The NOLA Experience

A french city in the USA ? That’s exactly what I asked myself when I was there in New Orleans (NOLA).

This french-founded city seems as if it’s always celebrating. The intoxicating sounds of indigenous jazz buzzing from every corner will remind you that it is indeed the hometown of Jazz.

18422257_10155346481705802_9166157188031218423_o

Throughout the city you will notice the bright-colored victorian homes and business establishments. Most of the buildings have their own unique story stretching back hundreds of years. NOLA has stories of glory, pain and candid culture. And the best part is, all these are easily visible.

18401916_10155346470580802_3879187868542564969_o

18449466_10155346478385802_3272310396020875632_o

The Route

I started my trip from Plano(TX), so I-20 and then I-49 was my route. There’s not much to see or explore along the route and you will be travelling on mostly interstates, so no special precautions required. I managed to get a 63 mph average roundtrip with lots of stop overs.

As I merged into I-49, which is also the entry point to Louisiana, the surrounding changed drastically. Texas stretch was more yellowish while I-49 was through a green dense forest (at least it felt that way). That immediate change, just after crossing Texas border, was amazingly surprising to me.

20170430_100906

IMG-20170428-WA0010

However, let me warn you about the road bugs on I-49. May be because of the forest zone (or may be not) but the bugs seem to be enjoying this route as well. I had to take couple of breaks to clean the windshield. Car bumper and hood was protected as usual. How ? Check out my guide then.

 

 

Parking and City Tour

The city is small and congested with very narrow lanes. Parking is not easy as expected. There are many public parking spots but they are quite expensive. After much research, I found a spot which is conveniently located and reasonably priced. Here’s the google map link – Parking at New Orleans.

Evening is the best time for a city tour. I just started walking randomly on the streets, trust me you do not need a map there, every 100 ft there’s something waiting for you. Take a guided tour, if you are a history buff.

Jackson Square–  The heart of New Orleans. Live music, art work on every corner and the amazing crowd glued me to this place for a while.

18423240_10155346463475802_5110783310418102832_o

St. Louis Cathedral – Facing the Jackson square, the historic cathedral.

18449466_10155346478385802_3272310396020875632_o

The Moonwalk Riverfront Park – When you need a break, this is the place you should be.

18403872_10155346460315802_6120460578176958863_o

Bourbon St – If you are party guy, plan a good amount of time here. Just walk along the street until you find the right place. I think everyone preferred partying outside 🙂

20170428_213241 1

Old Absinthe House – The historic bar serving unique absinthe cocktails. Don’t let the size of this place fool you, its pretty awesome.

And then if you have time, take the Canal Street Ferry across the Mississippi river or even a cozy cruise lunch or dinner.

Haunted Tours

NOLA experience is incomplete without haunted tours. It’s considered to be America’s most haunted city. Once the tour was over, and I was walking along the spooky streets, my weird imagination was dominating my mind. No, it’s not like the ghost tour of Universal Studios where humans dress up as ghosts. It’s the grim tales of the past which forces you to imagine it being haunted, with the ghosts inside tormenting the living.

18422295_10155346466230802_196842770515480648_o

There are several tour operators in New Orleans. However, I found “Free Tours by Foot” in TripAdvisor with decent reviews. They offer easy to use online booking and you pay to the guide at the end of the tour. The guide was knowledgeable and seems to love what she does, which is most important.

 

Around New Orleans

Causeway Bridge

If you are in New Orleans, do not miss the drive on the world’s longest bridge, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. I was so excited driving on this bridge that I drove  both ways. It was a lifetime experience.

18449687_10155346456030802_5767323778433486462_o

Gulfport

A short drive from New Orleans along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A ferry will take you to a small island, Ship Island. The weather was pretty bad when I was there, so the ferry trip got cancelled. The island is isolated one with limited facilities, so be sure to check out their website for planning and necessary precautions.

18402326_10155346459595802_2814894527341858885_o

 

 

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Evan says:

    Waiting for the final version and routes.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s