For Live Music In A Hip Setting: Ace Hotel New Orleans
This popular chain is well known for having some of the coolest hotels in America, and the Ace Hotels New Orleans outpost is no different, with a lobby that’s a fashionable music-focused space featuring suites equipped with guitars and turntables. Hit the hotels intimate on-site music venue Three Keys for live music most nights of the week.
First Time In New Orleans 12 Tourist Mistakes To Avoid
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Planning a trip to New Orleans? Great choice! Today Im sharing everything you need to know before visiting New Orleans for the first time.
Nicknamed the Big Easy, New Orleans is known for its round-the-clock nightlife, buzzing live-music scene, and spicy Cajun and Creole cuisine.
This is definitely one of the most unique and fascinating cities in the USA. If youre visiting New Orleans for the first time, today Im sharing tips and tricks to help you have an amazing trip.
With nearly 11 million visitors in 2017, its easy to see why this is such a popular travel destination. This was my first trip to New Orleans and I got the chance to experience the city during Mardi Gras celebrations. My sister and I had a blast while we were in town and found it safe to visit.
Lets be honest though, whenever youre visiting a new city, the last thing you want to do is fall for a tourist scam. If you want to enjoy an authentic trip to New Orleans, getting tricked by a silly tourist trap can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Am I right?
If youre visiting New Orleans for the first time, then use this survival guide so you can plan your trip like a pro. Use these New Orleans travel tips to help you avoid making these common travel mistakes and maximize your time in the Big Easy!
Best Neighborhoods For Exploring
Back in the day, this was the back of beyond: the bottom of the depression that is the New Orleans geographic bowl, an area of swampy lowlands and hidden gambler dens. Today? Mid-City and its adjacent neighborhoods form one of the loveliest residential areas in the city. A bike ride may be the most pleasant way to explore the “green” sections of these neighborhoods. If you cycle independently, just roll up attractive Esplanade Ave and take it all the way to City Park, stopping at St Louis Cemetery No 3 along the way. Explore the park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Starting from the southwest, near Banks St, Mid-City is a mix of commercial lots and residential blocks. Northeast is Bayou St John, ringed with historic houses, and the great green stretches of City Park. In the southeast, Esplanade Ave runs to the French Quarter, passing through the Tremé on the way.
There are loads of neighborhood restaurants out this way that serve excellent New Orleans cuisine . Local restaurants charge local prices you can eat a lot cheaper here than in the Quarter or CBD.
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Frenchmen Street Is Way Better Than Bourbon Street
Listening to live music is one of the top things to do in New Orleans. After doing some due diligence, I discovered that if you want to experience some authentic New Orleans jazz and brass, then head straight to Frenchmen Street.
New Orleans is a city that runs on music, so even if youre not a huge fan of jazz music, its worth experiencing it at least once. Some of the places I recommend checking out on Frenchmen Street include The Maison, The Spotted Cat Music Club, and Blue Nile.
Where To Stay In New Orleans Neighborhoods & Area Guide
Home of one of the most culturally fascinating and vibrant events in the world, Mardi Gras, New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana. Acknowledged for its distinct cross-cultural heritage and rich French and Spanish Creole Architecture, The Big Easy, as the city is often called, is among the oldest and the most idiosyncratic cities in the United States of America.
A major sufferer of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans continues to grow as a major tourist destination in the country. Covering both sides of the Mississippi River, the city is popular among the young for it oozes a vibrant atmosphere and fantastic nightlife. Although long reputed as an adult-oriented city, the Big Easy offers several family-friendly and child-friendly attractions and activities which encourage all sorts of travelers to pay a visit to this magnificent city.
Let us now explore some of the popular neighborhoods to help you decide where to stay in New Orleans during your visit.
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Best For Location Price And Character: Hotel St Pierre
Set among a series of restored Creole cottages, steps from the world-famous Bourbon Street, Hotel St. Pierre accommodates visitors in quaint, colonial-style rooms combining period decor with modern touches.
Beautiful landscaped courtyards and invigorating swimming pools add to the propertys character and ambiance, while complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast make it a wallet-friendly option for travelers looking to stay in the midst of it all. This boutique bed-and-breakfast is ideally located right in the heart of the action-packed French Quarter, a short stroll from the French Market and the Louis Armstrong Museum.
Sightseeing On A Monday In New Orleans
If youre planning to check out NOLAs most popular attractions on Monday, such as the aquarium and the zoo, think again.
Many of these attractions are closed on Monday. This is a mistake many people make when theyre visiting New Orleans for the first time.
Some restaurants are even closed on Mondays in New Orleans. If youre visiting the city on a Monday, I highly recommend checking to see whats open and closed so you can plan your itinerary accordingly.
Instead of paying out of pocket for travel expenses, I like to useSwagbucks to earn free gift cards.
You can get free gift cards to stores like Amazon or Walmart, which can help pay for travel gear and toiletries.
If youre not already a member, you canjoin Swagbucks for freehere.
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Stay In A Renovated Church: Hotel Peter & Paul
This show-stopping former church, schoolhouse, rectory, and convent property has risen through the ranks to establish itself as one of the best new hotels in America since opening last fall. Select from a range of impressive rooms with heavy nods to the past across the newly renovated buildings of the stunning complex in what was once the Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.
Cemeteries Of New Orleans
Early settlers had a difficult time keeping corpses down due to New Orleans high water table. They stuffed coffins with stones and filled them with water to try to keep the dearly departed dead and buried. But as the saying goes, You just cant keep a good person down!
The cemeteries of New Orleans really do remind us of the famous Paris cemeteries like Pere Lachaise, and it is no wonder, NOLA was settled by the French. As a matter a fact, New Orleans has a French Canadian connection. The French Quarter was founded by Montreal native Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville who was originally from Dieppe, France. The French culture is still very strong to this day. Today, New Orleans buries their residents above ground in cemeteries that are truly works of art.
The Best Areas To Stay In New Orleans
New Orleans cityscape at sunset with the French Quarter toward the right and the Central Business District on the left. Woldenberg Park is in the foreground along with the Mississippi River Pier.
New Orleans is a city like no other. Known for its diverse heritage, a blend of African, Caribbean, French, Spanish, Creole, Cajun, and Native American, New Orleans brims with cuisine, music, language, and architecture not found anywhere else in the world. Jazz was born here, a wild mix of West African, Caribbean, ragtime, blues, and French dance music. New Orleans food likewise incorporates the best ingredients of its local geography and eclectic residents, especially shellfish, wild game, smoked meats, mirepoix , all types of rice, and ground pepper sauces balanced with herbs. Most of New Orleans inhabitants speak English but often in the oddly New York-sounding Yat dialect only a handful speak Cajun or Creole languages. Though New Orleans is famous for its Voodoo spirituality, a combination of West African religion and Catholicism, only a small percentage of locals are devout practitioners. A few more localisms: most restaurants and bars will let you leave the premises with alcoholic beverages in plastic or paper go-cups a faubourg is a neighborhood or suburb medians between lanes of traffic are locally known as the neutral ground.
The Four Points Hotel
The Four Points Hotel is part of a hotel chain with locations all over the world, and their New Orleans location has a great added local feel to it complimented with thematic vintage decor.
What makes this one of the best New Orleans hotels for families is their focus on special programs for kids and more than enough things to do for adults while the kids are kept busy.
Enjoy some of the on-site restaurants or take a walk around the Four Points to take in some of the scenery.
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Comfort Inn & Suites Metarie
The Comfort Inn & Suites is conveniently located near Lakeside Mall, and the hotel itself boasts with great, comfortable rooms with enough space to give the kids some time on their own.
Basic ameneties like free wi-fi is available at the resort, and each room has a kitchen, TV, air-conditioning and the option of extra laundry and cleaning services if you plan for a longer stay.
Younger kids should love the huge outdoor pool, where there are occasional planned family-friendly activities and events.
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Sightseeing Without Using The Go New Orleans Pass
Visiting New Orleans for the first time can be stressful. New Orleans is a big city and theres lots of fun things to do and see. It can be challenging to plan an itinerary and determine which attractions to spend your money on.
Theyre also recommended by Expedia and the GO New Orleans Pass currently has a TrustScore of 4.4/5 on Trust Pilot. Many people have already used the GO New Orleans Pass for their NOLA trip and posted happy reviews.
With the GO New Orleans Pass, you can save time, money, and enjoy stress-free sightseeing. But dont just take my word for it. Check out these Get Your Guide reviews.
Buy the pass online to save extra money off the retail price. To buy the New Orleans Pass, to go to the official website.
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Bonus Stop: New Orleans Museum Of Art And Sculpture Garden
With so many things to do in New Orleans, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden may not be at the top of your list. But the sculpture garden is worth seeing. Spanning across 11 acres acres the gardens represent two giant wings. The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is one of New Orleans newest attractions and visitors can stroll through a serene environment of bridges and walkways connecting gardens and large-scale sculptures featuring a Mirrored Labyrinth, a sixty-foot-long mosaic wall ad LOVE Sculpture and other modern art pieces. NOMA is located at City Park quite a ways out of the city. So it might not be on your list for first time travelers to New Orleans.
Best For Fashionable Fun
This hotels funky design and cool vibes set the scene for a fabulous 21st-century stay in the Crescent City. Enjoying an enviable location in the heart of downtown, W New Orleans French Quarter boasts an atmospheric Creole-inspired bar & restaurant and a delightful European style courtyard complete with swimming pool and chic cabanas.
Whether jazz or tarot-themed, rooms blend Ws signature style with a true sense of place, spoiling guests with blissfully restful beds, minibars stocked with local beers, and state-of-the-art technology.
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Best For An Epic Group Getaway: Airbnb Apartment Rental
With a modern, fully-equipped kitchen to cook your own meals and an amazing location near Frenchmen St and the Quarter, this beautiful 2-bedroom Airbnb rental is perfect for a group getaway to New Orleans whether it be a stag/hen party, a family gathering, or a corporate event.
Perched on the top floor of a characterful 19th-century home, the penthouse is tastefully renovated and oozes rustic chic vibes, with its high ceilings, elegant white hardwood floors, and gorgeous 200-year-old oak beams.
Best For A Cultured Bourbon Street Stay: Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Home to a world-class 6,000-piece art collection, brilliant dining options, and one of the neighborhoods best jazz clubs, Royal Sonesta New Orleans is sure to be a highlight on your trip to NOLA.
This regal, resort-style hotel enjoys a prime spot on the legendary Bourbon Street, offering a world of experiences under one roof. Theres sophisticated fine dining at the award-winning Restaurant Revolution refined live shows at the swanky Jazz Playhouse and plenty of recreational opportunities around the cobbled plant-lined courtyard, where a sparkling saltwater pool awaits.
Graced with traditional French doors and wrought-iron balconies, Sonestas rooms serve as stylish respites from the never-ending party on Bourbon Street. These range from classically elegant to uncompromisingly modern, but all are rewardingly comfortable and complete with topnotch amenities.
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Useful Information About New Orleans For Cruise Passengers
If you do plan to stay a night or more in New Orleans, the city has hundreds of options for any budget from landmark hotels in the heart of downtown to quiet inns in beautiful residential neighborhoods.
Many of the citys hotels are a short drive or walk from the cruise terminals and are easily accessible by public transit. Several hotels also offer packages with parking if you are driving and shuttle buses.
New Orleans cruise terminals are close to major attractions, including the French Quarter and Central Business District.
You can travel to and from the terminal by taxi or with an Uber or Lyft. Public transit is also an option, including the Riverfront streetcar line.
Our hotel lists are organized based on distance and amenities, from options within walking distance of the cruise terminals to those with free shuttle service to and from the airport.
You can also look at luxury and unique hotels or search based on location, including the French Quarter and Garden District.
Were confident you will find the perfect place to stay during your visit to New Orleans.
Downtown New Orleans, or the Central Business District area includes soaring office towers as well as the historic Warehouse District with top galleries and museums. Many of the citys landmark hotels are based in the CBD, steps from the French Quarter.
Please contact us if any information is incorrect or not up-to-date.
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For A Hotel In The Heart Of It All: Hotel Monteleone
This 570-room historic landmark, built in 1886, is one of the most spectacular hotels in the South. It has hosted a number of big-name American authors over the years including Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. Take a dip in the swanky rooftop pool before heading down for a drink at the hotels legendary Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge, where the bar stools revolve under carousel hoardings as you drink.
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Best Hotel In Faubourg Marigny: Lamothe House Hotel
The Lamothe House Hotel is a bright, colorful, and exquisitely charming property located near Faubourg Marigny. It has a sun-soaked terrace, a stylish lounge bar, and an awesome outdoor swimming pool.
This hotel is also a short walk to Bourbon Street, the French Market, and many of New Orleans most famous attractions.
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.
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A Little Help Planning Our Nola Experiences
It can be overwhelming when arriving in a new city and with so many things to do in New Orleans its difficult deciding where to start. But the Concierge staff at the InterContinental New Orleans helped us plan our complete New Orleans itinerary. This was the most we ever put a concierge to work before and now that we see what they can do well be using them a lot more in our future travels indeed. So with our map of New Orleans in hand and a solid plan, we set out to explore the city.