36 Hours In: New Orleans, LA
The story of New Orleans beings with its founding by the French and its development by the Spanish, French and Americans. It is well-known for having distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, and being a melting pot of all cultures. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, being the birthplace of jazz, and its annual celebrations and festivals — most notably Mardi Gras. It's no wonder why this city is often referred to as the "most unique" city in the United States.
RUBY SLIPPER CAFE
Having won numerous accolades and voted best breakfast spot amongst many, this family owned and operated restaurant is sure to please your taste buds. Ruby Slipper Cafe serves a wide variety of breakfast foods; like BBQ Shrimp and Grits, Eggs Cochon, and the Bananas Foster Pain Perdu. If you are planning to dine in this lovely cafe, make sure you arrive early to try and avoid the lines.
OAK ALLEY PLANTATION
It's no secret that Louisiana is home to many historic and well-preserved Southern plantations. They might not be centrally located in New Orleans, but not to far from the city lies a moment preserved in time. Oak Alley Plantation is a National Historic Landmark — known for its incredible architecture and stunning landscape. The staff also does an amazing job of explaining the history of the grounds and shedding light on its once dark past.
PARKWAY BAKERY AND TAVERN
Parkway Bakery and Tavern has been a neighborhood landmark since first opening in 1911. They have received recognition for serving one of the best po' boys in town — a New Orleans classic. Their poor boys are so good that you just might have to get another one to go! If you have room for dessert try their homemade Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce... you won't regret it.
SAINT ROCH'S CEMETERY
No visit to New Orleans is complete without exploring its historic cemeteries. At first this might sound creepy, but it’s perfectly normal when visiting New Orleans. Being that the city was built on a swamp, the deceased had no choice but to be buried above ground in elaborate stone crypts and mausoleums. Over time these cemeteries full of tombs became so elaborate that people often referred to them as small villages. Unlike the more famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (which charges a fee to get in), Saint Roch’s Cemetery is completely free and nonetheless fascinating.
ST. ROCH MARKET
After exploring tombs of the deceased... which again isn't as creepy as it sounds, take the short walk over to St. Roch Market. This market offers a wide variety of restaurants, all serving incredible food and drinks. They are open daily and offer a unique dining experience with an excellent craft cocktail bar.
CAFÉ DU MONDE
Café Du Monde is probably on everyone's list of things-to-do when visiting New Orleans — and for good reason. They have been serving incredible coffee and their famous beignets since 1862. They traditionally serve their coffee in chicory Au Lait style, which contains a mix of half and half with hot milk. INSIDER TIP — cash only.
The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. Its architecture blends Spanish, French, Creole and American styles together in an idyllic, enchanting setting. The district as a whole has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, with many of its buildings also separately deemed significant. It is a prime tourist destination in the city, as well as attracting local residents.
ACME OYSTER AND SEAFOOD HOUSE
Acme Oyster and Seafood House has been serving fresh seafood for nearly a hundred years. Their "New Orleans Specialties" include red beans, creole jambalaya, and seafood gumbo... but of course you can never overlook the oysters.
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About The Author
In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.