First Time To New Orleans
My wife and I are planning our first trip to New Orleans in mid-March. We would love to get advice from those who have traveled there as to where the best places to stay for first time visitors would be. Our interests would be for sure the French Quarter, Frenchmen Street, the World War II museum, the Garden district and along the Mississippi.
We are looking for a moderately priced hotel, not a dump though! We are definitely interested in a quieter location, but of course, don’t plan to spend a great deal of time in our room.
We are not partiers, would prefer just to take in the ambiance of some nice jazz and other music spots and try some good food!
I’ve been to NOLA many times & never rented a car. I usually stay in the Central Business district because it’s not as crazy as the French Quarter, but close enough to everything. Also there are plenty of taxis if you want to go anywhere outside of walking distance. Others recommended United taxi & they are very reliable. It’s one of my favorite cities. Enjoy!
Edited: 8 years ago
I’ve also been very happy with the Hotel St Marie
My vote goes to The Hotel Provincial too! Wonderful place and a great location!
Here are SOME of the “must dos” in the French Quarter alone:
-Eat a beignet at Cafe Du Monde.
Muffaletta On The Mississippi
I dream of this sandwich. Im not joking or exaggerating Ive had a lot of sandwiches in my life but this really stands out as one of the best .
Youll find them all over New Orleans but on my food tour of New Orleans they told me that the best one was to be found at the Central Grocery near the French Market. This is basically whats in it, but I think it was the obvious love I could taste in the putting it together that made it taste as absolutely sensational as it did.
- 1 10 round loaf Italian bread with Sesame
- 1 cup Olive Salad
- 1/4 lb Capicola or deli ham
- 1/4 lb Mortadella
- 1/8 lb Sliced Mozzarella
- 1/8 lb Provolone
I took mine down to the Mississippi River and ate on the river bank as demonstrated in the video above.
Transportations Around New Orleans
Touring around New Orleans is easy because most of the best places to visit are just within walking distance of each other.
However, if you still need to ride public transportations to reach your destination, here are some you can find around New Orleans.
1. Taxi and rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber are the easiest and least hassle transportation for touring.
2. You can also check out streetcars, especially when you go to the Garden District from the French Quarter. Their fares are priced at $1.25 per person and must be paid in the exact amount.
3. Jazzy passes are also available if you plan to take multiple transportations during your stay in New Orleans.
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Best For A Quiet Contemporary Escape: Penthouse Loft 523
Spacious loft-style suites and calming zen gardens await guests at Loft 523, a contemporary designer hotel in the citys Central Business District , only a short walk from Lafayette Square. Perched on the propertys 5th floor, the Penthouse Loft opens onto a stunning landscaped garden and envelopes you in serene minimalism, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, sleek designer furnishings, and original artwork.
Downtown/cbd Where New Orleanians Do Business
The Central Business District of New Orleans is the professional hub of the city, with glittering high-rises, fun bars and nightlife, open parks and upscale eateries dotted throughout the area.
While the area is fairly modernized with corporate offices and residential apartment buildings, theres also some interesting 19th-century architecture throughout the common streets.
Filled with great options for live music, retail shopping and places to go out, its no surprise that CBD is quickly growing into a hub for young professionals and families.
But, the area is quieter than French Quarter and perhaps a bit more upscale, making it a great place to stay in New Orleans if you want something a bit more peaceful.
This area is perhaps best well-known for the dazzling Mercedes-Benz superdome, the home of the New Orleans Saints. Catch a football game here during the season or a concert.
For more live performances, you dont want to miss a musical performance or play at the century-old Orpheum Theater.
The acoustics and visual aesthetic in the theater are world-class and many local and international acts have called the stage home. Youll even see weddings, Mardi Gras balls and corporate events hosted here throughout the year.
For a bit of retail therapy, head to the South Market District, directly near the superdome.
South Market has several boutique stores, major retail chains, vibrant galleries and great culinary options.
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Things To See And Do In Bourbon Street
- Listen to Cajun and Zydeco banks as you enjoy strong drinks and a great atmosphere at Tropical Isle.
- Eat well at Galatoires 33 Bar & Steak, which specializes in steak and seafood dishes.
- Walk through Musical Legends Park and see all the statues of New Orleans jazz heroes.
- Listen to smooth jazz and drink great cocktails at Fritzels European Jazz Club.
- Dance the night away at Chris Owens Club & Balcony.
- Bottoms up! Enjoy a round of shots at Ritas Tequila House.
- Party all night long at Oz, a 2-story gay dance club that plays the best music.
- Sample unique absinthe cocktails at the historic Old Absinthe House.
The Best Affordable And Cheap Hotels In New Orleans
Perched on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is a veritable melange of sights, sounds and sensations. Famed for its iconic Marde Gras, it attracts huge numbers of visitors every year keen to immerse themselves in everything that the legendary city has to offer.
Needless to say, New Orleans is jam-packed with accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. If youre travelling here with shallow pockets then weve compiled a list of 10 of the best affordable places to stay, both in the citys central districts and in its surrounding suburbs.
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What To Look For In A Hotel
Bourbon Street is one of the best places to stay in New Orleans, so you already know youll be in a great location! After that, you get to decide what sort of amenities you want and what size room you require for your trip.
Hotel rooms vary widely in size, from small rooms for one or two guests to large spaces that can accommodate groups or families. Usually, the bigger the room the higher the price, but there are some great budget hotel rooms on Bourbon Street for families wanting a central location.
Large hotels that are a part of bigger companies will have amenities like swimming pools, gyms, bars, and restaurants onsite. If you prefer a smaller, more local hotel, you might not have access to these services. In exchange, you can have a more unique stay and get tips from the host, who might know some of the citys authentic hidden gems.
To pick the right hotel for you, its a good idea to compare properties using search platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb. Both these sites allow you to refine your search based on your travel dates, price range, and other preferences to find the perfect fit.
Best For Southern Charm With A Twist: Henry Howard Hotel
Named after one of the citys most famous architects, the Henry Howard Hotel is a hip boutique establishment overflowing with authentic New Orleans charm.
Reimagined by New York-based Hunter Mabry Design, the historic 1860s mansion has 18 inviting rooms infused with cool contemporary flair think geometric canopy beds, boldly patterned wallpapers, and musical instruments hanging on the walls. Theres no onsite restaurant, but delicious artisanal cocktails can be enjoyed throughout the day either in the grand, elegant Parlour or outside, in the intimate garden courtyard.
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Things To See And Do In French Quarter
- Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans in central Jackson Square.
- Wander along Chartres Street, a street famous for its historic sites, bustling bars, and its many souvenir shops.
- Browse the shops, stalls, and cafes at the Old French Market.
- Visit the stunning St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in North America.
- See the historic Preservation Hall, a renowned jazz venue.
- Take a stroll through the lush and luxurious Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.
- Eat, drink and enjoy a fantastic night out at Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Restaurant.
- Walk Pirates Alley, a 182-meter long street packed with unique businesses and historic buildings.
The Best Places To Stay In New Orleans
New Orleans is a wonderfully diverse and lively city full of artists, musicians, chefs, storytellers, and the like.
Its neighborhoods are also very distinctive, from posh and stately to colorful and welcoming.
With New Orleans as diverse as it is, picking a hotel can be super stressful and time consuming. But it doesnt have to be!
If youre looking for a particular vibe for your trip to New Orleans, let me help you find the right place to stay in New Orleans, whether it be the best neighborhood or a hotel with specific features or amenities.
Keep reading to discover the best places to stay in New Orleans.
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Go For Beignets At Caf Du Monde
Beignets at Cafe du Monde are an absolute must in New Orleans. Theyre one of the many iconic things to do in the city, and good for us, theyre pretty cheap too. Just seek out the green and white striped awning down by the New Orleans market towards the river and youll see tens, if not 100s, of people enjoying the powerdery dough bites.
Top tip, pick one up as if youre about to eat it and then blow all over your friend. Always funny.
Faubourg Marigny If You Are Looking For Local Experiences
In New Orleans, if you are looking for an area with a bohemian atmosphere, laid-back vibe, and local music venues, Faubourg Marigny is the perfect neighborhood for you!
Located just a 15 minutes walk northeast of the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny will offer you nice local pubs, live music venues, trendy restaurants, and cool tattoo parlors. You will have difficulty choosing one among so many nice places!
Frenchmen Street is the main street of this area and where music lovers will go crazy. It is the heart of live music venues like jazz bars, music clubs, and walking marching bands. If this is what you are looking for in your New Orleans trip, you will have so much fun in Faubourg Marigny.
Lets check out the best accommodations in this colorful neighborhood:
- Walk along Frenchmen Street and check out nice bars, clubs, and restaurants
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I Love New Orleans Closest Thing To Being In Europe
I love New Orleans, closest thing to being in Europe. The history, the culture, the food and the friendly people make it a great destination. Lots of action, but also museums to explore and great window shopping.I never found a restaurant that I didnt like. The food is amazing in New Orleans. Also very easy to get around on foot, bus or uber.
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
This four-star hotel is minutes from Bourbon Street and near the New Orleans Convention Center. It features floor-to-ceiling windows in each guest room and suite and a rooftop pool for the ultimate view of the city and nearby Mississippi River.
On-site dining at this luxurious place to stay includes the authentic Cajun flavor found at the Roux Bistro on the main floor. It’s a great hotel for personal travel and family vacations, and the ample amount of meeting space and high-speed internet throughout the facility also makes this Sheraton ideal for business engagements.
Address: 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Whats Happening On Bourbon St
It seems like every night is Fat Tuesday on Bourbon St, and for out-of-towners thats about right. The place doesnt shut the action is always hot and the cool drinks keep on flowing. Theres plenty of stuff to do in Bourbon so heres a quick guide to the must dos.First up did you know its legal to drink on the street in New Orleans? This means you can order something your favorite beverage in a go cup and take in the sights with a cool drink. When youre done wandering, head for the Blues at the Funky Pirate at 727 Bourbon and spend time listening to the legendary Big Al Carson. Its a lesson in how to do the blues and youll walk away with a new appreciation in what raw talent looks like.Youre a tourist so you need to do tourist things and youll love the mechanical bull at the Bourbon Cowboy at 241 Bourbon. Its a big, fun bar and the best part is the balcony upstairs from which you sit back and watch all the action take place below. Youll need to get there early to secure a balcony seat.Burlesque has had a revival in the last few years and you can see how its all panning out at Irvin Mayfields Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel at 300 Bourbon. Its a fun, big show and you can make a real night of it.First, however, get excellent accommodation in the Big Easy and save your cash for big spending elsewhere.
Visitors Can Choose From An Abundance Of Delightful Options When Deciding Where To Stay In New Orleans
Trying to select where youll stay when you come to New Orleans is like trying to decide what youll eat when you get here. The menu is awesome. You just want everything.
Book a cute little shotgun B& B in the Marigny with a sweet little porch, a claw foot tub, a sleek cappuccino machine and lovely artwork on the walls.
Or stay in an opulent French Quarter hotel with floor-to-ceiling marble in the lobby, Sazeracs in the lounge and a bell boy just like the one who carried up Elvis luggage oh so many years ago.
Or maybe pick one the newer artsier hotels in the Garden District. Tasteful. Understated. Just lovely. The kind of place where the clutter of your everyday life will just disappear.
The places you can stay in New Orleans are as diverse as the city itself. Heres a start to finding your home away from home in the Crescent City.
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Most Traditional Hotel On Bourbon Street Hotel Mazarin
- Fitness center
- Onsite bar
A renovated historic building, the Hotel Mazarin has some of the most traditional decor of all the French Quarter hotels. The tiled floors, beautiful inner courtyard, and elegant chandeliers perfectly match the atmosphere of Bourbon Street.
Amidst the historic charm, you can enjoy modern comforts like a 24-hour fitness center and cozy bathrobes in the room. Top attractions like the St. Louis Cathedral and Louis Armstrong Park are within easy walking distance, and you can enjoy an extensive selection of drinks from the on-site bar to wind up the day.
Things To See And Do In Mid
- Explore the 1,300-acres of lush and magical landscapes that make up New Orleans City Park.
- See the 64 incredible sculptures that are spread throughout The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA.
- Visit the gilded statue of Joan of Arc, which dates back to the late-19th-century.
- Stop and smell the roses at the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
- Ride the colourful carousel at the Carousel Gardens.
- See your favourite characters come to life at Storyland.
- Play a round of 18 at City Putt.
- Dine on delicious seafood dishes at The Blue Crab.
- Eat incredible homestyle meals at Russells Marina Grill.
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Visit The St Augustines Church On A Sunday
I really wanted to visit a gospel church when I was in New Orleans. As well as being a fascinating cultural experience, it also proved to be a great thing to do in New Orleans on a budget.
I visited the semi-famous St Augustines Church which was just up the road from my hotel. I decided it would be an interesting anthropological study for me, to see how they do Catholicism here.
The church was beautiful from the outside. Judging by the tour buses lining up outside its definitely a thing to see in New Orleans. Inside the windows were stained glass, the altar super fancy, the usual pews and religious statues lined the room and there was a full band on stage, saxophonist and all.
I pulled up a pew at the back, with quick access to my escape, until a few seconds before it started and a couple came and pushed me up to box me in.
So the Sunday service at St Augustines goes like this: the saxophonist brings it, the lead vocalist is going for it with every space in her lungs and the front row, and randomly dotted others, have brought their arms up in praise reaching to the heavens. I find myself swaying to the song too, feeling the music through me.
And then, an amazingly fast two hours after it started, the service was over. The young priest, super cool with sunglasses and all, was stood outside waiting to shake our hands.