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Friday, April 4, 2014

Travel With Me: Guide to New Orleans


Hey guys! I've been MIA lately due to my recent trip to New Orleans earlier this week. It feels so nice to travel again! I thought I'd share the highlights from the trip and be a travel guide in case any of you guys are planning on visiting in the future! :)

New Orleans has always been on the top of my list of places to visit in the US and it certainly didn't disappoint! I felt like I was in the middle of a movie the whole time that I was there! It was so surreal! If you're a fan of history, warm weather, and southern comfort food then this place is defiantly for you.

Flights


I booked my flight and hotel through Kayak.com which searches through all discount flight and hotel sites instead of you going off and searching for them one by one. I highly recommend it although I'm sad to say that I'll never be flying through United Airlines again. I've flown with them twice before and both times they cancelled my flight due to "insufficient amount of crew members". A flight that was supposed to get me to New Orleans at 12pm got cancelled and I had to take the next flight which got me there at 5pm! :(

Hotel + Transportation 


Other than that, I scored a good deal for a 3 day trip in the middle of a school week and managed to stay at the Astor Crowne Plaza which is in the middle of Canal Street, which is walking distance from most attractions and the streetcar! Score! New Orleans is a pretty walkable city so there's no need for you to rent a car and if you do need to get somewhere far, there's always the infamous streetcar which is only $1.25! Although it doesn't go very fast, I consider a necessity if it's your first time in NOLA because of it's old world charm. Plus the St. Charles streetcar gives you a great tour of the fancy mansions at the Garden District, highly recommend it!

Attractions


There's SO many things to do in NOLA and sadly I didn't get to do everything that I wanted to because of time but it only gives me a reason to go back ;) I did get a chance to visit Jackson Square which is where the St. Louis Cathedral is located and I was mesmerized by the beauty of it! It made me realize how fortunate I am to be able to travel and see such great things! It's pretty much a must-see since it's such a famous attraction and is what makes NOLA recognizable in the world, kinda like the Empire State building!




Of course you have to visit Bourbon Street (especially if you're a drinker, they give you to-go cups!), the French Quarter to see some beautiful historical architecture, the World War II museum (for all you history fans!), and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Other attractions that I haven't visited but are defiantly worth a look is the St. Louis Cemetery (which includes creepy tours like the Witches tours!) and Audubon Zoo and Aquarium.

Lastly, in case you missed Mardi Gras which is usually the reason why most people visit NOLA, you can attend the many other festivals they have going on such as the French Quarter fest and the Jazz fest.

Shopping


Here's my favorite part: shopping! Sadly, I didn't get much time to do any good shopping but I did get time to visit the Tiffany & Co at the Shops at Canal Place right on Canal Street. I'll be posting a separate review on what I got later on this week, so stay tuned! The Shops at Canal Place was a great place to do some luxury shopping and included stores like Saks, Armani, Michael Kors, and BCBG.

If you're not into the luxury shopping scene, check out Magazine street which is lined up with pretty little boutiques and cafes! Royal street I would also recommend along with the French Market which is where you can find authentic, handmade NOLA style souvenirs. Other than that, if you're looking for a mall to go to in NOLA check out Lakeside Mall which is a bit far from the French Quarter so you might want to rent a car.

Food

I still feel like I'm new to this whole blogging thing so I forgot all about taking pictures of my food! I don't even do it on Instagram! Ugh. Anyways NOLA is pretty much the city of food! There's restaurants and cafes lined up everywhere and you have to try the typical cuisine such as po' boy sandwiches, gumbo, and beignets!

I honestly don't think you can go wrong with whatever place you choose to eat in NOLA but I do recommend checking out Cafe Du Monde which is in Jackson Square and Sucre which is on Magazine street. Sadly, both places were PACKED so I didn't get a chance to try any desserts there but they're raved about all the time.


Although New Orleans gets a bad rep due to Mardi Gras and is sometimes considered a "raunchy" city, I thought it was beautiful and defiantly met my expectations! They have something there for everyone and you'll never find yourself bored, no matter when you go during the year! In case you're wondering what the weather was like when I went, it was 75 and sunny aka perfect weather!

I hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully I'll be able to post more travel guides in the future since traveling is a huge passion of myn. 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya
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