“PEAK TOURIST— AND I’M OKAY WITH IT”
DO There are almost as many ghosts here as there are tourists. Grab a cocktail to go and take a ghost tour. Is it campy? Absolutely, but it’s a great way to see the city and learn about New Orleans’ rich and sometimes violent history—from beloved voodoo queen Marie Laveau to freaky serial killers. Make sure your guide takes you to St. Louis cemetery, where many famous faces are buried. SEE Frenchmen Street in Bywater boasts the best jazz clubs in the city. (NOLA is the birthplace of Louis Armstrong, after all.) I made some friends and spent a hazy night wandering from bar to bar. (My faves were the Spotted Cat and the Blue Nile.) Another gem is the nearby Starlight Lounge. Bouncers at the bar say the ghosts of children who lived and died there centuries ago pull on their jackets to get them to play with them. SIP Everything in NOLA is the oldest or the biggest or the first, but Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar (named after the roguish pirate) is undisputed as the oldest bar in America. Come for the Voodoo Daiquiri; stay for the piano bar. EAT If you don’t eat a po’ boy sandwich, did you really go to New Orleans? Check out Parkway Bakery and Tavern in Mid-City for one of the best. For a fancier spot that’s as popular with locals as it is with tourists, try Antoine’s. IF YOU HAVE TIME... The Sazerac House—a museum dedicated to the city’s iconic cocktail made of absinthe, rye and cognac—is opening this summer.
The dining room at Antoine’s