I am beyond excited to share with you my week in New Orleans. I had never been, but it was always on my short list of places I had always wanted to visit. I was invited by the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to come out and check out their town. I couldn’t be more humbled.
I had an idea of what New Orleans was like, but once I got there, it was different than I expected and completely blew my expectations and I truly fell in love. The history, the charm, the people, the architecture. I can honestly say that I am already looking to book another trip back.
I was invited to check out the town with a few other bloggers. We had a few tours of the city, and with this post, I wanted to take you on a tour of the buildings, share a bit of history and show you some fantastic sights.
Canal Street. The main street that separates the French side (where the French settlers settled) of New Orleans from the English side (where the English settled. You can tell which side you are on by reading the name of the streets. The French side has French named streets and the English are English named streets.
This building is the place of Antoine’s. It is a restaurant that has been in the same family for over 100 years. It is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in New Orleans. It would have to be good to stay in the family for that long. Definitely on my list when I go back.
We went inside the Mazarin hotel to go to the very top to take some pictures of the French Quarter. This new hotel used to be The Saint Louis Hotel back in the 1800’s. Unfortunately, it started to get old and decay so they tore it down. That is when New Orleans city decided they needed to start a historical society and start preserving old buildings.
Looking down on Jackson Square founded by the French in 1718. In the 1850’s, Baroness Michaela Pontalba, daughter of the Spanish official Almonaster, inherited her father’s estate and fortune. A Spanish tradition was to give your inheritance to your smartest child, not just your first-born son. Michaela saw that Jackson Square was in disrepair and wanted to bring it back to life. She oversaw the construction of two apartment buildings flanking the main square and built a garden. Continuing today, Jackson Square hosts entertainers, street performers and musicians.
I was lucky enough to be invited to go on this amazing trip with some fabulous fellow bloggers. I could not have done a better job of finding some wonderful women to spend this week with. From left to right: Melody from her blog Being Melody. Camille from her blog My Mommy Style. Me. Becky from her blog The Cookie Rookie. Elise from WTFab. (Not shown) Annetta from her blog The Wanderlust Kitchen. These ladies are all so talented and you should check them out. You will want to bookmark their websites and I know you will be thanking me later.
Spanish architecture with the colors and the arched doorways.
This is Saint Louis Cathedral. It is the center of the French Quarter and is the oldest cathedral in North America. Founded as a Catholic parish in 1720.
Court of the Two Sisters is a now a restaurant. The building has been around since 1832 and has been the residence to many prestigious people from governors to bank presidents. In 1886 two sisters set up shop to sell costumes and gowns to the rich women of New Orleans for Mardi Gras and other major events.
A beautiful hand crafted hat shop on Royal street. Fleur De Paris has some beautiful hats. Unfortunately, photos were prohibited, but it is a must see if you are in New Orleans.
I went on a tour of cemetery no.1 and before we went to the cemetery, we stopped off at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church which was near the cemetery. This was a grotto that had candles and prayers.
Established in the late 1700′s, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest extant cemetery in New Orleans. Because New Orleans was built on a swamp, the tombs need to be above ground. The French and Creole settlers were burying their kin under ground, and having a lot of issues with bodies being brought up from flooding. When the Spanish settled in NOLA, their tradition of above ground tombs was a solution to the problem and still used as a form of burial today.
Tombs of Marie Laveau the Voodoo Queen. There are three tombs in this cemetery that are believed to be that of the Voodoo Queen. No one is for sure which one has her remains. Here are two of the three. It is rumored that if you leave gifts for her or draw three x’s on her tomb that your wish will be granted. On the left, was just freshly painted to cover all the x’s. It is said that if you come back and circle your x’s, what you asked for came true.
This is actually actor Nicholas Cage’s family tomb. Nicholas came to NOLA and fell in love. He decided to purchase a home that was known to be haunted. Once he moved in, it is said that is life started to fall apart. His wife left him and his career stated to fail. So many negative things started happening that he reached out to a Voodoo priestess. The priestess told him that to appease the ghosts, that he needed to purchase a family plot in the no.1 cemetery in this exact spot and it needed to be in the shape of an Egyptian pyramid. It is not known if this helped his problems disappear.
One of the older tombs from 1800.
The rod iron fences around the family tombs are to symbolize a fence around your home. It is to look like a picket fence and the sense of being in your home.
The hotel we stayed at was the International House hotel. It is a boutique hotel that is walking distance to the French Quarter. It is on the other side of Canal street (the English side.) The lobby was gorgeous and inviting.
In the lobby of the International House hotel was a gorgeous bar named Loa. The cocktails are taken very seriously here and they are all uniqued and crafted with care.
Ready for bed. My room was super comfy and quaint. The bathroom was spacious, but after my long days of touring this amazing city, the bed was the best part.
There are so many fabulous parts of this city. Come back next Tuesday for part 2 of my 3 part series. I will be talking all about the food. And yes, the food of New Orleans needs its entire post all to itself.
If you are thinking of booking a trip to New Orleans, a great tip is to contact the New Orleans Convention center. They can tell you the best places to go, get you tickets to places to see and all the secrets of the town. Check out New Orleans Convention Visitor’s Bureau.
To see all the mouth-watering food from this trip, you can see it in this post: Food, Food, All the Glorious Food From My New Orleans Trip
To see the Music, Art and more, you can see it here: See the Hidden Gems of New Orleans
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The opinions and text are all mine.