After living outside the United States for several years, one of my first domestic trips was New Orleans. I’ve been before but I really wanted to go to the World War Two museum. And so, husband and some friends and I made a weekend out of it. Here are a few of our favorite stops for your consideration on your next trip:
The National World War Two Museum: I’d read this is one of the best in the world and I agree. They do a fantastic job. We were there almost four hours, and while it wasn’t enough time to see everything, we were on overload by that time and couldn’t do any more. The museum gives a great overview of the war but one of the things that makes it unique and special are the dedicated exhibits to each theater (the home front, Europe and the Pacific). I didn’t think the museum dedicated enough time to the African theater but other than that, it was very comprehensive. It looks like they are always adding to the museum so I will definitely be back in a few years. You need to reserve tickets in advance. And as always, I recommend going as soon as they open to beat some of the crowds.
The Ritz for Live Jazz: I have a friend from New Orleans and one of her recommendations was the Ritz for live jazz. She was spot on. This was one of our favorite things. There is no cover charge but of course the drinks are expensive enough to make this our most expensive meal night. Totally worth it. The jazz and the ambiance were perfect.
The Ruby Slipper for breakfast was outstanding. We ended up going every day!
When hiking in New Mexico before our trip I ended up getting lost with a native. I asked her for jazz brunch recommendations and was told Atchafalaya Restaurant. The food was outstanding and the atmosphere was wonderful. You definitely need a reservation and I recommend going 30-45 minutes after they open in order to make sure you are there for the jazz.
The Presbytre doesn’t get a lot of publicity but we all loved it. It is right in Jackson Square. It is the perfect balance of small and informative. You don’t need more than an hour. They have an exhibit on Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras. Right nearby is also the Couilbo which has an exhibit on the Battle of New Orleans and gives you a good feel for the identity and spirit of the city. I highly recommend both!
Preservation Hall is famous for its Jazz. My husband and I went years ago last time we were in New Orleans. I am sorry we ruined that memory by going again. It is now commercialized and expensive.
Despite what their website says, Café DuMonde is not 24 hours due to COVID. Their benights were pre-made and cold. Based on some blog recommendations we also tried Café Beignet and Morning Call. We thought Café Beignet had better flavor and consistency. Morning Call’s were our favorite overall but they are a little outside the immediate downtown area.
Finally, if looking for a meal on the go, Quarter Grocery and Deli is a local spot with amazing fried shrimp poboys and gumbo!
Beyond Bourbon Street is a wonder New Orleans podcast to get some additional ideas for your trip.