Reasons to visit New Orleans

Wanderlusting Over New Orleans

As someone who is ridiculously crazy about travel, it’s not surprising that I always have some far flung destination floating around my head, whether it’s thinking back on memories from somewhere I’ve fallen in love with or daydreaming about a new place I would love to explore. Reading so many other travel blogs about people’s adventures around the world is fascinating and infuriating in equal measure. Fascinating because oh my goodness I want to go there, and infuriating because oh my goodness I want to go there!!

The US has never really been high on my list of places to explore, mainly because I prefer countries with as different a culture and traditions to us as possible.  But lately I just can’t seem to get New Orleans out of my head.  This Louisiana city, known for its vibrant nightlife, live music scene and rich mix of cultures is like nowhere else in the US and the more I see and read about it, the more I desperately want to visit.  Writing about it really isn’t helping but what the hell!  These are just a few of the many reasons why I am wanderlusting so hard over this city right now.

Jazz in New Orleans

The Festivals and Parades

Whether it’s Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest, New Orleans (NOLA) puts on a whole host of festivals, parades and live music throughout the year that has both tourists and locals dancing in the street.  The whole city seems to buzz with party-goers and I would love to watch the costume-clad people from a balcony, soaking up the joyous atmosphere around me while trying to persuade Mr Ayla into donning a costume ourselves and joining in with the fun below.

Mardi Gras New Orleans

The food

NOLA seems to have become a fantastic foodie destination with delicious Creole and Cajun inspired food popping up all over the city.  I would need to try it all, purely for research purposes of course.  A po’boy or muffuletta would be the first thing on the list – giant baguettes or sandwiches stuffed full of meats, fried shrimp, cheeses, salads and sauces.

Po'boy New Orleans

I would also try to devour as many beignets as I possibly could because these deep fried dough parcels covered in icing sugar look simply divine and I’m trying really hard not to lick my screen right now.

Beignets in New Orleans

The French Quarter

The oldest part of town reminds me a bit of Havana, one of the most awesome cities I’ve ever visited. Colourful old buildings line the streets with wrought-iron balconies filled with flowers, and cute boutique shops and cafes.  It looks like a gorgeous place to explore by bike or by the streetcar that trundles through most of the city’s quarters.

French Quarter New Orleans

The Cocktails

Apparently the cocktail was born in New Orleans so for someone who loves a sweet and fruity cocktail as much as I do, this is obviously somewhere that I must visit.  I’d hang out on the balcony of a bar on Bourbon Street, sipping my cocktail while listening to musicians playing jazz on the streets below.

Bourbon Street New Orleans

vampires, ghost stories and voodoo

One of my favourite TV series at the moment is The Originals, a spin off from The Vampire Diaries. It’s full of, you guessed it, vampires – and extremely sexy vampires at that (no, not the Twilight sort of vampires.  These are actual hot vampires.  Honest). The show is based in New Orleans and it’s full of witchcraft and mystical going-ons and it makes me want to visit more every time I watch it.

Voodoo New Orleans

Aside from the fantasy vampires, NOLA has an eerie history and is full of mythical stories, ghost tours and ancient voodoo practitioners like Marie Laveau.  I’d love to go on a ghost tour, pop into the voodoo shops for some spiritual trinkets and perhaps brave a tarot reading, and visit the ancient cemeteries where the gothic tombs all rest above ground.

New Orleans Cemetery

The bayou

I’d love to explore the outskirts of NOLA too and take a slow boat ride along the waterways where the swamps are filled with overhanging trees, alligators and other wildlife.  I’d be keeping my eyes peeled for the werewolves from said vampire show that supposedly live around here.

Bayou New Orleans

Maybe it’s because NOLA is such a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and traditions like nowhere else in the US, or maybe it’s because the city’s vibe seems to be so joyous despite the damage that was caused to the city by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. Whatever it is that’s enticing me to visit, New Orleans is calling my name extremely loudly, and I think it’s a calling I’m going to have to answer very soon.

Have you ever been to New Orleans or would you like to go?  Where are you currently wanderlusting over?  Let me know in the comments below or at:

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This post is part of the travel link up with Kelly, Emma, Rebecca and Liz.  Join the link up all about places you can’t get out of your head by checking out their blogs!

27 thoughts on “Wanderlusting Over New Orleans

    • Ayla says:

      It does seem like a place that is completely apart from the US. That’s probably one of the reasons it appeals to me so much! I hope I get to visit soon too! 🙂

  1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) says:

    I’ve often been quite intrigued by the prospect of New Orleans too Ayla and if we had planned it better, there was a big conference Pumpkin wanted to go to last year that happened there and we could have tied it in with some leave to make a trip out there but alas, another time! Hope you get to go soon – it sounds so full of culture and character 🙂

  2. Kirsten says:

    As I’ve discussed with you, New Orleans is highhh on my list and I totally get all these reasons for wanting to go! I used to think that about the US, it didn’t have the same draw for me because of cultural differences (or lack thereof), but having visited a lot because of the boy, it’s still got its quirks that are worth seeing. Plus, it’s got incredible natural landscapes – that’s mainly been my motivation for seeing more of the US/North America!

    • Ayla says:

      I think it’s a part of the world that I need to conquer soon Kirsten! We will both have to visit New Orleans soon as it’s somewhere that appeals to both of us so much 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      Only 2 weeks before?! Wow that’s pretty scary your trip was so close but must have been great to see it before. I think a trip back is definitely required 😉

    • Ayla says:

      It just seems so different to anywhere else in the US and I think that’s what’s intriguing me. Seems like I’m not the only one who wants to visit!

    • Ayla says:

      It really does look like a fantastic place to explore! I’m afraid I won’t be at Blogstock this weekend but I hope you have a fab time. It was lots of fun last year!

  3. casacaudill says:

    Without a doubt, New Orleans is one of my favorite American cities. I don’t know that I could live there (the crime scares me), but damn I love to visit. The food, the music, the architecture, the culture, the history. NOLA’s got it all. Thanks for sharing your version of this multi-layered city with us.

  4. travelingsaurus says:

    Oh, the food! I was just there less than a year ago, and wished I could stay longer to eat more. It’s such a quick trip for those of us on the east coast of the United States, and it is SO diverse and different from every other major city. Definitely supporting your wanderlust…and thinking of making a quick weekend trip again this year!

  5. Packing my Suitcase says:

    Ohhh I sooo wanna go there too!!
    Funny, because the first thing that comes into my mind when I think of New Orleans is The Vampire Diaries haha ❤
    This town looks sooo different than the rest of the US! I hope we both make it there someday!

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