Last month a busier one for me, and it all began with a bachelorette weekend in New Orleans for one of my best friends, Alyssa. Unfortunately for me, I forgot to watch Girls Trip in preparation, so I couldn’t quote it all weekend long. Although I’m sure my travel buddies were thankful for one less reference pool at my disposal. But, I *did* get a good taste of New Orleans (figuratively and literally).
Bourbon Street wasn’t our style, so we spent only a little time there. We usually ended up on Royal Street and Decatur Street. Magazine Street also held some allure for us. I loved the detail of street names in tiles that pop on the ground, although the city could do with some sidewalk repair. Did I say “some”? I meant “a lot”.
Not-so scandalous New Orleans adventures
Sure we were there to celebrate Alyssa, but my other personal priority was to get some beignets at Cafe du Monde. Obviously.
We kept it pretty tame, and thanks to the dedicated planning of the maid-of-honor, we squeezed in a lot of what I would consider “must-dos”:
- shopping on Magazine Street (more eclectic vibe than in the French Quarter)
- a ghost tour (hopefully you get Nia as your guide – she had a lot more energy than the other tours we passed along the way)
- The Ruby Slipper Cafe (YUM)
- Carousel Bar (be patient and wait for a seat at the bar… or hover until strangers relent)
The biggest standout of our trip was when we stopped in at Coyote Ugly. And of course, this was one thing we had not planned to do. We had the place all to ourselves! Our bartender was hilarious and she even came around to get a lot of pictures of us on the bar. It’s funny how what I consider “the biggest standout” was the activity that was most like a cliche bachelorette party. How did we have the place to ourselves, you ask? Probably because it was a Sunday night and not on Bourbon Street.
Getting the nod from our Lyft drivers
I love recommendations from locals when I travel. So of course whenever we used Lyft, we asked our drivers for their opinions and suggestions. Our first driver suggested Brennan’s over Commander’s Palace for desserts and it was such a good choice! We tried the famous Bananas Foster, as well as a few other things, particularly gumbo. Unless your dietary needs restrict it, you can’t leave New Orleans without trying gumbo. Princess Tiana would be so disappointed in you.
Lyft driver #2 gave us a pat on the back for our final New Orleans dinner choice, Shaya, an Israeli restaurant. We were so glad for this too, because it is a restaurant away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. Still popular on Magazine Street, but a better chance to catch your breath.
I am a huge proponent for solo travel, but New Orleans is one place I’m glad I visited with friends
While this whole trip was to celebrate our beloved bride, it was the last night that really checked all her boxes. Dinner was at Shaya, where she could eat all the hummus her heart desired. We wrapped up the evening watching an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. As Alyssa and I bonded over Gilmore Girls at the beginning of our friendship, watching this was a true celebration of it.
I am truly glad of the group of friends I was with while exploring New Orleans. Our trip was less about the cliche wilding out that you think of. Instead, we were more focused on experiencing what the city has to offer beyond booze and Bourbon Street.
What is truly the point of a bachelorette party?
Most of the time it doesn’t seem to be a chance to get any debauchery out of your system. We’re all adults here and we can let loose even if we’re married. It seems like more of a chance for the bride to get all her faves to herself. Obviously you can also do this once you’re married too, but the older you get, the more difficult it is for your schedules to coincide. Hell, it was difficult for us 20-somethings to all find an available weekend. But put the label of “bachelorette” on it, and people will make more of an effort to be there.
Thankfully, the planets did align and it was a weekend spent celebrating one of my best friends. So worth it.