Nashville and New Orleans

Over the years, I’ve traveled to many places, each with their own unique sights to see and expectations to uphold. Two of the cities I have visited that most live up to their popular expectations are Nashville, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Last summer, my family and I took a trip to these destination spots to experience their cultures and funky atmospheres.

On The Swamp Bayou Tour
Image Source: Jordan Whitehead

In Louisiana, we ate Creole food of all kinds, went on a Bayou Swamp Tour and a Witch, Ghoul, and Voodoo Tour, walked down Bourbon Street, enjoyed a dinner jazz cruise on Steamboat Natchez on the Mississippi River, and visited Oak Alley Plantation. Each of these activities was eventful, to say the least. We waltzed through the historic heart of the city, known as the French Quarter, and ventured into French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife. I wasn’t surprised that the city was so rich in history, art, and haunting stories, considering they came around every corner. I am not a super spiritual person, but I felt things there that I cannot explain, and that experience completely fulfilled the reputation of their thriving voodoo culture.

Oak Alley Plantation
Image Source: Jordan Whitehead

As for Oak Alley Plantation, I would highly recommend visiting this historic site to get a sense of how life was in Louisiana several hundred years ago and reflect on those stories, as well as your own.

Broadway Street
Image Source: Jordan Whitehead

In Tennessee, the culture was completely different but equally as intriguing and inspiring. I have never in my life experienced such an amazing music culture– a mesh pot of new and old voices, every style, and each with its own story.

The Grand Ole Opry
Image Source: Jordan Whitehead

I thought the singers at the Grand Ole Opry were impressive, and they were. But what touched me more, and it seemed my whole family as well, were the new voices and stories we heard in The Listening Room Cafe. To experience such an intimate setting for music and to witness people doing what they love and making a living out of it was inspiring for each of us, even without futures in music. We also went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and went ziplining through gorgeous lush landscapes just fifteen minutes from the city’s center. Just like in New Orleans, color and soul were pouring out onto the streets from every building and every alley. These places were more alive than any other place I feel I have visited. Every time I had ever heard somebody gush over Nashville, I had never understood, but visiting finally clicked it into place.

If you are looking for a spot full of rich history, color, and nightlife for your next vacation, I highly recommend these two cities. They did not disappoint and fully lived up to my every expectation. The experiences I was able to share with my family on this trip made it the best vacation memory I have to this day.