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Short getaways in New Orleans – a spicy gumbo of sounds, sights and sauces in 48 hours

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You can’t see it all on a short getaway in New Orleans. With only a few nights in a New Orleans hotel, follow our lively itinerary for the best of the Big Easy.

New Orleans short getaway day one

Morning

Kick start your short break in New Orleans at Café du Monde, with a plate of sugary beignets (deep-fried pastries) and a steaming cup of café au lait. Stroll over to Jackson Square for a tarot card reading. Nearby is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, a fun stop for both kids and adults. Pop into The Presbytere building for its colorful Mardi Gras costume display. Walk toward Esplanade Avenue on Chartres Street and marvel at the intricate iron work fronting the 18th- and 19th-century townhouses.

Start: Jackson Square

Afternoon

Dig into a salami and olive-stuffed muffaletta sandwich by the trickling fountain in the lush courtyard of the Napoleon House Bar and Cafe. Nearby Royal Street is the place to browse sophisticated antique shops, funky boutiques and art galleries. Or sift through the Mardi Gras beads and masks on Decatur Street. Before heading back to your New Orleans hotel, stop at Pat O’Brien’s for a refreshing Hurricane, the bar’s signature sweet pink cocktail.

Start: Jackson Square

Evening

A night out in the French Quarter is calling. Splash out on a tasty Creole dinner at Galatoire’s or Brennan’s, then hear some live jazz at Preservation Hall. Shows here end early, so jump in a cab to Tipitina’s uptown for some swinging rhythm and blues.

Start: French Quarter

New Orleans short getaway day two

Morning

Start your day at the corner of Royal and Canal Streets for a ride to the Garden District on a vintage St Charles Avenue streetcar. Promenade down the tree-lined blocks of palatial Greek-columned mansions on and around Prytania Street. Nearby Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is a sun-dappled warren of lavish mausoleums. 

Start: Royal and Canal streets

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon in the Warehouse District. Start with a lively lunch at Emeril’s or, if it’s Sunday, head to the nearby House of Blues for an uplifting gospel brunch. Walk over to Julia Street and duck in and out of the art galleries, or gaze at the canvases at the Ogden Museum of Art. A block up is the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the National D-Day Museum. 

Start: Warehouse District

Evening

Wind down a short getaway in New Orleans with a dinner and jazz cruise on Steamboat Natchez. Or stay on land and dig into a plate of fresh oysters at the Acme Oyster and Seafood Restaurant, then take in a play at Le Petit Theatre. End your evening with a cocktail at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. 

Start: French Quarter