A Week in New Orleans

For the last 7 years, I’ve wanted to visit New Orleans. And this past fall, I finally got to go. After finding my flight for an incredible steal (The Flight Deal is the best), I was excited to spend 5 days eating gumbo, listening to jazz, and understanding its incredible history.

New Orleans’ official drink just happens to be my go-to: the Sazerac. I committed to a self-guided Sazerac tour of New Orleans (um yeah I was hungover a lot, don’t ask) so you’ll see my Sazerac rating at the end of a few description if you’re into that.

What to Eat/Drink

Carousel Bar

A revolving bar made out of (you guessed it) an old carousel, this is a fantastic place to go for after-dinner cocktails. [Sazerac rating: 3.5/5 stars. I tend to like a drier Sazzy and this one was a bit too sweet for my liking]

Brunch at Brennan’s

Brennan’s was truly one-of-a-kind. From the decor to the food to the service, I was blown away. Make sure to order the turtle soup and get the bananas fosters flambeed tableside. [I didn’t have a Sazerac because it was 10 in the morning, but I did have a brunch cocktail and it was PERFECT.]

Davenport Lounge

One of my favorite nights OF MY ENTIRE LIFE, the Davenport was an experience I’ll never forget. Named after Jeremy Davenport, a famous trumpeter who frequents the club 3 times a week, we got to see him and his band play jazz standards all night. An accompanying dinner at M Bistro in front of the Christmas tree, with a view of the stage, made this night perfect. For two drinks, a phenomenal 3 course dinner, and 5 hours of jazz at the Ritz Carlton, I was more than willing to pay $75. [Sazerac rating: 5/5 stars. The best Sazerac of the trip, and one of the best I’ve ever had.]

Palace Cafe

By far the best value of the trip. We ate an early lunch here, and I had an incredible chicken pot pie that was only $12. With impeccable service and great ambiance, it’s a must-do

What to Do

New Orleans Jazz Museum

You sensing a theme here? I JUST WANTED TO LISTEN TO ALL THE JAZZ ERMKAY. This was my favorite museum we visited. Live jazz performances and interesting exhibits, and located in a cute neighborhood in New Orleans.

World War II Museum

One of the most impressive and in-depth museums I’ve ever been to, this is a must-do in New Orleans, especially on a rainy day. Make sure you go to the movie narrated by Tom Hanks (who donated the majority of the money for the museum!)  — it’s an added cost on top of the ticket, but worth it.

Live Jazz

There are few things in life that make me happier than listening to live jazz. Almost every night of the trip, you could find me in a club for 3+ hours soaking it all in. The Palm Court and BB King’s Blues Club, as well as the Davenport listed above, are all great places to go for a drink and some music.

Where to Stay

Most of New Orleans’ hotels are in the touristy parts of the city, which I wanted to avoid. We instead found the best Airbnb in New Orleans across the Mississippi River, and we took a short ferry ride into town every day. It was a great way to see a more authentic NOLA (the architecture of the neighborhood was absolutely amazing) and we also found a coffee shop called Congregation Coffee to frequent every morning (after 4 days, they knew our order by heart!) Aaron was an incredible Airbnb host, and I highly recommend this place on your next trip (especially since it’s budget-friendly at less than $69 a night!)

Thanks to Visit New Orleans for hosting and for Aaron and his Airbnb team for a discounted rate! As always, all opinions are my own.


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Tori Dunlap