The truth is there are probably thousands of things to do in the great city of New Orleans and in Louisiana as a whole, however I only got to a hand-full in one week. I need to go back, but that’s besides the point. I will share with you a few of the things we got up to in New Orleans. To read my initial post on New Orleans and first impressions, click here.
1. A Jazz Club (The Blue Nile, Frenchman Street)
This one is top of my list because it was the absolute highlight of the trip.It’s such a shame the pictures I took do not do the “fun” enough justice, but some would argue that those are the best nights. Am I right?
It was raining heavily on the day we went looking for Jazz clubs and on recommendation from a local, we ventured to Frenchman Street instead of the more popular Bourbon Street. I think the advice definitely paid off. Apparently (according to the locals), Frenchman Street is where the authentic jazz is and where the locals frequent and Bourbon Street is just hyped up for the tourists. Don’t quote me, that is what THEY said.
We made a first stop at The Spotted Cat. The music was good, there was even a parody about Trump which I actually enjoyed lol (don’t @ me!). We then went out onto the streets (yes in the rain) and heard the lively Jazz floating through the streets, we followed the sounds and it led us to The Blue Nile. As I have already mentioned, it was a LITUATION. For some reason one of the instrument players kept repeating the word “SAUCE”. Best believe that became the tagline for everything for the rest of the trip! Long story short, if you do nothing else in New Orleans, please go to a jazz club. Even if Jazz isn’t really your thing.
Lituation: An incredibly enjoyable situation
2. The National WWII MuseumI have some strong political views and I do not intend to bring them here, however I have to say that whatever your views on war and world politics are, you MUST see the WWII museum. On the day we went it was about half an hour to closing so we didn’t spend too much time there. Some of the highlights for me were the role of African Americans in WWII, particularly its juxtaposition with civil rights, the making of the atomic bomb, and lastly the role of women in the war. There was so much more to see but those definitely stood out to me. Definitely worth a look if you are ever in New Orleans. If I remember correctly, the tickets also had a 2 day lifespan which is always a plus (we were leaving the next day though, womp womp).
3.Plantation Tour (Witney Plantation)
This particular activity is not actually in New Orleans but one can say it is part of the NOLA experience. The plantations in Louisiana tend to be tens of miles away from the city itself, but certainly worth doing. Some of them offer Pick-up and drop off services in-case you do not have a car. The one we chose to visit was the Witney Plantation and it was a very eye-opening experience. It is one thing to watch the movies and read the books on slavery but I think seeing, feeling and breathing in the spaces that these things happened is a different experience. The highlight of this tour for me was reading all the names on the different monuments, that definitely made it real.I was also inspired by the wall of post-its as you leave the tour where people had left notes on how they found the experience, some were shocked, some others were sad, but what inspired me he most were those that left comments saying “Never Again”. I really hope they go away and make real impacts in day-to-day America, because from across the pond, it doesn’t look too good right now. All in all, a plantation tour is certainly worth it. Click here for more information.
4. Katrina Museum
This one really broke my heart and actually brought me close to tears. I was so devastating experiencing a tiny fraction of what havoc hurricane Katrina. There were some rooms that were intended to simulate the sounds and wind of the hurricane and it was truly terrible, and to know that people experienced that first hand as well as the aftermath and some still have not recovered, that really broke my heart. I am unsure whether the exhibit runs all year round, but it is located somewhere in Jackson Square, it’s a must see! Click here for more info.
5. FREE Tour by Foot
This should actually be top of my list because you know I love Free stuff. While it was not a single place or activity, the google maps embedded tour created by the company Free Tours by Foot was actually incredible. It took you all around the city, showing you the important tourist locations and the history behind it. It was on this tour we got to see the Treme region, the point where the Katrina devastation started in the lower 9th ward, the Musicians village, Houses of famous Jazz players, etc. I couldn’t even do it justice if i tried. They do have some curated tours for other cities, check them out here.
Some other highlights
- VooDoo Museum
This I actually found to be basic, no shade. For all the things you hear about voodoo and New Orleans, I expected better. It is practically a house full of voodoo artefacts with some explanations where they could bother. One could question what I was even looking for in a “Voodoo Museum” lol, however I was definitely not impressed. Maybe that’s a good thing? lol
What I did gather from my visit there though, was that VooDoo is not always as “evil” as the world makes it out to be, yeah OK!
- Jackson Square
There isn’t much to in Jackson Square, other than the art in the streets, the occasional tarot readers and some other people selling other random things. I liked the vibe all the same.
- French Market
This was also a nice place, and probably would have made it to my list of top 5. However being a Lagosian, I wasn’t particularly fascinated by a market hall. They are dime a dozen in Lagos, sorry NOLA. They did have some interesting things on sale, I bought a few souvenirs. A lot of the traders did not allow photos which was mildly irritating.
Lagosian : A person from Lagos, Nigeria
The keen eyed among you would have noticed that there is not a single mention of food in this post, knowing me that’s definitely worthy of concern right? Ha! Fear not, a separate post (or series posts) will be coming up on where we ate and my verdict on the food.
You must be pumped to visit NOLA now after reading all that, so now it’s your turn. Leave your comments, thoughts, LOLs, etc. Also some feedback on the level of detail would be appreciated, too much, not enough? Tell me!
Also don’t forget to save this (pinterest me please?) for your next NOLA trip or share with a friend who’s going.
Until Next Time,