Sometimes, when we venture into new cities, we crave the exhilarating sensation of discovering a place to call our own for a few days. We long for the freedom to explore and immerse ourselves in a whole new world—solo! So, leave behind the mundane chores and perhaps even your significant other (but don't forget to remind them about the trash needing to be taken out with a friendly post-it note), because you’re officially off duty.
When you arrive in the vibrant city of New Orleans, there are just a couple of rules to keep in mind:
- Always keep your mind open, as adventure awaits around every corner!
- Be sure to pack your walking shoes–and be ready to treat yourself to the many culinary treasures and indulgences of the city.
As a friendly reminder, this list is meant to serve as a source of inspiration for your journey through the city. However, it's important to make this trip your own and remember that the incredible opportunities about to be mentioned are just the icing on the cake. There are countless layers waiting to be discovered, explored, and indulged in throughout New Orleans!
Unwind at a Hotel with Exquisite Cocktails
Finding the perfect place to stay in New Orleans is crucial for an amazing vacation. Hotel St. Vincent in the Uptown neighborhood is a beautifully renovated historic orphanage offering modern luxury and exquisite design paired with exceptional on-site dining, boutique shopping, and a lavish pool. Don't miss their two cocktail lounges–the airy Paradise Lounge (perfect for a pre-dinner or even mid-afternoon porch libation) or the renowned Chapel Club with an awe-inspiring bar program and special events like intimate concerts and drag performances. The Virgin Hotel New Orleans in the Central Business District is a must-visit, celebrating sleek pop culture design and offering a rooftop pool bar and easy access to every neighborhood.
Ashton's Bed & Breakfast in Tremé welcomes you with old-world charm, Southern hospitality, and beautiful antique pieces while, Hotel Peter and Paul in the Marigny neighborhood immerses you in vibrant culture with its converted historic church, schoolhouse, rectory, and convent. Prepare to be mesmerized by their captivating design and indulge in cocktails at the renowned Elysian Bar. New Orleans offers a plethora of delightful accommodations, each with its own unique charm and allure. Make this trip your own and discover the best place to set your bags down to kick things off! Check out more about our hotels HERE!
Satisfy Your Cravings with our Delicious Food
When it comes to the city’s world-famous cuisine, you’re like familiar with some of the classics, from gumbo to beignets. But to make sure you check some of those can’t-miss staples off the list, check out our Foodie’s Guide to NOLA here. However, for those of you looking to explore further into our diverse culinary scene, we have a treat for you!
Let's start with Lengua Madre, where storytelling through food is a high priority. With their delicious tasting menu and intimate ambiance, each bite welcomes you into a world of culture.
If you're craving Italian food, make sure to check out Mona Lisa. With tabletops lined for your rendition of the famous painting, a healthy supply of crayons, wine, delicious cheesy bread, and a pasta for every craving, this stop is truly the gift that keeps on giving. We know you might catch a case of the Mondays when you return home, but here in New Orleans, Monday is a delicious treat. Enjoy Creole, Cajun, and American dishes with beautiful indoor and outdoor seating.
And if you have one thing on your mind, and that thing happens to be Poor Boys (Po-Boys), head on over to Parkway Bakery & Tavern. They offer delicious, overstuffed sandwiches and yummy, sweet treats, along with a libation or two. New Orleans is a food lover's paradise, and these culinary gems will leave you wanting more! Find out even more about where to dine that might best suit your desires HERE!
Explore the Vibrant Shopping Scene of New Orleans
Some people view souvenirs as special trinkets picked up along the way, but there are many ways to bring home the memories of a great vacation! If you're a small trinket shopper, consider the French Market in the French Quarter for great souvenir options suitable for all ages. For locally made art, jewelry, and more, check out co-op gallery spaces like Zèle NOLA on Magazine Street in Uptown. Here, you'll also find other wonderful shops and galleries like West London BTQ, owned, and curated by Mariah Walton Bencik, a local fashion icon with an exceptionally fun and fashionable Instagram presence. Once you stop by, you'll understand why her clothing sells out quickly! Let’s not forget Fleurty Girl and Dirty Coast–both with multiple locations throughout the city offering clever, campy, and laughter-filled gifts, home goods, apparel, and more that truly capture the local charm and character.
Uncover the City’s Most Unique Experiences
When we say come to New Orleans and have the experience of your life, we don't just mean enjoying a cocktail. We mean that our city's abundance of culture radiates from our restaurants and businesses, bringing so much joy to your visit, but have you considered the hands-on opportunities for exploration? Beyond The Bayou offers amazing packages, from the French Quarter Cocktail Concierge to Wilderness Swamp & Plantation Tours, and even 12 Hours in Cajun Country! Not interested in the swamps? Maybe you want to delve into our delicious food scene. If so, our friends at Deelightful Roux School of Cooking offer an incredible opportunity to visit the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SOFAB) for a tour of cooking history, followed by a hands-on cooking course with Chef Dee. It all culminates with a group dinner featuring the delicacies you learned to make! Of course, New Orleans is historically known for its cocktails and is home to many famous recipes. Head over to the Sazerac House on historic Canal Street for a tour and learn about the history of the Sazerac, while enjoying...you guessed it, a good ol' Sazerac! Once you're feeling a little loose from the sips, visit Trixie Minx, a local burlesque tour-de-force, for a course at her shop Trixie's Burlesque Boutique. Located in the French Quarter, this one-stop-shop for all things burlesque not only offers the opportunity to learn the art of the tease but also allows you to pick up costumes, artwork, and handmade accessories all in one prime location, but wait there are more things to do here!
Immerse Yourself in the Rich Cultural Tapestry of New Orleans Museums
Food, cocktails, music, people... museums. Bet you didn't think to include that on your list of things New Orleans is known for, but truthfully, we have some world-class museums in our city, covering a wide range of subjects. You could spend a week here exploring the histories of New Orleanian culture and beyond, including art and historic subjects. The Backstreet Cultural Museum, nestled in the Tremé neighborhood, brings you up close to the history of Black Masking Indians and their intricately designed suits. Recently relocated into a larger space, this museum offers even more access to the vibrant culture that holds historic importance to our city. After Tremé, head to the French Quarter, where you'll find the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. This space is dedicated to the rich history of the pharmacy and healthcare system in Louisiana, both past and present. It's like a cabinet of curiosities! Once you're wowed by the evolution of modern medicine, venture to the Central Business District and visit the Museum of Southern Jewish Experience. Here, you'll learn about the importance of Jewish history and culture in the southern United States, and don't miss the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, where they celebrate contemporary and historical art from the perspective of Southern artists through their impressive 4,000+ piece collection! There are many more things to make time for once you are in town so don’t miss out on our many attractions.
Unveil the Hidden Gems by Exploring the Diverse Neighborhoods of NOLA
A major part of solo travel is discovering the key stops that make a new city special. While our list could go on for miles, we want to highlight some notable locations throughout New Orleans that you shouldn't miss! First up is the historic French Quarter, where you'll witness the plot points of our 300+ year-old city unfold before your eyes. Take the time to explore this charming neighborhood and marvel at the beautiful architecture tucked into just a few city blocks. It's a dream come true for architectural enthusiasts! After immersing yourself in the Quarter's charm, make your way to New Orleans City Park in Mid-City. Here, you'll find 300-year-old oak trees, museums, the opportunity to take a swan boat ride on the lake, and a must-stop at Café Du Monde, which is oftentimes much less crowded than its more famous (and equally wonderful) sister location across from Jackson Square. If you're craving a historical perspective, hop on our RTA Streetcar system. It's a unique way to blend public transit with history as you weave through our gorgeous neighborhoods and catch glimpses of our stunning homes. Lastly, for those who like to consolidate planning, the City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off bus system is perfect. You can choose your own adventure while having a reliable pick-up and drop-off point system throughout the city. So get ready to explore and make the most of your solo adventure in New Orleans!
Java Journeys – Sip and Savor Your Way Through The City's Coffeshops
Coffee lovers understand the importance of finding a great cup of joe while traveling. Luckily, New Orleans has plenty of options to satisfy your caffeine cravings! French Truck Coffee, with its multiple locations spread throughout the city, is a must-visit for coffee enthusiasts. Their delicious brews will surely give you a much-needed energy boost. Another noteworthy spot is Baldwin & Co., a Black-owned establishment that not only serves fantastic coffee but also offers a bookstore filled with works by Black authors and a space for podcasters to record. If you find yourself in the charming Marigny neighborhood, be sure to check out Ayu Bakehouse. Located across from Washington Square Park near lively Frenchmen Street, this whimsical bakery will not only serve you a delightful cup of coffee but also tempt you with their delectable baked treats.
We understand that coffee shops often double as makeshift offices, so we've got you covered. The Shop at the Contemporary Arts Center and The Warehouse are both local coworking spaces that provide excellent coffee options. With day passes that grant access to office supplies and other perks, you'll have everything you need for a productive work session or an important conference call. So, whether you're seeking relaxation or a productive workspace, New Orleans has the perfect spot for you!
Discover the Vibrant Spirit of New Orleans Through its Unforgettable Festivals:
If all of that wasn't enough to convince you why solo travel to New Orleans is an absolute blast, let me share with you the fact that we are a true festival mecca! Prepare to be immersed in a world of vibrant celebrations. Our iconic Jazz and Heritage Festival (or Jazz Fest, for short) is a must-attend, where you can not only revel in the rich heritage of jazz music but also indulge in some of the most delicious local cuisine, some of which is exclusively available at this festival. For those with a taste for the tantalizing, the sin-sational Teaser Festival is a burlesque extravaganza that showcases the best of the best in the industry. Our very own Jeez Loueez, a local stage diva, even claimed the coveted title of "Queen of The Tease" in 2023! Alternatively, the Satchmo SummerFest pays tribute to the legendary Louis Armstrong, serving up a delightful blend of music, food, and drinks in the heart of the French Quarter. Let's not forget the grandest festival of them all, our Carnival Season, which spans from Twelfth Night on January 6th to Mardi Gras Day. But wait, there's more! This is just a taste of the many festivals you can experience here. Make sure to check out our extensive list of upcoming festivals to plan your trip ahead of time. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on this incredible lineup of events!