New Orleans, Louisiana | The Southern Thing

Jun 21, 2013

Welcome to day five of Travel Week! If you've been sticking around this week, I hope you're enjoying it! I'm glad you're back! if you're new,check out this week's earlier destinations! Thanks to Dara for finishing up this week with a great post on New Orleans! And a big thank you to my guest bloggers!
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Greenville, South Carolina

Hey y'all, I'm Dara and I blog over at The Southern Thing!  Today I'm here to share with all of you Overwhelmed by Grace Readers a little bit about my hometown New Orleans, Louisiana!  I was born and raised in NOLA (what we locals like to call it), but have been living in New England for the past year.  Living in the northeast has quickly taught me that New Orleans is truly a unique city and there is simply nothing else like it. 
Now before we start, let's just make sure we're all on the same page here!  It's pronounced New-Or-Lins, NOT New-Or-Leans like many like to believe.  Nawlins works too :)  Promise me if you visit you will say it like a local :)  K now that that's out the way, we shall begin!
When I think of NOLA, a few main things come to mind:  bourbon street, french quarter, good food, good people, and mardi gras!  And that my friends is the recipe for a great time if you ask me!  
So to wrap up this Travel Week, here are some of the reasons New Orleans is my favorite city.  After all, we save the best for last, am I right!?   And be sure to put your party pants on; there's a reason NOLA is known as the most fun city in the world!  I'll let you take a look and see for yourself!
 Where The Party Starts
Bourbon Street
Where the bars are open all day, everyday.  Seriously.. it never ends!  This is a 13 block street right in the middle of the French Quarter and is home to some of the city's most sought after drinks.  You are more than welcome to walk through the entire French Quarter with your drink of choice in hand!  My recommendation would be a hand grenade from Tropical Isle!  See a cop?  Gladly wave hi and go about your business.  It's totally fine, just don't get crazy!  Now tell me where else can you do such a thing!?
Pat O'Briens
One of the most famous bars in the quarter!  This is personally one of my favorites!  You can sit inside and enjoy the dueling piano players while requesting your favorite song, or soak up the atmosphere in the relaxing courtyard.  Regardless of what you choose, order a hurricane and I promise it will be a good time!
Pat O'Briens Hurricane + Tropical Isle Hand Grenade
The two must have drinks of the city.  Neither one will disappoint.  But take it easy on those hand grenades though or they'll sneak up on ya!  Don't say I didn't warn you ;)
Jackson Square
The historic heart of New Orleans.  It is home of the St. Louis Cathedral.  Surrounded around the square you can find dozens of local street artists selling their unique pieces of art.  This is the most beautiful and personally my favorite spot to relax and take in the quarter.
Cafe Du Monde
Home of the original beignets.  This is the perfect way to start off your morning or grab a mid day snack.  Be sure to try 'em, I promise you won't be able to eat just one!
French Market
While your on the way to Cafe Du Monde, be sure to stop at the French Market!  Lots of goodies can be found here.  This is where you can buy the best pralines if you ask me!
While New Orleans is famous for it's food, crawfish are at the very top of my list.  I'm pretty sure any local would agree!  They may look like dirty mud bugs, partially because they are, but it is seriously the most mouth watering, tasteful food you will ever have.  Ever!  It's all about the seasoning :)
This creole dish has it all in my book.  It's typically served with cajun sausage and seafood (usually shrimp).  You can find this dish on any menu in the quarter and no matter where you go, the recipe is right on spot!  I can honestly say that about all the restaurants there- they're all extremely good.  You won't go hungry!
The Superdome
Home of the New Orleans Saints!  If you happen to be around the city during football season, make sure you get your hands on some Saints tickets.  It will be an experience like no other and the loud, crazy, passionate fans will blow your ears off!  Welcome to the Who Dat Nation my friends!
Mardi Gras
Louisiana's own holiday, aka a season of it's own!  You see, around here we do things differently.  If you haven't gotten the vibe yet, we like to have fun.  That is what this city is all about- a good time.  Although Mardi Gras is technically one day, Fat Tuesday, we stretch it out a bit.  For weeks prior to Mardi Gras day, you can catch parades all over the quarter and surrounding cities.  This is a time you don't want to miss!
Well that about sums it up.  I really could go on for hours about my city, but I think I've overloaded y'all enough with pictures!  Feel free to contact me if you're interested in planning a trip and I will be more than glad to give you some tips!
And if you'd like to see more, head on over to my blog!  I will be going home in a few weeks and will have lots of good stuff to share with all of you!  And those amazing food pictures?  Well my friends, you're in luck because I have some secret creole cajun recipes I can't wait to post!  Happy Travel Week!
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  1. I've always wanted to go here! So many of my friends have and just love it! And also- beignets ahhh! My favorite. I have a beignet mix and maker at home, and while I've never had the "real" ones I guess.. We go to Disney world every year and they have them at the port Orleans French quarter hotel that is themed like Mardi gras. I always have to order them!!

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  3. Definately a place I'd like to visit one day!