New Orleans Girls Trip
New Orleans is a fascinating city with a vibrant atmosphere, long, complicated history, and eclectic residents. There is so much to see and do in The Big Easy and it’s easy to fall in love with this place.
A few years ago, I drove through New Orleans with the kids. We got out of the car and we walked around for a few minutes, got back in the car and drove away. Honestly, we were a little overwhelmed with the city. The music was loud, the people were crazy, it was a little dirty and smelly. To be completely honest, I’m not sure I would come back with the family while my kids are young.
My husband, Paul has twin little brothers and every year, their wives and myself get together for an annual girls trip. We have 11 kids between the three of us, so the quick break is always sorely needed! Last year we went to Paris and London and had an absolute blast!
While planning our trip this year, one of my sisters suggested New Orleans. I was a little reluctant, but decided to give the city another chance! Boy am I glad I did! Going without kids was a completely different experience!
Before we go to any city, we pick a book to read together either about or set in that city. For New Orleans, we picked Empire of Sin. This is a non-fiction book, but because New Orleans’ history is so fascinating, it really needs no fiction.
We made a bucket list for our girls trip to New Orleans:
- Stay in a haunted hotel
- Tour a cemetery
- Visit a plantation
- Listen to live music
- Walk the City
- See Pretty Houses
- Eat incredible food
We were lucky enough to cross everything off our list, and had so much fun doing it!
Stay in a Haunted Hotel
We stayed in the absolutely gorgeous Le Pavillon Hotel, which is the oldest continuously running hotel in New Orleans, and most definitely haunted! We noticed a few spooky things during our stay! The hotel just celebrated its 110 year anniversary and walking into the lobby, you really feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to an era where southern hospitality was a real thing and elegance and charm ooze from every nook and cranny.
Le Pavillon Hotel boasts some of the most gorgeous suites I’ve ever seen in a hotel. Not only were the suites beautifully decorated, but each suite was themed. My personal favorite was the music-themed suite, decorated with jazz instruments and complete with a grand piano! In Le Pavillon, you will also find Napoleon’s bathtub (!!!), Al Capone’s bar and marble railings straight from Paris! The whole hotel is a tribute to the past and New Orleans’ French influence.
As you make your way up to the top of the hotel you’ll find one of the best views in the city at the rooftop pool. It felt like being at a party in the 1920’s. Pure magic!
Our favorite thing about Le Pavillon Hotel was their nightly tradition of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot chocolate, and milk EVERY night at 10 pm. Over 30 year ago a traveler stayed at Le Pavillon Hotel and ordered a glass of milk from the bar. The traveler told the bartender that while he was away from his little girl, and to stay connected, they promised to have a glass of milk at 10 pm every night while he was away. The little girl had pb&j, but the traveler could never find anywhere to serve him one. But that night the bartender made it happen. And from that day on Le Pavillon Hotel has served pb&j every night!
Tour a Cemetery
One of my sisters REALLY wanted to do this, and to be honest, I was a little skeptical. Cemeteries just aren’t really my “thing.” We scheduled a tour with Denise, who is amazing and has fantastic Trip Advisor ratings! She charged $15/person for our tour, which I thought was a steal! Denise spent nearly two hours with us in St. Louis Cemetery Number One, explaining the process that the citizens of New Orleans use to bury their dead. It is truly fascinating and I had no idea! I don’t want to give too much away because I think it’s more fun to learn it while you’re there. Book a tour with Denise here and thank me later! It gets extremely hot at the cemetery. Try to book early in the morning and bring water, sunscreen, and an umbrella if you can!
Listen to Live Music
This one was the easiest to check off our list. Just walk anywhere around the French Quarter, especially Bourbon Street, at night and you’re sure to hear a band playing live jazz, a DJ spinning or rapper rapping. The city just comes to life at night! The most incredible thing we saw while walking the streets was a wedding procession. The bride and groom walk in the front, followed by the band blasting music, then the whole wedding party follows behind, with the rest of the town trailing after. If you get a chance to see a wedding in New Orleans, don’t be shy and just join in, it’s expected!
Visit a Plantation
This was high on my list, as I love nature, open space, large, historic houses and history. We chose to visit Oak Alley Plantation, which was only about a 45-minute drive outside of the city. On our way to Oak Alley, we passed about 5 other plantations within several miles of each other. You could dedicate several days to visiting the plantations outside of New Orleans!
See Pretty Houses
I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of pictures of beautiful mansions in New Orleans like I have. I wanted to see them to myself. Early one morning we drove to the Garden District, a quiet neighborhood, full of enormous Georgian manors, and wandered the quiet streets, basking in the much needed quiet after a busy few days in the city. The houses were absolutely stunning!
Eat Delicious Food
I think this one always ends up on our bucket list no matter WHERE we go! New Orleans is truly a foodie city and it did not disappoint! Here’s what we ate in NOLA:
- Chargrilled Oysters
- Buttermilk PIe
- Bread Pudding
- Alligator Hot Dogs
- Po Boy
This trip to New Orleans was seriously so much fun and I’m so glad I gave this another chance! It’s a city with so much energy, you can’t help but fall in love! Have you been to New Orleans? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram!