SFO –> NOLA

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To say that I fell in love with New Orleans would be a massive understatement. From the quaint architecture to the delicious food and everything in between, New Orleans was a trip we’ll remember forever. Here’s what we did in our four days there.

Day 1: We got into New Orleans bright and early because we took a red eye the night before (great idea on paper, not so great when you have to try to fall asleep on an airplane). Luckily, the people at the Ace Hotel were so accommodating and were able to check us in early. Oh, and upgrade us!

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After showering and freshening up, we headed out into the 90 degree and humid heat. We did a group tour of Lafayette Cemetery 1, walked through the Garden District, got drinks from the Columns Hotel, and finally made our way to Audubon Park. Everything was so so beautiful, but I think I liked walking through the park the best. I mean, just look at the gorgeous oak trees!

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We then embarked on an adventurous journey–from Audubon Park all the way back to the Garden District via Magazine Street. Although it was hotter than I’ve ever experienced, I’m really happy we made the trek because we were able to pop into all of the cute shops and restaurants we saw along the way. We made sure to stop by Domilise’s for po-boys, SnoWizard for shaved ice, and District Donuts for, well, you know what.

For dinner, we ate delicious Israeli food at Shaya and I would highly, highly recommend it. Just be sure to make a reservation far in advance!

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Day 2: Our second day kicked off bright and early with a swamp tour out in Slidell, Louisiana. We were on the fence about whether or not to do a tour, but I seriously could not be happier that we opted in because it may very well be my favorite memory from the trip. I loved learning about that part of the state, and seeing all of the alligators and other wildlife didn’t hurt either.

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Following the tour, we headed to the French Quarter and spent the whole afternoon just wandering through all of the charming alleyways. We took a sweets break at Café Du Monde and were in awe over how delicious their beignets are. If I weren’t stuffed to the brim, I would have ordered about twenty plates. And that is not an exaggeration.

Since you can carry drinks on the streets in New Orleans (mind-blowing, I know), we popped in and out of quite a few bars but my favorites were Napoleon House and the Carousel Bar. After all, how could you say no to a drink on a carousel ride?

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We wrapped up our evening with the yummiest dinner at Sylvain and drinks along Bourbon Street. While blocks lined with bars and filled with people weren’t totally our scene, we felt like it was an experience we couldn’t skip out on. Plus, drinking a hurricane on a nice patio while dancing to pop music is definitely not so bad.

Day 3:  For our last full day, we decided to explore a neighborhood that not all tourists venture out to–the Bywater. The area is much more residential, but that was exactly what we loved about it since we felt like we were doing things that the locals do.

We started the day at Elizabeth’s for breakfast and while it did not disappoint, I’d say it’s only worth it if you’re a big seafood eater. I, myself, am not so I stuck with a traditional breakfast of eggs, hash browns, and toast. From there we made our way through the neighborhood, stopping at Crescent Park, Euclid Records, and St. Roch Market along the way.

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One of my favorite places we visited in this part of town was Bacchanal–an outdoor wine bar with live music on the patio. You can just order a bottle of wine and enjoy it out on the patio for as long as you’d like. It was so chill and so quaint and so perfect in every way.

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While I don’t have photographic evidence, we ended the day with a visit to Frenchman Street. Every Uber driver we met during our trip said we had to go there, and we were both really happy that we listened to them. How could you say no to live jazz music and bars on bars?

Day 4: Since we only had a few hours of the day before we had to head to the airport, we decided to stay pretty close to the Ace Hotel. The World War II Museum happened to be just a few blocks away so we spent the bulk of our time there, as it was super educational and really well designed.

As if you couldn’t already tell, New Orleans stole my heart and I can confidently say that I will be back in the very near future. If you haven’t been, you must go!

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