Every year the Visit USA Committee Ireland takes a group of Irish tour operators and travel agents to a different US destination. In May 2019, we visited the incredible city of New Orleans, which was very kindly sponsored and facilitated by Delta Air Lines, New Orleans & Company and Deep South USA. Here’s how we got on…
What to Do in New Orleans
Whether it’s your first time to New Orleans or you’re a seasoned visitor, the city’s infectious spirit is sure to invigorate, captivate and motivate you to jump in and see and do so much! During our time in the city, we got to experience some truly unique attractions.
We took a leisurely evening cruise up the Mississippi River on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen. After a sumptuous Creole buffet, we watched the sun set over New Orlean as a jazz band played.
Located about 45 minutes from the downtown area is the New Orleans Plantation Country. We visited the historic Laura Plantation and St. Joseph Plantation. During our time at these stunning properties, we got an insight into the Creole families that ran the plantations, the history of slavery in Louisiana and the role of sugar cropping in the local economy.
See you later alligator! We took in a boat tour of the bayou with Cajun Pride Swamp Tours. The bayou and swamps of Louisiana are teeming with wildlife including raccoons, garfish and ALLIGATORS!
Our tour guide, Brad, really brought the tour to life with great info on the local ecosystem. A resourceful Cajun, he also had some great tips about how best to cook the critters!
Good Eatin’: The Food of New Orleans
The people of New Orleans are passionate about food and there’s an incredible range of Cajun and Creole classics for visitors to try at the city’s many restaurants. We sampled Jambalayas, Gumbos, Po’ Boys, Mufalettas, Fried Catfish and Charbroiled Oysters to name but a few of these incredible dishes!
Seafood lovers are spoilt for choice in New Orleans and we had the pleasure of dining at the sumptuous Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, a local institution.
While we were out in the New Orleans Plantation Country, we also stopped by Spuddy’s Cajun Foods and got to see how authentic andouille sausage is prepared and smoked.
We also had an opportunity to get a very insightful cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
How to Get There
We travelled with Delta Air Lines from Dublin to New Orleans via Atlanta. Delta has extensive connectivity at its hub in Atlanta and the airport is easy to get around and transfer between flights. Delta’s Dublin – Atlanta route is a seasonal service, running from April to October, but the airline also flies year-round to New York, which offers connections to New Orleans.
Onboard, Delta provides on-demand in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi, including free messaging via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage.
To book, visit delta.com or contact your travel agent.
Southern Hospitality: Where to Stay in New Orleans
New Orleans has a great range of accommodation options to suit every budget. During our visit, we had the pleasure of staying the Cambria Hotel New Orleans in the Downtown Warehouse District. This beautiful hotel is within easy walking distance of all the main attractions and has been ranked #1 on TripAdvisor since June 2018!
We also visited the Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans, which is located on Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. The AAA Four Diamond-rated Royal Sonesta New Orleans effortlessly combines timeless elegance and southern refinement, setting itself apart from other French Quarter hotels.