Have you ever considered going on a trip for your birthday? I’ve definitely thought about it, and this year I made it happen! I’ve celebrated my birthday on trips before, but I had not been on a trip ON my birthday. I decided to go to a city I had always wanted to go to: New Orleans! Seeing posts and hearing people talk about their experiences in the city definitely made this U.S city on the top of my lists. Continue reading to see what I did and to maybe help you plan your next trip to New Orleans!
Where Did I Stay?
Airbnb is my go to when booking a place to stay. So naturally, I headed to the site to check out my options. I settled on this spot which was relatively close to Downtown New Orleans. With a private entrance to my room and a shared bathroom and kitchen, it was the perfect space for a quick weekend getaway for one.
What Did I Do?
For my activity selection, I looked to Airbnb as well! If you didn’t know, Airbnb now has a section called Airbnb Experiences where you can find so many different things to do in the area. Whether you’re looking for a walking tour from a local, a cooking class, or an encounter with an animal, Airbnb Experiences has got you covered!
I decided to book 3 different experiences. Unfortunately, I was only able to make 1. But I’ll talk about all 3 in case you want to check them out:
City Wide Wine Tasting Bike Ride
The first experience I was supposed to have was a biking wine tour. This was one of the experiences I missed. I missed my flight earlier that day, which therefore led me to miss the tour. My new flight had me landing at 4:20PM, and the tour started at 4:30PM. The guide really tried to accommodate me when I asked if I could meet up with them during the middle of the tour. Unfortunately, my phone died while it was navigating me to the location and I never met it. I would recommend the experience though, because the host really did try to work with me and the circumstances of which I was presented.
French Quarter Photo Shoot
The second experience, a photo shoot throughout Downtown New Orleans, I did make. I figured why not treat myself to some great pictures on my birthday trip, even though it would be a solo shoot. Well, great thing I decided to do that because I met a fellow solo traveller on the shoot and we ended up spending a majority of the remainder of the trip together. We got to know each other as we walked from each shooting site.
The photo shoot itself was great, because as someone who is chronically awkward and doesn’t know what to do with their body during pictures, I genuinely appreciated the direction from the photographer. I ended up receiving great pictures about 5-7 days after the shoot.
Second Line Music Experience
I was so looking forward to this experience. So much so that I booked the experience, even though it started wayyy past my bedtime. But alas, I missed it – partially my fault. Due to traffic [which I should have expected and left sooner], I would arrive late to the starting location. I messaged the guide letting him know, and also letting him know I would be willing to meet up with the group wherever they were at the time of my arrival. Communication was poor, as I didn’t receive a response. But I would still recommend booking this experience if you’re in the New Orleans area. It seems like such a fun thing to do. Maybe when I go back, I’ll try to do it again.
One of the iconic images of New Orleans, Jackson Square has so much going on! If you’re wanting to visit Cafe du Monde, Cafe Beignet, Pat O’Brien’s, or other tasty places, this is the best meeting spot to fan out. Not only that, but you’re going to encounter street performers, see the church, the fountain, and even see bands play. If you’re wanting to go on a carriage ride, the horses are right there.
Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation is a little bit of a drive from New Orleans, but one to take to understand a bit of history of the area. Unfortunately [when you think about why they are here to begin with], there are many plantations to choose from. Oak Alley details the life of the slaves and plantation owners at the site, showing the living quarters and situations of both. Although the views are gorgeous, the things you learn are tragic and heartbreaking but necessary to learn about.
Honestly, there are a million and one things to do while in New Orleans, and the list I had was extensive! I wish I had the time to do anything and everything I wanted, but hey – just means I’ll have to go back for a longer time next time I go!
Where Did I Eat / Drink?
Coming to New Orleans, you will find yourself eating some of the best food and drinking the best drinks! Everything I sampled during my my time there isn’t all listed, but here are some of the highlights:
If you’re looking for beignets in New Orleans, Cafe Beignet is the place to go! Apparently there are multiple locations throughout downtown, but the one I went to was literally just down the road from Cafe du Monde, and there was no line here! The beignets were delicious and melted in your mouth. I had always dreamed of going to Cafe du Monde, but after tasting these beignets, I was okay with not having a chance to visit.
One of the popular bars in New Orleans is the Carousel Bar. Located in Hotel Monteleone, this bar is literally circular in design and slowly revolves – just like a carousel. Like you can tell from the picture, spots fill up pretty quickly but it’s still cool to see in person! I tried the Pimms drink here, and it was delicious!
Pat O’Briens is definitely a spot to hit up when you’re in New Orleans! A bar that is actually consisted of at least three different bars – this place is so full of energy and booze! There is an outdoor bar, which seems to be the main area, but we decided to pop into the piano bar. Great decision on our part, as the pianoists were super talented and were accepting requests! I didn’t put any in, as most of the ones were great, but we did order the signature Hurricane drink and a mint julep. If I had to choose one between the two, I’d order a Hurricane every time!
Breakfast at the Ruby Slipper was the move! So many delicious options to choose from and various specialities. They’re super flexible in customizing meal options, so I chose an egg and sausage combo and added the cereal milk pancakes. The portions were so big, I actually had to take my cereal milk pancakes to go. But when I finally ate those pancakes, they were so delicious! If you have the chance to visit while they are still on the specials menu, I highly suggest trying them!
Silver Whistle Cafe
Another cute breakfast spot, this quaint place was delicious and filling as well! I ordered the eggs benedict with a side of potatoes. I wasn’t sure if the plate would be up to my appetite, but I couldn’t even finish my entire plate. Spots are limited in this cafe, so get here early if you’re not looking to wait in line.
Birthday Behavior in New Orleans
I had a blast exploring New Orleans during my birthday weekend. Everything did not go as planned, but it was still a weekend to remember. Special thank you and shout out to all those who helped me in planning my trip, especially family friend – Taylor! New Orleans has been on my list for quite some time, so it was great to finally get to experience it in person. I’d love to go back one day and continue uncovering what the city has to offer!
Have you ever been to New Orleans? Is New Orleans on your list? I’d love to hear your thoughts! As always, thank you for reading!