Howdy howdy friends of the web,
I hope life is treating you well.
I recently took a trip down to New Orleans, Louisiana and although my first few days were spent with friends, my last 24 hours in the land of the voodoo queen were solo. I feel lucky that I got to first visit while having people with me. However, I know the area can be a little intimidating for some, especially solo or solo female travelers, which is why I am giving you the run down of everything I did while hanging out in the big easy alone for 24 hours.
To begin, I’d highly recommend getting a place to stay that is close to the sights you want to see if you’re planning on an overnight trip (mine was within safe walking distance to the French Quarter). Now that that’s out of the way, here are my top 5 to-do’s for a solo day trip to NOLA.
1. Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour
As much as local probably don’t love the two story bus driving down their streets, I still find these tours so fun. I do these type of tours in every big city that I’m visiting for the first time….because they’re worth it. It cost $39 for a 24 hour ticket and the bus goes to all the major “spots” in the city and it even includes live commentary. Which sounds cheesy, but it’s a great way to learn about the city when you’re in a new place. It also can save money on transportation when you want to see different sights that are far apart…or save your legs lots of walking. There are 19 stops and a new bus comes about every 25 minutes. You can ride the entire tour or get on and off as you please… or both. I love it because it feels like a safe way to explore the city and if my phone dies, at least I know there’s a bus coming soon haha. I bought my ticket through groupon, but a google search will show plenty of options to purchase a ticket or you can visit the main office which is located right next to the next up on our list.
2. Cafe Du Monde
If you’re sucker for coffee like me, you have to check out Cafe Du Monde. A renowned traditional coffee shop located in the French Market. Known for it’s Cafe Au Lait and Beignets. It’s also just cool to visit one of the longest standing coffee shops in the country, or maybe that’s just me. If you do visit, don’t let the line scare you. It moves super fast because the coffee shop only sales two things, coffee and beignets. Worth the wait if you ask me.
you can check out their full website by clicking here
3. French Market
French Market Finds
While you’re picking up your beignets and coffee, you have walk on over to the French Market. It’s basically set up like a farmers market. And I am a sucker for farmers markets and the energy they bring. There are so many local stands with goodies to check out. I came back with new rings, organic essential oils, vegan soap, and a few new plants. I also had a few tasty treats while walking around. 10/10 recommend. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll end up there on a day when they have an event.
Check out their website for events and more details by clicking here
4. The Garden District
this cool Mural can be found in the garden district
This is one of the places that I honestly would not have even know existed until I got on the hop on hop off bus tour. It’s a neighborhood located on the uptown side of the city. It’s home to some really cool restaurants and pretty shops. I got lunch here and felt comfortable walking around and exploring the area on my own. I came across some really cool art, houses, and plants. I even took a break from the southern heat at a local Starbucks and was grateful I was able to charge my phone (is it just me who always has a dead cell when traveling?) . The vibes in the neighborhood are worth the visit.
If you want to know more about the garden district, check out this post from the lonely planet with all the good details.
5. The French Quarter
I didn’t put this first on the list, because I felt like it was a given. However, there is so much in this little area to do and see; the shops, the psychics, the food. It’s really nice to just walk around the area and see what you come across. I explored during the day and came across some cool crystal shops and artwork. You have to check it out at least once during your visit.
You can get details on events and more happening in the french quarter via their website (which can be found by clicking here)
A few disclaimers that I would like to add:
I didn’t add Bourbon street on the list of must sees, because I went with friends and don’t know that I would recommend solo travelers (esp. solo female travelers) going there alone. I would use your own intuition on deciding that. There are lot of drunk people in a really small area which isn’t really my idea of fun. However, if that sounds like your cup of tea, by all means check it out. I would recommend having friends with you if you do.
Second disclaimer, make dinner reservations if you plan on going to dinner. Almost all restaurants were booked with reservations and if they weren’t it was over an hour wait. Or you can be like me and be content eating lunch out and eating something simple for dinner.
Wrapping it up….
My 24 hours alone in New Orleans were fun and I enjoyed it. The city has a vibe that I truly cannot compare to anywhere else in the world that I have been. I never felt scared, but did feel like I had to be very vigilant of my surroundings when I was in certain areas. If you visit alone remember to be safe and trust your instincts…but mostly importantly enjoy yourself!
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you visit soon I want to hear all about it!
And if you have anything else cool to add about what to see see or do in the city, let us know in the comments!