Run Like No One’s Watching at Running of the Bulls in New Orleans

It’s 6:30 a.m., and thousands of people have gathered in the streets of downtown New Orleans, drinking, eating, and preparing for an event like no other. This isn’t your ordinary Saturday morning. This is New Orleans’s version of Spain’s Encierro de Pamplona, San Fermin in Nueva Orleans!

The “bulls” are actually the Big Easy Rollergirls (plus the participants from the other roller derby leagues across the country) on skates. The runners, wearing white with red accents, attempt to run away from the girls as they chase after them with wiffle ball bats.

This eccentric festival will be taking place in New Orleans on the weekend of July 12-14, 2024. Here’s this year’s rundown.

The Encierro

The festival stretches over the weekend, but the run itself takes place on Saturday, July 13, 2024, at Gallier Hall (545 St. Charles Ave.) in Downtown New Orleans. Please note that this is a new location for this year.

Beginning at 6:30 a.m., join hundreds of runners, wearing all white and accessorized with red scarves and handkerchiefs. Live music, beer, sangria, and food trucks on-site get things going. The participants get the party started by saying a prayer to Saint Fermin (Pamplona’s patron saint). After the Procession of San Fermin and the Invocation, the race starts at 8 a.m. sharp.

While there is no dress code, the runners are encouraged to dress in the style of Spain’s Encierro de Pamplona: white top and bottom, with something red around the waist and the neck. This being New Orleans, many runners do, and get very creative with their gear. The Derby girls wear red and black with horns and various other accessories meant to intimidate the runners.

The pre- and post-run events

The run lasts till about noon. After that, you can attend the traditional La Fiesta de Pantalones, (2024 location TBA, the event starts at noon) or join the other revelers who stick around to make a day of it bar-crawling downtown.

On Friday, July 12, the festival opens with El Txupinazo (pronounced “el choo-pin-AHT-so”), hosted by the charity that benefits from this festival, Beth’s Friends Forever. It will be held at Gallier Hall. Expect an auction, live music, and food from some of the top restaurants in New Orleans. Please note that the event is 18+.

Recover the next day after the race at Sunday’s annual event, El Pobre de Mi (“Poor Me”), an Ernest Hemingway-themed party, again, at Gallier Hall, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., with burlesque, cocktails, and a Papa Hemingway look-a-like contest. This is a non-ticketed event, and there’s no cover.

What else to know

  • All events happening on Friday and Saturday are ticketed — proceeds go to charity (get tickets online).
  • SFNO benefits Beth’s Friends Forever (named after Nola Bulls cofounder Beth Hanning), which raises money for financially needy women fighting cancer in the Greater New Orleans area. The second charity SFNO has chosen is Big Easy Animal Rescue.
  • Since drinking is part of the festival, prepare to get carded.
  • There are several paid parking lots in the area, but this is a popular event, so it will most likely be crowded, with limited parking options all around.
  • No outside food and drinks are allowed inside Gallier Hall on the day of the run, and no ice chests or chairs.
  • Review the rules of the run before you take off, like no touching the bulls and placing kids under 10 on the sidewalk.

On a final note, do NOT underestimate the “bulls” as they will not hold back when it comes to whacking participants with the wiffle ball bats. In fact, some participants really get into it and even yell at the bulls to entice them to chase after them. Dangerous? You’ll have to decide for yourself!

Visting New Orleans soon?

We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Kick Off Your Summer With the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans

Photo by Danny Howe on Unsplash

Looking for something fun to do in New Orleans coming up this July? Look no further. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture will be taking place in New Orleans over the Independence Day weekend (July 4-7, 2024). This unique New Orleans festival hosts multiple famous musical guests, renowned speakers, unforgettable food, fashion, beauty, culture, and much more. Music lovers from all over simply can’t go wrong with all the incredible names in this year’s lineup.

Over the five days, the event will be held mostly at the two New Orleans venues: Caesars Superdome for the evening performances and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the daytime activities.

Soak in the Music at the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans

ESSENCE Festival is a music lover’s dream, and while this year’s full lineup is still TBA, the past years’ lineups should tell you this much: The 2024 music schedule will be amazing as usual. In the past, ESSENCE featured performances by such renowned musical artists as Brandy, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Big Freedia, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and many more.

The 2024 theme is “loving on us.” Some headliners were already announced and include Janet JacksonCharlie Wilson, and Birdman & Friends, who will also honor three decades of Cash Money Millionaires.

The traditional Sunday Gospel Celebration at the Convention Center will feature the greatest gospel hits, and admission is free. ESSENCE After Dark is a series of late-night jam sessions, comedy shows, underground performances, live podcast recordings, and more.

Other ESSENCE events

The festival has a lot more than just music. One of the highlights is a series of keynote events (Michelle Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton and Pharrell Williams were the speakers in the past), plus a slew of exciting conferences, exhibitions, roundtables, and other experiences.

The Beauty Carnival and Wellness House experiences will bring beauty influencers and wellness experts to the stage, and the celebrated ESSENCE Eats will once again have cooking demos and a food court with vendors from all over the South offering a wide range of classic New Orleans food, world cuisine, vegan and vegetarian fare, desserts, and beyond.

How to Get Your Tickets

You can get your tickets a la carte (for the evening concerts at the Superdome and for the ESSENCE After Dark) or in the bundled day and VIP packages, online. The headliners sell out fast, so don’t wait till the last minute! All the events held at the Convention Center during the day are free and open to all (registration is required).

Stay Close to the ESSENCE Festival

If you are attending ESSENCE, book your stay at a beautiful New Orleans hotel close to the sounds of the city, the French Market Inn! This historic hotel is located in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, close to a multitude of popular New Orleans bars, restaurants and landmarks, including the Superdome and the Convention Center.

This quaint hotel also gives you old New Orleans charm, without sacrificing any of the modern-day amenities that you want when staying at a hotel. When you stay at the French Market Inn, you can walk through meandering gardens and a beautiful stone-paved courtyard that allows you to enjoy a little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

What to Do on the Fourth of July Weekend in the French Quarter and Nearby

Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash

The upcoming Independence Day weekend is shaping up to be spectacular, filled with special events, fireworks, and — this being New Orleans — great food and music. If you’re planning to spend yours in the French Quarter, here are some things we suggest for you, your friends and your family to do.

Kick off the festivities with Go 4th on the River celebration: a free Dueling Barges fireworks show over the Mississippi River at the Riverfront. Pick up a muffuletta from Central Grocery on Decatur Street, or an “All That Jazz” po-boy from Verti Marte on Royal (we also heartily recommend the Cuban sandwich), and set up a picnic by the river at the Woldenberg Park while you wait for the fireworks.

There’s plenty of grass and benches, as well as street performances along the Moonwalk, which is a walkway named for former New Orleans mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu. Watch the boats go by and take in the public art that liberally dots the space.

Another option is to book a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi River and watch the show from the deck while you party. Creole Queen’s Fourth of July Celebration Cruise boards starting at 7 p.m. and includes an open bar, a buffet, and lots of music (DJ, piano, and jazz band in three different rooms). The buffet’s menu is posted on the company website. Billed as “American favorites,” it includes BBQ chicken, pulled pork, corn on the cob, and apple pie.

Don’t want to commit to a cruise? Take a ferry across the river to Algiers Point for $2. A great view of the fireworks is guaranteed — en route and from the other bank.

While you are at the Riverfront, you can’t miss the French Market across the street. The best way to experience it is to walk through its open-air mall, starting with the food stands and ending at Esplanade. As the oldest continually operating public market in the country since 1791, the French Market has the structure of a traditional European market. It covers roughly five blocks, from Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square to the daily flea market at the end of Esplanade Avenue.

The flea market has local artists and vendors from all over the world. You’ll find souvenirs, handmade art and jewelry, t-shirts, music, and more. Sample local food and cocktails from the food stands or the nearby restaurants sprawling in every direction, or pick up pralines and a beignet mix to take home from any of the surrounding retail shops.

In the mood for more shopping and maybe a movie? The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is an indoor outlet mall hosting more than 75 retailers and restaurants, including Nordstrom Rack and Mike Anderson’s Seafood. It is a short walk/streetcar ride along the riverfront from the French Market.

The Shops at Canal Place is a short walk away from the Riverwalk, featuring dozens of upscale retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Brooks Brothers, plus a small food court and a movie theater. The sleek Prytania Theatres at Canal Place is located inside the mall if you want to catch a movie.

For yet more shopping, check out the shops along N. Peters Street, including H&M and Sephora.

Need a respite from the heat but don’t feel like hanging in the mall? The sprawling Harrah’s New Orleans casino is within walking distance from the riverfront as well, on Canal Street. The complex features everything a large casino could offer. Foodwise, you can get a taste of amazing food at the Emeril’s Brasserie, Nina’s Creole Cottage, and The Steakhouse New Orleans.

If you don’t mind venturing a bit further away from the French Quarter toward the Convention Center, the Mardi Gras World museum will give you a taste of Mardi Gras with a grand tour of all things Carnival and a free slice of King Cake.

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is also held that weekend at the Superdome, wrapping up on Sunday, July 7, 2024. The music lineup is always stellar, and the areas in and around the Superdome will host temporary arts-and-crafts markets.

Happy eating, shopping and sightseeing, and have a wonderful time in New Orleans this Independence Day weekend!

Coming to New Orleans this summer?

We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

New Orleans Summer Festivals, the Perfect Time to Party With Friends

White Linen Night in the Warehouse District

People come from all over to experience New Orleans’s eccentric culture, flavorful food, and unique customs and traditions. Get your firsthand New Orleans experience at one of the many interesting festivals happening this summer!

Kick off the summer fest season with the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE), held on Wednesday through Sunday, June 5-9, 2024. In its 32nd year in 2024, NOWFE is a smorgasbord of food and wine tastingstoursmaster classes, and the annual champagne-soaked burlesque brunch. Each year, hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate, offering menus featuring local flavors and innovative new creations inspired by diverse cuisines.

Top chefs from around the city create unique culinary experiences, so much so that the event regularly makes a few national “best of” festival lists. The organization behind this popular event is a nonprofit that donates 100% of its proceeds to beneficiaries ranging from food banks to culinary schools. You can see all the events and get tickets online.

Launched in 2011, New Orleans Pride (Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, 2024) is a celebration taking place in the French Quarter to celebrate and honor LGBTQI+ communities and their allies in New Orleans and surrounding areas. It is the only official Pride Festival in New Orleans, the largest in Louisiana, and one of the fastest-growing Pride celebrations in the nation.

Special events include the Pride Gala, the PrideFest block party at the Phoenix bar, and the annual parade. The parade is held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, starting at 6 p.m. in the Marigny and rolling through the French Quarter.

Up next, is the French Market Creole Tomato Festival which honors the arrival of the beloved Creole tomato. Celebrating its 38th anniversary in 2024, the free festival will again feature live music stages, cooking demos, kid’s activities, farm stands, food vendors, and more. The 2024 dates are Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9.

Restaurant Week New Orleans, held on Monday through Sunday, June 17-23, 2024, features multi-course, special menus and dining deals in numerous participating restaurants, from upscale Creole eateries to neighborhood bistros. Keep up with this year’s list of participating restaurants and their menus, and don’t miss a chance to try a new spot or revisit your favorite.

The last of June festivals, the New Orleans Juneteenth Festival is happening on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Come to Congo Square in Armstrong Park to commemorate this remarkable date with this free festival, held from noon to 7 p.m.

The annual Independence Day weekend is shaping up to be spectacular as usual, filled with special events, fireworks, and — this being New Orleans — great food and music. Kick off the festivities with Go 4th on the River celebration, a free Dueling Barges fireworks show over the Mississippi River at the Riverfront.

Gear up for the best in R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and blues with the ESSENCE Festival of Culture (Thursday-Sunday, July 4-7, 2024), held at the Caesars Superdome and the Convention Center. Beyond the concerts held each night of the fest at the Superdome, the free daytime activities at the Convention Center include motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demos, and lots more.

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on Friday-Sunday, July 12-14, 2024, except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans pays annual homage to the world-famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, running through the streets of New Orleans starting at Gallier Hall on Saturday, July 13. The annual opening and closing parties happening that weekend are also great fun (check out the schedule on the event’s website).

A city renowned for its world-famous partying, New Orleans knows how to have a good time, and wants you to grab some friends and join in. After all, some of the world’s most famous cocktails were invented in this city, and New Orleans loves to celebrate its drinking culture.

If you and your friends are interested in cocktails and drink-mixing, you may want to check out Tales of the Cocktail (Sunday-Friday, July 21-26, 2024), a six-day festival packed with tastings, seminars, and special events that are all centered around exchanging ideas and techniques in the cocktail world. This lively festival is perfect for passionate mixologists, professionals and enthusiasts alike. The festival’s signature annual blowout is the “best of” Spirited Awards, followed by the always-popular after-party.

Satchmo SummerFest (Saturday and Sunday, August 3-4, 2024) started as a tribute to Louis Armstrong over a decade ago, on his 100th birthday. The two-day festival is held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the foot of Esplanade Avenue., and will have music all weekend on its outdoor, tented stages. Other events will include a Sunday morning Jazz Mass at the historic St. Augustine Church in Tremé, seminars and film screenings, kid’s activities, and a second-line parade.

The White Linen Night (Saturday, August 3, 2024) is a free block party and an open house for galleries on the 300-600 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District, with several stages for live music and dozens of food and drink stands. Participants are invited to wear white (hence the name). About 20 galleries on and around Julia St. will be open to the public.

White Linen’s “cousin,” the Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 10, 2024), is similar in format, though looser in structure and spanning more territory. It actually wasn’t created to compete with the Warehouse District event but to promote the many galleries and shops of Royal Street. The multi-block party takes over the 300-1100 blocks of Royal Street and some cross streets and adjoining areas in the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Dutch Alley.

You and your friends may also have to buy a silly (or glamorous) red dress for this next New Orleans summer festival. The Red Dress Run (Saturday, August 10, 2024) also doubles as a fundraiser, donating to a number of local charities. Both women and men are required to wear red dresses while partaking in a pub crawl-like run. The run traditionally starts at Crescent Park, though the route will not be publicized until the day of the run.

The always fabulous Southern Decadence festival (Thursday-Monday, August 29 – September 2, 2024) is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. This massive four-day festival celebrates LGBTQI+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world. Just like every year, most activities will be centered in and around the French Quarter, with lots of block parties and dance parties at bars and clubs on Bourbon Street, plus two parades.

There’s no better time to try out an award-winning restaurant or revisit the old favorite than August, thanks to the annual COOLinary program. COOLinary was conceived as a promotion to lure diners to local restaurants in the slower summer months, during which restaurants all over the city offer discounted dining deals. The deals follow the same format every year: the prix fixe three-course dinner and brunch menus, and the two- to three-course lunch menus that don’t exceed a certain price. Over a hundred restaurants typically participate.

Coming to New Orleans this summer?

We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Happy summer!

5 Things to Do Indoors on a Summer Rainy Day in the French Quarter

Frequent downpours are common throughout the long summer season in Louisiana. Some are thunderous daylong storms, and others are brief afternoon showers quickly replaced by sunny skies (so quickly, in fact, that it may leave you wondering if it had rained at all).

While you definitely don’t want to be out when lightning strikes or the streets flood, summer showers are easy to wait out. And, rain or shine, the French Quarter will keep you fed and entertained.

Our suggestions, below, will help you easily kill a few hours in the air-conditioned indoors. All you need is a sense of adventure, patience, and an umbrella (and maybe rain boots because you DO NOT want to step into those puddles in the French Quarter in flip-flops).

1. Visit a museum

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is spread over 10 historic buildings in the French Quarter. Though you may not want to tour the buildings in the rain, the Royal Street location (533 Royal St.) houses the main museum with a permanent exhibit on state history, plus rotating exhibits on history and art. Free admission.

The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is a bargain at $10 and features a permanent collection of 19th-century surgical instruments, books, patent medicines, and locally excavated bottles. The museum occupies a two-story historic building, the site of the apothecary shop of Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr., who was America’s first licensed pharmacist. The museum’s second floor features a sick room and physician’s study, and there’s a small yet lovely courtyard.

Consider heading to Jackson Square for two museums and a historic cathedral. Catch a mass or free concert (or just admire the interior during the quiet hours) at the St. Louis Cathedral. It’s flanked by The Cabildo and The Presbytère, which are run by the Louisiana State Museum and house a number of excellent exhibits ($10 admission to The Cabildo; $7 to The Presbytère). You’ll find many precious pieces of Louisiana history at the Cabildo, like a rare Napoleon death mask and a painting of Marie Laveau by Frank Schneider.

There are two excellent permanent exhibits at the Presbytere. You could get lost for hours in the “Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana” exhibit which details the history of Carnival traditions in Louisiana, including Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras, Zulu coconut throws, Rex floats, and spectacular costumes throughout the centuries. The “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” exhibit documents the natural disaster and ongoing recovery.

These two aren’t technically museums but they’re so spectacular we’ll recommend them anyway. The Audubon Aquarium, a sprawling compound on the riverfront, will keep you and your family enthralled with its walk-through tunnel, otters, penguins, sea turtles, a stingray touch pool, and an expansive replica of an offshore oil rig submerged in 400,000 gallons of water. Next door, the Audubon Insectarium is packed with bug-centric interactive exhibits and features a spectacular butterfly garden.

2. Head to the mall

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and The Shops at Canal Place are a short walk away from each other. Both are self-contained, multi-storied indoor malls that could keep you shopping and eating for as long as your stamina holds up. The Riverwalk mall is an outlet with more than 75 retailers and restaurants, including Nordstrom Rack and Cafe du Monde. The Shops at Canal Place is home to Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany and Co., Anthropologie, and dozens of other upscale retailers. There’s a small food court upstairs.

3. See a movie

Prytania Theatres at Canal Place is located inside The Shops at Canal Place mall. It’s the second location of The Prytania Theatre, which is over 100 years old and is the longest continually operated theater in the South.

4. Take in a show

With the reopened Saenger and Joy theaters, Canal Street shines once again as a performing arts destination. See a Broadway show at the palatial Saenger, built in 1927 and restored in 2013 after staying vacant post-Katrina. Or catch a live music show or a national standup comedy act at the Joy Theater. This 1946 landmark started off as a movie theater and was gorgeously restored to its Art Deco glory.

Just off Jackson Square, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre has called its St. Peter Street location home since 1922. Check out what’s playing this season at the famed playhouse during your visit.

5. Eat and drink!

There’s nothing more delicious than holing up with a cocktail and snack on a rainy day, and there’s obviously no shortage of options in the French Quarter. Some of the best bars and restaurants in the city offer great happy hour deals you won’t want to miss. The Bombay Club inside Prince Conti Hotel specializes in martinis and has more than 50 specialty cocktails on the menu. The daily happy hour (5-7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday) features $3 beer and $4 wine, $5 cocktails, and small plates like roasted pork belly and alligator sausage.

Visiting New Orleans soon?

We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2024

It’s almost that time of year again — time to sip the iced tea, snack on crawfish Monica, and sway to the music of local and international musicians under the hot New Orleans sun. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, or Jazz Fest, is one of the most celebrated festivals in New Orleans and takes place every year during the last weekend of April and the first weekend in May. Jazz Fest has been around since 1970 and gets bigger and better every year.

During these two weekends, locals and out-of-towners get together to enjoy the culture of New Orleans with the various food, crafts, and performances that Jazz Fest has to offer. Contrary to the name, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is more than just jazz music.

Various musical genres like hip-hop, zydeco, blues, tribal, and electronic music can all be heard live from Jazz Fest’s multiple stages. This year the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will take place at its usual spot on the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (1751 Gentilly Blvd.) starting on Thursday, April 25, and ending on Sunday, May 5, 2024.

Some of the top headliners for the festival include The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Queen Latifah, Heart, The Beach Boys, Jon Batiste, Neil Young Crazy Horse, The Killers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind & Fire, and hundreds more. The music schedule is broken down by day in cubes with times for all the acts, which you can view here.

Of course, one of the best parts of Jazz Fest is the food. Some staples for food include Crawfish Monica, mango freezes, ya-ka-mein, snoballs, poboys, and much more. Here’s the list of 2024 food vendors.

What to Know About the 2024 Jazz Fest

  • Jazz Fest expanded to eight days this year, adding the opening day of Thursday, April 25, to the schedule.
  • Jazz Fest went cashless last year, and remains so. Ticket, food, beverage, craft, and merchandise booths no longer accept cash payments. If you come to the event with only cash, the Festival will offer two cash exchange booths near key vending locations so you can get a prepaid card for your cash.
  • This year, Jazz Fest features over 5,000 musicians across 14 stages.
  • The festival will be the largest one in its 53-year history. Eight is the most number of days for the event, and this year there will be the most food vendors and food items ever. And there also will be 260 art and craft vendors, the highest number ever.
  • Single-day tickets are $95 through April 24 and $105 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 2-10 are $5 at the gate.
  • “Locals Thursday” will be April 25 this year, with tickets at $50 for Louisiana residents.
  • This year Jazz Fest is introducing a 4-day GA+ weekend pass with access to an exclusive GA+ lounge with private restrooms, a full-service bar, and a shaded area to relax.
  • Tickets for Thursday, May 2, the day topped by The Rolling Stones, are sold out, including multiple-day passes.
  • The Rolling Stones headline Thursday, May 2, at 5 p.m. That day of the festival will operate normally until about 3:30 p.m. Then, when the Stones go on at 5 p.m., they’ll be the only band playing on the Fair Grounds.
  • Besides The Rolling Stones, the lineup includes Foo Fighters, Queen Latifah, Heart, The Beach Boys, Jon Batiste, Neil Young Crazy Horse, The Killers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind & Fire, and hundreds more.
  • This year, Jazz Fest will celebrate Colombia’s musical and cultural diversity at the Expedia Cultural Exchange Pavilion. During the festival, 17 bands and a wide variety of artisans from throughout Colombia will present their sounds and traditions.
  • The Jazz & Heritage Gala kicks off Jazz Fest with the celebration of Louisiana music and cuisine on April 24 at Generations Hall (310 Andrew Higgins Blvd.).

Are You Attending Jazz Fest?

We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Year at a Glance in New Orleans

In New Orleans, we honor just about every local food there is (and some drinks) with a festival, not to mention the packed party schedule that never lets up, from the Carnival to Super Sunday to the Saints football season. In other words, the Crescent City’s dance card is pretty much always full, even when the heat and humidity descend on the city in late spring and till mid-fall. Here are just a few highlights of all that’s going on in New Orleans year-round.

Spring

March 1 – May 31

Lovely weather and endless festivals continue this time of year with Wednesday at the Square; the Congo Square Rhythms Festival; the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (don’t miss the “Stella!” shouting contest); the Mid-City’s own Bayou Boogaloo, held on the picturesque banks of Bayou St. John; the Freret Street Festival that’s getting bigger every year; and, of course, the two heavy hitters and the reason so many visitors come to New Orleans in the spring – the French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest.

March also marks the annual return of NOLA on Tap Beer Fest at Lafreniere Park, the largest fundraiser for the Louisiana SPCA and the largest beer fest in the area, with more than 400 beer offerings from local and national breweries and homebrewers.

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are subject to more celebration, with multiple parades and parties. Finally, the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday is a treasured tradition dating back to the 19th century and held on the Sunday closest to St. Joseph’s Day, which gets its own unique celebration across the Catholic churches and even private homes in the city with the beautifully appointed altars (the Italian-Sicilian contribution to New Orleans’ rich cultural tapestry).

Summer

June 1 – August 31

Want to cross an iconic New Orleans restaurant off your bucket list? There’s no time like Restaurant Week New Orleans, during which dozens of participating restaurants, from the James Beard luminaries to the new hotspots to the Creole grand dames offer set course menus at a deep discount. Also in June is another culinary fest, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, and the popular Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, held at Louis Armstrong Park.

Summers here can be pretty hot and humid, but, still, the best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Tales of the Cocktail in July, and COOLinary New Orleans with prix fixe menus in August. You can also browse the galleries on the White Linen Night (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night).

The city comes to life for the Satchmo SummerFest and a slew of events over the Fourth of July and the Labor Day weekends, like Go 4th on the River, and the ESSENCE Festival at the Superdome. The French Market Creole Tomato Festival is one of the smaller fests to enjoy, and Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans, except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls. Finally, the Red Dress Run is a two-mile dash — that’s right — in a red dress for a charity.

Fall

September 1 – November 30

Cooler temps and the seemingly endless slew of food, drink and music festivals are on tap in the fall in New Orleans, starting over the Labor Day weekend with the massive and fabulous Southern Decadence, a popular festival that celebrates LGBTQIA+ with block parties, shows, and a parade.

October begins with the ever-expanding National Fried Chicken Festival at the Lakefront. Also, New Orleans throws its version of Oktoberfest over the three weekends at Deutsches Haus in Mid-City, to celebrate the city’s rich German history, followed by one of the best-attended art events in the city, Art for Art’s Sake.

Don’t miss the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival, the Tremé Fall Festival, and the New Orleans Film Festival, which is one of the largest film festivals in the South and is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state.

New Orleans does Halloween like no other city, so if you’re lucky to be visiting around that time, consider any of the balls, costume parties, parade, haunted tours, and a huge block party on Frenchmen Street! The kid-friendly parade called Krewe of Boo rolls through the French Quarter, courtesy of Kern Studios, and there are many more Halloween activities around the city happening in the couple weeks leading up to Halloween.

November brings more food festivals — the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival and the Beignet Festival at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds.

Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds Race Course is a long-standing New Orleans tradition of turning out at the track on Thanksgiving Day to watch the opening-day races while sporting cocktails and fabulous hats. Next, there’s Bayou Classic, a fan fest, a parade, the battle of the bands, and, of course, the big game at the Superdome between Southern University and Grambling State University.

The beloved Celebration in the Oaks kicks off the holiday season with a dazzling holiday lights festival scattered throughout the 25 acres of the City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

Winter

December 1 – February 28

There’s a whole slew of events that accompany Christmastime in the Crescent City, from bonfires on the Algiers levies to concerts at St. Louis Cathedral to the family-friendly NOLA Christmasfest to Reveillon menus at some of the city’s classic Creole restaurants. The streetcars are decked with wreaths, and the city is alight with the holiday sparkle, including at the annual LUNA Fête that brings large-scale light and sound installations to the Convention Center.

The New Year’s Eve celebrations in New Orleans include the Dick Clark Rockin’ New Year’s Eve at the historic JAX Brewery in the French Quarter, with a fleur-de-lis drop at midnight to the countdown on Jackson Square, quite a few balcony parties on and around Bourbon Street, and the fireworks over the Mississippi River.

The first day of the carnival season known as Twelfth Night, or the Epiphany, kicks off every year with three parades — Phunny Phorty Phellows ride the streetcar from Uptown to Canal Street and back, plus the walking Krewe of Joan of Arc in the French Quarter, and the Société Des Champs Elysée.

Mardi Gras season culminates every year on Fat Tuesday anytime between February 3 and March 9 (March 4 in 2025). There’s not enough room to describe one of the great spectacles in the world, but keep up with the parade schedule to at least get started on how to do Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

February closes with an enormous public Tet celebration in New Orleans East to celebrate the Lunar New Year (did you know that New Orleans is home to one of the largest Vietnamese diaspora communities in the country?), and Valentine’s Day – which isn’t unique to New Orleans but is nevertheless good to celebrate in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

As you can see, we have a lot going on all year round! No matter when you visit, take advantage of French Market Inn specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoying everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Things to Do in New Orleans in March

With March upon us, expect a good slate of early spring activities in the Crescent City. Also, the weather is warmer — hopefully just pleasantly warmer — the kind of spring sunshine that equals t-shirts and jeans, if not shorts.

Mainly, we consider this time of year an awesome window when the Carnival wraps up (or, depending on the year, is over) and the festival season is yet to begin. This is that rare time when the city settles for a very slight breather between its biggest parties and festivals, although it still means there’s a ton of stuff to do. Here are the highlights.

Mardi Gras

Start date: January 6. End date: Changes annually.

First up is one of the best parties in the world! The Carnival season, which kicks off on January 6 (Twelfth Night/Epiphany), will culminate as usual on Mardi Gras Day (this year it fell on February 2024, but some years it happens in March). By the time March rolls around, there have already been dozens of parades in New Orleans, but the weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday is especially packed.

Check out the parade schedule that will roll every season up to (and including) Fat Tuesday in the city of New Orleans. There are typically three to five parades daily/nightly, and not just in the French Quarter and Uptown but in other parts of the New Orleans metro area. Among the most popular parades are the super-krewes of Endymion, rolling in Mid-City on Saturday before Fat Tuesday, and Bacchus, happening Uptown on Sunday.

There are walking parades, balls, block parties, and much more. Don’t miss the annual Greasing of the Poles at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Friday and the Lundi Gras Festival at the Woldenberg Park on Monday. This is the greatest six days of the year to be in New Orleans, hands down, and if you happen to be here — well, all we can say is lucky you, and soak it in.

Wednesday at the Square

Every Wednesday, March 6 – May 8, 2024

Unwind with a cold beverage on any given Wednesday at the Square, a free concert music series held in the spring in Lafayette Park (located one block off of Poydras Street, between St. Charles Avenue and Camp Street in the heart of the Central Business District) every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. From March through May, these outdoor concerts feature a variety of jazz, rock, swam pop, brass, Latin rhythms, and more. This year’s lineup features Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Brass-A-Holics, Lost Bayou Ramblers, and more.

Bring a chair or a blanket, or head to the front of the stage to partake in some dancing. You can bring your dog, and there are vendor booths surrounding the park where you can buy food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (no outside food or beverages, please).

Danny Barker Banjo & Guitar Festival

Wednesday-Sunday, March 6-10, 2024

The Danny Barker Banjo + Guitar Festival pays homage to New Orleanian musician, writer, instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, and lyricist Danny Barker. The three-day festival features a mixture of programming including live music performances, panel discussions and workshops, special events and outings, second lines, and more. It will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Tickets are $15-$75.

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Monday-Saturday, March 11-16, 2024

New this year, the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) is partnering with the New Orleans Book Festival to produce back-to-back events. The events are not merging, but they have scheduled their conference dates to line up during the same week in March, with one crossover day of shared programming on Thursday, March 14.

NOEW kicks off three days of speeches, speaker sessions and networking events on March 11. On March 14, the entrepreneurial portion will culminate in Idea Village’s annual IDEApitch competition, which showcases growth-stage companies competing for an investment prize. NOEW is now in its 13th year and attracted roughly 2,700 people to its four-day event last March, which included a weekend musical festival (not happening this year). For this year’s keynote speakers and more info, check out the event’s website.

The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane

Thursday-Saturday, March 14-16, 2024

The New Orleans Book Festival features both fiction and non-fiction and readings, panel discussions, symposia, and keynote speeches. It also provides an opportunity for outlets, authors and readers to interact with each other. Saturday is Family Day, so bring your kids to the Tulane campus for some fun. Last year’s notable authors and speakers on the impressive roster included Andy Borowitz, Richard Campanella, Maureen Dowd, and many more — so expect A-list greatness this year as well. And, as was noted above, this year marks the first partnership with NOEW with one day of crossover events.

St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday, March 17, 2024

It often comes as a surprise to first-time visitors to New Orleans that this city has a deep Irish heritage, which traces back to its history as a Catholic port of call that was one of the main entry points for the USA. There’s an entire neighborhood in this town called the Irish Channel, plus a plethora of fantastic pubs that eschew cheesy emerald-green Irish stereotypes for rough-hewn hospitality (Finn McCool’s and Erin Rose come to mind, plus a selection of our favorite Irish pubs in the French Quarter).

As such, there are plenty of Irish in this town, and thus, the weekend closest to St. Patrick’s Day is an important one for the city of New Orleans. Numerous parades kick off, including the massive Irish Channel parade (on Saturday, March 16, 2024), where float riders pass cabbages to the screaming crowds.

The Downtown Irish Club Parade rolls on Sunday, March 17, 2024, from the Bywater to the French Quarter, making several pit stops on its way to Bourbon Street.

How much you enjoy all of the above is linked to your tolerance for public drinking and green beer. St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans is not quite as kid-friendly as the Carnival — you’ll still see families, but these parades are more aimed at adults.

Super Sunday

Sunday, March 17, 2024

The annual gathering of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes is perhaps the most open means of accessing this unique element of New Orleans backstreet culture. The tribes will be out in large numbers on Super Sunday, which usually falls on the third Sunday of March, but this year coincides with St. Patrick’s Day.

While the Mardi Gras Indians have their set routes and parade areas, no one event packs the tribes into one public space like Super Sunday. In this case, said public spaces are A.L. Davis Park, at the corner of Washington and LaSalle streets; and Bayou St. John in Mid-City, at the intersection of Orleans and Moss streets, on the bayou’s banks and the Orleans Street bridge. The Indian procession usually leaves the gathering spot around 1 p.m.

We can’t stress this enough: Be respectful if you go. Take pictures at a distance, and don’t get in the way of marching Indians or their friends, family and attached bands. Super Sunday has been overrun with spectators in the past years, so please do your part to enjoy this amazing cultural event responsibly.

Some background: The Mardi Gras Indians are the most vibrant, visible and conversely mysterious expressions of African-American New Orleans culture. To distill them into an extremely simplistic sentence: Mardi Gras Indians are African-American New Orleanians who dress up (or in local lingo, ”mask”) as stylized Native Americans.

They take to the streets in fantastic costumes made of beads, feathers, and sequins that cost thousands of dollars, weigh hundreds of pounds, and require hundreds of days of painstaking labor; no element of costume creation is automated.

On Mardi Gras Day, Super Sunday, St. Joseph’s Day, and a select few other special occasions, the “chiefs” and their tribes parade through the city, chanting, shouting and challenging each other to determine who is “the prettiest.”

There’s a ton more background on this fascinating subject at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the historic Tremé neighborhood.

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival

Wednesday-Sunday, March 20-24, 2024

Writers have always been drawn to New Orleans. Few cities in America (or the world, really), can match this town for its atmosphere, sense of place, or penchant for fun and pathos (all good elements of a writing life).

The Tennessee Williams Literary Festival celebrates this city’s love affair with the written word, as well as writers’ love affair with New Orleans. Notable authors will be in attendance, hosting seminars, workshops, and lectures.

Plus, this being the Tennessee Williams Festival, there is, of course, a “Stella” shouting contest, which involves folks screaming out the iconic scene from A Streetcar Named Desire to appreciative crowds on Jackson Square. The program will also include a scholar conference, walking tours, masterclasses, theater, and more.

Note that on Friday-Sunday, March 22-24, 2024, the city will also host the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival, an alternative literary event that celebrates LGBTQ+ authors. The three-day festival will include panel discussions and a fair amount of networking opportunities between authors, editors, and publishers.

Congo Square Rhythms Festival

Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24, 2024

The musical heritage of New Orleans follows a line that can be traced all the way back to Africa, where the black diaspora begins. The music of that continent evolved here and in the Caribbean, influenced by Europe and indigenous music, into the forms and traditions that are the core of today’s New Orleans sound.

This vital legacy is celebrated in Armstrong Park, on the grounds of Congo Square, where local slaves were once permitted to practice the musical traditions of Africa and the Caribbean. Congo Square Rhythms Festival is a celebration of global and local music, and offers both amazing food and a fantastic lineup of music. The festival kickoff concert on Friday, March 22, features Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles.

Presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the festival features Mardi Gras Indians, African dance, brass bands, soul-funk, as well as indigenous music of Honduras, and highlife from West Africa. The large art market and a Soul Food Court complete the experience.

Don’t miss one of the fest’s highlights, the Mardi Gras Indian “battle” — when the tribes gather in the center of the square, plus the festival’s largest to date assemblage of New Orleans-based African dance troupes (they typically perform on Sunday).

Crescent City Classic

Saturday, March 30, 2024

The annual Crescent City Classic is a fun local tradition. Held on the Saturday before Easter and open to both amateur and pro runners, the event is the city’s signature 10k race. (Expect some runners dressed in Easter-themed costumes.) The race starts at 8 a.m. on Champions Square and then proceeds down Esplanade Avenue to the New Orleans City Park. After the race (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) there’s a festival at the park’s Festival Grounds, with local music and food. You can register for the race and buy festival tickets on the event’s website.

Are you visiting New Orleans this spring? Take advantage of the French Market Inn specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoying everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

And when you do, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans.

For easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Happy Spring!

Best Live Music Venues Near French Market Inn

Image courtesy of Preservation Hall on Facebook

New Orleans is a music city, and if you’re staying in the French Quarter you are in luck as you can walk to many venues that dish out excellent, world-class live music nightly, often for a low cover. Sometimes it’s even free — all you need to do is walk around and catch a band on a street corner.

Also, there’s no better place for live music than the Marigny Triangle. Situated between Esplanade Avenue and Elysian Fields, this wedge-shaped neighborhood is bisected by Frenchmen Street, a pedestrian-friendly strip of music clubs, bars, restaurants, and an art market, some of which don’t get going until after 10 p.m. The vibe is a giant block party, and you can easily walk there from the hotel.

So, here’s just a sliver of where to check out the city’s robust live music culture near the French Market Inn.

In the French Quarter

21st Amendment Bar at La Louisiane

725 Iberville Street

Prohibition-era 21st Amendment Bar is located just a half-block off Bourbon Street. The bar takes its name from the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which repealed the 18th Amendment creating Prohibition (the ban on alcohol production and sales) in 1920. The space was originally a hotel and restaurant called La Louisiane when it was established in 1933; the same year, Prohibition ended. Black-and-white images of mobsters adorn the walls, and inventive craft cocktails abound.

Fritzel’s European Jazz Club

733 Bourbon Street

Fritzel’s is a great spot for live jazz, and it regularly dishes out plenty of old-school Dixieland. It’s calm and laid back in almost inverse proportion to much of the rest of Bourbon Street — a perfect stop if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the crowds, or if you just want to listen to some good music.

New Orleans Street Music

Royal Street, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street)

You don’t have to buy a cocktail or pay a cover to hear great jazz. Playing on the street is a New Orleans tradition, and many successful music careers have started that way. You might catch a band on the corners throughout the Quarter nightly, especially on Bourbon and Royal, plus on Jackson Square. Frenchmen Street in the Marigny also hosts impromptu performances nightly. Drop a tip in a jar, and enjoy.

Preservation Hall

726 St. Peter Street

There’s no food or drink for sale or public restrooms at this no-frills, all-ages venue (you can bring your own drinks). What you will find, though, is a bastion of traditional New Orleans jazz that has branched out in recent years to embrace performances by artists ranging from Mos Def to Foo Fighters. Grab a go-cup and get ready to sweat it out — a concert at Pres Hall is truly a New Orleans bucket list item.

The Bombay Club

830 Conti Street

When former owner Richard Fiske took the wheel at Bombay Club in the early 2000s, jazz was scarce in the Quarter (except for Preservation Hall). Fiske aimed to make The Bombay Club a live jazz destination on par with nightclubs of the 1940s. He succeeded at his task, and although he has since passed on, his legacy continues in the nightly lineup of jazz luminaries. There’s no better place to savor music alongside new Louisiana cuisine and cocktails, all in a comfortably luxurious atmosphere.

On Frenchmen Street

The Maison

508 Frenchmen Street

A music club that triples as a restaurant and bar. It’s three-level, with multiple stages where you can find drag, burlesque, and live music of many genres. The menu is primarily New Orleans classics, a house burger, and sandwich platters.

Bamboula’s

514 Frenchmen Street

Here, you’ll find casual New Orleans fare like po-boys and jambalaya. The no-cover eclectic live music seven days a week is another draw.

Blue Nile

532 Frenchmen Street

One of the longest-standing clubs on Frenchmen Street is a must for live jazz and local brass. On any given night, you can catch a performance by the city’s top musicians like Kermit Ruffins and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. It’s also a great spot to see the Mardi Gras Indians do a show.

Three Muses

536 Frenchmen Street

Grab a seat at the bar or a tall bistro table, order Chef Daniel Esses’ tapas and one of the on-point house cocktails, and settle in for an intimate night of music. Curated by musician and Frenchmen Street fixture Sophie Lee, the nightly lineup includes Shotgun Jazz Band, Gal Holiday, Tom McDermott, and many others.

d.b.a.

618 Frenchmen Street

Since this live music venue opened its doors in 2000, d.b.a. has hosted hundreds of live acts. The bar features a broad selection of beer and spirits, and the music plays nightly. Tin Men and John Boutte perform there regularly.

Marigny Brasserie

640 Frenchmen Street

The casual, live music venue at the end of Frenchmen offers an elevated Cajun/Creole menu, hand-crafted cocktails, a good wine list, and local draft beer plus live big-band music.

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

626 Frenchmen Street

Snug Harbor is a sit-down ticketed music venue that is home to local and touring heavyweights of traditional and modern jazz (such as a weekly show by Ellis Marsalis). For over 30 years, Snug Harbor has provided the best in live jazz and great regional cuisine. Snug Harbor is located in three rooms of a renovated 1800s storefront a dining room, a bar, and a music room.

The Spotted Cat

623 Frenchmen Street

It’s raucous, it’s loud, it’s standing room only, and it’s one of the best places to throw down in New Orleans. This casual, petite Frenchmen Street venue doles out traditional jazz, modern jazz, blues, and funk. If things get too hot and crowded, just step outside with your drink for a breather — chances are, you’ll find a brass band playing on the street.

Remember, you can walk to all these venues from your hotel! Take advantage of the French Market Inn specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoying everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

 

 

French Quarter on a Budget

The streetcar is a reliable transportation option and only costs $1.25

The French Quarter can easily part you with your hard-earned cash in one evening if you are splurging on the swanky and the high-end (a dinner at Galatoire’s and drinks at French 75, for example), but, just as easily, you can have a great time on a limited budget. There’s a wealth of free attractions, reasonably priced food, low covers for live music, and happy hours with craft cocktails under $10. Here are some suggestions on how to do the French Quarter on a budget.

Have Breakfast at Cafe du Monde

If you hit Cafe du Monde (800 Decatur st.) in the morning, you’ll probably have to wait in line. But it’s worth the wait for a breakfast treat New Orleanians have been savoring since 1862. Order a plate of three fresh-from-the-fryer beignets dusted with powdered sugar, and dip them into a steaming hot cup of cafe au lait. Though light as air, beignets are surprisingly filling, and taste even better when you’re listening to live jazz while breezes waft off the nearby Mississippi.

Cost: about $6, plus tip.

Walk Along the Mississippi River, and Take a Trip on the Algiers Ferry

Strolling the banks of the Mississippi River is both delightful and free. And you don’t have to spring for a pricey ticket on a paddlewheel boat to cruise the river. It costs just $2 to board the Algiers ferry to the West Bank, which leaves from the foot of Canal Street, near the Aquarium of the Americas. You’ll enjoy sweeping views of the city’s skyline, and the towering spires of St. Louis Cathedral.

About five minutes later, you’ll dock at Algiers Point, a historic neighborhood with expansive views of the Crescent City along the Mississippi River levee. Reboard the ferry for another $2 when you’re ready to leave, and get back off where you started.

Cost: $4 round trip.

Grab a Sandwich to Go for Lunch

Central Grocery (923 Decatur St.) invented the muffuletta. It rivals the po-boy as the city’s most iconic sandwich. Layered with sliced Italian deli meats, rich provolone cheese, and hot and spicy olive salad, muffulettas are served on locally baked seeded buns and are big enough to feed two people. If it’s just you, opt for the half-sandwich.

Another great option, Verti Marte (1201 Royal St.) has dozens of sandwiches on its extensive menu, including the specialty gems like a vegetarian Green Giant and the meat-and-shrimp laden All That Jazz. Pro tip: Bring your lunch to the Moonwalk for a riverside picnic that will more than fill you up for the day.

Cost: $15.25 for a half of muffuletta; Verti Marte prices vary.

Walk Around and Window Shop

One of the best streets for window shopping is Royal Street, its pedestrian-only part in particular. There you’ll find dozens of antique, jewelry and vintage shops touting their stunning wares in their windows.

We’re especially impressed with a trove of priceless antiques worth a fortune at M.S. Rau Antiques (630 Royal St.), but it doesn’t cost a dime to drool over exquisite Victorian music boxes, dazzling diamond-encrusted brooches and elaborate player pianos. And Rau is just one of the many shops brimming with oddities and treasures on Royal Street.

The architecture isn’t shabby either, so enjoy all the wrought iron. Cap off an afternoon of aspirational window shopping by trying on one of the phantasmagorical wigs at Fifi Mahony’s (934 Royal St.).

Another fun street to walk is Chartres Street, which is studded with boutiques and interesting local stores. If you walk from Canal Street toward Esplanade Avenue, Chartres Street will lead you right to Jackson Square, where there’s usually a lot going on: street performances, brass bands, art displayed for sale, fortune telling, and just lots of local color and joie de vivre. Soak it up!

Cost: Free.

Hit a Happy Hour

New Orleans is a drinking town and boasts some of the best happy hours in the country. Lagniappe: many offer budget-priced small bites that can easily serve as an early dinner. These are just three to pick from, but really, the options are expansive.

Kingfish (337 Chartres St.)

Live like a king (on a budget) Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., when you can drink draft beer ($4), wine ($6), or specialty cocktails ($7) while noshing on $9 small plates like duck and andouille gumbo and Louisiana crawfish bread.

Saint John (1117 Decatur St.)

You can’t go wrong with upscale Creole cuisine when the bar bites are $7 and the libations are $5. This French Quarter newcomer is garnering accolades left and right, and this is your chance to find out why.

The Bombay Club (830 Conti St.)

If you’re staying at the Prince Conti Hotel, one of the best and most leisurely happy hours in the Quarter is right downstairs at The Bombay Club, where it runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Wash down shareables and bites like Natchitoches meat pies and Ploughman’s Board with a couple of beers ($3), glasses of wine ($4), or specialty cocktails ($5). Cost: Depends on how heartily you imbibe, but about $20 plus tip for two drinks and two apps buys a nice buzz and something in your belly to offset it.

Want to be close to al these places and attractions? Book your stay at our beautiful French Market Inn! Our historic hotel is located in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, close to a multitude of popular New Orleans bars, restaurants and landmarks.