New Orleans {aka NOLA} is unlike any city I have ever been to. I don't even know how to describe it, but it's not what I thought it would be like. Don't get me wrong - I had a great time and really liked the city. I mainly spent time in the French Quarter and I basically said: "OH MY GOODNESS EVERYTHING IS SO CUTE" a gazillion times. I was obsessed with the architecture.

bri rinehart; nola; new orleans
nola; architecture; new orleans; bri rinehart
bri rinehart; nola; architecture; new orleans

Without further ado, here is what you should know about/do in NOLA:

1. Go with a group of people!

One of the reasons why I haven't gone to NOLA is because I heard NOLA is best when you go with a group of people. Which is very true. Get a group to go with because it makes the experience so much better.

2. Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street; NOLA; New Orleans; Bri Rinehart

Venture down the ever famous Bourbon Street. There are bars, karaoke bars, and music! A few highlights: Cat's Meow, Tropical Isle {get a hand grenade!}, and Channing Tatum's bar.

If you're not into drinking, I would recommend checking it out during the day as at night it's one of the places everyone goes to.

3. Walking Tour

NOLA; New Orleans; Bri Rinehart

We decided to go on a walking tour to learn more about the French Quarter. It was a good tour. We spent two hours wandering around listening to the history.

4. Food

There will be more to come in another blog post about the food in NOLA, but just know that you need to try some kind of Southern food while you're there - be it shrimp + grits, jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, etc. You won't regret it!

5. Jazz Music

nola; new orleans; jazz band; bri rinehart

On Royal Street, there are times of the day where the street is closed to vehicles and musicians set up shop. Take a break to listen to the music - when are you going to stumble across a live jazz set in your normal day-to-day life? Not very often!

6. Open Containers + Late Nights

As long as you have your beverage {yes, this includes alcoholic beverages!} in a plastic cup, you can walk outside and continue drinking! If you're at a restaurant and didn't finish your drink, ask for a to go cup so you can take it with you. Most places serve their drinks in plastic cups to make it easier for everyone. 

If you're a night life person and like to stay out late - NOLA is the place for you. Bars stay open until 4 AM. 

7. Jackson Square

jackson square; nola; new orleans; bri rinehart

Jackson Square is quite the touristy spot, but there is a lot going on there! On the weekend, there is a market, street performers, and more. Definitely stop by to check it out. Not far from the square is the French Market which is another outdoor market.

8. St. Louis Cathedral

bri rinehart; st. louis cathedral; nola; new orleans

This Cathedral is next to Jackson Square. I recommend popping inside for a few moments to look at the inside. It is absolutely gorgeous! Plus if you need a reprieve from the warm air, it's a way to cool down for a bit before going back outside.

9. Care for Your Feet!

bri rinehart; nola; new orleans

If you're going to NOLA, be sure to bring comfortable shoes to walk around in. I decided for style over comfort and by the end of the weekend my feet hurt. I know, I should always put comfort first, but it was 70/80 degrees and my feet were dying to be in sandals! I also tried to squeeze as much as possible into my weekend, so I was constantly on the go.

One spot I did not get to go to is Frenchman Street. A lot of the locals say it is what Bourbon Street used to be like. There are also more live jazz venues on Frenchman Street.

bri rinehart; architecture; nola; new orleans
new orleans; bri rinehart; nola; architecture
nola; new orleans; bri rinehart; architecture

Overall, I had a great time in NOLA. It was a non-stop weekend, but worth it!