If you have 36 hours in New Orleans…

One of the best things about having family visit is the excuse to do some typical touristy things in a city I love. This past weekend, my youngest sister and her fiancé visited my second (third?) home, New Orleans. Should you find yourself in Louisiana for a summer weekend, here are my recommendations, all “sister-approved.”

Thursday evening:

For the most special dinner in town, head to Stella, owned by Chef Scott Boswell. This is definitely a special occasion splurge, the four course tasting menu with wine pairing will leave you delighted, but not overly full. While I am a fan of all of the fish dishes, my sister’s was their best-selling Duck 5 ways.

After dinner, we headed to Frenchman street, where despite the summer off-season period, the music was plentiful. DBA remains a favorite, and this past Friday night was no disappointment.

Friday:

After a morning of work, we headed to Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar uptown. This is perhaps one of the most reknowned Po-Boy places in New Orleans, a hole in the wall with freshly made Po-Boys like you cannot find outside of New Orleans. The traditional option for a Friday lunch is half fried shrimp, half fried oysters, but I prefer the ham and cheese Po-Boy. Either way, there is no wrong way to go…

Since we were already uptown, we made a slight detour by Magazine street, one of the longest shopping streets in the United States. I finally got to visit my new favorite shoe store, Ceces, and of course we went across the street to Jean Therapy, both locally-owned boutiques of course. While we could have spent the rest of the weekend on Magazine, we quickly moved on to avoid going over-budget.

Only in New Orleans do cemeteries qualify as major tourist attractions… indeed, as the city is built on a swamp, the dead have to be buried above ground, which makes for elaborate crypts and mausoleums. We stopped by Lafayette Cemetery for some quiet reflection, a cemetery established in 1833 in the Garden District (which reminded me that next time my sister comes, we will have to go to Commander’s Palace, perhaps the most famous restaurant in town).

Finally, our last stop that afternoon was the World War II Museum, formerly known as the National D-Day Museum, located in the Central Business District. For two Europeans, the Pacific part of the exhibit was particularly interesting (our museums focus mostly on the European part of WWII).

As no day is complete in the Big Easy without a fabulous dinner, we headed to Maximo’s Grill, my favorite Italian restaurant in the city.

The rest of the weekend was spent in the Hammond / Springfield area of Louisiana, mostly on a wakeboarding boat. And that, my friends, will make for another story, one involving the Prop Stop (a bar accessible only by boat), alligators, and a couple epic face-plants…

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