Whenever it comes time to think about New Year’s Eve plans, I always think about the end of 2007 and my New Year’s Eve in New Orleans with Chase and his Dad. This decade-ago trip was my first time in the Big Easy, and I had so much fun that I asked my besties to visit again this year for our Girl’s Weekend in New Orleans! If you’re thinking about spending the midnight hour in NOLA, check out these tips to make the most of your time in this southern city!
Grab Beignets Every Morning
Whether it’s Cafe Beignet, or Cafe Du Monde, the sweet breakfast treat and a cup of coffee are a must to start your days. We passed a few cafes, making sure to taste each one and take a couple of pictures while we were at it. Food in NOLA is amazing, so venture out and try some authentic Red Beans & Rice, Beignets, Gumbo, Hurricanes and more!
Ride the Streetcar
When we didn’t need a rental car, we took public transportation. Our hotel was a “fur piece” from the French Quarter (think downtown NOLA), so we rode the streetcar several times. I remember cracking the cliched jokes about this car NOT being named “Desire,” but riding it was fun all the same. We traveled up and down the street for a nominal fee, and since it was so chilly, I welcomed the warm ride!
New Year’s Eve on Bourbon Street
This, by far, was one of the best New Year’s Eves on the record books to date. Since having kids and getting (ahem…) older, I’ve been turning into a pumpkin well before midnight, waking up for a kiss and the countdown, and then snoozing the rest of the night away. But this 2007 turning 2008 marked a raucous, laughter-filled night with Chase and his Dad that I will never forget. From daquiri and pizza joints lining the street to Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens, we smiled and laughed the whole night long. I would gladly repeat the trip! Spend your New Year’s Eve in New Orleans on Bourbon street catching beads, watching parades, sipping cocktails and enjoying the atmosphere. Stop into the oldest Absinthe Bar in the south for a sip of the licorice shot that will remind you of the Green Fairy!
New Year’s Eve Midnight Festivities in Jackson Square
After your cocktail clip down Bourbon street, make your way to the elegant and gorgeous Jackson Square before midnight. Once the clock strikes, you’ll hear live music, see the fleur-de-lis drop, and watch a spectacular fireworks show called Symphony in the Sky. This photo of Chase and I was taken minutes after the clock struck midnight, and it actually a selfie of sorts… Every midnight since then, I get a kiss at the stroke of midnight!
Take in a Game
Chase and I originally spent New Year’s Eve in New Orleans just to visit the Sugar Bowl and watch UGA win the bowl game. After all, you can’t spell sUGAr without UGA, right!? Chances are, if you are spending the holiday in NOLA, you’ll be able to score some tickets to a football game on New Year’s Day. If you can’t visit the game itself, tailgates are plentiful and fans are festive! Wear your team logos with pride!
If you need more inspiration to get up and go, check out these recommendations for New Year’s Eve in New Orleans, or one of the many other destinations on Alamo Rent A Car’s “Scenic Route” – a collection of travel stories, videos, guides and more designed to inspire travelers to make the most of their vacations. Don't wait to start planning your next getaway!