While most of the country is still thawing out, hop on a plane with warmer temps at your destination: New Orleans, home to food with a Creole kick, jazz clubs that play far into the night, and a little street with booming nightlife that goes by the name of Bourbon. Whether you call it an adult Spring Break or just an excuse to get away, we’ve plotted your must-dos for a quick trip to the Big Easy.
At The Roosevelt. Situated right in the historic French Quarter, the 504-room hotel has location going for it. With the historic 1920s hotel as your home base, you can easily walk to Jackson Square and Bourbon Street.
The second you touch down, beeline to Cafe du Monde. Their ultra-famous beignet is topped in more powdered sugar you can likely handle. But it’s worth a shot.
The city is home to more-than-a-century-old dining institutions, like Galatoire’s in the French Quarter and Commander’s Palace. While we appreciate the white tablecloth tradition, sometimes something a little more low key is the way to go. Head to Jacques-Imo instead. It packs Creole flavors into a colorful, funky little restaurant in Carollton. Try the alligator cheesecake—a mix of cream cheese, eggs, veggies, shrimp, and alligator sausage. It won’t cure your sweet tooth, but it will help explain the long lines.
Drink: Sure, you’ve missed Mardis Gras, but there’s plenty of revelry left to be had. You’ll want to hop along Bourbon Street for a couple of drinks, just to see what they hype is all about. Once you’re sufficiently overwhelmed by the crowds and public displays of over imbibing, redirect your plans to jazz.
Jazz: For the most authentic jazz experience, do like the locals do and head to Frenchman Street. You’ll find a line of jazz bars—each ready to wow you with music and a Sazerac, a New Orleans original cocktail that dates back to 1838.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: The city is home to cemeteries you’ll actually want to visit, due large in part to the fact that most of the ornate tombs are situated above ground. Start at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1—the city’s oldest—where you’ll find the final resting place of big names that date back to 1789.
The city is a mash up of French, Spanish, Italian, African, Native American, Creole, and Cuban influences. Take your trip as an excuse to embrace the uniqueness and liven up your look.
Twill Stripe Lapel Pin: When you see alligator on the menu and hear the world’s most improvised music at every turn, you know color and eclectic style is welcome.
Skull & Crossbones Tie Bar: The tie gives a nod to the city’s storied haunted reputation.
Fleur De Lis Tie: The fleur de lis has French roots, which jumped the Atlantic and took root in New Orleans as well. It’s been the official symbol of Louisiana since 2008, and you’ll find it at local galleries, adorning buildings, and on the helmets of the Saints. Add it to your tie too.