This post may contain affiliate links; see site footer for more details.
Helloooooo + happy hump day! This time last hump, we were braving a Nor’easter at 6 am in the hopes of making it back to PA before the cray cray snow storm hit. (Spoiler alert: We made it). We had just wrapped up a mere 48 hours in New Orleans , and we were spent!
How things change – ha!
Last week, J + I had the opportunity to fly down to the Big Easy for a quick lil’ stint, riiiiiiight before a massive snowstorm hit Philadelphia. So I was *all about* some much-needed sunshine and stocked up on cute floral dresess for the occasion (cos springtime is always better when snow pants aren’t involved, amiright?). We were staying in a HomeAway – which is a home-rental service similar to AirBnB, etc! (This is the specific place we stayed, FYI!)
For this whole trip (all 48 hours of it – ha!), we reaaaaally wanted the “local” experience. We wanted to cross all of the key NOLA cuisines off of our bucket list + see as many noteworthy hot spots as we could in our little getaway! So staying in a HomeAway was great for that. While you don’t actually interact with the homeowner in the process (you work through HomeAway + a “host team” to maintain privacy!), you sure do get a sense of what it’s like living in their shoes in their city. Our HomeAway’s homeowner was a musician, and our HomeAway was this cute 3-bedroom spot smackdab in the French Quarter – with a wrap-around balcony.
The only downside to location was the location…being right in the French Quarter is FABULOUS during the day, because you’re close to *so much*. At nighttime it can also be fabulous…except at 3:30 am when you’re asleep and everyone outside is…not. Ha! Locals know how to PARTY…and here my idea of a party is being in bed before 9 with a face mask, glass of Cab Sav, and a good book. 😉
But HomeAway in general is a great service to use for the “homegrown” feel. Truly, home away from home! Here’s where to go to get a HomeAway anywhere, and here’s where to go to get a HomeAway in the French Quarter, New Orleans!
48 hours in New Orleans .
Here’s what we did, what we ate, what we saw – since ya already know where we stayed. 😉
48 hours in New Orleans – DAY 1:
- Breakfast at Cafe Du Monde – I’m sure you’ve heard of their beignets – they’re world famous. And for good reason. The beignets + coffee with chicory at Cafe Du Monde is out. of. this. world. That’s basically all they sell – you sit down, they ask you how many beignets and how many coffees, and BOOM. Powdery sugar bliss comes to your table in a matter of minutes. They’re like doughier funnel cake, in my opinion, and better.
- Stroll around the French Market – There is *so dang much* down in the French Market in the French Quarter! From bites to drinks to shopping, there’s a little bit o’ errrr’thaaaang. The flea market section feels a bit like the Boardwalk at the Jersey Shore (where everyone sells pretty much the same thing – ha!), but you’ll find some cute knick knacks and some original artwork there, too! And THE FOOD. We tried gator on a stick there (tastes like chewier kielbasa, in my opinion), and I got a yummy peach rum smoothie drink thing that was v. refreshing.
- Lunch at Verti Marte – Get the All That Jazz Po Boy! I’m not a seafood OR mushrooms girl, so I eliminated half of my sandwich and it was *still* good. This place is a little corner stop, so you very well might pass it not thinking twice, but we asked a local dude on the street who approached us where to get the best Po Boy, and this was what he said. So we went with it!
- St. Louis Cathedral – A huge cathedral/basilica of the Archdiocese – absolutely beautiful, and such a good little place to step into for a moment of peace, quiet, + prayer mid-trip.
- Stroll around Jackson Square/Royal St for lotsa great street music. Remember to tip the buskers! 😉
- Coops Place for dinner – I got the Cajun fried chicken with red beans + rice, and a side of green beans in bacon sauce. It was one of my fave meals! Go early to this joint – it gets PACKED with a line way out the door. Every traditional New Orleans speciality you could think of is served here!
- NAP. The NOLA nightlife scene ain’t no joke – refuel after dinner for your night ahead!
- The Spotted Cat Jazz Club for drinks + music. This is one of the most well-known spots supposedly – they’re got famous folks doing gigs weekly, so check the schedule and go accordingly!
48 hours in New Orleans – DAY 2:
- Court of Two Sisters for brunch (per one of your recommendations – thankyousomuch!) – We absolutely loveloveloved this place! It’s a jazz brunch, so there’s that. It’s also a buffet! I’m usually not the biggest buffet girl, but we figured this would be perfect since we only had 48 hours in NOLA and only so many meals to scarf down – we wanted the most authentic New Orleans cuisine possible in the shortest amount of time. So this did it – we got to taste pretty much everything, from jamabalaya to King Cake! TIP: Get the glazed sweet potatoes. Hands down, the best sweet potatoes I’ve had in. my. life. So good that we bought their classic cook book to take home, JUST so that I can make these bad boys again – I’m going to practice up so that I can make ’em as my signature contribution to our annual Thanksgiving potluck!
- The Audobon Aquarium – We were originally gunning for a cemetary tour (also per your recommendations), but we got to the meeting spot 7 minutes too late – WOMP. But that ended up being A-OK, because the NOLA Aquarium is really really good! I’m a total aquarium nerd since I used to want to be a marine biologist, so really, I could live at aquariums. Everything inside just *fascinates* me. They’ve got an IMAX theater there, too, and a ticket to a show comes with your aquarium ticket – we saw an Ice Age mini-documentary. They ALSO offer discounted tickets if you pair it with a zoo ticket!
- Cafe Du Monde round two, for afternoon coffee + beignets. Cos duh.
- Tujague’s for dinner – We didn’t plan this place – we just walked down Decatur Street and looked at menus posted outside the door until we found one that sounded justright. And this was it! Jamie got the Charbroiled oyster appetizer and *raved* about it, then a big seafood dish for dinner; I got the Beef Brisket meal with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, + a Creole horseradish sauce, and it was absolutely delish.
Our Day 2 night plan got a bit outta whack when we learned around 5 pm that our 7 am flight the next morning was cancelled (thanks Noreaster storm!). Originally, our plan was to do a fancier dinner at Antoine’s, followed by a trip out to the Maple Leaf Club since a Grammy award-winning jazz club was performing that night. BUT, life happens. So we had to first get our flight situation handled – J is apparently a pro, as he was able to a.) get us a refund from Flight #1, b.) get us a last minute pair of tickets for dirt cheap on Flight #2, which just so happened to be the *only* flight still not cancelled en route from NOLA to Philly the next morning, and c.) snag trip insurance so that *if* it got cancelled to, we’d be insured tickets and a place to stay. BLESS. UP.
We grabbed a half of a muffaletta from a local deli to split as “breakfast” at 5 am the next day – these things are huuuuuuuuge. We each were stuffed from eating the half of the HALF of the sandwich. Muffalettas are a combo of meats + cheese with olive salad on top! I’m normally not a green olive person at all, but I actually enjoyed the sandwich. Ha!
SO MUCH of what we did in our 48 hours in New Orleans was based on recommendations from *you guys*. I mentioned on Instagram (@ericaligenza) that we’d be here for a short time and needed your best recs – and y’all DELIVERED. The only thing I dislike about DM’s is that I’m the only one who sees them usually – so I figured we’d change that together!
48 Hours in New Orleans – Reader Recommendations:
“Herbsaint was delicious when we went! It’a fancier restaurant downtown on St. Charles Avenue! You’ll need reservations, but we did ours the day before and had plenty of times. They have a housemade spaghetti that they are known for that I had that was delicious! My friend had the lamb and mushroom lasagna and it was to die for! Our husbands had the catch of the day and the steak which they both liked. We also had dessert and their chocolate mousse was by far the best I’ve had! My friend had the sorbet and said she loved it!” – Nicole
“Killer Poboys! (They’re amazeeeeee) It’s inside Erin Rose bar. And The Spotted Cat is the jam!” – Courtney
“The Camellia Grill is a good, greasy breakfast spot!” – CC
“Cafe Amelie!! We were just there for part of our honeymoon and ate there on Valentine’s Day. Sit outside if there’s room! It’s such apretty courtyard and amazing food!” – Jess
“For something fancy, any of the Dickie Brennan’s restaurants or Mr. B’s! And Acme has amazing oysters and seafood…the line is always out the door – but totally worth the wait! Court of Two Sisters is also AMAZING. It’s probably my favorite TBH. For breakfast/brunch, Mother’s is wonderful! The line there is also always out the door, but it goes super fast!” – Stoney
“District Donuts on Magazine Street! Their donuts are amazing!!! And their cheeseburge sliders are the best – great place for lunch!” – Catherine
“Our favorite thing to do was ask Uber drivers where to eat. They knew alllll the good local spots! Also, if you like craft beer, NOLA brewing!!!” – Emily
“Definitely hit up Royal St. for cute shops, Magazine St. for amazing food and shops, Grapevine restaurant for a nice quiet dinner, and Bombay Club for amazing drinks! And Blind Pelican on St. Charles for an AMAZING oyster happy hour!” – Cameron
“Cemetary walking tour!! We also did the riverboat dinner!” – Iulia
“Willa Jean! Domenica! Shaya! Carousel bar at the monteleone!” – Ravayna
“Dr. Gumbo’s cocktail tour! Best thing I did in my week there – 100% recommend.” – Devin
“The Riverwalk! Fulton Alley! St. Charles Avenue!” – Allison
“District Donuts is a must!! The best ever!!” – Meg
“Something that is kind of touristy but really great is doing one of those horse drawn carriage tours that leaves from Jackson Square. It’s a great way to get some history and see the French Quarter! Also, if you walk from Jackson Square over to the river (close to Cafe Du Monde), there are big concrete stairs and that’s a nice place to sit and enjoy the river. Laffite’s Blacksmith Shop is the oldest bar and is 100% candle-lit – definitely a must. Evangeline is my fav restaurant, and their fried okra is 100!” – Emily
For a peek inside what I wore – outfits, shoes, bags, accessories, + hair/makeup products that withstood the New Orleans humidity – scroll through this lil’ shoppable widget! 😉
Do you have any personal recommendations for what to do/eat/see with 48 hours in New Orleans?
Have you ever been? Would you ever go? And have you ever stayed in a HomeAway? SO MANY QUESTIONS! Would lovelovelove your answers. 🙂
P.S. For more CUR travels, don’t forget to poke around my TRAVEL section! Past trip details always live there. 🙂
P.P.S. A big big big THANKYOU to everyone who hopped on Instagram Live with my last night for our lil’ wine party – we had SO MUCH FUN. Let’s do it again soon?