I love staying at different hotels and bed and breakfasts in the French Quarter because you never know what kind of tiny, quirky room you’ll end up with. You have to allow yourself to be OK with almost anything when you agree to stay in an old, 19th-century building. On this trip, we stayed at the Royal Barracks Guest House in its Garden Room, a quaint room with Victorian furniture and rustic charm. It was little. It was quiet. It was easy to find, and we’ll be staying there again. As a traveler/tourist in New Orleans, I want my location to be convenient. I love the Royal Barracks because it is in the French Quarter, but also close to Esplanade, which mean easy access to the highway, as well.
This time around, we took the trip with family, making it even more fun. Here are my top 5 spots we visited on this go-all-out trip.
One of the oldest surviving structures in New Orleans, it was built between 1722 and 1732. It is best known as the oldest structure in the United States housing a bar. The building, in French provincial architecture, has survived two fires and a hurricane. Privateer Jean Lafitte owned a business here in the early 19th century and his older brother, Pierre, was a blacksmith. The Lafitte’s business dealings were said to be of the criminal kind. The place is haunted by Jean Lafitte and others, but there doesn’t seem to be a real story as to why. I just know it serves one of my favorite frozen drinks—the voodoo daiquiri.
It’s one of the best burger spots in New Orleans. I mean where else can you find a burger with a baked potato side? I love the place because it’s tiki inspired with wood paneling everywhere and drinks like the super-potent Monsoon, Goombay Punch and Huma Huma. It’s a must for me every time I’m in New Orleans.
The dive-iest of dive bars, Old Point Bar is located a ferry ride away from the French Quarter in Algiers Point. It’s tucked away in a little neighborhood and frequented by the locals that surround it—both humans and canines allowed. I asked the bartender if there was a story behind the place, and she said that the only story is that she’s been there for 30-plus years. Still, it’s a really cool place to hang out. And I never would have visited if it weren’t for my brother making us take the ferry ride and one-mile walk to get there.
Deanie’s is one of the places that you hear you HAVE to try while in New Orleans, so we did. We had a party of 6 and the wait was an hour and a half. So we waited. And waited. And waited. You HAVE to try the seafood. You HAVE to try the bbq shrimp. You HAVE to try the giant seafood platter. These were all things we had heard. So we waited, until we sat. First food to appear on our table: a bowl full of potatoes. The red kind. With lots of butter. We ate them all and ordered another. Potatoes as an appetizer—so cool! Our food soon followed, and I ordered the must-try bbq shrimp. It indeed was delicious, and I’ve never tasted bbq shrimp like that before. And the oil sauce it came in was so rich it made you delirious. The food is good. Really good. And now I can say I’ve been there, done that.
Said to be one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States, St. Louis Cathedral was first a church site in 1718. It is a tall, imposing structure in the midst of the French Quarter, and it just makes me happy. It is New Orleans—historic, resilient, beautiful, incredible, welcoming and gloriously powerful.