Today is a first of a kind for me. It is my very first travel post on the blog! With the past year being what it has been, we have had very little travel in our lives, hence no travel posts. However, I am happy to share our recent family trip with all of you. We took a week-long spring break in The Big Easy, aka, New Orleans. Because it is our daughter’s senior year of high school, we let her pick the destination for the trip and this was her choice. She had been to New Orleans years ago with her aunt and uncle, but for the rest of us, it was a brand new city. It did not disappoint. We had lots of spring break fun in New Orleans and I cannot wait to share it with you!
Included in today’s post are some of our highlights of things we did and places we ate. We really did so much while we were there it was hard to narrow it down. But hopefully, you can find a few good recommendations here if you are ever headed to The Big Easy.
New Orleans Voodoo and Cemetery Tour- https://www.neworleansghostadventurestour.com/
Our kids really wanted to do this tour. I will be honest, I was a little hesitant about the Voodoo part beforehand, but I am so glad we took this tour. We started off in Louis Armstrong Park (formerly named Congo Park) and learned the history of the French Slavery system and the history of the park which was fascinating. We then walked through the Treme neighborhood, which was rebuilt after Katrina, learning the history of how that came about, and how it affected the people living there. After that, we were on to multiple cemeteries. Because New Orleans is built on a swamp, the burial of bodies is much different there, and learning about the family crypts was fascinating. Unfortunately, due to the bankruptcy of the Catholic church in the city, all of the cemeteries we visited were closed so we could only peek in through the gates. This was a bit of a disappointment, but the tour was still well worth it. Our guide was informative and we learned a lot! We also really enjoyed learning about Voodoo as a religion that came from Africa and how it is embedded into the culture of the city. Overall, it was an excellent tour and added to our spring break fun in New Orleans!
The Ghosts of New Orleans Tour- https://bit.ly/3cVnKSI
Our family really looked forward to this tour that began at 8:00 PM, just after dark. We started off right at one of NOLA’s most notoriously haunted restaurants, Muriels. Our guide shared how this restaurant sets a table for their ghost every night and how they believe this keeps their ghost happy. We visited multiple sites throughout the tour. There were many different tales from a female serial killer, to Nuns who walk along the sidewalk, mistreated slaves, and finally children from orphanages who still haunt homes today. Overall, I would say this tour was well worth it even though our kids thought the tour guide was a little bland. I think we just happened to get a more reserved guide. I still thought the tour was fun and I enjoyed walking throughout the French Quarter, learning much about its history, and hearing all the tales of the ghosts.
The Whitney Plantation Tour- https://www.whitneyplantation.org/whitney-plantation-tour/
While we were in New Orleans our family went on two separate Plantation Tours. Although both plantations were beautiful, the Whitney Plantation Tour was definitely my favorite. (The other was the Houmas House- https://houmashouse.com/ ) The Whitney included a small museum along with a self-guided tour of the grounds. The plantation focused heavily on the life of slaves in the state of Louisiana. They offer a powerful education, along with many true-life accounts of slaves and what their lives were like on a day-to-day basis. We also learned about the Great Slave Revolt, which I had never heard of, and now want to learn more about. It was a very moving experience to be there and I think all Americans would be well-served to visit The Whitney if possible.
The Bayou Swamp Tour- https://bit.ly/3t36H6S
This was for sure one of the highlights of the trip! It is a little pricey for a family of five but well worth it. We chose the option to have our own private airboat—which was great. It was just our family and our tour guide. The airboat was lots of fun to ride on and the Bayou was unlike any other area I have visited. The vegetation was breathtaking! Seeing alligators in the wild and learning about them was lots of fun and a bit of a thrill. Our guide had caught a baby alligator earlier in the day, which we all got to hold. I was a bit afraid at first but then realized it was pretty easy to control the alligator and I didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity so even I held the little guy. Our guide was born and raised in the Bayou and full of information about alligators, including their anatomy, behaviors, and instincts. Who knew these creatures were that interesting? Our whole family LOVED this tour. I cannot recommend it enough!
Mardi Gras World- https://www.mardigrasworld.com/
It is Mardi Gras y’all! You cannot visit New Orleans without visiting Mardi Gras World. When you arrive, you will be greeted with beads as your ticket and a delicious slice of King Cake—a Mardi Gras tradition. You then head into the theater which runs every half hour. Here, you will watch a short film that teaches you all about the history of Mardi Gras and how the incredible floats are made. I found this film to be very interesting and learned a lot about this city’s great tradition. After the film, you take a self-guided tour through the museum to look at years and years of previous floats. They truly are amazing! Note: Our tour was self-guided due to COVID. Our daughter, Lyla, who had been here years ago, said that her tour was guided and that the museum was full of artists working on the new floats for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, for us, we missed out on this aspect of the tour. She said it was very cool to see the artists at work. Hopefully, the museum will get back to this way of doing things sooner than later. Either way, it was still very fun to see all the floats up close and personal. We took lots of silly pictures here and had a good time as a family.
Oh My Gosh…New Orleans knows how to cook! I am not kidding when I say one meal was better than the next! Our family had everything from Po’Boys sandwiches, Aligator, Beignets, Pizza, Grits, various types of Fish, Pasta, Steaks, Rasta Vegetables, Baked French Toast, and more. There is something for everyone in this creative city. Here is a list of the restaurants we ate at and stars for how much we recommend them (5 stars being the highest review).
Antoines- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – https://antoines.com/
We visited Antoine’s for brunch. We highly recommend the Baked French Toast! Excellent service.
Mambo’s Cajun & Creole- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – ://www.mambosnola.com/
Mambo’s is located on Bourbon Street. We were fortunate enough to get a rooftop seat which made for an excellent view of the spring break fun in New Orleans below. This is where we first tried alligator. (It tastes just like chicken). Very friendly service.
Crescent City Brewhouse- ⭐⭐⭐ – https://www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com/
This Brewhouse is decorated with fun in mind. Artist’s works decorate the walls. The food was very good, but the server was just okay. Honestly, he was the only so-so server we had in New Orleans. Hopefully, if you try this restaurant you will luck out with a more personable server.
Lousiana Pizza Kitchen- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – https://lapizzakitchenfq.com/
We LOVED this restaurant so much that we went back a second time. Every single member of our family devoured our meals. The guys both got personal pizzas (two different kinds) and the three of us ladies all had different pasta dishes. I personally ordered the Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta and it was the best I have ever had anywhere. We went to the French Quarter location which was cute and cozy. Our server was excellent.
Tableau- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – https://www.tableaufrenchquarter.com/
Located on Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter is where you will find Tableau. This was definitely our treat of the vacation given that the prices were high. The food was outstanding though. We all enjoyed our meals. The service was good, but a little slow. We had hoped to eat on the balcony, but unfortunately, a cool front came in that evening and we had to eat indoors. Their Chicken Tableau, Filet, and French Onion soup were the highlights of this meal.
Pierre Masperos- ⭐⭐⭐- https://originalpierremasperos.com/
A little bit of NOLA history can be found at this restaurant. Established in 1788 it is a quaint place that feels like a step back in time. The menu had lots of local fare options and we all really enjoyed our meals. The service was friendly as well.
(Sorry no picture at this place.) 🙁
Cafe Du Monde-⭐⭐⭐- https://shop.cafedumonde.com/
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a stop for their world-famous beignets! We stood in line for about 20 minutes to get our fried delicacies. The line moved quickly though and there was an excellent street band that entertained us the whole time. The beignets are delicious, but a bit overrated in my opinion. Still, it is one of those things you have to try when you first visit this amazing place.
Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to The Big Easy! We spent most of our time walking around the French Quarter—which really didn’t get old. The history of this city and the buildings are amazing. The people are very friendly, and although there is a bit of a homeless situation, you do feel safe. You just need to stay aware of your surroundings. There is always something new to see and learn here.
We really had so much spring break fun in New Orleans! I don’t think many people view New Orleans as a place to visit with your kids, but we really did build lots of fun memories as a family. Granted, our kids are older so that definitely helped.
One day, I would love to go back with just my sweetie for a long weekend to explore more of the garden district, hear some live music (As most places didn’t offer this right now due to COVID), and maybe even attend Mardi Gras! This would also be a great place to go with some other couples too.
I hope this post about our spring break fun in New Orleans has you thinking about visiting this southern gem someday soon!