During Halloween weekend, I took my first trip to New Orleans, Louisiana to experience the unique sights, sounds and smells of the city during one of its most festive occasions.
I stayed downtown, which turned out to be a great decision. It’s conveniently located between the French Quarter and Garden District, so walking and traveling by street car was easy. As I made my way to the French Quarter on foot, I was able to take in some of city’s classic art and architecture.
The distinct marquee signs and vintage streetcars found along Canal Street, as well as the intricate wrought iron balconies decorating the French Quarter, let me know that New Orleans is a city that takes great pride in preserving its past.
Once situated in the French Quarter, I made my way to the world-famous Cafe Du Monde. The line was long, but after tasting its delicious beignets and cafe au lait, it was well worth the wait. I’m far from a “foodie,” but I love good coffee and I must say that Cafe Du Mode serves the BEST coffee I have ever tasted. Blended with chicory, half and half and hot milk – it is absolutely delicious.
After eating, I made my way through the rest of the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Bourbon Street. At every turn, you see the influences of music, mysticism and celebration that draw people to New Orleans.
Later in the evening, I returned to Bourbon Street to witness New Orleans’ take on celebrating Halloween. To say that people here take it seriously would be a grave understatement. If you were not wearing a costume (and I’m guilty of this) you were definitely in the minority. However, this definitely won’t stop you from enjoying the evening.
From beads flying off balconies, performers capturing your attention and the light-hearted attitudes of every person crossing your path, Halloween in New Orleans is a highly recommended “must do” for anyone who enjoys a festive gatering.
And I can’t forget the parade….
After a second round of beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde the following morning, I took one final stroll down Bourbon Street to witness the aftermath of the previous night. It was fairly quiet except for people scrubbing down the streets and sidewalks, but after seeing hundreds of beads hanging from balconies, power lines and street signs, there was no mistake another good time was had on Bourbon Street the night before.
My last stop in New Orleans was the Garden District. After hopping off the streetcar I made my way to the Lafayette Cemetery. Touring cemeteries is generally not my idea of a good time, but since I was there, I took a quick look at the historic above-ground tombs.
From there, I walked through the community (encountering dozens of other tourists) and admired some of the grand, southern homes that line the neighborhood.
After grabbing lunch at Joey K’s, it was time to make my way out of town.
Till next time New Orleans…