Top 4 Must-Do’s In New Orleans

For a while I’ve struggled with creating content for blog posts about my American road trip. This is due to not feeling I have the right photos to accompany the text. You may be wondering, “Why Emma, why don’t you have pictures from E.V.E.R.Y moment of your epic road trip?” Well the answer is, I was having too much fun! One example is during my time in New Orleans. I did the most exploring on my own there and was too busy ‘being in the moment’ to worry about documenting it.

There’s a saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. I wonder whether those thousand words in pictures today is really the truth. The more technology evolves and social media platforms grow the more I question pictures we see daily. The way we (and I’m guilty of this too) record/document our lives to show us having a good time on the internet is only partly true. My thinking is, if you can Snapchat the entire night out on the town or Instagram Story your holiday away in the sun, are you really having the best time you seem to be portraying. Doesn’t too much time capturing the event for social media purposes not mean you have too much time being the onlooker rather than the sightseer?!

I’ve been caught up for a while thinking about aesthetically pleasing pictures to sit next to my blog posts that I’ve forgotten about the storytelling aspect, the memories I want to tell and recommendations I’d like to share.

So here it goes, with no photos throughout!

Top 4 Must-Do’s In New Orleans

Swamp Tour

This was one of the most memorable days out for me during the 2 month road trip. I highly suggest going!  My experience started with a daily habit I had picked up during our travels around America. While we checked into our next bed for the night I’d always pick up a business card as a record of where we stayed. I’d also browse the leaflet area for ideas of things to do and places to see as well as getting free materials for my scrap book/journal thing I had going on as a side hobby.

This time my leaflet findings included Air Boat Adventures. It was a bright orange leaflet with photographs throughout. I remember thinking they had spent more time on their advertisement than the other swamp tour leaflets. They also offered a pick up and drop off service for people without cars. This was perfect as I was the only one out of the group that wanted to go and did not drive. I remember calling from our motel room’s phone to book my slot on the boat. First, I wafted away the army of ants from the phone and phone cord before calling. We stayed in a lovely motel!

There’s lots of swamp tours to choose from and I’m not sure they all entail the same experience as mine. Air Boat Adventures sure are adventure led so if you are looking for excitement then this is the place. You can read more about my entire day in my Solo Travel In America blog post.


Tarot Card Reading

Whether a believer or not, tarot card reading is an interesting activity to experience. I think I’m right in saying that there’s not a more suitable place to have a reading done than in New Orleans. Yesteryear’s which used to be found on Bourbon Street was the place I went to. Unfortunately, it is now closed but fear not, there are still many places including mobile ‘tellers’ in the streets to get your fortune read. I paid about $20 for my reading and it took place in a private room at the back of the shop. If anyone remembers the computer game Monkey Island, I had pictures in my head of me going into see the voodoo lady! Instead though, and all you have is my word, I had my tarot card reading by a guy that was the spit of Guybrush Threepwood! I kid you not!

Camellia Grill Diner

We stumbled upon Camellia Grill late at night while walking around the lively streets of New Orleans. I remember entering the diner and as the door shut behind us the sound of partying from outside stopped. We were greeted by a cheery bunch of waiters and chefs. Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time, lots of chatter and joking around. It felt like we had entered a private party.

The diner was exactly like the ones you see in the old movies. Round leather like stools snaked around the bar style diner and a waiter stood in the middle of each island waiting to take your order. The uniform included bow ties and I felt like anyone of the waiters could have broken out into tune at a moment’s notice. The menu acted as our food order and we put a tick next to what we wanted. Our waiter was called John and was quite the character! That night I tried the catfish for tea and washed it down with a chocolate milkshake. It’s a cracking place to eat at!

Address: 540 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Ghost Tour

Things do go bump in the night in New Orleans. A ghost tour is the perfect activity for anyone who likes ghost stories, a bit of history and those that enjoy an evening stroll. There’s plenty of tours to select from and a few tours offer a bit of a mix which is what we went for. A Ghost & Vampire Tour to be precise. We met outside the Toulouse Royale gift shop and headed out with our guide George who told us about many murders, vampire activities and of course spooky going ons. The last destination on the tour was Madame LaLaurie’s mansion. From what I can remember both her and her doctor husband would torture and kill their slaves. They’d experiment with swapping limbs and other unimaginable stuff. A fire, which was started by one slave as a suicide attempt, ended up saving the other slaves and Madame LaLaurie was discovered as a serial killer that she was. Later the mansion was rebuilt and apparently Nicolas Cage owned it for a while. A bit bizarre to say the least.

The main event of my story is what I heard during the talk in front of Madame LaLaurie’s mansion. I was stood on the opposite side of the road facing the mansion. I was stood next to a drain and a pipe attached to the wall. While George was telling us about the gross conditions these slaves lived in I could hear calls for help. At least what sounded like calls for help. A wailing, whispering noise made from more than one person was coming from the drain. It almost sounded European, French maybe. I was a little freaked but didn’t let anyone catch on that I heard something. An Australian girl that was stood next to me started to appear restless and moved a little forward away from where we were stood. The tour finished and nothing was mentioned about the strange crying noise from below. I was really expecting George to point out the noise and ask “Does anyone hear that?” just like they do in the TV show Most Haunted. As people started to part ways at the end of the tour I quickly asked the Australian girl if she heard a strange wailing noise. She nodded and just said she didn’t want to talk about it. She looked freaked out! This made me a little bit scared and curious in what I heard. So yes, that’s my New Orleans ghost story experience.

Address: 601 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Let me know anymore must do’s that you recommend for New Orleans in the comments below!

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