Top Things to Do in New Orleans (Family-Friendly)
Before I get started with the New Orleans tour, let me just say that a trip isn't a trip without internet -- especially for social media savvy folks like me. I went on this trip as a sponsored influencer, so it was important for me to document it as best as I can. If I were to have my boyfriend's previous network, this would've been an extremely frustrating experience for me. Luckily, I stuck with T-Mobile. While everyone else had to pay for WiFi on the plane, I got this message instead:
Yep -- free Wifi and messaging! Totally set the trip off on a good note for me. Also, right now, they have this AMAZING deal where you can buy an iphone 7, 7 plus, 8, 8 plus, or X, port at least one line and trade-in, and then get another equal or lesser value for free (up to $700) via mail in rebate. So, if you want a brand new iPhone for free, check out the BOGO deal here.
With that said, let's start our tour!
I stayed in NOLA for three days and two nights, which was enough to get the gist of this history-rich city. If you want to get a good feel for NOLA, I recommend going for a stroll in the Garden District. You'll see plenty of gorgeous mansions built in this charming, southern style. The architecture was definitely a scenic sight, along with all the other charming nooks and crannies near the Garden District (we'll get there in a bit).
Even the firehouse looks cute!
While strolling around, you should grab lunch at Commander's Palace. This place is TOP NOTCH in both customer service and taste. When they heard, "Party of one," they immediately exclaimed, "Yasss, girl!! Wine and dine yourself!!!" And then proceeded to shower me in free drinks and appetizers. Everything was phenomenal.
I ordered the three sample soups, which came with their signature turtle soup, gumbo, and kale soup. I surprisingly LOVED the turtle soup (made with real turtles... my gosh) and the kale soup. Gumbo was yummy too but I feel like I've had better. Try their turtle soup!!!
For the entree, I got bbq shrimp and grits. Mouthwatering. Would eat it again a hundred times.
For dessert, I HIGHLYYYY recommend their blueberry lemon cobbler. So good I almost cried.
A few blocks away was Magazine Street, a place that's eternally better than Bourbon Street (I heard). I definitely had a grand time strolling through Magazine Street. All the boutiques were so cute and there were a bunch of unique dessert shops!
Just one of the manyyyy boutiques on Magazine St. Well-priced and stylish.
This was actually a really cool store where they ONLY sold artworks made by local artisans. Each booth displayed works from different artists. It was like one huge art installation!
Next, it's not NOLA without Cafe Du Monde's freshly made beignets. I bought a few, walked down to Jackson Square a hundred feet away and ate my beignets under a tree. Lovely experience.
If you're in the city for a few days, definitely try touring their swamps and plantations. There is SO MUCH history in Louisiana that it would be a crime to ignore. This is known as the Evergreen Plantation, where they filmed Django Unchained and a bunch of other movies. This mansion is actually one huge facade. The plantation inheritor basically pimped the outside of the house to make it look massive, but he retained the original architecture on the inside, which was a mere 3-bedroom house, with each bedroom the size of my kitchen. Trust me, it's just one big optical illusion. They didn't let me take photos inside the house, but you have to see it in person!
Of course, it wouldn't be accurate storytelling if I didn't mention slavery. The plantation tours also give you a close-up look of the lives of slaves who worked at these plantations. These were the original slave quarters. Although it looks like a bunch of beautiful cabins here, each of these tiny cabins contained an entire family of slaves, and there were no giant trees to keep them shady back then. And it gets HOT in New Orleans. Also, disease often spread like wildfire because of how cramped and unsanitary their living quarters were. You can look inside each slave quarter to see how they lived according to their ranks.
This was the Oak Alley Plantation. This was built according to creole architecture at that time. It was a huge mansion, but all the furniture inside were tiny because people back then were really short. A super surreal experience walking through that main house!
The cool thing was that nobody knew who planted these oak trees. They were grown about a hundred years before the house was built.
After the in-depth tour, I went to dinner with some friends at Cavan and it was pretty dang good. Check out the selection!
Finally, it ain't a NOLA trip without some famous crawfish. I got these guys at a place called Cajun Seafood and it was the best crawfish boil I've ever tried. So. Dang. Yummy. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo. I NEED the recipe for their sauce!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, these are all really family-friendly activities so if you're ever in NOLA with your kiddos or just want to have a grand spankin' time on your own, these are all things that I highly recommend. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Oh yeah, next time you can also bring your brand new iPhone via the BOGO deal by T-Mobile! ;)