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Big Easy Bound: The Perfect 4- Day New Orleans Itinerary

2023 Was the year to bring the kids, 2024 is the year to bring your friends! Take it from a New Orleans expert, NOLA is the perfect city break to celebrate literally anything! From bachelor and bachelorette parties, bestie bonding trips, to Cancerversaries, there is nothing I love more than gushing about all of the ways I'm going to inspire you to fall in love with this culture capital.


With Mardi Gras behind us, great pricing, less crowds and better weather awaits the eager traveller. Take a seat, pass the gumbo, and let me top up your Sazerac; let's talk about one of my favourite 4-day itinerary in the Big Easy.



Day 1 - Feel The French Quarter Vibe


My favourite place to accommodate my guests is undoubtedly the heart of the French Quarter, so that's where we're kicking off your first day. Head over to Envie Espresso Bar & Cafe on Decatur Street and get yourselves caffeinated. Spend the morning wandering the Quarter, listening to any number of buskers, people watch in Jackson Square, and head to Frenchmen Street for lunch. One of my faves is the Spotted Cat Music Club for its quintessential jazz ambiance and charming staff. 

For the afternoon, get some more steps in and consider taking one of the many award-winning walking tours on offer. Before you start yawning at the idea of a guided tour, no one does walking tours like New Orleans! The Ghost and Vampire tours are iconic, and if you’re out later in the afternoon, a cocktail history tour is the perfect way to wind the day down before the evening’s shenanigans. 





Day 2: Stroll the Garden District

You can't leave New Orleans without hopping on the St. Charles Street Cable Car and taking a tour of the Garden District. Renowned for its ornate grand mansions, eclectic gardens, and quaint streets. The history of the Garden District, much like the rest of New Orleans is fascinating, and it's worth hiring a guide or joining a walking tour, if only to find out where all of the celebs live!

In the afternoon, consider a visit to one of NOLA's iconic cemeteries. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is a dizzying display of above-ground tombs with interesting inscriptions and decor. St. Louis No. 1 is the oldest and most visited cemetery, dates back to the 1700s, and is home to Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. The only way to see this particular cemetery is on a guided tour (French Quarter Phantoms are my personal favourite!)


Head back into the French Quarter for 'Happy Hour' and do a little bar hopping. Make sure to try New Orleans's most famous cocktail, the Sazerac.




Day 3 - Morning in Bywater

Bywater is one of my favourite neighborhoods to explore and one that is often overlooked. Two miles from the French Quarter, this eclectic neighbourhood was once home to several plantations. Once a part of the 9th Ward, Bywater became home to Haitian, German, Italian, and Irish settlers by the late 1800s. If you're looking for that 'authentic' Big Easy experience, Bywater is a great spot to escape the larger touristy crowds in the French Quarter and dine and shop like a local. The myriad art galleries, cafes, colourful homes, and eateries

If you're up for a sobering history lesson, hop on a bus for a plantation tour and learn about Louisiana's history of the enslaved. The Whitney Museum is one of the only historical sites in the United States that tells the history of slavery solely from the the perspective of the enslaved. The Whitney Plantation is less grandiose than Oak Alley Plantation, but to gain perspective, it is important to visit them both and most tours offer multi-plantation itineraries.





Day 4 - City Park & Jackson Square Today is your last day to soak it all in. Take a stroll to the Central Business District and hop on the Canal Street Cable Car up to City Park New Orleans. Here you'll find 800-year-old oak trees, snaking walkways, and picturesque lakes spread across 1300 acres. This is also home to another Cafe Du Monde which overlooks a large gazebo where you'll often find live music and dancing.


Once you've had your nature fill, head back into the French Quarter and make your way to Jackson Square for some epic people-watching, or catch the free shuttle and pop over to Mardis Gras World to tour the home of the largest float and designing factories on Earth!




Where to stay:


1. The Roosevelt New Orleans: This historic hotel is known for its luxurious accommodations and glamorous atmosphere. It's located right on Canal Street, close to the French Quarter, making it a convenient base for exploring the city.



2. The Ace Hotel New Orleans: If you and your friends have a more hip and trendy vibe, the Ace Hotel is a great choice. It offers stylish rooms with a creative and artistic flair and is located in the Warehouse District, known for its vibrant nightlife.



3. The Pontchartrain Hotel: This boutique hotel exudes classic New Orleans charm with its vintage-inspired decor and rooftop bar offering panoramic views of the city. It's located in the Garden District, near shops, galleries, and beautiful historic homes.



4. The Windsor Court Hotel: For a luxurious and pampering stay, consider the Windsor Court Hotel. It boasts elegant rooms, a top-notch spa, and a rooftop pool. Plus, it's just a short walk from the French Quarter and other popular attractions.


5. Royal Sonesta New Orleans: With its grand facade and beautiful courtyard, this hotel is a landmark in the French Quarter. It features upscale rooms, several dining options, and a lively bar. Don't miss out on their iconic Sunday Jazz Brunch!


6. Hotel Monteleone: A timeless gem, this historic hotel has been around for over a century. It offers elegant rooms, a rooftop pool, and a famous rotating Carousel Bar. It's located on Royal Street, right in the heart of the French Quarter.


These are just a few suggestions, but there's so much more to see and experience in New Orleans. Don't be afraid to explore step outside of the French Quarter and explore neighborhoods like Marigny or Tremé, and try out local delicacies like gumbo, jambalaya, and po'boys along the way. Have a fantastic girls' getaway in the Big Easy!




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Author:
Jordana Manchester

Welcome to my passion project - the Storied Lands travel blog. Gather here for trip inspiration, stories, destination spotlights,  helpful tips, and thought-provoking discussions about important issues throughout the travel and tourism industry.

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