New Orleans Guide: 3 day weekend in NOLA

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I’ve had my eyes set on New Orleans, Louisiana for quite some time now. As a major foodie, this places was on top of my list because the possibilities were endless. I was ready for Oysters, Po’Boys, Gumbo, & Beignets galore. Aside from having some of the NOLA staples I got really adventurous on this trip and decided to try new foods I might have never tried, like Chargrilled Oysters (cheese), Alligator Sausage, Turtle Soup, and Quail.

Aside from all the food that drew me to New Orleans, I was also drawn in by the culture. Mixed with Spanish and French influence, New Orleans is a city full of vibrant sounds, views, and people. New Orleans has definitely been the city I have visited with the most live music, from bands playing covers at bars, jazz brunches, or jazz set ups on a street, you can’t help but stop and feel the music.

At the end of this blog you can find my detailed 3 day itinerary which is perfect for a long 3 day weekend. Like my previous Austin post, it is very busy, but you can take what you want from it and make it your own. I strategically mapped everything and placed it in the itinerary in a way where you could see the most by foot. Ubers&Lyfts were relatively cheap, I  DO NOT recommend renting a car.

 

Uber/Lyft from the airport is very controlled and efficient. We paid $40 for the ride from the airport to our hotel.

Hotel: We stayed at the Lafayette Hotel. It was in a prime location, if you are going to Mardi Gras, this is a great hotel to stay, because there are bleachers for the parade right by the hotel. If you enjoy walking, everything is a 13-20 minute walk or a 5 min drive.

Nightlife: Nightlife in New Orleans is like no other. We HAD to check out Bourbon street, there are so many options for bars. If you want a good Hurricane go to Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop, we had one at Pat O ‘Brien’s and it was wayyy too sweet. I avoided the Hand Grenade because I heard it was nasty, but if you want a good buzz and don’t care what you drink, go for it. Also the nightlife is so lax, you can bring your own alcohol and take your drink from bar to bar. Our favorite part of the night was people watching from the Balconies and the bars where they did live covers to songs and requests.

without further a due, lets go into the trip!

Friday Day One

We landed and quickly checked in and got ready for the night. First stop was food obviously. We headed to Acme Oyster House and this was definitely our Favorite meal and spot we went to all weekend, I wanted to go back. We had raw oysters, chargrilled oysters, and we split a seafood fried platter that had the BEST catfish.

From dinner we went to Bourbon street to see the debauchery. It was SO fun and unlike anything we’ve seen before. We checked out Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, Pat O Brien’s, Saints & Simmers, and Bourbon Bandstand.

 

 

Saturday Day 2

After finding out I booked the wrong Mercedes-Benz stadium tour (whoops) we had to make a change to our itinerary. This goes to shows that no matter how much you plan, things can go wrong. We laughed it off and made a quick change.

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Instead of the stadium tour, we went to the Historical Pharmacy Museum which was only $5 to visit and very well worth the cost! This is one of thee coolest museums I’ve seen with a lot of artifacts and instruments used back then.

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Lunch Recommendation: NOLA Po’boys, they’re pretty big and a staple in NOLA.

After lunch we headed back to the area where the stadiums are to go to Smoothie King Arena to watch the Pelicans and Clippers play. One of our goals in life is to visit as many sports stadiums so it was a must to check out a game while we here. Tickets are also significantly cheaper, when we were walking to our seats I couldn’t help but think wow if only we could sit this close at a Laker game back home.

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After the game, we decided to walk back to our hotel area since it was only a 13 minute walk. We decided to stop by the Auction House Market, I wish I would have gotten pictures of it, but I did manage to get a picture of their aesthetic bathroom. It’s a really trendy, cute, and IG friendly market. We split two empanadas and an iced coffee to fuel us for a long night ahead.

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For Night two, we decided to do a Ghost Tour of the City of New Orleans. We did it through Haunted History Tours. I really recommend doing a walking tour because you get a lot of fun, historical information you may have never heard, like the tales of Madame Delphine or Marie Laveau. During the tour you also stop at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, which is one of the oldest buildings still up and supposably, very haunted.

We finished the night with a midnight treat, Beignet’s at Cafe Du Monde, which is 24 hours. I honestly would say going the latest you can is the best idea! We sat down and ordered immediately, during the day and morning the lines are ridiculous.

 

Sunday Day Three

We made this day a strategically planned walking day to see the most around town. Which meant waking up early on a Sunday and beating the crowds. We began by grabbing a beignet and coffee at Cafe Beignet, another popular and cute spot.

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Next stop: St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square Area

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Next Stop: Carousel Bar (opens at 11am) If you want a spot on the carousel get there 10-15 minutes early to get in line. Luckily we got there and found two spots! Although it was super early to grab a drink, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the bar.

Next Stop: Lunch at the Gumbo spot. We split the Aligator Sausage (must try), Shrimp Gumbo and Chicken Andouille Gumbo!

Next Stop: Voodoo Museum, it costs $8 per person to get in. To be honest, I would skip this, it wasn’t worth the price. The Pharmacy Museum is a lot better.

 

We kept walking and decided to find some of the sights from the night ghost tour, in particular Madame Delphine’s Murder house. We had just watched American Horror Story Coven prior to this trip so I was really intrigued by the horror tales.

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Next Stop: The Spotted Cat Music Club, which is a fun, packed, jazz bar! The ambiance and crowd was on point.

Nighttime: We hit Bourbon street and bar hopped. I love how lax the nightlife is here, we were wearing football jerseys and carrying our own alcohol into each venue.

 

Monday Day 4

Our last day in NOLA and we only had half a day because our flight departed at 3:30 pm. Nonetheless, we got up early, packed and made the most of the time we had.

 

Our first stop was Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, better known as the house from American Horror Story Coven. It’s located in a beautiful neighborhood and the house is majestic.

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Next Stop: Drink Beauty NOLA

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I found this pink, instagram dream coffee shop on instagram and knew I had to go. Aside from the decor and aesthetics, was their drinks. We tried two different lattes which had CBD in them, each latte had its own benefit and they both tasted so good. My favorite part was picking out what design I wanted on my foam for my latte, and the bathroom walls (lotss of boobies)

Next & FINAL stop of our NOLA trip: Lunch at the Commander’s Palace

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So what drew us into this place was their lunch special, which allows you to get 25 cent martinis (max 3 martinis). This sounded like a good idea until we wokeup hungover on Monday, it is safe to say I only had one martini (they’re strong). We kept hearing about the famous Turtle Soup, which I was pretty apprehensive to try at first. I had some bold food adventures on this trip, and if you know me you know I am an ex-picky eater. When I first met Ed, I was that person that ordered a safe burger and fries or chicken. Luckily, traveling has pushed me to be more explorative in my food choices and I am so happy (still don’t like cheese though lol).

Here’s a snapshot of the food we got! Turtle Soup was BOMB, and so was their famous desert! You must dress nice in this restaurant or they won’t let you in.

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Thank you for following along! I highly encourage you all to visit New Orleans if you get a chance. I would love to come back because I feel like there is still SO much to see and do. Ideally I want to come back in a warmer month or fall (to catch a Saints game). I also would love to do a Swamp tour, Plantation Tour, and National WW2 Museum in the future!

My weekend itinerary is below in case anyone needs a structured list to follow!

Feel free to screenshot it and make your life easier on your future visit to New Orleans.

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Guide To Exploring Valle De Guadalupe (Baja California MX’s, Wine Region)

Viva Valle

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Lately I’ve been seeing a lot more friends venture into Valle De Guadalupe and it makes me so happy. I’ve managed to plan epic wine tasting adventures in Valle and show the beauty this area possesses to people who may have never had an opportunity to get down there. Visiting Vinicolas (Wineries in Spanish), has become a fun adventure as we get older, and I live for going to the wineries in Mexico (especially if I get lobster at Puerto Nuevo on the way down)/

Please for the love of God, come with a passport! I cannot stress this enough, border patrol agents and people in your car do not want to deal with any issues. Avoid any mishaps and pack your passport or make sure you get one before coming down.

If you live in Southern California, the drive is manageable and quick, especially if you are coming from Temecula or San Diego.

Driving Tip 1: Set your GPS to your location before driving into Mexico. Make sure your GPS works down there or someone else’s in the car, typically T-Mobile gives the best coverage in Mexico.

Driving Tip 2: Bring Cash and Change for the Toll Roads. When driving on the 1D you will make 3 toll stops which can only be paid in cash dollars or pesos.

Driving Tip 3: Drive safely, follow road directions that you would in the U.S, and be cognizant of speed when driving.

Driving Tip 4: If you don’t feel comfortable driving/staying down there, there are tour companies that pick you up at the border and take you back. There are also tour companies that pick you up at your hotel or airbnb and take you back. I have a reputable company I have used on two occasions, once for 17 guests and then another trip with  12 guests. They provide excellent service and go above and beyond, bring cash to pay and tip your driver 🙂

 

Valle De Guadalupe Tour Recommendation: Ruta Del Vino Tour

https://www.yelp.com/biz/ruta-del-vino-tours-valle-de-guadalupe-4

  +52 646 113 8246

I prefer to contact them through WhatsApp! I have had Carlos and Jacinto as drivers and they were both amazing. You contact them, let them know how many people are in your group and what wineries you want to visit. If you don’t care which wineries, they can plan the day for you. They also plan a spot for you to stop and eat at (Typically Finca Altozano which I dream about going to constantly). Once you figure out how many people are in your group, and how many hours you want to be driven for, they will give you a rate.

You can also drive from winery to winery if you would like, your GPS typically works and you can map your day out. If you plan on getting tipsy I would recommend booking the private driver through Ruta Del Vino, save yourself the hassle and enjoy more of the day.

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Favorite Spots to Visit

 

1.Cuatro Cuatros

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Location:El Tigre, carretera libre
Tijuana-Ensenada Km. 89 s/n
El Sauzal de Rodriguez,
Ensenada B.C., México

 Phone Number: 646) 174 6789

This is one of the most beautiful locations I have ever been to, its so dreamy and you feel like you are transported to another side of the globe. I’ll start out by saying that if you want to go to the top for the view and bar, you have to make a reservation. You can take your chances and put your name down when you arrive, or if you do not make a reservation try getting there when they open. My favorite time to visit is an hour before sunset. The most magical views happen at the top when the sun goes down. You can order food at the top and drink from a wide menu of cocktails and beers. If you want to do wine tasting, that is downstairs when you park and wait for the bus that takes you to the top. You also get a complimentary beer, water or soda when going to the top.

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Had to include a picture of the bathroom, the most magical pee ever taken.

 

2. Finca Altozano

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Location: Carretera Tecate – Ensenada Km 83 Ejido,  Francisco Zarco, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

Phone Number +52 646 156 8045

Whatever you do, save your appetite and make this your lunch stop. Whether you are driving there yourself, or request it as a stop on your tour, this is one of my favorite stops for lunch. The restaurant is GORGEOUS, wooden accents and open, you feel like you are on an hacienda in Mexico. Reservations are required, but you can always put your name down and wait. If you wait, there is a lot to entertain, from the wood barrel photo ops, to the livestock that lives on the property, to the ice cream shop. Another one of my favorite quirks about this restaurant, is the dogs that live on the property. There are about 9 dogs who live at Finca and spend their day lazily roaming the restaurant, you can find their name out on the menu. We’ve been here about 4 times, one time with a group of 17! The service is phenomenal and the food is delicious. We love the Oysters, Lengua Tacos, Sea Bass Chicharones, and Octopus. Be careful ordering uuuuun taco because you will get the whole cut of the meat which is 5 tacos (lol Aura).

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3. Bruma

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Location: Carretera Avinicola La Cetto fraccionamiento A-B P74, 22760 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

Phone Number: +52 646 116 8031

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I found this winery through Instagram (typical), and it was such a tranquil experience. One of the most thought out and detailed wineries I’ve been to. What’s crazy, is that the roots and body of the tree go down to a room down under. The roots and body of the tree are enclosed in a glass cage and you do your wine tasting down there. Bruma also has a restaurant called Fauna. Make reservations for tastings, you won’t regret it!

4. Villa De Frannes

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Location: Camino Vecinal al rancho Cañada del trigo, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

+52 646 688 1955

It’s extremely accommodating for large groups. They have an indoor and outdoor tasting section. The outdoor section is so picturesque and serene, definitely one of my favorite views and a good spot to admire nature’s beauty.

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We will be going back to Valle for Valentine’s Day this year and I will share the experience. This time I am eager to see Casa Frida Valle De Guadalupe, and also Vinicola Adobe Guadalupe. We will also be staying at a new location located in the heart of Valle De Guadalupe, and I am so excited to show you guys the new location.

I truly hope everyone finds a way to come down and visit Valle, the hospitality is so great and the aesthetics of the locations are so beautiful. This is a great birthday trip or anniversary trip, also a good idea if you want a tranquil and cute bachelorette.

 

Do you have any favorites or recommendations in Valle De Guadalupe? I would love to know, Share them Below ❤

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I love the Baja California region and frequent it often, so keep an eye out for more future blogs on the area!