Taking it Easy
Words by Mary Bryce
From the beautiful old buildings, to the haunted tropical vibe, the crescent city is a place of endless discovery and delight. No matter if you want to party, eat, see music or just wander, this centuries-old hot spot is endlessly entertaining for even the most relaxed traveler.
If you’re looking to unwind, begin your weekend with a long bike ride around this bicycle-friendly city. Head to the Audubon Park where you can see ancient mossy trees, beautiful ponds and locals out for a stroll. If you’re hungry, the Camellia Grill is just up the street. Featuring legendary burgers and hot bowls of gumbo, Camellia Grill is the perfect diner to introduce yourself to some of New Orlean’s most delicious cooking. Additionally, you can watch the cooks whip your meal up on the grill right in front of you. Afterwards, if you’ve still got energy, The Maple Leaf nightclub offers some of the Big O’s finest musicianship in a warm, unpretentious atmosphere. If you’re still hungry, grab some gourmet creole cuisine at Jacques-Imo’s up the street.
Spend Saturday wandering around the infamous French Quarter. Stop by Café Du Monde where you can eat an amazing beignet and drink some New Orleans-style chicory coffee. Head to Crescent Park on the beautiful Mississippi River where you can admire the city’s famous riverboats and enjoy the skyline. Afterwards, stop by BJ’s bar, which has cheap drinks, great pool tables and a fabulous jukebox. If you’re getting hungry, make sure to stop by Verdi Mart, which just happens to be one of the best spots to grab a po-boy and other delicious NOLA food delights.
On Sunday, begin your morning with a leisurely brunch in the Bywater district at Cake Café. With a huge array of pastries, sandwiches and amazing specials, Cake Café absolutely is not to be missed. Afterwards, walk off your meal by stopping in some of the Bywater’s antique and junk shops such as Rare Finds. Take your time wandering through the Louis Armstrong Park and browsing the amazing vinyl selection at Euclid Records. Afterwards head to Frady’s, a convenience store/café for a massive po-boy that will leave you craving more. (Also, they make some of the meanest breakfast po-boys around.) Take a pitstop at the unforgettable Budrips bar for a quick drink before heading to The Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street where you can dance the night away to some classic New Orlean’s jazz.
If you go…
Events: There’s always something happening in New Orleans, especially leading up to and during Mardi Gras. Additionally the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is legendary. Visit neworleansonline.com/calendar for more information.
Getting Around: Be sure to take or rent a bike. Because it’s so flat, New Orleans is a supremely bikable city and cycling suits the unique pace of the city. Alternatively, if you’re car-less, there are plenty of services such as Uber and Lyft as well as cabs and buses available throughout the city.
Forecast: If you’re headed to New Orleans in the spring, expect temperate and humid temperatures. Walking shoes are a must.