New Orleans is a city unlike anywhere else, a one of a kind treasure trove of exotic food, distinct music, and colorful architecture. There is no better way to uncover the best of these treasures than from a local perspective. Locals know the secrets to creating an authentic travel experience in New Orleans, where to find the hidden gems, where to experience the cultural nuances that make their city so unique. If you want to experience some of these local secrets next time you visit the Big Easy, you have to go where the locals go!
Stay Where Locals Live or Sleep Steeped in History
New Orleans has a wealth of unique accommodation choices. We enjoy staying like a local with Airbnb, and there are 1000 entire place rentals from which to choose in New Orleans! When we can’t find an Airbnb rental, we like we opt for a hotel in an area with historic appeal. There are many hotels in New Orleans in historic areas like Bywater, the French Quarter, and Lower Garden District. Book your hotel through Hipmunk.com in the area you prefer. Doing so is the quickest way to find the cheapest prices for hotels in the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans.
Eat Where the Locals Eat
It is undeniably easy to find great food in the Big Easy, but eating in tourist areas is expensive, and some lack the authentic soulful atmosphere of eateries locals tend to enjoy. Zomato/Urban Spoon is a great site to fetter out local opinion on eats in New Orleans. New Orleanians’ favorites include gems like Liuzzas by the Tracks, purveyors of the best gumbo and outstanding po’ boy sandwiches, and The Commanders Palace, where locals linger for hours sipping martinis, enjoying inexpensive, delicious two-course lunch offerings.
Play Like the Locals Do
New Orleans is fiercely devoted to its homegrown traditions be they musical, culinary, cultural, or otherwise. Where some of its habits and haunts are known the world over, others remain difficult for visitors to find. One of those local hangouts is Little Gem Saloon for fine southern food and soul-stirring jazz, or get on a bike and explore a favorite peddling route. Start at the Old U.S. Mint and head down Esplanade Avenue, enjoying the sweet sights on the way to the end at City Park. A few places rent bikes in New Orleans like Bicycle Michaels or A Musing Bikes. Cycling is a great way to see New Orleans from a different perspective.
Enjoy Savings and Local Festivities in the Off-Season
Visiting in the off-season is another great way to enjoy more local experiences. More locals than tourists inhabit restaurants and attend festivals in the quiet months. Downtime in New Orleans is generally summer and winter. In the summer, the heat is high and food and music festivals prevail — some are even free! Alternatively, winter weather is much milder, and local events are Christmas inspired. It’s a wonderful time to visit and see how New Orleans sparkles for the holidays. Many hotels and restaurants offer great discounts in the off-season. This will help you create an authentic travel experience in New Orleans that is even more appealing and affordable.
Featured image by Chun-Hung Eric Cheng via Flickr