New Orleans Travel Diaries

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Last week Zan and I escaped to New Orleans for a few days. After hearing it has some of the best food, amazing jazz bars, baby alligators that you can hold and it’s Britney Spear’s home state, I knew I had to go.

Old bus trolly in New Orleans
Cocktails in New Orleans

We got  some delicious recommendations for restaurants from ex-New Orleaners, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and the Tabasco team. We were only there for a few nights and unfortunately we could only eat so much!! We didn’t make every place on our list, but the places we did go  lived up to every expectation!

Downtown New Orleans

Southern food, Southern hospitality and some darn good Southern cocktails… does it get any better? I will say I gained about 7 pounds in 2 days indulging in gumbo, jumbalaya and those dang daiquiris that are sold on every corner! They come in just about every flavor you can imagine AND you can walk around the city with drinks in hand!

Beads in trees and a white house

We didn’t fly to New Orleans just to eat if that’s what you’re thinking… we visited the country side, took a boat ride on the Bayou and swam with alligators. Totally kidding – we just oohed and ahhed over them. We did hold a  baby alligator and fell in love. Such a tease though, because I know if that tape was off her mouth she would be happy to eat a finger, but because she was taped, she just chilled and pretended like she was the sweetest thing in the swamp!

beautiful white home in New Orleans

Oh and let’s talk about the music. I have to say New Orleans has some crazy talented musicians. You can hear some of the best jazz music while taking a stroll down the street. The street performers are all ages, even high school  kids who blew us away with their talent!

Pleasant street New Orleans

Every night we would pick a bar to hang in, grab a table and wait for the music to start. Such a unique experience unlike any other city! Zan thought it was like the charm of Charleston meets the music vibe of Nashville meets the partying of Vegas. haha Oh and if you’re ever there take a bike taxi, it was so much fun! Here’s a breakdown of what we did.

Commanders Palace New Orleans
Eden Passante in New Orleans
Frozen Cocktails
Daiquiris in New Orleans
Columns Hotel New Orleans
Girl drinking a mojito

Where We Ate:
Cochon – Just plain amazing.

Commander’s Palace – Best service and incredible food.

Acme Oyster House – Best oysters and soft shell crab!!

Domenica – This place was good, except for the blah service at the bar and the fact that I felt like I was in LA (the city ; )) which isn’t how I like to travel!

Cafe Du Munde – Still dreaming of the beignets. They only sell beignets covered in enormous mounds of powdered sugar and coffee… it’s really the best!

Arnaud’s French 75th – This famous bar is a must. They serve up classic cocktails and the bartender, Chris Hannah is one of the best mixologists around!

The Old Absinthe House – This old NOLA staple has incredible rum punch!

The Spotted Cat – A fun, little music bar.

Drinks on the front porch at the Columns Hotel.

Bourbon street New Orleans

Neighborhoods we visited:
The Garden District has some of the most beautiful Southern homes, it’s full of color and tons of charm. We grabbed a drink on the front porch of the Columns Hotel, then walked through the Garden District to dinner at Commander’s Palace.

Faubourg Marigny/Frenchman Street. It’s hip and has really cool jazz bars. It’s not as crazy at the French Quarter.

Magazine Street was really great for shopping! We picked up some awesome decor accents for our house at AKA Stella Gray.

New Orleans boat ride

French Quarter: I wouldn’t recommend staying in the French Quarter because it’s extremely loud! We stayed about a mile away and just walked there when we needed too. There are great bars and daiquiri shops on every corner and some yummy restaurants! It’s absolutely the craziest place I have ever been to on a Friday night though… be prepared!

Eden Passante holding a baby alligator

How to Make a French 75

Traditional New Orleans Beignets Recipe

New Orleans Cold brew Recipe

New Orleans
New Orleans Jazz band outside

The film is by Zan Passante
The song is When You’re Smiling by Louis Prima. © 1991 Capital Records. It’s one of our favorites!

18 thoughts on “New Orleans Travel Diaries”

  1. I love this!! Made me so excited for my trip in a couple of weeks. Just out of curiousity, what kind of camera was used to film the video?

    • I would love to go back to New Orleans! We had SO much fun there!!! We shot the video on a Canon 5D Mark 3! Have a wonderful trip!!!

  2. I was wondering where you were able to hold the baby alligator at? I was on Pinterest and stumbled across your page. We’re going in about a week!

  3. Im so glad I stumbled upon this! I’m going in September for my 25th birthday and I’m so excited. Just wanted to know which Daiquiri location you visited 🙂 Thanks so much!

    • Hi Cindy!! You are going to have a BLAST!! Such an amazing place to party for your birthday! So there is a daiquiri bar on every corner, haha!! I can’t even remember which one it was, but don’t worry you won’t have any trouble spotting them and they all seem super similar. Have SO MUCH FUN!!!

  4. I live in Lafayette Louisiana. But I love going to New Orleans as much as possible I love it. Thanks for sharing

  5. I was looking on Pinterest for things to do in NOLA when I came across your blog. Absolutely love it! Your video radiates your sparkle fun way of being, and your tips are great too. I can’t wait to get down there and have a great time!

    Thank you!

  6. Hi! We are headed to NOLA next week and I keep wondering if we should be making reservations at the restaurants we want to eat at. Did you have any trouble getting in? Thanks and awesome post – so adorable!

  7. Hey Eden! I am going to New Orleans in a couple of weeks and was just wondering which tour you did where they let you hold a baby alligator, cause I want to do that while I’m there too!

  8. Oh my goodness I was in New Orleans last week and hit the exact same places you did! LOVED my time there! And yeah, I’m getting too old for the nightlife on Bourbon St. HA! Coming back from vacation is always hard so really enjoyed seeing your post today.

  9. So glad you had a good time! I went to college in New Orleans over 10 years ago and it’s still very near and dear to my heart. You hit up some of my faves.

  10. Loved this! I just recently traveled to New Orleans for the first time, so it was fun reading this post and being able to completely relate! Thanks for sharing.


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