Day By District: Central Business District

Follow our guide to see the highlights of the Central Business District in just one day!


8:00 AM:  Willa Jean

You’ll need a good breakfast for a day jam-packed with sight-seeing and Willa Jean can certainly provide that.  Try the griddled banana bread, or if you need some protein, the Hangover bowl, which includes short rib, a poached egg, and grits.  If you want breakfast on the go, opt for the fried chicken biscuit with tabasco honey –  it’s the perfect blend of sweet and spicy!

9:00 AM:  St. Patrick’s Church

St. Patrick’s was built in the early 1800s and marked the start of the American community that grew alonside the Creole culture.  It features stunning Gothic architecture and artwork for you to marvel at.  While it was originally built to accomodate a growing Irish population in a primarily French town, its survival of numerous hurricanes, natural disasters, and war has caused St. Patrick’s Church to develop into a symbol of the resilience of New Orleans.

9:30 AM: Lafayette Square

Named for America’s favorite fighting Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette, you’ll want to walk through the square after you’ve seen St. Patrick’s Church.  It’s the site of numerous music events throughout the year, but during the day, is a beautiful location to sit and enjoy the historic beauty of New Orleans.  The park underwent some repairs after Hurricane Katrina but now is back and more beautiful than ever.

10:00 AM: Canal Place

Take an hour or so to visit Canal Place, one of the best shopping centers in New Orleans, and pick up some souvenirs to take home.  The mall has both chain stores you might recognize and smaller, local stores that will fascinate you.  Don’t forget to stop in the Louisiana Crafts Guild, where you’ll find all sorts of products made by local artisans, from jewelry to pottery.

11:30 AM: Restaurant August

Head to Restaurant August for a classic NOLA lunch.  Their prix fixe menu covers a three course meal, with a corn and crab bisque starter, your choice of a blackened cornish hen or potato crusted blackfish, both of which are delicious, and your choice of desserts – the hummingbird cake is a classic Southern favorite.  The chef is an expert in local cuisine as he’s Louisiana born and bred, so you’ll quickly agree that NOLA has some of the best food in the country, if not the world.

12:30 PM: National World War II Museum

Use the afternoon to wander through this amazing museum – you won’t see everything, but you’ll see a lot!  The museum, spanning four buildings, features not just objects and artifacts from the War to End All Wars, but also interactive exhibits and oral histories.  You’ll learn about the soldiers who fought in Europe, the people who fled, and even the survivors who made it out of the concentration camps.  Some areas are hard to stomach, but the experience is extremely moving and overall important.

5:00 PM: Drink Lab

New Orleans is the home to a number of classic cocktails, and at the Drink Lab, you can learn the history – and recipe –  of the beverages.  Catch the 5 PM tour, and hear all about the Sazerac, the Gin Fizz, and the Hurricane, each of which has an interesting history behind them.

7:00 PM: Trenasse

It’s time for a good, classic Creole dinner and Trenasse is the place to go.  Try the crawfish pie, with its flaky crust and creamy, fresh filling, or opt for Stinky’s Stew, which contrary to the name, does not stink, and is actually a flavorful seafood stew featuring shrimp, mussels, and oysters.  Finish off with a peanut butter chocolate brownie that is so decadent, you’re not going to share.

9:00 PM:  Bar 1908

Finish your day with a relaxing drink at 1908.  The bar, located in the Pythian Market, offers delicious craft cocktails, like the frozen Honey Sage Sidecar which brings out nuances of the brandy like you’ve never tasted before.

Don’t let the name fool you – the Central Business may have work, but it also has plenty of play!