I am so excited to be writing this post with our tentative itinerary (for me, writing out for suggestions is one of the most anticipated part of any trip planning!). So here goes (sorry in advance that I tend to be a little wordy - I just feel that more info right off the bat is more efficient in the long run)!
My husband and I are heading to New Orleans (for the first time!) in June to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! We will be arriving on a Wednesday around dinnertime and will be leaving on Sunday after brunch. I’ve spent lots of time reading travel books, posts, and trip reports, and have come up with the start of an itinerary that I’m hoping we can work on together!
Day 1 (Wed.): Arrive in New Orleans at 4:30pm. Taxi to the Dauphine Orleans hotel – we are staying in one of their Hermann House courtyard rooms. It will likely be after 6pm by this point and we’ll need to grab some dinner. Maybe VIP reservations for Preservation Hall on this night – as a beautiful introduction to the music we’ll be experiencing on this trip? Is there a place where we could have a semi-quick dinner before heading to the 9:15 or 10:15 show at Preservation Hall?
Day 2 (Thurs): AM: Start at Café du Monde (how early does one have to be to avoid crowds/mayhem?) for a “light” breakfast of beignets ☺ Wander around Jackson Square enjoying all that it has to offer, see both exhibits in the Presbytere, shop on Royal St., generally explore the French Quarter.
Aft: Where should we go for lunch in the Quarter? We have some big dinners planned (as you’ll see) and so we may not need to have big/long/crazy lunches… suggestions here would be great. Both Mr. B’s Bistro & K-Paul’s looks fantastic and we’d love to be able to fit at least one of them in at some point on the trip – maybe this is a good time for one of them? After lunch, I was thinking that we could head to City Park (and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden) for a few hours. I’ve read great things about it and I think it might fit in best here (or else, Friday afternoon if it's decided that we should spend the afternoon in the Quarter as well – would appreciate hearing opinions on this).
Eve: We’ve made reservations for dinner at SoBou at the W Hotel (French Quarter). After dinner, we’re going to head to the Mid-City Rock n’ Bowl for Zydeco Night (both my hubbie and I would like to hear some zydeco while in town). The show begins at 8:30pm. Any info about how early we need to arrive? Also, is Mid-City in an okay part of town?
Day 3 (Fri): AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Start the day at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (is it walkable (e.g. distance, safety) from our hotel? Spend a few hours there. Take the St. Charles streetcar (is it scheduled to be back up and running by June?) to the Garden District. Explore the houses and buildings in the area and some of the shops on Magazine St.
Aft: Lunch at Tracey’s for po boy sandwiches. In the mid-afternoon, we either head to City Park (if we decide to do it on Friday, rather than Thursday) or we head back to our hotel for a swim and lounging a bit by the pool.
Eve: Spend the evening on Frenchmen St. We were contemplating an earlier dinner at Bayona (which is near our hotel), but we’ve also been toying with the idea of trying to find a place to have dinner right on Frenchmen St. Which option would be best? Our night on Frenchmen St. will definitely include a show at Snug Harbour… and then who knows from there? Is it possible to “hop” at these places, or does one need tickets in each place because of all the performances?
Day 4 (Sat.): AM: Breakfast at the hotel. Then a ½ day Swamp Tour with Cajun Encounters Tour Co. on a small 10-person watercraft (to maximize sightseeing and photo ops). We are real nature-lovers and so look forward to this section of the trip! Haven’t thought of where we should go for lunch following the tour?
Aft: This is the day that we’re going to be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary! After our Swamp Tour, I’d like some time to be able to get dolled up for our evening out. We have a reservation at 6:30pm at Restaurant Revolution at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. From there, we’d like to either head to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone or the Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (now that I’m writing this, it may make the most sense to perhaps go the Carousel Bar after Preservation Hall on our first night and then stay at the Royal Sonesta for the evening at Irvin Mayfield’s?). We’d just like to enjoy a romantic night together. Part of me was even thinking of a carriage ride at this point…? Any other ideas?
Day 5 (Sun): Enjoy the Sunday Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace. The place opens at 10:30 and we don’t have to be at the airport until 2:30. That should give us enough time to gorge ourselves, right? ☺
So, there's the itinerary as it stands... Thanks in advance for your time and comments – can’t wait to hear back!