For their New Year’s resolutions, some people vow to eat less or exercise more. Others vow to perform more acts of kindness or to work even harder to get that big promotion. And some people’s New Year’s Resolution is simply to visit New Orleans in 2013.
Whether you’re traveling for the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, or New Orleans’ fall food fests, your next visit to the city should include a few of New Orleans’ favorite eateries and attractions. We’ve compiled a list of some of the traditional and lesser known sights, tastes, and sounds that should be on your to-do list the next time you visit:
1. Eat oysters. Various restaurants around the city shuck some of the biggest and best tasting oysters in the world—sure, we’ll a little biased—so you’ve got quite a few options on this one. Whether its happy hour or dinnertime, you should check out places like Acme Oyster House, Felix’s, Royal House Oyster Bar, or Bourbon House in the French Quarter, Drago’s or Lüke in the CBD, or Casamento’s or the Blind Pelican Uptown. And just about all of them are accessible via the St. Charles streetcar line just steps from Southern Comfort B&B.
2. Live music on Frenchmen St. Bourbon St may be a top destination for many tourists. And while the strip admittedly has a few decent jazz clubs, Frenchmen St is one of New Orleans’ hidden treasures. The Blue Nile and d.b.a. consistently host some of New Orleans’ favorites of all genres, and you can catch other up-and-coming acts at the Maison (check out their huge window showcase of the musicians performing on stage) or the more intimate, acoustic atmosphere at the Apple Barrel. Located at the far edge of the French Quarter from Canal St, just follow Decatur St all the way down past Esplanade Ave.
3. Sample gumbo. Dark roux, light roux, seafood, chicken, and sausage—gumbo comes in all colors, textures, and sizes in restaurants throughout the city. Especially in the winter months, few things warm the soul like a steamy bowl of this Cajun-Creole delicacy. There are too many to even begin to name them all, but restaurants like the New Orleans Gumbo Shop, Li’l Dizzy’s Café, Coop’s Place, Liuzza’s by the Track, Galatoire’s, and Dooky Chase, are just a sampling of the plethora of restaurants serving up some of the best gumbo you’ll ever try. And if you don’t yet know what a roux is, you’ll know by the time you head home.
4. Ride the streetcar. Ever felt the breeze on your face while taking in the open-window ride on a streetcar heading downtown? Whether you’re taking the Canal St, Riverfront, or St. Charles Ave streetcars, the experience is not one to miss. The sights are a thrill, from the gorgeous oaks and mansions lining St. Charles Ave to the exciting—albeit tiny—strip of downtown you’ll catch on the Canal line. Even if you just take a ride down the line and back up to your same starting point, you’ll be glad you made the trip.