Extend Your Business Trip: 24 Hours in New Orleans
When you’re flying across the country for a business trip, extending your trip by a day is one of the best ways to maximize your time and productivity.
You could use the extra 24 hours to rest up and prepare at the front end of the trip, or relax and recuperate at the end. Personally, we are big fans of using the extra time to explore and enjoy the destination. So as Team TravelBank flies south to New Orleans, that’s exactly what we’re doing — tacking on an extra 24 hours to soak in the city and squeeze in some leisure travel, before we get down to business.
Ready to plan your own business trip extension in New Orleans? We are sharing 10 things to do in the French Quarter that aren’t Bourbon Street. Here’s how to make the most of your day in the Big Easy.
Check In and Rest Up
We like to check in the night before our free day, so we are well rested and get the full day to explore. If you are looking for some low key spots to enjoy a quiet dinner after you land, Magazine Street in the Garden District is your move. Afterwards you could even grab an evening drink on the front porch of the Columns Hotel on St. Charles before packing it in and calling it a night.
Start with breakfast at Ruby Slipper
Depending on where you’re staying, make your way to Ruby Slipper in the French Quarter. If you’re staying in the Garden District, this would be a great time to hop on the St. Charles streetcar for $1.25/ride or $3/day. Have exact change to feed the machine when you board. Once at Ruby Slipper, it’s hard to go wrong. Their breakfast menu is phenomenal.
??? Charmed, always. Even on a cold winters day. _ We had a whirlwind few days – bouncing over to Atlanta and back to New Orleans, while juggling projects and deadlines too. I woke up early this morning for hot tea and yoga, little moments of necessary zen! How’s your weekend starting out loves? . . . #AWanderfulLife #ouiwetravels #alwaysneworleans #louisianalove
Wander Down Royal Street
After breakfast, walk right past Bourbon Street until you reach Royal Street. As you wander down the old street, take in the wrought-iron balconies spilling over with plants, the numerous art galleries lining the street, and the local boutiques. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a few live music acts performing on one of the street corners.
Grab a Bite at Cafe Beignet
Have you had enough time to digest? Because a trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without a bite of beignet, and Cafe Beignet serves them up in a quaint little shop, perfect for an Instagram op. Enjoy with a cup of chicory coffee, and hopefully a side of live music drifting down the street.
See How Beignets Are Made
Afterwards, walk over to Cafe du Monde and peak in the back window where you can watch them prep, fry, and powder these fluffy pastries. Most days you’ll be grateful you spared yourself the line at Cafe du Monde, but if it’s a slow day and taste testing all of the city’s beignet is your jam, go ahead and try one for yourself!
Explore Jackson Square
While you’re here, take some time to explore the art surrounding Jackson Square. The ramp next to Cafe du Monde offers great views of the square and St. Louis Cathedral behind, but the gates right across from the church offer another amazing photo op as well.
Lunch at Napoleon House
When you’ve taken it all in, stop at Napoleon House to try the famous muffaletta sandwich with a pimm’s cup. There are so many famous drinks in New Orleans, like the infamous hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s or the hand grenade at Tropical Isle. Word from the wise: order this drink “skinny,” aka with less sugar, if you don’t want to wake up with the hangover from hell. On the classier side, there’s the pimm’s cup at Napoleon House, the sazerac or the gin fizz at the Sazerac Bar and a Creole-style bloody mary from just about anywhere.
Shop the French Market
If you haven’t noticed, New Orleans has a theme: it’s all about the food. While you’re probably still stuffed from a delicious breakfast at Ruby Slipper, beignets, and a muffaletta, the French Market is full of delicious bites. Explore the front end of the French Market for a taste of local foods, like a buttery crab claw or one of the best pina coladas in town, or to stock up on gifts for your friends back home.
Find a Local Backyard Hangout
If you want to be a total local head over to Bacchanal for live music, a glass of wine, and maybe even a cheese plate and cozy into one of their backyard tables. Technically a short ride into the French Quarter’s neighboring hood, the Bywater, this is a great spot to relax in the afternoon. If you happen to be exploring on a Saturday, they offer a free wine tasting from 3-5 PM.
Dinner at Port of Call
When it’s finally time for dinner, grab a burger at Port of Call. It’s been voted the best burger in the city many times over, and is served with a baked potato on the side instead of the usual plate of fries. The variety of tropical drinks also make for a good addition to the meal.
Frenchman Street for Live Music
New Orleans has lots of spots for live jazz, like Howlin’ Wolf, Preservation Hall, and Les Bons Temps, but make sure to walk down Frenchman Street. It’s like the locals’ Bourbon Street. Almost every bar features a jazz band at night for free or a small cover charge if it’s a well-known band.
If you do it right, you should be full and happy at the end of you day exploring the New Orleans French Quarter.