When bloggers visit Los Angeles, they usually hit up the usual Instagramable spots such as the Pink Wall, Venice Beach, Santa Monica and maybe the Beverly Hills Hotel (if I missed any, be sure to share them in the comments and I’ll be sure to stop by someday). Now thanks to the invention of the panda donut, California Donuts is now a must-visit spot for bloggers looking to up their Instagram game with adorable treats.
In the spirit of honesty and openness, I may not have actually eaten the donuts, but I absolutely couldn’t resist photographing them. Eating the donuts is optional, but visiting California Donuts is not. If you’re stuck on the East Coast, check out my post on the Flour Shop, pretty much the NYC version of California Donuts.
I love a good southern gothic horror story and New Orleans is full of them along with drinks, beautiful buildings and amazing live music. I must say that I only scratched the surface during the short time I was there. But, I had an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back.
Here are my top travel recommendations so far:
Pat O’Brien’s Bar: This may be the best piano bar in the world! I could have spent days here requesting songs and hearing some incredibly talented people belt them out on the piano – no rehearsal needed. Pat O’Brien’s is also known as the home of the hurricane cocktail and they have some of the best. I don’t even drink hard liquor and I had two.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar: Lafitte’s is a super chill bar on Bourbon Street. They have minimal electricity so it’s almost like going back in time. However, they do have TVs if you want to have a drink and watch a game.
Frenchman Street: Bourbon Street was fun, but when you’re over 30 it can get old fast. It’s a lot of people who seem to be either drinking or seeing alcohol for the first time. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated place to get wasted in NOLA, I highly recommend Frenchman Street. The live music is amazing and you don’t have to deal with passed out college kids or tourists in Mardi Gras beads when it isn’t Mardi Gras.
Hotel Monteleone: You need to stop by the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar. It’s a bar that looks exactly like a carousel and the seats move around the bar like a merry-go-round. This gives a whole new meaning to “Let’s have another round.”
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum: This museum isn’t a must-see, but it’s a nice to see. I’m super into the supernatural so of course I went to see it. For $5 you can get a 20 minute self-guided tour and look through voodoo artifacts, learn more about its history and get to know the famous Marie Laveau.
The Catahoula Hotel: This tiny boutique hotel is absolutely beautiful aka Instagramable. I recommend stopping by and having a drink. I did a southern fashion shoot there.
To do list for next time:
Voodoo Tour: I’m dying to know more about voodoo and how it shaped the history of the city. Many bar tours and walking tours are centered around the subject and I must go on one.
Garden District: During my trip I didn’t get a chance to visit the Garden District and see the plantation homes. I also really want to do a fancy southern dinner somewhere where there’s a strict dress code.
Swamp Tour: There are a ton of tours in NOLA where they will take you out to the swamps to look at the wildlife and feed the alligators. I hear you should book these tours in advance because they are often sold out the day of. I also need to go on a graveyard tour.
Preservation Hall: This historic jazz landmark is right next to Pat O’Brien’s Bar. Next time I’m in NOLA I need to see a jazz show there. They also tour so I could see them in New York, but it wouldn’t be as authentic.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve been on some major velvet and Bloomingdale’s binges lately. I stocked up on velvet for my recent trip to New Orleans and this southern staple paid off royally during my trip to the Catahoula Hotel in the French Quarter. This small boutique hotel is adorable. So it’s no wonder Vogue named it one of the 9 Most Instagrammable New Hotels Around the World. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s still worth it to stop by for a drink and a quick Instagram session next time you’re in New Orleans.
There’s a place in Soho where unicorns come alive and every day is your birthday! The Flour Shop is my new happy place (aside from my yoga class of course). This bright bakery has me eating cake for the first time in a while. After all, who can resist an explosion cake filled with candy? If you’re ever having a bad day, this is the place to go.