New Orleans was not originally on our route but after hearing about how amazing this city is, we decided to change our plans completely and made sure to include it. We spent 2 nights in New Orleans at the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. The hotel was perfectly located right next to the famous Bourbon Street. It is an unforgettable boutique hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. This historic French Quarter Hotel features buildings that date back to the early nineteenth century.
Exploring the city
We had one full day to visit all the sites this city has to offer. One day was definitely not enough but we made sure to see as much as we could. We decided to use the Hop On Hop Off Bus to get around the city but before boarding the bus we joined famous New Orleans Tour Guide, Ernie, on the St Louis Cemetery No. 1 tour. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most famous. It was opened in 1789, replacing the city’s older St. Peter Cemetery (no longer in existence) as the main burial ground when the city was redesigned after a fire in 1788.
Famous New Orleanians buried in St. Louis No. 1 include Etienne de Boré, wealthy pioneer of the sugar industry and the first mayor of New Orleans; Homer Plessy, the plaintiff from the landmark 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision on civil rights; and Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans. The renowned Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt. Delphine LaLaurie, the notoriously cruel slave owner, is also believed to lie in rest here. What is more fascinating is that in 2010, actor Nicolas Cage (who is very much alive) purchased a pyramid shaped tomb to be his future final resting place.
It is not the tour company that makes the difference, it is the tour guide. If you want to guarantee quality, you need to know your tour guide. Ernie conducts cemetery, history, voodoo and ghost tours. He is especially passionate about the cemetery and history tours. If you want to hear fantastic and important stories about New Orleans history, then Ernie’s Tours is perfect for you.
Using the Hop On Hop Off Bus, we visited many parts of the city. New Orleans has so much to offer. We spent the afternoon at the French Market which is located in the French Quarter. From the perfect meal to countless market stalls, the French Market has it all. We explored some of the oldest neighborhoods and drove past houses that were so huge, it warranted its own block!
As the sun went down, the night was coming alive. We were so lucky to be staying only a stones throw away from Bourbon Street. We spent the night walking up and down Bourbon Street just taking it all in. The atmosphere was incredible and the sound of music and smell of Cajun cuisine filled the streets. We ended off the night watching an incredible Jazz band and just enjoyed the nightlife in Bourbon Street. I have officially fallen in love with New Orleans! It oozes culture, history and amazing people!
Next stop… Dallas