Earlier this month I packed up my trunk and hit the road for a 3 day road trip adventure to Austin, TX for the SXSW Renegade Craft Fair. Day one was an 8 hour drive north to Tallahassee, the following day was a 6 hour drive to New Orleans and day three was 8 hours further to Austin.
This was my first official visit to New Orleans and I have to say that I truly fell in love with this city. I knew I had two visits to plan (coming and going) so I spent the first visit exploring the French Quarter (steering clear of touristy Bourbon Street) and the Ninth Ward, where I was staying. Everything in this city is so perfectly dilapidated. If you're an abandoned building junkie, New Orleans is the place for you.
Recommendations: Adolfo's for dinner (maybe the best meal I've ever had), Cafe Du Monde for beignets (believe the hype!), Frenchmen Street for good music and R Bar for a friendly dive with some yummy drinks.
Next up: Austin, TX! Renegade was so much fun and I met a lot of really great people. Of course I ate a ton of tasty Tex-Mex, drank my weight in Topo Chico and went to some fun shows.
Recommendations: Torchy's Tacos (try the Migas taco for breakfast and the Fried Avocado taco for lunch...yum!), Maudie's for great Tex-Mex, Kerbey Lane Cafe for brunch and Uncommon Objects for some picking. Can you tell I spent most of my time eating my way through Austin?
New Orleans Part 2 brought me to the Garden District where I continued to eat and thrift my way through the city.
Recommendations: Tour Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 (I took a walking tour with Save Our Cemeteries and it was amazing), enjoy a crawfish dog at Dat Dog, hit up some great thrift stores and salvage yards. My favorites were Preservation Salvage Store and Green Project in the Ninth Ward and the Bargain Center in the Bywater Area. On my last night I spent an evening at The Country Club soaking in the hot tub and heated pool...just what I needed before hitting the road again.
(For the record, I did not eat that entire plate of fried shrimp and mac n' cheese alone!)