Fat Tuesday has arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited! All the talk of Mardi Gras reminds me of my trip to New Orleans years ago. It’s such a great city, and there’s much more to it than parades, partying and beads. So grab your king cake and paczkis and check out my top 5 favorite places in New Orleans.
1. The French Quarter
My perfect New Orleans afternoon is spent strolling through the historic French Quarter. I love the old architecture and liveliness of this area. Walk through Jackson Square to hear jazz musicians and see street performers, then stop at Cafe du Monde for their famous beignets and coffee. Carriage rides throughout the square are a must do.
2. Shopping on Magazine Street
The shops that line Magazine Street make the area a shoppers’ paradise. I could spend all afternoon perusing the antique shops and clothing boutiques. Some of my must-visit stores include Make Me Up for beauty and skincare products, and Mignon Faget for jewelry. Take the Magazine Street bus up and down the 6 miles of the avenue to save yourself some time.
3. Mardi Gras World
Visit this warehouse-like facility for a behind the scenes look at the making of Mardi Gras. The up close and personal views of the floats and their details are amazing, and you really see all that goes into the parades. Daily tours run throughout the morning.
4. Bourbon Street
This is a must-do for any first time visitor to the city. Yes, it can be rowdy and dirty, but no trip to the Big Easy is complete without trying a hurricane. Pat O’Brien’s is one of the places where you can get one, although you’ll have to fight your way through crowds of tourists.
5. Audubon Park