restaurant, open since 1893, offers 25¢ Martinis to help you cope with all that walking and learning. Who knew getting wasted for less than a dollar could feel so fancy? Also, give a try to the turtle soup if your drunk self feels adventurous.
Once you’re able to stand on two feet, take a walk in the oak-shaded streets of the Garden district. If you get sick of looking at grand historic mansions you’ll probably never be able to afford, head to Magazine street where you’ll find lots of cute boutiques to buy your bitterness away.
At night, go feel the crazy vibe on Frenchmen street in Faubourg Marigny. There are many great jazz clubs alongside the road, my favorites being the cover-free Blue Nile and the tiny yet very animated Apple Barrel. Eat your face off, lose your friends, make new ones, twerk in the middle of the sidewalk, repeat.
Day 2 – Plantations & Treme
Bring your hungover self to the gorgeous Oak Alley plantation, which is like the popular girl who doesn’t need to talk so much because she’s just so pretty and everyone is in love with her. Meaning, it’s packed and the visit itself isn’t that interesting so you might as well use your time there to re-act Beyonce’s Deja Vu music video that was shot there.
Then, pay a visit to the Laura Plantation, which provides the best historical tour in the area. All the guides are very knowledgeable and entertaining. They’ll inform you not just about the plantation itself but the history of the Creoles in Louisiana and the process of slavery.
Spend the evening in Treme, the neighborhood where jazz was born. If you’re here on a Wednesday night, order a “set up” – a half-pint of liquor mixed with a can of soda, a bowl of ice and a few cups – at the Candlelight Lounge. Use the cups to play beer-pong later, drink the mix by yourself and get uplifted by the tremendous energy of the Treme Brass Band.
Day 3 – Gators, WWII & Bourbon street
Alligators are the divas of the swamp world. Those sneaky fat-asses spend their day chilling under the sun while being feared by every living creature. Obviously we love them. If you wanna observe them in their natural habitat, go on a swamp tour. They’re usually crowded but some companies offer smaller boat tours. You can even rent a kayak if you wanna experience a one-on-one encounter with the beast. Not peeing my pants at that very moment is still my number one source of pride, long before getting my master’s degree and not getting back with my ex.
If you still have the energy to do things (I mean I feel exhausted just writing this article but you do you), pay a visit to the National WW II Museum. Can’t imagine spending more than 2 hours in a museum? Skip the Arsenal exhibit and the Tom Hanks movie and focus on the Road to Berlin and Road to Tokyo exhibits. They’re very thorough and interactive so you might get interested for real and even remember something like who won the war and stuff.
It’s now time to forget all about that depressing history and get smashed on the famous Bourbon street. The place is full of trashy bars with disgusting mixers so I’m sure you’ll find your own little paradise. I’d say it’s safe to walk there by night despite all the craziness going on, but always keep an eye on your bag and your probably very drunk friends. If you feel like respecting traditions, flash your boobs in exchange for shiny beads and pass those debauchery trophies on to your grandchildren.
Here ends our 3-day itinerary in gorgeous New Orleans. I don’t know how you survived so much lust and gluttony in such a small amount of time but, just like College, you made it through. Congrats!