One Time in NOLA
This was our anniversary trip and my first time visiting The Big Easy. Just as we were on our way driving up to New Orleans, I learned that this wonderful city was celebrating its 300 years! I also learned that many of the individual buildings from this historic city are administered by the National Register of Historic Places. Being an absolute lover of historic places, I felt like NOLA was like my little piece of heaven! We were greeted kindly at the Louisiana Visitor's Center by Deanne and she was very patient with us! We got free coffee, maps of the city, and plenty of smiles! At the visitor's center, I was able to put my list together and divide it by days. I really wanted to see so much more than what I did, but I am so thankful for all my experiences during this trip. The days that we spent in New Orleans, we walked and used public transport. Because of this, by the end of our trip, I was only walking fully by the grace of GOD!!
International House Hotel
I'm not a fan of big chain hotels, but I absolutely love boutique hotels. We stayed at The International House Hotel, which is the only boutique hotel in New Orleans and it was completely made for me! (at least I like to think so! ). It's very artsy, featuring a floor with stunning art, dimmed lights at the lobby, a candlelight bar, and all the amazing little details that make it suitable for creatives and art lovers. The staff was super attentive, very friendly, and they made us feel like rockstars!
The Hidden Gems of New Orleans
For starters, you all know I'm a TVD and Originals fan, so of course, some of my stops had to do with The Originals! We visited Lafayette Cemetery, the 'Mikaelson Mansion' down at Royal Street and the Royal Hotel which is also used in part for the filming of The Originals. We even went inside a Vampire Shop where you could buy Vervain. Talk about fantasy meeting reality! When exploring the Garden District, we took a self-guided tour of the historic homes, and I was able to check off my list, the very lovely Buckner Mansion. This mansion is featured on American Horror Story: Coven.
Warehouse and Arts District
While exploring Magazine Street in the Arts District, we found Toast. An intimate, breakfast and lunch place where we delightfully enjoyed the best breakfast ever! It was extremely hard to find vegetarian options. This was the downside of NOLA for me. So finding Toast was like finding a treasure in a deserted island. Also in the Art District, we visited an art gallery, and fell in love with all the artsy vibes and brick walls.
In Bourbon Street, we found Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, built in the 1770's, it's one of the oldest surviving structures in new Orleans, and the oldest bar in America. It's also said to be the one of the most haunted venues in the French Quarter, and it's also part of the National Register of Historic Places. It's one heck of a gem! In Royal Street we found the Charm Gate at The Court of Two Sisters. According to the legend, Queen Isabella had the gates blessed so that their charm would pass on to anyone who touched them. Also in Royal Street, the mansion famously known as “The Mikaelson Mansion”, and where many of the filming for the TV Show The Originals, has taken place.
At the Pirates Alley, we went in to the cutest little bookstore called Faulkner House Books. At night, near Frenchmen Street, we found the Palace Market. A lovely little market with art from local artists, and chalk! Yes! They had these cute chairs and sofas around, with buckets of chalk, and you could leave your little chalk made art right there in the streets of this super cute market!
Out of the typical things most people see in New Orleans, I found myself very drawn to the hidden treasures. Like the Labyrinth in Audubon Park. It's a maze designed with a red brick walkway, and it is meant for you to enjoy a meditation journey. Close to the Labyrinth, you can find the 'Tree of Life'. A century old live oak tree, with the walls of the giraffe cage from the Audubon Zoo close by, which is where I enjoyed my giraffe spotting!
Enjoy, and as always...be inspired!
Yanitza Ninett is a Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer based in Orlando, serving the Central Florida area, St. Augustine and Georgia. Her blog, Pieces of Me, features most of her work, along with photography tips, lifestyle sessions, personal experiences and travels. Yanitza Ninett documents Engagement Sessions, Beach Weddings, Seniors, Family Sessions & Boudoir. The YN Experience characterizes by giving an unforgettable photography experience along with professionalism and dedication. We are about telling stories...your story! Contact us for more info!