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!

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!

 

 

“Throw Me Something, Monsta!”: Krewe of Boo

Image courtesy of Krewe of Boo on Facebook

Krewe of Boo kicks off the holiday and parade season on Saturday, October 21, 2023, with its annual Halloween parade. This lively affair has become the “official Halloween Parade” in New Orleans in 2007, and has been going strong since, only growing in popularity. Krewe of Boo is brought to you by Kern Studios and the late “Mr. Mardi Gras” himself.

With Krewe of Boo, expect the usual 3-D fiberglass and papier-mache extravaganza with all of your favorite spooky characters. This popular parade draws both locals and visitors but is not so crowded that you won’t be able to get close at any point on its route. The parade-goers had been known to don their favorite, family-friendly Halloween gear as well, and you’re encouraged to do the same.

Krewe of Boo is very child-friendly, we can’t stress that enough. Everyone is welcome to join the spooky festivities, which makes this parade one of the best and most family-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween in one of the most haunted cities in America. You’ll see werewolves, ghosts, vampires, and other Halloween-themed monsters, but all the monsters on the floats are PG-13 and not too scary even for the youngest parade-goers.

There are plenty of plush toy throws for the little ones too. In an ongoing effort to minimize waste, Krewe of Boo has been instead handing out eco-friendly cups and food items made by local companies that are sponsoring the event.

Look out for Aunt Sally’s pralinettes and Chee Wees from Elmer’s Fine Foods. The little coffee packs from PJ’s Coffee are also a mainstay. Also look out for other collectibles and consumables like candy, light-up medallion beads and doubloons.

Once again, the pre-parade fun starts early in the morning and lasts all day. First up is the New Orleans Zombie Run. This two-mile race starts at 9 a.m. and ends at noon, both at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant (701 Tchoupitoulas St.) in the Warehouse District. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as zombies and monsters. Registration for the race begins at 7:30 a.m. You can also pre-register online.

The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Decatur St. and Elysian Fields Ave. in the Marigny, rolling through the French Quarter. It will first go down Elysian Fields to N. Peters St., then to Decatur, passing by Jackson Square. Then the parade will go down Canal, up to Burgundy St., making a U-turn and eventually reaching Tchoupitoulas St.

You can watch the parade at the official viewing party on the balcony of Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur St.) in the French Quarter, but you might want to get your tickets soon as they will most likely sell out (tickets include an open bar and balcony access).

The parade ends at Generations Hall (311 Andrew Higgins Dr.) in the Warehouse District for the Monster Mash party. This ticketed costume party starts at 8 p.m. (until).; ages 18 and up to enter. The Monster Mash features live music, a costume contest, drink specials, and a big dance party. You can buy tickets online or at the door.

The day before the parade, on Friday, October 20, 2023, there’s a slew of scheduled events to kick off the fun, including a luncheon, a second line to Pat O’Brien’s (718 St. Peter St.) in the French Quarter, and a happy hour there.

For more information and updates please visit the Krewe of Boo websiteFacebook page, or find them on Twitter and Instagram.

Need somewhere to stay while you enjoy all the fall fun New Orleans has to offer, including the always-fabulous Halloween celebrations? Book a stay at a historic French Quarter boutique hotel today!

Fall in New Orleans Highlights

Celebration in the Oaks in the New Orleans City Park

When the summer lull is over and the temps are milder, the city gets ready to ramp it up with Halloween and a calendar full of foodie-haven and music festivals. There’s a festival, sometimes two, going on every weekend! Here are the fall highlights of what’s happening in New Orleans.

The Labor Day weekend kicks into high gear with Southern Decadence, which celebrates LGBTQIA+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world.

September continues with the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, which brings together the best of local talent and some big international names who compete for the title of “Queen of Burlesque.” Adding to the year-round roster of music and food-centric festivals, Beignet Festival celebrates both sweet and savory renditions of the beloved pastry.

Do you like fried chicken? How about beer? The National Fried Chicken Festival at the Woldenberg Riverfront Park keeps getting bigger, drawing well-known fried chicken vendors coming from all over the region to represent different cooking styles of this classic Southern dish.

Don’t forget, New Orleans throws its own lavish version of Oktoberfest over the three weekends in October at Deutsches Haus in Mid-City. October continues with Tremé Fall Festival brings entertainment from New Orleans musical royalty and food trucks and vendors from some of New Orleans’ best eateries in one the nation’s first African American neighborhoods during the first weekend of October, and the Mac n’ Cheese Fest at the Louis Armstrong Park needs no introduction.

October fun continues with the massive New Orleans Film Festival and the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival. Halloween kicks into high gear with the kid-friendly Krewe of Boo, courtesy of Kern Studios.

November gives us the popular Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Don’t miss Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds Race Course! Per a long-standing New Orleans tradition, it’s customary to turn out at the track on Thanksgiving Day to watch the opening-day races while sporting fabulous hats. The racetrack also serves a sumptuous holiday buffet, plus a fancy dinner with all the holiday trimmings at the Clubhouse.

Every Thanksgiving weekend, the Bayou Classic draws the fans and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans to partake in one of the country’s greatest college sports rivalries. This involves a fan fest, a parade, and the always-amazing Battle of the Bands before the big game at the Superdome.

Finally, November kicks off the beloved New Orleans tradition of Celebration in the Oaks, a dazzling holiday lights festival scattered throughout the 25 acres of the City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. This is how you know the winter holidays are upon us!

New Orleans offers tons of fun festivals and events for people of all ages and interests, appealing to both locals and tourists alike. If you are visiting the Big Easy in the fall, be sure to book your stay at The French Market Inn, a charming historic hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter located close to all of the festivals and excitement.

Spring Festivals in New Orleans

New Orleans Food and Wine Experience. Photo by Tyler Kaufman

Every new season in New Orleans brings something special, and every spring we’re looking forward to festival fun. With the city’s festival season in full bloom, there’s something going on pretty much every week/end during spring’s official rein. Here is a rundown of the annual events happening in New Orleans between March and June.

March

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) every Wednesday evening, in the heart of the Central Business District. From March through May, these outdoor concerts feature a variety of jazz, rock, swam pop, brass, Latin rhythms, and more. Bring a chair or a blanket, or dance by the stage, and dogs and kids are welcome.

No March in New Orleans is complete without mentioning the festivities surrounding St. Patrick’s Day. 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.

The weekend closest to St. Patrick’s Day (or the actual day of, if it falls on the weekend) turns emerald green thanks to two parades and numerous block parties across the city. The massive Irish Channel Parade Uptown has float riders passing cabbages to the screaming crowds; and the Downtown Irish Club Parade rolls from the Bywater to the French Quarter, making several pit stops on its way to Bourbon Street.

The annual gathering of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes, called Super Sunday, is perhaps the most open means of accessing this unique element of New Orleans backstreet culture. If you are lucky, you might see the Indians out and about on St. Joseph’s Day, and the tribes will be out in larger numbers on Super Sunday, which, weather permitting, typically falls on the third Sunday of March.

You can catch the gathering and the procession either at the A.L. Davis Park, at the corner of Washington and LaSalle streets; or in Bayou St. John in Mid-City, at the intersection of Orleans and Moss streets, on the bayou’s banks and the Orleans Street bridge.

Next up is the New Orleans Book Festival, held at Tulane University and featuring readings, panel discussions, keynote speeches, and so on. Then, on the last weekend of March, the five-day Tennessee Williams Literary Festival celebrates this city’s love affair with the written word, as well as writers’ love affair with New Orleans.

The festival pays homage to the brilliant Tennessee Williams with conferences, a book fair, walking tours, and the “Stella” and “Stanley” contest, which involves folks screaming out the iconic scene from A Streetcar Named Desire to appreciative crowds on Jackson Square.

Following this fest, the city also hosts the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival which celebrates LGBTQIA+ authors.

March closes with two more festivals. Hogs for the Cause at the UNO Lakefront Arena is an annual celebration of whole hog roasts and local music (with some national acts in the lineup as well). The event brings awareness to pediatric brain cancer.

One of the most anticipated spring events in the massive lineup of the festival season in New Orleans, the Freret Street Festival stands out as the biggest neighborhood festival in the city. This free festival is usually held on the last Saturday in March on the stretch of Freret Street from Napoleon to Valmont. Expect dozens of vendors, a food court, and several music stages. Zeus Place, located on Freret St., had been a constant presence at the fest, offering pet adoptions.

April

Come Easter, the heavily Catholic city celebrates the end of Lent with three parades. The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade winds its way on Easter Sunday, before Easter Mass services begin, from Antoine’s Restaurant to St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square via classic convertible cars and mule-drawn carriages. When the parade arrives at the cathedral at 11 a.m., Easter Mass begins. Following services, folks prim and pose in Jackson Square, showing off their best Easter duds, before heading back to Antoine’s to break their Lent fasts like nobody’s business.

This procession is followed by the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade, paying homage to the Crescent City’s own grande-dame diva of singing, dancing, and general fabulousness, the late Chris Owens, along with a small army of attendants, rolling from Canal and Bourbon streets to her nightclub and performance venue at 500 Bourbon St. The final parade of the day, also in the French Quarter, is the Gay Easter Parade, a long-standing tradition of the New Orleans LGBTQIA+ community.

Next up are the two heavy hitters on the city’s event calendar, the French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest. The French Quarter Fest is the largest free musical event in the New Orleans calendar, and according to organizers, the largest free music festival in the USA. The setting is, as you may have guessed from the name, the French Quarter itself. The festival goes off in mid-April, which tends to come with gorgeous weather, and the lineup of musicians and food vendors is always fantastic.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, commonly known as Jazz Fest, is the preeminent music festival of a city that is pretty well known for its music festivals. Held on the New Orleans Fair Grounds race course in Mid-City, the event takes place on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May, occupying the local weather sweet spot that links spring to summer. A dozen music stages and tents encompass genres and acts ranging from gospel to Cajun to rock and pop.

A major part of the appeal is the food tents, which feature a regular rotating sampling of some of the city’s finest cuisine. Even more than Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest has a crop of devoted repeat attendees; a sizable amount of visitors rent out homes on an annual basis for Fest, which has become something of a pilgrimage for a certain set of music aficionados. On the weekdays that link Jazz Fest’s official dates, random gigs constantly pop off around town.

The Whitney Zoo-To-Do evening fundraiser at the Audubon Zoo rounds up the event-heavy April.

May

The spring roster of festivities continues into May with the popular Bayou St. John three-day extravaganza on the bayou’s banks in Mid-City, Bayou Boogaloo; and the Greek Fest in Lakeview, complete with a toga contest and Greek staples like souvlaki and spanakopita. The Boogaloo has a smaller, more local feel than, say, the French Quarter Fest, and usually draws out an impressive flotilla of all kinds of vessels, from the expertly constructed, massive rafts to kayaks to giant inflatables, that park and party on the bayou for the duration of the festival (permit is required these days).

June

Despite the soaring temps the month of June is still going strong with festivals, including New Orleans Pride (there’s a parade, of course) and the French Market Creole Tomato Festival.

Traditionally held on the second weekend of June, the French Market Creole Tomato Festival welcomes the arrival of Creole tomatoes that Louisiana loves to incorporate into many local recipes. The French Market location and the food offerings make this a popular festival among locals and visitors alike.

The festival features live music, kids’ activities, a parade, and a second line. There are cooking demos in addition to an extensive menu of Creole tomatoes incorporated into gelato, crepes, crawfish pies — you name it.

The festival usually features a Bloody Mary market in Dutch Alley and a tomato-eating contest. There will be local restaurants and bars offering the Marys, the Marias, and other variations of the signature cocktail, competing for “Best of the Fest” awards in such categories as Most Creative Bloody Mary and Best Bloody Mary Garnish.

The annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) provides local and visiting epicureans and hobbyists an extended weekend of libations and culinary indulgence in a style that is uniquely New Orleans. NOWFE is designed to encourage participation in the full gamut of food and wine-centered experiences. The event offerings include package rates, activities, and dinners with something at nearly every price point with attire ranging from costumed to cocktail depending on the event and venue.

The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, held at Armstrong Park, celebrates Cajun and Zydeco music with a stellar lineup of Louisiana acts, local food, an art market, and a whole lot of crawfish.

There you have it! Happy spring!

Visiting New Orleans this spring? Take advantage of the French Market Inn specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee. Reserve your room today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

Mardi Gras may be but a bead-sodden memory of a few days past, but are we stopping with the parades? Of course not. We never stop parading! (At least, sometimes it feels that way.)

As St. Patrick’s Day presents us with a slew of activities over the weekend, here are some of the best. And remember, there’s also going to be an always-impressive act — the annual gathering of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes on Super Sunday on March 19, 2023, by A.L. Davis Park (Washington and LaSalle streets).

The Irish Channel Parade

This is THE New Orleans Paddy’s Day parade. On Saturday, March 11, 2023, the parade will start at 1:30 p.m. on the corner of Napoleon Ave. and Tchoupitoulas St. Float riders typically toss all things green, including the edible kind (cabbage), and try to bestow kisses upon the spectators.

Block parties

On the same Saturday, there are two big parties kicking off mere blocks from each other at the border of the Lower Garden District and the Irish Channel. One blowout goes off at Tracey’s at 2604 Magazine St. (11 a.m. till), and the other at Parasol’s at Third and Constance streets (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.). Expect much green beer, green tutus, and green jello shots — you get the idea.

The annual Irish Channel block party will be held on Friday, March 17, 2023, starting at 1:00 p.m. This block party is located at Annunciation Square on the 1500 block of Chippewa. There will be Irish music, food, drinks, and dancers.

Downtown Irish Club Parade

If you prefer staying downriver on Paddy’s Day, the Downtown Irish Club Parade rolls from Piety and Burgundy in the Bywater into the French Quarter at 7 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2023.

Finn McCool’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party

Or head to Mid-City for Finn McCool’s always awesome St. Patrick’s Day block party. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and lasts into the night, with the Wee Parade, live music, and crawfish. There’s also Irish karaoke till about 1 a.m., which will either be terrible or grand and likely a bit of both. Trust us, it’s just as debauched as the other celebrations around town.

If you’re 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!

 

 

 

Things to Do in New Orleans in February

Mardi Gras comes relatively early this year (February 21, 2023), and there is a steady stream of events and entertainment leading up to it. February is not only packed with Carnival-related festivities though — let’s not forget Valentine’s Day — plus there are a few low-key local annual events you might enjoy. Here are some highlights and suggestions to make sure you make the most of this short but event-packed month.

Go See the Mardi Gras Parades

One of the best parties in the world is here! The Carnival season always kicks off on January 6, known as Twelfth Night or the Epiphany, with three parades, and will culminate as usual on Mardi Gras Day (Fat Tuesday). In the days leading up to it, dozens of parades roll in February in the French Quarter, Marigny, Bywater, and Uptown.

Do consider venturing outside the city too, if you can, as parts of the metro New Orleans, like Metairie, Covington, Slidell, and the West Bank have some of the most fascinating, fun parades of the Carnival season. You can’t catch them all, but you can try! Check the full parade schedule to get the rundown of the Carnival festivities that, depending on the Fat Tuesday date, can spill into March.

Eat King Cake

For those who aren’t aware, King Cake is a traditional cake typically served during Mardi Gras festivities. It’s socially acceptable to stuff your face with it anytime between January 6, when the Carnival season starts, and Ash Wednesday. Also, per tradition, whoever finds a plastic baby in their slice has to throw the next party, or at least buy the next King Cake.

King Cake comes with many fillings although the traditionalists insist on the old-school rendition without any. It also comes in the Carnival colors of purple, gold and green, but then again you might see the “Who Dat?” versions in black and gold during the football season, honoring the Saints.

King Cake has its own annual festival, and New Orleanians tend to have strong opinions about who makes the best King Cake in the city. One thing is for sure: Everywhere you go during Mardi Gras, from a grocery store to a parade party to a dive bar, King Cake will be there for the taking.

Take in the Art at First Saturdays

Head downtown to the Arts District to discover some of the city’s best galleries during this free event. First Saturday gallery openings are held every first Saturday of the month, down and around Julia Street, 6-9 PM. Member galleries open their doors and might be also serving free refreshments.

Celebrate Vietnamese New Year at Tet Fest

Tet Fest is held over a weekend at the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church at 14011 Dwyer Blvd. in New Orleans East. It’s a free celebration of the Vietnamese New Year with live music, traditional dance performances, fireworks, kid-friendly activities, and an amazing variety of authentic Vietnamese food. The date changes annually, falling anywhere between mid-January and late February.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in One of the Most Romantic Cities

To be fair, this is a worldwide holiday. But Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) in New Orleans — with her wrought-iron balconies, historical buildings, and the possibility of music on every corner — is a special kind of unique. Check out our suggestions on the romantic things to do in the French Quarter for some ideas.

Explore the French Quarter

Whether you’re here with your sweetheart to celebrate Valentine’s Day or visiting with family or friends (or alone) for any other reason, Carnival season is one of the best times to explore the French Quarter. The spirit of revelry permeates the streets, and there are parades and block parties to stumble upon. Not to mention that many of the French Quarter’s facades, porches and balconies are decked in dazzling decorations, sporting purple, green and gold.

Plus, the winter temps are usually mild here, and pleasant enough to stroll down Royal Street to visit the galleries and the antique shops, for example. You can also take in a brass band performance at Jackson Square; visit the French Market to get a po-boy and some oysters; or scarf down some beignets at Cafe du Monde. Take a tour, or just walk around and stare.

No matter when you visit and with whom, 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!