I was in New Orleans (or Nawlins if you want to sound like a local but you have to say it rrrreeeaaallllyyy slow) for a friend’s 50th birthday. A large group of us had rooms at the Omni on St. Louis. I highly recommend getting a room with a balcony if you can afford it. No trip to Nawlins is complete without getting a taste of life in the city. As you sit on the balcony in the morning sipping coffee you can see and hear the city start to come alive. In the evenings we enjoyed cocktailing on the balcony as well and one night we caught a small jazz band marching down the street.
The hotel is nestled nicely in an area inbetween Jackson Square and Bourbon Street. We parked our cars upon arriving and did not drive again until we left. The hotel is conveniently located near the Camellia Grill (540 Chartres-not the original) which is an optimal place to grab a hang over cure to help you recover from the previous night on Bourbon Street. But beware, the waiters can get a little saucy with the clientele. If you aren’t into interacting with the locals then I suggest you grab a Lucky Dog at the corner vendor.
On our first night we caught a cab to Vaughan’s Lounge on Dauphine Street to listen to a jazz performance by Kermit Ruffins. I think he plays every Thursday when he’s in town. It’s a total dive bar but so worth venturing off the beaten path into a New Orleans neighborhood. It was PACKED on a Thursday night. So much fun.
Food is everywhere and the options are endless. I highly recommend any of the John Besh restaurants in town but you can honestly just use Yelp to find whatever you crave. You can go old school with Commanders Palace or grab chargrilled oysters at Drago’s inside the HIlton Riverside. We actually chartered a bus one night to go to John Besh’s farm to table restaurant on the north shore called La Provence. Hands down one of the best meals I’ve ever had. But it’s about a 30/40 minute trip to get there from downtown Nawlins.
The BEST thing about this trip was being in Nawlins during a holiday that wasn’t one of the crazier holdiays. St. Patrick’s Day has just the right blend of festival without being crazy and over-crowded like Mardi Gras. There are daily parades you can hit and plenty of people in the city to keep it fun. There’s a parade over across the river I believe where they throw potatoes and cabbage. All in all, I highly recommend coming down for a long holiday weekend. You can worry about your liver later.