Tag Archives: NOLA

Lafitte’s Backsmith Shop – The Oldest Bar in the U.S.


The New Orleans nightlife bar scene is commonly associated by the hundreds of tourists that flock to Bourbon Street on a nightly base.  The search for cheap liquor, jazz music and inhibitions makes this location of the French Quarter one of the most visited places in the country.  It also makes the less commonly visited bars unique to the crescent city.

A “New Orleans institution” constructed in 1722 on Bourbon Street, Lafitte’s Blacksmith 
Shop blends pirate history with culture blended into the perfect recipe only found in the city.  Considered the oldest operating bar in the country, Lafitte’s originally operated as a blacksmith shop that served as a front for Jean and Pierre’s smuggling operation until 1791.

Lured by its rich history and haunted tales from the past, there have been allegedly multiple sightings of Lafitte sitting near the piano bar with a drink in hand.   The candlelit tables provide an intimate experience for patrons indulging on its history or sipping on the signature purple voodoo drink or a hurricane.  Use your best judgement while ordering drinks as they can be stronger than normal.

Location: 941 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Oak Alley Plantation, New Orleans Best Kept Secret


New Orleans is well-known for it’s culture and legendary traditions most notably, Mardi Gras.  The nightly strolls up and back down Bourbon Street for cheap alcoholic beverages.  The morning demands for beignets at Cafe du Monde.  The search for the best and local seafood that the Gulf Coast has to offer.  Yes, those are all the frequently visited tourist locations through-out the city.  What about the best kept secrets about New Orleans worth visiting?

1-hour West of New Orleans on the West bank of the Mississippi River, history combines culture and natural beauty at the legendary Oak Alley Plantation.  Completed in 1839 by owner Jacques Roman, the US Historical Landmark has undergone multiple chapters and owners as a sugar plantation in its early years to an abandoned investment property.

300-year old oak tree alley

Long before the big house was built on the site, an alley created by a double row of 28 southern live oak trees over 800-feet tall planted in the 1800’s only feet from the man-made levee protecting the plantation from the Mississippi River.


(The Alley from the 2nd floor balcony of the Big House)

Gray Line Tours offer guided tours of Big House and a narrated motor coach transportation departing daily from the Lighthouse ticket office in the French Quarter at Toulouse and the Mississippi at Steamboat Natchez Dock.  The 40-minute guided tour of the Greek-Revival architecture Big House takes guest through-out the spacious mansion’s two stories.  The well versed tour guides provide their guests with a vast knowledge of the plantations early beginnings with the Roman family that nearly bankrupt the plantation and it’s final owners, the Stewart family who were the last to live in residence.

Tours depart daily at 12:00 noon for the 5-hour tour (travel time included) to and from Oak Alley Plantation.  Due to its growing popularity, tickets are recommended to be purchased in advance.

Ticket Prices:

Adult: $63.00
Child: $31.00 (ages 6-12)
Group: $56.75

Gray Line Website: