New Orleans had been at the top of wedding photographer Jordan Quinn‘s lady-trip list for awhile (and it’s near the top of yours too as the number 3 bachelorette destination in our bachelorette survey). So when it came time to plan her own bachelorette, the choice was simple. Of course, she had to take a few snaps of the festivities, from the bead bonanza on Frenchman Street to a rejuvenating round of Bloody Mary’s during brunch at Stanley’s. To Jordan, the trip was about connecting with the most important ladies in her life. As she said, “I got to spend two days with my lifers, the souls who play a daily part in my life. These are the kind of friendships that an episode of Golden Girls is made up of.”
Start the weekend right with the perfect NOLA bachelorette favors: matching Mardi Gras masks. And beads, of course. Make your own masks or stop in to Maskarade to browse (and pose in) the gorgeous hand-painted creations.
For lunch, split a classic muffaletta sandwich at Central Grocery. This New Orleans creation is served on a full loaf of soft Italian bread (hence the splitting) and piled high with salami, ham, provolone, mozzarella and homemade olive salad.
For a unique daytime activity, take an air boat tour on the bayou.
Stop in at happy hour for a round of hurricanes at Pat O’Briens (you’ll probably only need one—these suckers are deceptively strong) and stay for karaoke and the piano bar.
To give the weekend a bachelorette twist, book a private aphrodisiac tour with Witches Brew Tours. This two-hour stroll through the French Quarter introduces you to the sultry past (and present) of New Orleans, while you sample oyster shooters, chocolate cannoli and even a vial of Love Potion #9 from the famous Voodoo Authentica.
Indulge in an afternoon treat of beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde…but also at Cafe Beignet…heck, just make this a daily tradition. Order your coffee with chicory, which adds an earthy, almost chocolate-like flavor.
New Orleans is a foodie’s fantasy—it’s hard to go ten feet without stumbling on an excellent restaurant. The region is known for cajun and Southern cuisine, with a focus on seafood. Split small plates like wood-fired oysters and alligator bites with chili garlic mayo at Cochan or, to see a different area of the city, head to Dominique’s on Magazine Street for modern seasonal French cuisine in a quirky renovated fire station.
A night on Frenchman Street is a must. Wander in and out of the many jazz clubs and bars, like The Spotted Cat Music Club and Apple Barrel Bar, to catch the live local acts. Plus, you can take your drinks to go (yep, that’s legal here—just make sure it’s in a plastic cup).
Leave your own NOLA recommendations in the comments!