This past spring I ventured off into the great state of Louisiana to the historic city of New Orleans (also known as NOLA). Majority of my time was spent in the French Quarter. There are so many things to do in the French Quarter, and most are fairly cost effective. Here are some of the things we did while staying within budget.
Cafe Du Monde
Beingets and Coffee is a classic way to spend a morning in New Orleans, and the prices are very low. They only sell beignets and coffee. If you want both the total will always be $6 even. Though I try to eat a mainly plant-based diet I allowed for the indulgence of the sweet New Orleans classic.
Jean Lafitte National Park Tour
The park tour was completely free. We were told it began at 9am, and the first twenty people got spots on the tour. So we showed up bright and early at 8:30 am and reserved our spot on the tour. It was very informational, and we learned a lot about the founding of the city of NOLA. For all you history buff this tour is defiantly for you.
St. Patricks Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is an icon of New Orleans. My friend and I woke up earlier than desired to attend a Catholic Mass at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I am a non-denominational Christian so this experience was new to me. The cathedral was breathtaking and the acoustics for the operatic hymns we sung were lovely. It was a great experience because we were truly participating in part of the New Orleans Culture. Catholicism is the popular religion in NOLA, but quite frankly most people living there do not have a religion. In fact only about 30% still are devoted Catholics. Interestingly enough when people of West African decent immigrated to New Orleans they brought with them their religion. Voodoo is a combination of the Western American religion of Catholicism and the religion of the West Africans. That is why most Voodoo queens still would claim Catholicism as well as Voodoo.
Louis Armstrong Park
The Louis Armstrong Park is not as far from the French Market as we had originally assumed. It is quaint park with various artwork, statues, and ponds. The park was created in honor of the great jazz player Louis Armstrong. Which I actually believed was the first man on the moon. Turns out that Neil Armstrong was actually the first man on the moon. Oh well. I was a tad bit wrong on my facts, but nonetheless I enjoyed the statue of Louis Armstrong.
Faulkner’s Book Shop
So if any of you readers are big bookworms like me you would be fascinated to set foot in the building that once was the author Faulkner’s house. The famous play Faulkner wrote, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, was sparked by one particular streetcar that Faulkner saw everyday out his window. It had the name desire etched into the side of it. Like many artists, Faulkner traveled to New Orleans in hopes for inspirations. While NOLA was not his home forever, it was a place he grew as an artist and developed some of the work we know and love today.
Beads flying everywhere. Live snakes around strangers necks. Bourbon Street is always a show, especially in the evenings. Traveling down the street on a late Saturday night you will see things you have never seen before. (some you may never want to see again) I got proposed to on Bourbon Street. I will say it was a complete stranger, who may have had a bit too much to drink. Nevertheless it was a humorous story to tell the group later.
This cemetery is actually in the Garden District. (so not the French Quarter) But it is one of the only cemeteries that is open to the public. The cemeteries are interesting because all the bodies are buried above ground due to the high sea levels surrounding the city.
FREE JAZZ CONCERTS EVERYWHERE
There are so many opportunities to hear jazz in New Orleans. On every street corner and in every bar jazz is played. Jazz is symbolic to the founding of New Orleans and it remains a popular music style for the culture.
There are defiantly ways to do New Orleans on the cheap. I enjoyed my visit to the French Quarter and I hardly had to pay for anything. The biggest expense is the hotel faire. But if you are looking for go super cheap airbnb are certainly in the area.