24 Hours InTravel

24 Hours in New Orleans, LA with Juley of Upperlyne & Co.

by Sabrina Smelko

New Orleans 24 Hour City Guide

I’ve never been to New Orleans myself, but in my mind it’s a place that takes you a step back in time; a place filled with soul, plenty of character(s), historic streets that fill up every night with music and dancing, coffee shops and stores that are always bustling and, at any given time, the sound of a saxophone playing in the distance. Turns out, this isn’t too far off from the truth (other than the saxophone bit — maybe I got a tad carried away there).

New Orleans is home to Juley Thuy Le (pictured above) of Upperlyne & Co., a blog-turned-business. She’s a proud Southerner who simply can’t shake the city and confessed that she had a hard time fitting all of her favorite places into one day. Now, time for my confession: In crafting this post I asked Juley to confirm the proper pronunciation of New Orleans, which, as it turns out, is the charming, soulful way you’d expect: “Never, ever, ever New Or-Leens. [It’s] New Or-lins!”

Get the full scoop of Juley’s 24 Hours in New Orleans after the jump!

  City Guide: New Orleans, LA

I grew up an hour from New Orleans in a smaller town on the bayou and remember weekend trips to the big city. Just as I was beginning to fall madly in love with New Orleans, I had to move to Nashville for a job, where I spent most of my time figuring out how to move back. This city just pulls you in. You can live here for 10 years (as I have) and not have seen it all. You can take on the city with a group of friends or on your own. It’s a photographer and history buff’s paradise. It’s so imperfect that you want to help find solutions and build great businesses. A place with as much character as potholes. I hope my 24-hour guide helps your next trip, but feel free to scrap it and create your own. It’s impossible to have a bad time here.

City Guide: New Orleans, LA

9 am: My perfect downtown day starts with a scenic route of the city on the historic streetcar line with my boyfriend. We hop off on Canal Street and walk towards the French Quarter. Our first stop is always Petite Amelie for a healthy green juice (the mint julep is the best!) and a buttery, flaky croissant, because, you know — balance. 

9:30 am: As often as we explore New Orleans, there’s always something new to see so we usually wander aimlessly to take everything in and people-watch. Royal Street is my absolute favorite. It’s lined with art galleries, cafes and shops. But, the best part is the street musicians and entertainers. On the luckiest days, we get to witness the incredible duo Tanya & Dorise pull at everyone’s heartstrings with their violin and bass set. It’s quite possibly the dreamiest background music to have on a sunny day in the Quarter. And other days, there are second lines and jazz musicians who make something as simple as walking seem that much more special.

City Guide: New Orleans, LA

Noon: My sister has been taking me to Camellia Grill in uptown since I was 14. When they opened the second location downtown, it was game over! We love eating at The Grill for both breakfast or for lunch because of the laid-back diner atmosphere. Paired with the fun, tongue-in-cheek service, their pastrami omelets and milkshakes are great any time of the day.

1 pm: After lunch, it’s back to strolling the city. This time, we move away from the Quarter, through Jackson Square, check out the French Market, and finally end at the Mississippi River. There’s usually a stop or two at Canal Place for an afternoon movie and a little shopping.

City Guide: New Orleans, LA

3 pm: At this time, I’m in dire need of a pick-me-up so we head back to the French Quarter to Spitfire Coffee for the best iced vanilla lattes. We love to stop by Bevolo Gas & Electric to watch the coppersmiths hand-make their famous gaslights. Beckman’s Bookshop and Papier Plume are also favorite stops. My boyfriend loves soccer so we always make a point to stop by Ryan’s Pub for games and an ice-cold glass of Strongbow.

5 pm: Happy hour is usually spent at Cane & Table, SoBou (great happy hour deals), or we head to Wednesday at The Square, a 12-week live music series in Lafayette Square.

6 pm: Hop back on the streetcar to head home. We stop by Keife & Co. to pick up a bottle of wine, cheese, baguette, and chocolates for dinner at home.

City Guide: New Orleans, LA

10 pm: After dinner, we usually meet our friends at our neighborhood wine bar, The Delachaise, where we indulge in yummy duck fat fries and Pimm’s Cups in a very Parisian atmosphere.



Indywood Theaters

Frenchmen Street

New Orleans Museum of Art

Frenchmen Art Market


Billy Reid

Box, Paper, Scissor

Hattie Sparks


City Guide: New Orleans, LA


Melrose Mansion

The Saint Hotel

Le Meridien Hotel

Hotel Monteleone

Eat + Drink


Company Burger

Magasin Vietnamese Cafe

Cochon Butcher

La Boulangerie

Stein’s Deli



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  • I want to like this post but what’s with the potshot at Cleveland? Having lived in 3 of those 4 cities (NY, Cleveland, and Nola), the two remind me of one another: down on their luck, often passed over, filled with pride, struggling to get by day to day, full of friendly and hardy people, always possessing an atmosphere of resilience.

    There are plenty of other good quotes that could have been used. Instead of that quote how about this one: “If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom.” -Judy Deck in an e-mail sent to Chris Rose, from 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories

    • SBB

      I’m with you on that one. Every writer has their own take, but I personally LOVE Cleveland. I had the BEST time there for the WMC Fest last year and felt so at home there :)


  • I’ve stayed at the Saint Hotel! It was great and really close, walking distance to Bourbon Street and close to Magazine St, etc.

    I’m glad that everyone else does mostly eating there, just like we do!

  • Skip Sobou and try happy hour at Luke. 50 cent raw oysters and the fried oysters are to die for.

  • Yeah I have to agree with SBB, that quote left a bad taste in my mouth. Can’t one city be praised without denigrating not only Cleveland but 99% of the others?

  • Yay, Juley! What a great feature. I’m local and always love tips on spending the day in the Quarter. I definitely don’t take advantage of the FQ as much as I should–it’s SO much more than Bourbon Street. Thanks for including my shop, too! xoxo

  • I absolutely adore New Orleans! Great post :) My first visit was not during Mardi Gra and I fell in love with the slow paced european feeling city. The food is excellent and my mouth is watering thinking of Creole Creamery and their wonderful ice cream. soooo good.

  • Just came back from NOLA – I stayed at the Burbon Orleans hotel (spendy, but can’t beat the location) and shopped at a nice yarn store – the Quarter Stitch. Had some great meals….

  • Don’t skip SoBou! They have happy hour daily from 3-6 p.m. with food and drinks $3-$6. Hard to beat. Great post!

  • love the post, and love New Orleans, but I think you mean “Camellia Grill” and not “Camilla Grill.”

  • I’m originally from New Orleans and am visiting my grandmother there in a couple of weeks, so I was thrilled to see the city featured here today! While some of the places mentioned are regular stops when I visit, I’m always looking for new ones to try. (Confession: last time I went, I was there for 5 days and ate at Camellia Grill 4 times. It’s that good.) I love how she says, “this city just pulls you in.” So true. New Orleans is one of those places that unabashedly steals your heart.

  • My husband and I wondered into Petite Amelie when we were last visiting family in New Orleans. It was such a nice place, cosy and bright and the staff were so friendly. Thanks for this city guide I’ve been to a few places on the list but I can’t wait to go back and try out the rest.

  • For Italian – Maximo’s, for paella – Lola’s, for coffee – Rue de la Course, for sushi – Kyoto, for quesadillas – Juan’s Flying Burrito, and for middle-eastern – Lebanon’s Cafe.
    I used to go to these places all the time! :)

  • Do skip SoBou – mediocre food and surly staff. For a great happy hour deal you can’t beat French 75s and oysters at Luke.

    As the commenter above mentioned, Rue de la Course is awesome for coffee. They have the best iced coffee in the world!