Visting New Orleans for the first time

Oh New Orleans, I already miss you.

Day 1.  Morning: Tour to the swamp: cost $75

Uncover the mysteries of the swamps surrounding New Orleans on an exhilarating 2-hour airboat tour of the atmospheric area, led by a professional guide. Cruise along the picturesque waterways in search of ferocious alligators and other rare wildlife while listening to illuminating commentary from your guide. Feel your adrenaline levels surge as your driver accelerates to high speeds, and capture fantastic photographs during regular stops. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation by comfortable, air-conditioned coach on this exhilarating tour.

What to bring: Sunblock, a light jacket (It gets too windy on the boat), a hat, sunglasses, a camera, a bottle of water. I was lucky and didn’t get any rain during my trip but you should carry a rain poncho!

Day 1. Evening: Dinner at Mr. B’s bistro (201 ROYAL STREET • NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130 ).  Aprox: $70

I had the most delicious Shrimp barbequed New Orleans Style(sautéed shrimp in Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce) $28

While writing this article I found out Mr. B’s Bistro has the BBQ Shrimp recipe on their website: WHAT? Find it here:

I also had the fish special and a lot of wine! Dinner was expensive but totally worth.


Day 2. Jazz & Heritage Jazz Fest: Cost $80

An annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana.

What to bring: Sunblock, trust me on that, there is no shade at all.  Be aware that there are specific areas for foldable chairs, if you don’t want to be limited just bring a towel and you can sit anywhere. Inside Fair Grounds there are a lot of food and beer vendors who only take cash. There are ATMs inside but there is a fee to use them. Bring unopened bottles of water, inside they cost $4.

Jazz Fest has a lot of stages and a lot of bands playing at the same time, be sure you check the schedule so you don’t miss anything. This was the line up:

Rod Stewart
Bonnie Raitt
Jack Johnson
Big Freedia
The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
Charles Lloyd & the Marvels with special guest Lucinda Williams
The Last Bandoleros
Sona Jobarteh and Band of Gambia
Hot 8 Brass Band
Sonny Landreth
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
Lena Prima and her Tribute to Louis Prima
Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton
Pine Leaf Boys
Delfeayo Marsalis presents the Uptown Jazz Orchestra
Creole String Beans
Chilluns with Cranston and Annie Clements, Dave, Johnny, and Darcy Malone, Spencer and Andre Bohren
Original Pinettes Brass Band
New Orleans Gospel Soul Children
Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars
Northern Cree of Canada
Gregg Stafford’s Jazz Hounds
Vishtèn of Canada
Walter Cook & The Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians
Kod Kreyol and the Creole Dance Ensemble of Haiti
Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars
The Johnson Extension
Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses
Leah Chase
Eddie Cotton
New Orleans Klezmer Allstars with guest Steven Bernstein
Ed Volker and Los Reyes de Lagardo
Andrew Duhon
Tin Men
New Birth Brass Band
Nigel Hall Band
Anthony Brown & Group Therapy
The Mulligan Brothers
Cha Wa
Leo Jackson & the Melody Clouds
Trumpet Mafia
Grupo Sensacion
Comanche Hunters Mardi Gras Indians
Johnette Downing and Scott Billington
New Orleans Tricentennial 100 Voices Youth Choir
Scott D.
Sweet Cecilia
Tracksuit Wedding
Rusty Metoyer and The Zydeco Krush
Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble
Paulin Brothers Brass Band
First Emanuel Baptist Church Mass Choir
The Wimberly Family Gospel Singers
Orange Kellin’s New Orleans DeLuxe Orchestra
Versailles Lion Dance Team
Baby Boyz Brass Band
Nine Times SA & PC
Single Men SA & PC
Single Ladies SA & PC
Tornado Brass Band
Archdiocese of New Orleans Gospel Choir
Arthur and Friends Community Choir
Xavier University Jazz Ensemble
Young Guardians of the Flame
Washitaw Nation Mardi Gras Indians
Wild Mohicans Mardi Gras Indians
Magical Moonshine Theater
Loyola University Jazz Band
Crescent City Lights Youth Theater
DJ Kelly Green
Good Fellas SA & PC
Dumaine St. Gang SA & PC
Divine Ladies SA & PC
Family Ties SA & PC
Creole Osceolas Mardi Gras Indians
Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians
Ninth Ward Black Hatchet Mardi Gras Indians

Day 3. Café du Monde, Shopping time and Haunted History Tours.

You must to Café du Monde, why? Because everyone goes there and you must witness the craziness. Order of three French Doughnuts (beignets) $2.73   CASH ONLY.

Walking on Bourbon St, during the day and bar hoping is a must. Always live music and drinks specials. 

To end the day I did a Haunted History Tour that cost: $25, it was fun to walk with a tourist guide who told us ghost stories. Of course I came back to Los Angeles and the first thing I did was to watch American Horror Story: Coven!

Check out this video of my trip and let me know if you have visited New Orleans. Any other tips for first time travelers?

About Vanessa Lua

Vanessa Lua is an actress and the host of, an outlet where she interviews celebrities. Her show American Man Dream won the Encore Producers’ Award in 2016. Twitter: @WTHdidshesay Instagram: @VanessaLua

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