One Fine Day is a series inspired by my favorite now-defunct Chicago Tribune column of the same title. The posts in this series are short, sweet, sometimes themed, and always a charming snapshot of a city.
When it comes to New Orleans, there’s a lot to see and do. Depending on your interests (and how many Hurricanes you’re looking forward to knocking back), this might not be an ideal day for you. But for me, it was perfect.
Before you get too far into your day, purchase an all-day public transportation pass. For $3 you’ll be able to take as many streetcar or bus rides as your heart desires (and your adventures warrant).
Start your morning off with a delectable breakfast and much-needed caffeine jolt at District: Donuts. Sliders. Brews. With a full belly head out onto Magazine Street to explore some of the area’s small shops and marvel at the city’s oldest mansions.
Make your way east toward the French Quarter for a stroll through Jackson Square. Stop to watch a street performer or two and take in all of activity in the heart of New Orleans.
While you’re in the area, pop into Faulkner House Books, a sanctuary for literature lovers of all ages. Once the apartment building where author William Faulkner resided, the first floor of this building has been renovated into the most adorable tiny bookshop you’ve ever seen.
Spend some time wandering around the French Quarter and, when you’re in need of refreshments, pop into the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar & Lounge for a drink at the historic rotating bar. Operated by a chain driver with around 2,000 rollers and powered by a 1/4 horsepower motor, the Carousel Bar makes one full rotation every 14 minutes.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter by taking the streetcar north to the New Orleans City Park. Wander the moss-covered trees and get your art fix at the New Orleans Museum of Art. If you’re short on time, or money, pay a visit to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden instead.
Instead of fighting the crowds at Cafe Du Monde, get your beignet fix at Morning Call Coffee Stand in the New Orleans City Park. Located in the historic park’s former casino, the more than 140-year-old business is open 24 hours, which means it’s the perfect place for a sugar rush no matter the time of day.
Since you shouldn’t visit New Orleans without hearing a little bit of live jazz, I recommend the Spotted Cat Music Club. Wander down Royal Street after a filling dinner and take in the unique energy and sound of New Orleans style jazz in this iconic venue.
Once you’ve had your music fix, wander nextdoor to support local artists and makers at the Frenchmen Art Market. Held Thursday through Monday nights under a twinkling canopy of lights, this is the perfect place to stroll solo or recoup with friends before the evening’s next adventure.