72 Hours in New Orleans

New Orleans has a friendly, upbeat vibe, never felt before in all of our travels. We caught a red-eye from Los Angeles, landing in New Orleans at 5am. We just happen to arrive 1 day before the new UberX just started its service, and we ended up with a $68 taxi ride from the airport to our hotel.  Four of us traveled together and $34 each couple wasn’t too bad….but we are so used to the Uber pricing we weren’t prepared. Luckily, the day after we arrived, Uber started their UberX service and we were able to take it around town during our stay. (Use the code mx46u for a $20 free ride)

loews new orleans

We received complimentary services and/or compensation for our visit and review, however the opinions, thoughts, and amazing photos are all our own.

As we pulled up to the Loews we were pleasantly surprised with the ultra luxurious lobby, friendly staff, and delicious smells wafting in from their restaurant, Café Adelaide. We had an amazing breakfast and brunch at the Café twice during our stay, and highly recommend the Strawberry-Citrus Belgian Waffle. Seriously….Louisiana strawberries, toasted pecans, and white chocolate with lemon curd and citrus cream cheese mousse, we were in heaven.

cafe adelaide new orleans

After eating we checked into our room, with a beautiful view of the riverwalk. We skipped posting the picture of the bed, because honestly, we laid down from exhaustion and rumpled the perfectly made-up bed before we could snap a photo.

loews new orleans

The room was spacious with a large bathroom, separate shower and tub, the bed was comfy and the sheets were super soft. The only thing we could possibly have wished for? A deep-soak tub. That would have made it just perfect. We would highly recommend the hotel and will definitely stay there on our next trip.  The staff even had extra umbrellas to lend us because it rained on and off during our stay. That was a great touch.  

Our first stop, had to be Cafe Du Monde. Its in every article and must-do list. We needed to see what the hype was about. It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, but the beignets were amazing and we ended up there twice during our trip. Its an indoor and outdoor cafe, and the original location was opened in 1862. It looks that old too. The tiny tables and cafeteria style- waitress service is something we had never seen before. The waitress will take your order, and go down a cafeteria style line grabbing your items, pay for them, and then you essentially pay him or her back. The beignets are $2 for an order of 3 and are melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

The coffee was a bit strong for our taste, drinking Starbucks will not prepare you for this stuff. Everything from the coffee to the beignet mix is also available for purchase from their store across the street.

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After indulging, we decided to head to the riverwalk to watch the sunrise. Yes, the red-eye flight was worth it. 

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After a long walk and good rest after at the hotel, and a much needed shower, we headed out for some lunch and drinks with our good friends Loretta and Jorge. We stopped at Tropical Isle for a famous hand grenade and WOW I was buzzed after the first few sips.

hand grenade new orleans

After that the four of us decided to find Frenchman Street, where we heard the amazing bars and jazz scene was and it was also a must-see. Apparently after 1/2 of a hand grenade, Google Maps navigation doesn’t work very well. We were suppose to turn right somewhere and turned left and ended up walking 7 miles to nowhere.  We did see a lot of the Hurricane Katrina damaged homes and came across some shady interesting characters before finding our way back. Feet throbbing, and stomachs growling, we found a highly recommended place to grab lunch.

The lines at Deanie’s Seafood are usually out the door, but we got lucky on this Thursday afternoon. The shrimp po’boys were gone in minutes and we all had a bout of food coma. The food was so good, we don’t have photos of it. It isn’t fancy, the service is okay, but the food, ahhhhh-mazing.

We stopped in at Jackson Brewery, but were disappointed when we learned they hadn’t brewed their own beer in years and selection wasn’t very good. Take that with a grain of salt, as we are big time craft beer fans. If you are looking for an Abita on a hot day, you might love the place.

As craft beer nerds, part of our trip planning process is to find the breweries and craft beer bars. We tried most of this list below, and the only one we really liked was NOLA Brewing. They have an outdoor area, indoor air-conditioned tap room, and some very tasty beer.

Craft Beer – New Orleans
The Avenue Pub Bar
Courtyard Brewery Bar
Sidney’s Wine Cellar Liqour Store
NOLA Brewing Company Brewery
Evangeline Bar
Copper Monkey Bar
Crescent City Brewhouse Brewery
Finnegan’s Easy Bar

nola brewing

Looking for places to eat? This was our list:

Places To Eat – New Orleans
Name Type of Food Specialty Item
Cafe Du Monde Dessert Beignets
Petite Amelie Dessert Doberge Cake
Brennan’s Dessert Bananas Foster
Guy’s Lunch Seafood Po’Boy
Toup’s Meatery Snacks Charcuterie Platter
 Olde Nawlins Cookery Lunch Seafood Gumbo
EnVie Espresso Bar Breakfast Breakfast in a Go Cup
Hansen’s Dessert Bananas Foster Sno-Cone
Restaurant R’evolution Dinner Death by Gumbo
Patois Dinner Fried Rabbit & Biscuits
Killer Po’Boys Lunch Roasted Sweet Potato Po’Boy
Cafe Adalaide Brunch Strawberry-Citrus Belgian Waffle
SoBou Brunch Brunch

Back to the hotel for a quick change and we finally found Frenchman Street. The place was alive with music and we stepped into Maison where we heard Bon Bon Vivant and stayed for drinks and some appetizers. We fell in love with their music and bought their CD.

maison frenchman street

A quick trip across the street to Dat Dog completed our night. What a day! We had to get our rest because Friday morning we had plans to pickup a rental car and go horseback riding.

We love horses and we love the countryside so we couldn’t resist booking it while in New Orleans.  We found a cheap rental car at Budget on Canal Street to make the hour drive to Folsom. What a breathtaking ride across Lake Pontchartrain! The causeway bridge happens to be the world’s longest bridge over a body of water.
new orleans bridge

After the long drive through the winding countryside, we arrived at Sunflower Ranch. For a flat fee they let you take their horses out for a unguided ride through the trails and streams on their 30 acre property.

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Our ride lasted almost 3 hours, by then we were pooped, and ready for some food and rest. We stopped by at the Mr.’s old neighborhood, which pre-Katrina was not the best area, and was happy to see it was rebuilt and lots of new shops, restaurants had brought the place back to life.

new orleans superdomenew orleans bridge

We got back to the hotel for a nap and shower and headed out to explore some more. Royal Street was one of our favorite in the city. The buildings are beautiful and kept in great condition. We wanted to do a horse carriage ride but the price as well as the look of the horses/mules was quite a turn-off.

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We headed over to try some of the New Orleans famous doberge cake at Petite Amelie. Wow. Just WOW. Thin cake sits between delicious layers of icing, and the flavors range from chocolate, caramel, red velvet, and the one we chose, lemon. They also had a great chicken and sausage gumbo. The best gumbo and service of the trip was at Olde Nola Cookery.

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All this eating can really make you want to slow down, or just sleep the day away. Instead, we wanted to make the most of our time, so we took a quick walk over to Jackson Square.

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Riding the streetcars around town were a blast, and easy to use. Everyone in the city we met was friendly, including the drivers who overwhelmed us with information and tips.

We didn’t get to do everything we wanted. Partially because of the rain, and we just simply ran out of time. The swamp tour and airboat ride will have to wait until next time.

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