Party like crazy in New Orleans!
With a lot of travels to cities, you usually have an idea of what to expect. You see Paris as this magical city full of light, or Sydney as this extravagant beach destination. And, for the most part, that’s what you get. With New Orleans, you hear about Mardis Gras and how there’s a lot of beads, but you really have no idea of what to expect. It’s a city full of wonderful people, tall drinks, and lots of history. In New Orleans, you can party hard on Bourbon Street while still
With a lot of travels to cities, you usually have an idea of what to expect. You see Paris as this magical city full of light, or Sydney as this extravagant beach destination. And, for the most part, that’s what you get. With New Orleans, you hear about Mardis Gras and how there’s a lot of beads, but you really have no idea of what to expect. It’s a city full of wonderful people, tall drinks, and lots of history. In New Orleans, you can party hard on Bourbon Street while still nerding out on the history of the United States. Mentor Travel has your guide to getting crazy in New Orleans.
1. Alligator Meat
Our first tip in getting crazy in New Orleans involves one of the local foods; alligator meat. Being from the Pacific Northwest, this is the craziest sounding food. In the state of Louisiana, alligator meat is a pretty common dish. You can find it at most restaurants. You can eat it as an appetizer as fried alligator, on an alligator po-boy, or in an alligator omelette. There’s a lot of ways it’s served, so you just need to pick one to give it a try. It’s delicious, and tastes just like chicken.
2. Visit a Swamp
This experience was one of my favorites while visiting NOLA. You get to chill in a boat for a couple of hours and gaze at the natural wildlife that makes up a swamp. Right off the bat I saw alligators all over the place. A swamp is basically a flooded forest, so there is so much opportunity to see something amazing. You can take a tour with a guide that knows everything there is to know about these wet areas. We also saw raccoons, interesting birds, nests, and pigs. The largest alligator we saw was about six feet long, and even saw some of them jump up to grab some food. I would highly recommend Cajun Encounters, they had a really fascinating tour.
3. Take the Trolley on Canal Street
Canal Street is a busy road in New Orleans that starts at the Mississippi River and goes the above ground cemeteries. Street cars cruise the center of the street and allow you to travel in style, making stops at most of the attractions in the area. You’ll find lots of shopping, luxury hotels, and a casino on this route.
4. Beignet, Done That
One of the most famous places in New Orleans is Café du Monde, which translates to “the People’s Café” in French. They are famous for their delicious beignets and chicory flavored coffee. Chicory was added to coffee by the Créoles during the Civil War because there was a coffee shortage. Today, it’s the coffee flavor of the city. Beignets are doughy squares covered in powered sugar, and are an orgasm for your mouth. Try them. It’s worth it. Just don’t wear black, you’ll come out of the cafe looking like a dalmatian.
5. Yoo Hoo Voodoo
The voodoo culture of New Orleans came from the customs of the Afro-American religions of those in Louisiana. There are rituals that have been passed down to generations. It’s very spiritual. You can visit the Historic Voodoo Museum to see a series of altars and to learn more about the customs.
6. Roam Jackson Square
Jackson Square is a National Landmark, and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It was named after the famous Andrew Jackson and is located along the Mississippi River inside the French Quarter. On the northwest side of the square, you’ll find the St. Louis Cathedral – the oldest Cathedral in the United States. You can walk along the square or bring a picnic with you and have lunch in the park.
7. Put Your Hands on a Grenade
In New Orleans, you’ll find some crazy drink contraptions to buy in all sorts of oddly shaped cups. One of the popular drinks to help you get crazy in New Orleans is the grenade, and it’s delicious. This grenade won’t blow up on you, but it might just blow up your night into one to remember. You can get this drink at Tropical Isle.
8. Bourbon Street
In the heart of the French Quarter, you’ll find a road called Bourbon Street that will definitely stand out from the rest. It’s one of the oldest streets in the city full of history, beautiful architecture, and drunk girls at a bachelorette party. There are so many bars here, it can get a little rowdy, but it’s so much fun to experience. Everyone is happy to be alive. So grab a drink of your choice and gallop down the street popping in and out of where ever looks interesting to you.
9. Gay Bourbon
Bourbon Street and St. Ann Street mark the beginning of New Orleans’ extraordinary gay community. You will find the oldest gay bar in America, called Lafitte-In-Exile, and is a must if you’re getting crazy in New Orleans. There’s all types of people at these bars, so you’ll be welcomed with open arms whether you’re gay, straight, or somewhere in between. Some of the popular gay bars include Neapolitan’s Itch, Oz, Bourbon Pub, and Good Friends.
10. NOLA’s Brunch Culture
With New Orleans having such a thriving night life scene, it’s no wonder why brunch is one of the most popular meals in the city. I mean, some of the bars are open 24/7, so there’s no way partiers are going to wake up in time for breakfast. The brunch meal in New Orleans has some absolutely delicious options, and needs to be experienced by everyone. Whether you’re seeking the perfect hangover cure, wanting to keep your buzz going from the night before, or just hungry at 11am, brunch is always the answer. Some of my favorites are Daisy Dukes for bottomless bloody marys, the Ruby Slipper for their bacon infused vodka bloody marys, and Salon Restaurant by Sucre for bottomless mimosas.
11. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
At the end of Canal Street along the Mississippi River, you’ll find New Orleans’ Aquarium of the Americas. If you’re a fan of sea animals, this is your place. You’ll find sea turtles, sharks, penguins, otters, and so many others animals of the sea to explore. There’s a walk through tunnel of the Caribbean Reef, a glimpse into the Amazon, and a sample of life in the Mississippi River that is a view not to be missed.
12. Visit the Dead
Because New Orleans is built on swamp land, the only way to go is up. This is even true for the cemeteries in the city. The dead are buried above ground in beautifully designed monuments that rise above ground for everyone to view. Some of these stone crypts are a sight to see with the amount of detail and the size of the structure. You can either take a walk in these areas yourself, or go on a haunted tour. Some of the most famous sites include the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau and famous musician Isidore Barbarin. Make sure to check openings, most of the cemeteries are closed on Sundays.
13. Jazz Your Way Around Town
Getting crazy in New Orleans is not complete without some jazz music. New Orleans was the only city that allowed slaves to own drums, therefore cultivating a new genre of music to this world. Jazz was born in New Orleans in the 19th century and is still heard today. It only makes sense to listen to a piece of historical music. If you’ve never heard jazz before, or you don’t consider yourself a fan, drop all those notions immediately and give a jazz performance a chance. Once you get inside and feel the energy of the performer and the crowd listening to jazz, you just might change your mind. You can catch a live jazz performance all over the city, including the Carousel Bar and Lounge and the Maison Bourbon Jazz Club.
New Orleans is seriously a one-of-a-kind city that you can’t find anywhere else. This city is full of so much history, delicious foods, and amazing music, you really can’t go wrong with a trip hear, no matter what you’re looking for. I grew up in the northwest part of the country, and I’ll admit, I learned so much from this trip. Getting crazy in New Orleans should be on everyone’s list. If you’ve been before, let me know if you’d add anything to our list! Contact us if you want some tips for your next trip!