Quick Day Trip to New Orleans

A close up picture of the famous New Orleans Cafe Du Monde hat, beignet, and cup.

I am a lover of travel and museums. So, when I heard that New Orleans had one of the best WWII museums in the country and possibly the world, I knew that we had to go. I mean, I live in Louisiana and had no clue! What a shame! My dad also loves museums and history, so he, my sister, and my niece joined us on this quick day trip to New Orleans.

There are a couple of things that I would have done differently, like leaving on Friday evening after work and spending all day Saturday at the museum, but due to scheduling conflicts, that wasn’t possible this time. It certainly affected our ability to see all of this museum and left me needing to make another trip down in the future to finish it. So, my advice is to plan for an ENTIRE DAY to see this museum, you will need it! Join us for a quick day trip to New Orleans for some education and fantastic food!

where to eat:

A woman holding a fried oyster from Don's Seafood.

Don’s Seafood

  • I’ve been a fan of Don’s Seafood since I was in college, many moons ago. I traveled down south to get my Chiropractic X-Ray License, and the doctor I was working for handed me his credit card to cover my food expenses while I was there for the weekend. My colleague and I stumbled upon Don’s Seafood, and I ordered one of my favorite seafood dishes, fried oysters. I never forgot that and when we passed Don’s Seafood on our way to New Orleans, I knew that it was the perfect spot for lunch.
    • Now, I try to be fair and honest when I talk about restaurants on my BLOG. Now that I’m much older I noticed a few things that I may have missed as a 19-year-old. First of all, Don’s Seafood may have the BEST HUSHPUPPIES on the planet! We ordered them as an appetizer. The waitress brought out a heaping basket of crispy, golden hushpuppies and plenty of butter. They were gone in a flash! So, So GOOD!
A plate of fried oysters and french fries at Don's Seafood.
  • Of course, I ordered my favorite, fried oysters. The batter was just as light and crispy as I remembered it so many years before, but I also noticed something else that was less impressive. The oysters seemed to be very small and there was way more crust than oyster. That was a little disappointing. The flavor and crunch were spot on, but the batter/crust should never outweigh the seafood in the middle.

watch our adventure here:

Palace Cafe

  • This restaurant came to me as a suggestion for dinner from one of my best friends, Jennifer. She told me that we just had to get reservations here and try the crab cheesecake. That was all I needed to hear and within a few hours I set us up for a reservation on Saturday night. It was the perfect place for dinner on our quick day trip to New Orleans!
A picture of the outside of Palace Cafe in New Orleans.
  • I have absolutely NOTHING NEGATIVE to say about this place. Making the reservation was super easy. The location of the restaurant is PRIME! It’s on the main strip of Canal Street, only a block from the famous Bourbon Street!
    • We ordered two crab cheesecakes for the entire table to share and OH MY GOODNESS!!!! It was incredible! A savory cheesecake stuffed with crab meat, topped with mushroom saute and meuniere sauce, and a crust of pecan. I’ve never had anything like it… but you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to recreate that dish at my house!
A close-up picture of the crab cheesecake at the Palace Cafe in New Orleans.
  • When it came to main dishes, three of us ordered the Andouille crusted fish. This dish was light and DELICIOUS! Pan-roasted Gulf fish dusted in andouille breadcrumbs, celeriac potato puree, and honey glazed carrots. It was DIVINE!
A close-up photo of andouille crusted fish at the famous Palace Cafe in New Orleans.

Cafe Du Monde

  • Now, I’m not big on sweets especially for breakfast, but you simply cannot visit New Orleans without visiting Cafe Du Monde and ordering beignets. The original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, closing only for Christmas Day and the occasional Hurricane. It’s famous for its fried pastries dusted with a TON of powdered sugar. And don’t forget to order fresh chicory coffee to wash it all down! (Personally, I’m not a fan of the chicory coffee, but they are known for it as well.)
Three children eating beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

what to do:

There are TONS of things to do in New Orleans. We simply made this quick day trip to New Orleans to explore this famous museum. I will have to make another post about activities in New Orleans when we go back. I’m just going to focus on the few things that we did and saw on this trip.

Picture of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

national WWII Museum

  • There is so much to talk about with this museum! There are many different exhibits, a 4D movie narrated by Tom Hanks that lasts almost an hour, interactive experiences, and more!
    • When we arrived, we received dog tags and a I.D. card of a specific person that lived through the war. We boarded a train and scanned our individual badges to learn about the person that we were assigned while we traveled to war. This is such a neat part of the entire museum experience. You literally get to follow a real person through their entire war experience. Whenever you walk through the museum, at each exhibit, you simply scan the I.D. card, and you are informed of the next part of this person’s journey. It makes this real-life event even more relevant and touching.

The 4D WWII movie narrated by Tom Hanks is informative, raw, and moving.

  • The movie broke down the entire war into digestible chunks that made sense and put the events into perspective. It was clear, concise, and to the point with actual footage, speeches from world leaders, and interviews from veterans that survived the experience. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was moved to tears at the end. An emotional and patriotic experience for sure!

The Final Mission of the USS Tang Submarine Experience was an extra that we added on to our museum ticket.

  • Basically, you are given another I.D. card from a person that was actually on-board this submarine during the war. Then you are taken into a mock submarine to try to survive the actual battle. You must go to the station that your person worked and follow orders just like they did in real life. The actual battle lasted for hours but this experience lasts about 15 minutes. It gives you a chance to see what it was really like to be in that submarine and afterwards you find out if you survived. FYI – There were 87 men on that submarine and only 9 survived.

New Orleans Streetcar

  • It has four distinct lines that, each originating downtown, that will take you through the French Quarter and beyond to places you may otherwise never see. The Streetcar has been operating for more than 150 years! It only cost $1.25 each way and is an inexpensive and charming way to see New Orleans! I wish we would have had time to do this, but it’s definitely on the list when we go back!
Picture of the famous cable car in New Orleans.

our itinerary:

day 1:

  • Drive to New Orleans
  • Stop for lunch at Don’s Seafood
  • Go straight to the National WWII Museum
  • Reservations at Palace Cafe for dinner
  • Check into hotel

day 2:

  • Head to Cafe Du Monde for beignets
  • Drive home

be sure to pin it for later!

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