McCann Travels: 4 Days in New Orleans with Katie Henry, Integrated Producer
My most recent trip to New Orleans was a very last minute trip. We booked it about 2 weeks before going and it was one of our best decisions. Before heading down, I did very minimal research, which is usually my way of traveling, not the smartest but also kind of fun too. I did, however, reach out to a few friends that I knew had spent some time down there and was looking for some recommendations on what we should absolutely do.
Whenever I go to a new city I want to do what locals do, as I’m sure most people do, but I really do like to know what keeps the locals in these cities. Where is their favorite bar? Where is the best venue to see live music? Best views of the city? Best of the best through the eyes of the locals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about doing the touristy things as well. I’m happy to taste the “world famous” pastries, drink at the oldest bar in the world, walk through the halls of the most haunted homes in the country and dance among the drunks on Bourbon Street. So, that being said, we did a little bit of everything.
First day we got there, we explored the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods, hitting up some great restaurants and art galleries. Throughout the weekend we walked a ton through a lot of great, historic neighborhoods, ate some incredible food, met some of the nicest people, watched live music, met some gators and walked among the dead. Not a bad weekend at all.
A few places we visited (in no particular order)
3301 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Walked around this record store for a bit, flipping through new and used records. If you want to listen to one of your selections while shopping, they’d be happy to put it on for you.
The Country Club:
634 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Grabbed some delicious cocktails here to break up the walking around. There is a pool and Cabana Bar. There is a cover to enjoy these pool luxuries but we decided to stay in the AC and enjoy some cocktails.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
It’s one of the oldest, if not the oldest bar in the country. It’s the equivalent of New York City’s McSorley’s.
Located in the Hotel Monteleone
214 Royal St
This was one of those things that was an ultimate tourist trap and I was all for it. This is exactly what the name of it says, A Carousel Bar. There is a carousel in the middle of the room that slowly rotates around in a circle. It was pretty cool actually.
930 Tchoupitoulas St
Definitely order the fried gator fritter, it was delicious. Everything we ate was really good so no complaints there. The place looks small when you first walk in but it’s actually a huge space, awesome service too.
601 Gallier St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Country classic breakfast joint with local artists work filling the walls with a bar upstairs. Basically, everything you want in life in one space.
We saw some art:
Dr. Bob is one of the most well known and recognizable artists in NOLA, his work is everywhere. It’s colorful, textured and to the point. “Be Nice or Leave” being one of his most recognizable statements.
We heard some music:
On the MUST DO IN NOLA list, seeing some live music is 100% a must. It’s nearly impossible not to but just in case you need some spots:
Spotted Cat - This venue is small but so worth it. Our plan was to hit up a few spots to hear some music but we ultimately ended up staying here for a while because the band was that good. Drinks are cheap, crowd is 3 sheets to the wind but everyone was invested in this band. Highly recommend going here.
We were one with nature:
Honey Island Swamp Tours
We visited a historical mansion:
(Which was also featured on American Horror Stories)
The Hermann–Grima House is a historic house museum in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Other recommendations that were given to us but we didn't get a chance to get to:
Surrey’s - Best Brunch in N.O. but if you want to get in and not wait, highly recommend you get an early start here.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House - Fried chicken
Cavan - Seafood/Cajun inspired
Cane & Table
1113 Decatur St
820 N Rampart St
Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits
600 Poland Ave
These bars are open 24 Hours a day.
Club Ms. Mae’s
Igor's Checkpoint Charlie
Buffy’s Lounge and Restaurant
The Drive-thru Daiquiri / Gene’s Drive Thru Daiquiri