Back before Christmas I went on a little solo vacation to New Orleans! I have been wanting to go to NOLA for a couple years now – since marking California off my list of states there were only two left – Louisiana and Mississippi. I booked this vacation back in early fall, just because I wanted to go. I had no plans of friends or family coming with me. There was no event happening. There was nothing going on for work. It was a trip just for me.
So of course in the time between booking the trip and actually going, I traveled to New Orleans for work! But I decided to still go back for vacation and experience more of the city on my own.
And since I was SO close to my last state, I made a little day trip to Mississippi.
I rented a car without much plan of what I was going to do or where I was going to go in Mississippi. Someone had recommended the Infinity Science Center, which is just over the border of Mississippi. Unfortunately, it was closed on Sundays. Next time!
I kept driving along the coast, and found the cutest town to grab lunch in Bay St. Louis. Yes, I basically went to Mississippi for lunch, but it was a fun afternoon adventure for me! And the beaches in Mississippi are gorgeous!
One of the problems with traveling by yourself is taking pictures. I pulled over on the side of the road, used a beach bench to hold my camera and used the remote app to take this awkward selfie! First world problems.
When I was in New Orleans for work in October, I experience plenty of late night shenanigans on Bourbon Street. This trip I was perfectly fine staying OFF of bourbon street, and experiencing more of the restaurants and shops in the city.
I could wander the streets of NOLA for days. I love the old, historic feel and architecture of the city. Plus, since I was there in December, everything was decorated for Christmas!
Since I love learning about architecture and history when I travel, I hopped on one of the tour carriages located in Jackson Square.
There are many “must do” places in New Orleans, one of which is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar. Besides it being an enjoyable, chill place to grab a drink, it is one of the oldest bars in the United States. The bar is lit entirely by candles (except for in the restrooms and Christmas lights during the holidays).
Cafe Du Monde is another NOLA must. I stopped in every day during my little vacation to enjoy being able to sit outside, sip coffee, and eat beignets.
Another must see in New Orleans is the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. I walked in quick and snapped this picture, then went back the next night for a drink. As soon as I sat down, I said “Wow, this thing is actually moving!” I wouldn’t recommend coming with a big group – space is limited! But it’s the perfect place to grab a drink by yourself or with a plus one.
I ate ENTIRELY too much in NOLA. None of it healthy – all of it delicious. My first day I stopped in the Ruby Slipper for breakfast. I loved that they offer an option to mix and match their special eggs benedict – for people who can’t make decisions like me!
When I travel, I tend to mostly use Yelp in the moment for all of my restaurant decisions. However, my friend Monica recommended Cochon. It was a little further out than I had ventured, but still within walking distance of my hotel. It turned out to be a fun walk to see more of the neighborhood areas where young professionals are living in NOLA.
Speaking of where I stayed, I used my Marriott points to stay at the MOXY New Orleans. It’s just a couple of blocks from the French Quarter, within the central business district of New Orleans. I loved the decor and the boutique feel of the hotel! There are currently only a few Moxy brands around the United States, Europe and Asia, but I would definitely stay at one again!
Have you been to New Orleans? What should I do on my next trip?
P.S. Check out more of my travel posts here.