Upcoming Travel: New Orleans & Nashville

After several years in a row of busy spring break trips with multiple destinations, we’re changing gears a bit and staying in one place for a extended period of time to live like locals. New Orleans is our primary destination, but we’ll also be making our first visit to Nashville on the way down and spending a night in Memphis on the return. Between Tennessee and Louisiana we’ll even dip our toes in our 49th state, Alabama. After this trip, Hawaii will be the last one to check off.

We last visited New Orleans seven years ago in spring 2011. That was pre-blog and before either of us even had a smart phone or tablet … how did we do it?! It’s easy to stereotype New Orleans as a party town that doesn’t extend beyond Bourbon Street, but in reality it’s one of the most historic cities in the country, and offers cultural experiences far beyond drinking from a plastic cup draped around your neck. Last time we stayed in downtown hotels within walking distance of the French Quarter but explored some other Crescent City neighborhoods and even took an overnight trip out of town to go on a swamp tour and stay at a plantation.

We covered a good amount of New Orleans last time, but there’s plenty more on our to-do list this time around. Our base will be the Bywater neighborhood just downriver from the French quarter. We scored a charming apartment in a double shotgun house that we’ll call home for five nights. This will be our first trip exclusively using Airbnb for lodging. We used the service for the first time last summer, and it worked so well we think we’ll be incorporating it into our lodging options regularly from now on (We’ve already set up an Airbnb stay for one of this summer’s pass-through towns).

The tentative to-do list in Nashville includes the Lane Motor Museum, the Frist Center for Visual Arts and the Parthenon. We’ve been doing some research to see what’s new and exciting in the local dining scene as well.

In New Orleans our must-sees this time around include the New Orleans Museum of Art, National World War II Museum, the Museum of the American Cocktail and partaking in as  many dining and drinking establishments as possible.

A few scenes from our 2011 trip: Street band, cocktails at Cure, Natchez paddlewheeler.

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