New York Times’ #1 Place to Go in 2018? New Orleans!
In early 2018, The New York Times announced its list of 52 places to go that year. Their number one suggestion? New Orleans!
“There is no city in the world like New Orleans. Influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and indigenous peoples have made it the ultimate melting pot,'' the Times wrote.
We couldn't agree more! New Orleans is unlike any other city in the world, and it deserves a spot on your bucket list. If you have any concerns about visiting New Orleans as a solo traveler, read this post on solo travel safety in NOLA and continue on for 5 reasons why New Orleans is the perfect solo destination:
1. It's cheap to get here!
Nearly every major airport in the United States has a direct flight to New Orleans, and flights are cheaper than most domestic destinations, especially in the summer and winter months.
See for yourself! Click here to check on Expedia!
Public transport is very cheap in New Orleans - $1.25 a ride - and the city's historic street cars can get you to just about any destination in the city. If you're here for a weekend pick up at Jazzy Pass (which can get purchased at any Walgreens) for $3 a day and $9 for a three-day pass, which includes buses and the streetcars.
2. 300 Years of History
New Orleans just celebrated it’s tricentennial anniversary, meaning that this city has an endless number of old stories to tell.
If you’re interested in learning more about the city, take a tour! (Trip Advisor is a great resource for finding tours.) There are plenty of free and cheap walking tours in the French Quarter and Garden District. Ride through the French Quarter on a mule-drawn carriage and learn about the historic buildings you pass by, their stories and legends. The 5 most haunted places in the French Quarter just might surprise you!
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a favorite, free spot of ours whose rotating exhibitions have showcased a wide variety of topics relating to the history and culture of the Gulf South region and the peoples who have influenced it.
New Orleans is also home to some of country's oldest and grandest hotels and bed and breakfast. From the historic and unbelievably stunning Hotel Monteleone in the French Market to the charming and elegant Pontchartrain Hotel in the Garden District to the effortlessly stylish and cool Ace Hotel in the Warehouse District, there’s a hotel to suit every taste!
3. New Orleanians Are A Unique Kind
New Orleans locals are proud of their city and are quick to offer advice on where to eat, drink, and play. Solo travelers can feel comfortable asking locals questions or striking up a conversation, because New Orleanians are very warm and welcoming. Every local has their favorite neighborhood spot, and they’ll probably share it with you if you ask!
The neighborhoods of New Orleans are as unique as the city itself - so get out and explore. For insight into a few hidden gems in New Orleans, listen to Astrid’s New Orleans “Off the Beaten Path” podcast episode here!
4. THE FOOD
Elegant dining rooms, mahogany walls, and waiters in tuxedos … treating yourself at one of New Orleans's classic stalwarts should be on everyone's to-do list. Enjoy French-Creole favorites at French Quarter staples like Galatoire's and Antoine's. Head Uptown and enjoy elegant Creole classics at Clancy's and Upperline. Other fine dining options include Commander's Palace, Bayona, Arnaud's, Restaurant Revolution, Doris Metropolitan, La Petite Grocery and more!
5. New Orleans has world-class shopping.
Magazine Street begins all the way in the CBD, runs for 6 miles along the Mississippi River, glides through the Garden District and Uptown New Orleans, and finally ends just past the beautiful oak-filled Audubon Park. This street, with dozens of local shops, amazing restaurants, museums and galleries, is the perfect place to spend a day. To see our favorites places to shop, drink, eat and play check out our Magazine Street guide here.
For downtown shopping, peruse the many boutique shops in the French Quarter and be sure to stop by Royal Street where you will find an ample amount of local shops, galleries, antique shops and more! You can read our mini guide to Royal Street here!
New Orleans is truly a one-of-a-kind city
There’s just something about New Orleans that is hard to put your finger on. Maybe it’s the mysterious old-world feel that is unique to a relatively young country like the United States. Maybe its the sweet melodious jazz seeping out of the most unassuming of places. Collectively, it’s the people, the food, and the atmosphere that make this place so special.
New Orleans is a vibrant city full of life and energy, and we hope to solo travelers experience this city feeling confident, safe, inspired and engaged.
For more ideas on things to do in New Orleans, scroll through the posts below!
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