Type: Domestic travel
Budget: Mid-range ($1000-$5000)
Where did you go? My husband is a total foodie — he spends more time looking up awesome places to eat, and watching food travel shows, than most guys do watching sports. I love vampires, ghosts, and creepy things. Where else would we possibly go for our honeymoon than New Orleans!?
We flew out about 48 hours after our wedding and spent five days in the city. Neither of us had ever been there before, and now we both cannot wait to go back!
What did you do? On the plane we watched the New Orleans episode of Man Vs. Food… so you can probably guess our first stop after checking into our hotel was hitting a restaurant!
We both made a flexible list of things we wanted to see and do, and we used that as a daily guide. The funny thing is that people associate NOLA with nothing but drinking, and while we did partake of that a little, Joe and I were more excited about the city, its food, and its culture. I think we spent all of five minutes on Bourbon Street, because the rest of the French Quarter is just so much more interesting.
Sometimes we would stay up late eating beignets, and sometimes we would wake up early for chocolate filled croissants! We took vampire tours in the rainy night and cemetery tours in the day. We toured the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery, and of course I had to go to Oak Alley Plantation where they filmed Interview With The Vampire!There are so many great places to eat, and the next dining destination was as exciting as any of the tours we went on! Sometimes we talked to locals to get a feel for where to go, and people were really great about giving us inside tips on where to listen to great music and to avoid the tourist trap restaurants.
We both loved shopping there — their antique stores look more like museums! I also loved being able to be immersed in a city that did not shy away from its darker magical affiliations. We never once felt out of place or stared at just for being offbeat.
What would you have done differently? I would have loved to have spent more time there! Everything else was honestly perfection.
What's your advice for other offbeat honeymooners? The most important piece of advice I got as a first timer was "do not bother bringing your heels, wedges, or any shoe you don't feel comfortable walking in!" The streets are all cobblestone and uneven in the Quarter — and even if you are just camping out at the bar, you still need to walk to it!
There are a lot of tours in NOLA, and if you do any, check in with your hotel or at the numerous tour booths around the city, because they will always offer you discounts! We stayed with the Haunted History Tour people for about 90% of the tours we took because they were just incredible. The tour guides treat you like friends instead of mindless tour sheep. We learned so much and had such a nice time with them!
A lot of people associate NOLA with high crime — I didn't feel any less safe there than in any other big city. We were out very late some nights and had somewhat of a walk back to our hotel and never felt unsafe. Just be smart and don't announce to the world that you are a tourist filled with bags of money and people really leave you alone.
New Orleans is a great city full of people who want to share it with you. We had a never-ending list of recommendations from people on where to eat, what to see, and where to shop. Before we went I had printed out several pages of Google maps with the "search nearby" feature, so when people recommended places I would flip to the page (I had a page for restaurant, shopping, tour, historic site, etc.) and star the place they were talking about. Except for the tours at specific times, we didn't stick to a rigid timetable, because it's New Orleans, and it is our honeymoon — who wants a schedule! The maps saved us a lot of time being lost or trying to find what we were in the mood to do.
Enough tips, show us more New Orleans!