New Orleans, Louisiana

My friends and I usually take a yearly trip to Las Vegas, but this year we decided to switch it up and head to New Orleans.

We had eight in our group, so we rented an Airbnb instead of a hotel. We stayed in the Uptown/Carrollton district of New Orleans, which is a 10-15 minute Uber drive to the French Quarter.

We got in late Saturday night and went straight to Cooter Brown’s, which was a five minute streetcar ride from our Airbnb.

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It’s definitely a no frills sports bar with tons of beer on tap. They had an amazing shrimp poboy. We also tried the alligator sausage and muffaletta. Note- that’s HALF a muffaletta in the picture below.

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The next day was our Swamp Tour with Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours. We found a discount online so we paid about $40 for the tour which included transportation to the swamp. Since we weren’t staying at a hotel in the French Quarter, we took an Uber to the Marriott on Canal Street and waited in the lobby for the bus. The bus ride was about half an hour.

Overall, the tour was good. If you’re looking for a tour where they make the alligators jump out of the water with pieces of chicken, this isn’t one of them. I believe because they are part of a national park, they aren’t allowed to feed the alligators. They do, however, entice the alligators to come close by throwing ice cubes in the water. Even though the weather was chilly, we saw about 10 alligators during the 1.5 hour tour. Our tour guide was very friendly and informative. At the end we got to hold a baby alligator!

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Lunch afterwards was at Bayou Beer Garden, where I had an awesome burger and some crabby bites. We ate in their outdoor patio and were surrounded by a bunch of TVs.

We then made our way to the French Quarter to start our Voodoo Lady Bone Tour Haunted Tour. If you’re a scaredy cat like me, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The guide walks you around the French Quarter and shares historical stories of death that happened in New Orleans. Nothing scary or spooky happened (at least not to us!). You also get to see the famous LaLaurie mansion, which was featured on AHS: Coven (and was also once owned by Nicolas Cage).

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There’s a pit stop in the middle of the tour at Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, which happens to be one of the oldest bars in the US. Grab a purple drank to sip on for the second half of the tour.

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After the tour it was on to dinner at Royal House. I had their Taste of New Orleans, which was three small bowls of gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish etouffee. Highly recommend this dish as you are able to taste three of New Orleans’ staples.

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Luckily for us, the Saints had won their first football game (against the Cowboys) of the season and we were in French Quarter to celebrate! After dinner we made our way to Bourbon street to join in on all the fun.

We made stops at Tropical Isle to get some hand grenades, and Pat O’Brien’s for some hurricanes. These type of drinks are way too sweet for me, so I split one of each with my boyfriend. In my opinion, the hand grenades are tastier and a little stronger than the hurricanes.

The next morning we had a brunch reservation at Atchafalaya. I had the duck hash, and three of my friends had the shrimp and grits, which they could not stop raving about. There is also a build your own Bloody Mary bar.

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Later that night we hung out around Frenchmen Street, which was a lot cleaner and quieter than Bourbon street. The Frenchmen Art Market is a cool place to check out local vendors and chill (they also let you draw on the ground with chalk).

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We spent the rest of night bar hopping to whichever bars didn’t have a cover. Even on a Monday night places were crowded and open until 3AM. It was time to head home as we had a flight to catch in a couple of hours.

I absolutely wish we had a little more time in New Orleans (we were only there for two full days), but am overall satisfied with what we experienced in our short time there.

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