No TV show depicts autumn as perfectly as Gilmore Girls. It is THE quintessential autumn must-watch. The beautiful New England fall foliage, the coffee, the books, the quaint small town, what could be better? It may feel like, living in Louisiana, you’ll never be able to achieve the Gilmore level of autumn perfection. Here, our fall season is oftentimes hot, humid, and full of drab shades of brown and gray. I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never seen a truly orange leaf. However, even if the leaves may not be meeting Star’s Hollow standards, there’s still plenty of autumn charm to be found in New Orleans. Here is a list of the best fall-ish places to visit in NOLA, organized by which characters I think would visit each spot, so you can live out your GG autumn dreams!
Though Lorelai rarely gets coffee from anyone but Luke, I think she would enjoy trying out all the coffee shops NOLA has to offer. Here are my two favorites within reach of campus:
- Rue de la Course: This café is housed in a beautiful, historic bank building. They have great coffee and AMAZING bagels. I highly recommend the sun-dried tomato cream cheese.
- Z’otz: Z’otz is a great spot if you’re looking for a funkier, cozier atmosphere, or if you’re more of a night owl. Open until 11pm, this café has a ton of different options for coffee, tea, and pastries. My favorite item on the menu is their green pomegranate tea.
As someone who loves books just as much as Rory does, I just know she’d love these two spots, both within a quick streetcar ride of campus:
- Blue Cypress Books is my favorite bookstore in all New Orleans. This spot is charming, welcoming, and has so many options for such good prices. They sell both new and used books, and the used books are always in good condition and at a great price. I’ve accidentally spent hours here, and only left because they were literally closing the shop. There’s also a super cute shop cat named Kitty Meow, who you can pet while you browse. I 10/10 recommend Blue Cypress.
- Milton H. Latter Memorial Library: Housed in a gorgeous historic mansion on St. Charles Ave, this library has the academic, picturesque vibe that I think would suit Rory’s Yale-suited tastes nicely. It’s always a good idea to support your local library by signing up for a library card, and luckily at Milton H. Latter you can look at beautiful architecture and décor while you do it.
If Gilmore Girls took place in New Orleans, I think Luke would probably work in one these lovely, classic diners. I know Stein’s isn’t technically a diner, but Dan Stein and Luke are so similar in vibes that I had to include it.
- Ted’s Frostop Diner: Ted’s is a classic American diner located right across Claiborne from Yulman Stadium. They serve delicious burgers, fries, and root beer floats. This is a great spot to grab a bite after a Tulane Football game, which I think would also count as a Gilmore Girls autumn activity.
Stein’s: Ok, I know this one isn’t technically a diner, but I just feel like Luke and Dan Stein (as seen on Queer Eye) are just so similar in personality and vibes. Just go to Stein’s and see for yourself. And grab a scrumptious bagel or sandwich while you do it. I recommend the Foxy sandwich.
Sookie and Jackson
I think Sookie and Jackson, as much as they love gardening and cooking, would love these two outdoor autumn events.
- St. Andrew’s Pumpkin Patch: This pumpkin patch on Carrolton Ave is one of the cutest spots near campus for soaking in the autumn charm. Just a quick streetcar ride away, St. Andrew’s has pumpkins for sale every year, and in the evenings the patch is lit by orange string lights. If you’re looking for a place to take cute autumn pictures, this is the place.
- Sugar Roots Farm Pumpkin Festival: On October 22 and 29, this adorable farm has a pumpkin festival that includes hayrides, pony rides, and a pumpkin patch. Tickets benefit the family farm, which is open year-round to anyone who wants to visit and see some cute farm animals or learn about connecting with the earth. Sugar Roots is a 30-minute car ride from campus, so this could be a fun little autumn daytrip.
I know Taylor isn’t exactly a fan favorite, but he sure knows how to put on a festival. Here are some of the best ones in NOLA this October:
- Art for Art’s Sake: This event on October 7th is Magazine Street’s biggest event of the year. Participating shops and restaurants on Magazine open their doors to visitors, who can sip wine while strolling and shopping.
- Oktoberfest: A classic fall festival, Oktoberfest takes place during three weekends in October and is complete with a schnauzer parade, plentiful German food, music, and a beer holding contest.
Emily and Richard
I think Emily and Richard would love New Orleans. There’s so much history in this city, and it’s reflected in the wonderful antiquing options. Here’s my favorite one near campus:
- Magazine Antique Mall: This is one of my must-visit spots on Magazine. This shop is chock-full of antiques, and I love walking around and looking through them. You truly never know what you’ll find. I bet Emily and Richard would buy some great décor for their very fancy home here.
Thank you for reading through my guide! I hope you’ve been inspired to visit some of these spots this autumn.