Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans to represent my organization at a trade show. Most of the week I was, of course, working – but I did manage to fit in a fair bit of sight seeing the day and a half I was free.
I arrived late at night and was subjected to a very long shuttle drive since the van was full with passengers headed to 15(!) different hotels. Although I was more than ready to relax after a long day of traveling it was a great way to see many beautiful hotels.
I always use Tripadvisor to plan my trips and the website led me to a wonderful hotel, The French Market Inn. It is located at the end of the French Quarter, right in front of the Natchez Steam Boat. The location was perfect – I could walk to anywhere in the French Quarter, and the downtown sites weren’t much further. I chose a balcony room, knowing it might be a little loud. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated but the rest of hotel, including the gorgeous courtyard was very peaceful.
Because it is New Orleans, the trade show didn’t open until 10 am (and people starting drinking at noon!) so I had the mornings to walk around and explore. My first morning I came upon a really beautiful park, not realizing at first that it was the historic Jackson Square. One of the best restaurants I visited, Stanley is right next to the Square, and I had breakfast here twice!
It was really cool to see so many beautiful Antebellum style buildings in person, and I loved all of the hidden courtyards and nods to New Orleans history you stumble upon just by walking around.
My mom joined me for part of the trip and one day we did a walking tour of the garden district, then took in the Victory Belles Swingin’ Christmas show – it was a highlight of the trip for sure! The performers were fantastic, and the whole World War II Museum complex looked incredible – I can’t wait to go back and see it all.
Before I left a friend told me I’d love New Orleans saying, “the vibe is so special” and she was right! There was a lot of homelessness and some pretty downtrodden areas, but for the most part I only noticed how warm and unique all of the people, businesses, and cultural attractions were. I loved that the local tourism focused so heavily on the city’s special history and sense of place. I hope to be back for several more trips in the future!
I hope you and your families all have a wonderful and restorative Holiday season!