Taking a Bike Tour Through the Heart of New Orleans

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Spending a weekend in New Orleans was great starting with Buzz Nola bike tour that took us into some really gorgeous parts of the city that we hadn’t seen yet. We stopped at P.J’s for coffee first (because we saw locals drinking there so figured why not) and then met up with our tour, which covered:

  • The French Quarter: Where we learned about the city’s founding in 1718, the architecture, Jackson Square and the history of the French Market.
  • Esplanade Ave.: A historic oak-lined boulevard where the Creole elite live.
  • Faubourg Treme: A centuries old neighborhood, home to artists, musicians and history makers.
  • Louis Armstrong Park & Congo Square: The heart of New Orleans’ jazz tradition (and where the jazz festival was being held that we stopped by the day before).
  • Lafayette Cemetery No. 1: One of the many above ground cemeteries in New Orleans, where we learned about the tradition of interment and New Orleans’ funeral traditions.
  • The Lower Garden District: Where the original city of Lafayette, LA begins. Americans were the first to begin building their homes here when the they weren’t welcome in the areas where the French were already living.
  • The Mansions of the Garden District: Gorgeous homes abound in this area, and many architectural trends influenced the whole neighborhood.

Here’s some of what we saw …

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This is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, which has a really interesting history that you can read on their site. We came back here later Sunday night to grab some drinks.

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Look at this beautiful mansion in the Garden District part of our tour. We saw Sandra Bullock’s house, the house where Eli and Peyton Manning grew up, John Goodman’s house, and a whole bunch of others.

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Lafayette’s Cemetery. It’s a somber experience to be taking a tour through a cemetery, but just look at these gorgeous structures. It’s really a nice way to be remembered.

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This sign was across the street from our hotel, and it made me laugh when I first saw it…

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Sazeracs at Dominica in the Roosevelt hotel for happy hour before heading out on the town.

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Hurricane’s at Lafitte’s on Sunday night before catching an Uber to dinner.

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A very scary creepy statue of Jesus that projects onto a church in the French Quarter at night.

Dinner Sunday night was at Baccanal Wine, which is totally off the beaten path, and totally worth it! The first part of the store is a wine and cheese shop, then you can go and sit in the backyard under the twinkle lights, listen to live jazz and order drinks and food from the little window over there to the left. It has a really laid back, low-key, homey type of feel — exactly what we were hoping for on our last night.

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Monday was our last day in New Orleans, and we were lucky that we had most of the day to hang out so of course we went back to Cafe Du Monde for breakfast, and this time we actually sat in the cafe.

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We also walked over to Canal Street and caught the Streetcar back to the Garden District, where we would be having lunch at Commander’s Palace.

Streetcars are cute, except for when you want to ride them. Well the truth is they’re pretty unreliable in terms of timing (ours showed up about 10 minutes late and took about 20 minutes longer than we thought to get us to our destination). If you aren’t strapped for time, though, it’s a pretty fun way to ride around the city at least once.

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Cheryl Lock
Cheryl Lock is a former magazine, newspaper and website editor turned full-time freelance writer. She has worked on staff at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, More and Parents magazines, as well as for Learnvest, the leading women's financial website. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Forbes, Ladies' Home Journal, the Huffington Post, AOL Travel and more.

Cheryl was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up moving around every few years as an Army brat. The urge to travel has been with her her whole life. While she calls New York City home, Cheryl makes it a priority to travel as much as possible throughout the year. Some of her favorite places include Iceland, the Great Barrier Beef, Cabo, Rome, Calabria and Munich, although she hopes to never stop exploring. Cheryl blogs about her travel adventures (and what's happening in and around New York City) at Weary Wanderer.
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