First time in New Orleans? Hosting friends/family who have never been to New Orleans before? We’ve got you covered. The city is jam-packed with things to do, but there are a few classics you need to hit. These are the places everyone is going to ask you about when you get home. This list should keep you busy for a two or three-day weekend trip. And, please bring your appetite.
This is the Louisiana Welcome Center on I-10 near the Mississippi state line. There’s free Community Coffee inside if you stop by. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, New in NOLA)
Wear comfortable shoes. You are going to do a lot of walking and our sidewalks are uneven. Skip the fashion show and wear something you can walk several miles in. No one cares if you are wearing sneakers, slip-ons or flip-flops. Most places don’t have a dress code and won’t care what your footwear looks like.
In the summer, grab a hat if you are going to be outside. We have plenty of hat stores here if you want to buy one. Here’s more advice about picking a hat and where to get one in New Orleans.
Leave your big purse at home. Minimize what you are carrying around. Get a small, crossbody purse, small clutch or a wallet in your front pocket. Big purses are easy to grab on the street and you don’t want to juggle it in a crowded bar. Continue reading
Happy Carnival season! One of the biggest misconceptions we’ve run into with new residents about this time of year is that Mardi Gras is a single day. Technically, it’s true – “Mardi Gras” is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. However, Carnival season – which ends with Mardi Gras – is several weeks. That means multiple days of parades, king cakes and Mardi Gras festivities. This year, we are getting a good three weeks of parades.
Things kicked off last week with the very lewd (and creative) Krewe du Vieux in the French Quarter. Check out our Instagram page for photos or swing on over to LA to NOLA for more pix from that night. Here’s a relatively tamed snippet from it:
We love seafood! How about you? If you’re like us, The Louisiana Seafood Festival is perfect for you. Free admission and tons of seafood vendors. You pay for what you eat so you control how much you spend.
Mr. B’s served bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits at the 2013 Louisiana Seafood Festival. So good. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, New in NOLA)
#NewinNOLA tip: It’s cash only so bring your money.
Planning to run with the (roller) bulls in New Orleans? Prepare yourself for a wildly fun morning. This year’s event is Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 8 a.m. sharp. Seriously, don’t be late or you are going to miss the event. This NOLA event actually starts on time.
Event summary for San Fermin in Nueva Orleans:
Hundreds of roller derby women (bulls) chase thousands of runners through a short course in the CBD and Warehouse District. The bulls have wiffle bats and spank runners during the race. The event raises money for the Animal Rescue New Orleans and the Louisiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
We ran with the bulls last year and had a blast. We’ll be there again Saturday with our Meetup friends. We’d love for you to join us.
Advice if you are a first-time runner this year:
The French Market held its 28th annual Creole Tomato Festival last weekend in New Orleans. We tried the famous tomatoes, watched a Creole tomato-eating contest and ate some yummy tomato dishes.
Check out our food photos here.
Creole Tomato Festival at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)
The Creole Tomato Festival kicks off today (June 7) at the French Market and goes through Sunday night. This is the perfect time to get free samples of the famous creole tomato.
The entrance to the French Market has been transformed for the Creole Tomato Festival. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)
The festival has food vendors, cooking demonstrations and a tomato eating contest. We’re heading out Sunday so we can see the contest at 1. Interesting demo Saturday – creole tomato cupcakes at 4 p.m.
The French Market said each cooking demo has 2-oz samples for the first 100 people. The tomato sample station is at Dumaine Street. The fest also has cute tomato-shaped paper fans it’s giving away at the festival. The people in tomato costumes (photo opp!) have the fans and will give you one if you ask.
Remember, bring cash if you want to buy anything. Plus, if you spend $30 this weekend, you get a free bag of creole tomatoes. Via FrenchMarket.org:
What you need to know about the fest:
We filled our belly June 1 at the New Orleans Oyster Fest (first-timer tips). The food-centric fest was held in downtown New Orleans at Woldenberg Park. Fav part – free admission.
The day started with an oyster-eating contest in the rain was rounded out with sunshine and food.
Check out our Storify post for food pix from the fest.
In a Half Shelf blog also has a spectacular photos and tips. Check them out.
The 2014 New Orleans Oyster Festival is this weekend (May 31 and June 1). The food is the same both days, but the music is different.
Want to see the oyster shucking contest? That’s Saturday at noon. Interested in the oyster eating contest? That’s Sunday at 11:45 a.m.
We’re tagging along with a Meetup group going Sunday at 11 a.m. Join us 🙂
The Oyster Fest serves up all sorts of bivalve goodness. Here are some of eats in 2013. (photos by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)
The fest is at Woldenberg Park, which is next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (map). We like this festival because it is free admission and there’s parking around the French Quarter. When we take a car, we usually park in the garage above Saks Fifth Avenue. Tip – if you get in before 9 a.m. at most garages, parking is $10 for the entire day.
You can also take a bus or streetcar and not fool with parking at all. It takes a little longer than driving, but it’s cheaper than parking and you don’t have to worry about a designated driver.
We went to the fest last year and had a really good time. See our pix.
Tips we learned about the New Orleans Oyster Festival:
We ventured to the Irish Channel for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities earlier this month. We caught cabbage, kissed strangers for flowers and danced a jig in the streets. Good times.
Thank goodness for these parade-going tips from Kim Smelter of New Girl in NOLA.
The New Orleans Daiquiri Festival has been postponed until next Saturday (Aug. 24).
The event was supposed to be held today from noon to 9 p.m. but the organizers posted on their Facebook page that a permitting snafu delayed the event.