Seeing as this was my first time visiting New Orleans I wanted to make sure I was in the heart of the action. Royal Sonesta Hotel was the perfect home base for that exact reason. It’s perfectly located in the heart of the French Quarter. Making it the perfect place to start and finish my days spent exploring the city.
The hotel is conveniently perched on one of the busiest corners of Bourbon Street. It also comes complete with just about everything you need for a visit to NOLA. Like the world-class jazz club, The Jazz Playhouse, complete with craft cocktails and delicious appetizers.
While there’s plenty to see in the areas of the French Quarter and surrounding streets I was most excited about learning more about the history of the city. So I set off on two separate tours of the surrounding, older neighborhood. First on my list was a tour of the Garden District with Sheila from Architecture Tours of New Orleans.
We spent about 2 hours exploring not only the Garden District but a cemetery. The Lafayette Cemetery to be exact. And the first cemetery I explored in NOLA. And to be honest, that was one of the things I was most excited about when I booked this trip. Cause I’m 100% weird like that and loved feeling like I was on set of The Originals. I’m a teenage girl at heart. What can I say? During our stroll through the Garden District we stumbled upon the homes of celebs like Sandra Bullock and the house Eli and Peyton Manning grew up in. Even happened upon the house The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was filmed at. Which was easily one of my favorite parts of the tour.
Seeing as it’s one of my favorite movies of all time that should come as no surprise. In other words, you won’t regret this tour one bit. You not only get to learn a lot about the city and it’s history, but also experience fun things like potential celeb sightings.
And because one cemetery tour and dose of history isn’t enough after lunch I headed out on the St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour with Two Chicks Walking Tours where I got to visit the final resting place of Marie Laveau and admire Nicholas Cage’s over the top, premature mausoleum. The architecture and history of this sacred space was amazing to behold and get the chance to photograph.
Truth be told I walked close to 20 miles on my short trip to NOLA. Why? Because I do my best to walk everywhere when I’m visiting a new city. It gives me the chance to take photos I’d never be able to in a car and also the opportunity to stop anywhere I chose along the route. Walking not your thing though? Not to worry! On my last day in town I rolled around on a bike as part of the Creole Crescent Bike Tour with Free Wheelin’ Bike Tours. Where I had the chance to take in the sights and sounds of the city while cruising down the streets of Nawlins.