My mother is the most amazing woman on this planet and she’s my best friend. It’s something I definitely learned as I’ve gotten older. When you’re young, you never realise how right your parents can be. Also, until you pay the bills yourself, you don’t know how hard life can be. I appreciate all she’s ever done to make sure I have had a great life. This includes our amazing vacations together.
Earlier this year, we set off to New Orleans together for the first time compliments of Harrah’s Resorts. This included our flights, a limo ride to and from the airport, and a free stay at Harrah’s in New Orleans. The casino is smoke-free, which I truly appreciated. The valet attendants at the front door, especially one amazing man named Michael, were knowledgeable about the city and eager to assist. The front desk was friendly and answered any and all questions we had. An absolutely amazing arrival to the city.
Here are some of my tips, recommendations, and highlights:
- Do a Cemetery Tour and get a Groupon prior! You cannot get into the most important cemetery, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 without a tour. I did mine with French Quarter Phantoms, and the tour guide was really great. The tour included seeing Nicholas Cage’s weird pyramid future burial site and voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. It was also the site of where they filmed Easy Rider. If you have time, definitely check out the ghost tours, etc. if you are into it!
- I also highly recommend checking out some of the other cemeteries like Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, which is right across the street from Commander’s Palace and location for “The Originals” television show.
- Another great spot? St. Louis Cathedral is absolutely stunning on the inside. There is also a beautiful park right in front of it with plenty of local artists and even get your palm read.
- Get a reservation at Commander’s Palace. My friend told me that you had to get it months in advance and even their webpage told me that they were completely booked. I gave them a call and was super flexible with my schedule so they squeezed us right in at lunch, which includes .25 cent martinis. Yes, you read that right, .25 cent martinis! Their list of awards is jaw dropping including multiple from the James Beard Foundation.
Definitely remember to finish it all off with the Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé!
- Get some beignets at Café du Monde. While sitting down in this little café, we even saw Chef Mario Batali walking by with his own bag full of beignets! Enjoy the jazz music, have some coffee, and enjoy the delicious amazing fluffiness that is a beignet. My mouth is actually salivating I miss them so much. Also, the prices are very reasonable here but main establishment is cash only (they take credit cards at some of their offshoot locations).
- Seriously, I’m not kidding, check out the FOOD! My mother and I got to try cuisines from Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA and John Besh Steakhouse. The food in New Orleans is just out of this world extraordinary and you really won’t find it anywhere else. Dishes just don’t even taste the same as it is in New Orleans. There is such flavour and punch to every bite. I must have gained at least 2-3 pounds a day while in this spectacular city.
- Don’t skip the French Quarter, that’s where all the action is. It does get quite busy so mom and I often walked around closer to the early hours of the day just to enjoy the beautiful architecture if you want to get away from the crowds. Also, there are some cute little shops to check out including Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo and Boutique du Vampyre. There is also an amazing French Market, which has some great eats (yup, I’m talking about food again) and other goods for sale.
- Bars are open 24 hours a day and you can carry around alcohol on the streets! Enjoy but also of course, drink responsibly!
Since going to New Orleans, I have been infatuated and cannot wait to return.
Do you have any tips or must sees for New Orleans?