New Orleans, Louisiana, is the city of gumbo and jambalaya; of never-ending nights spent drinking, dancing, and laughing; of piping hot, powdered beignets washed down with cups of café au lait; of jazz bands playing on every corner, each sweet note laced with the street’s rich stories—many of which are difficult to tell, but which also ring with pride, odes to a place that has been through years of turmoil and yet always remained triumphant.
You may have strolled down Bourbon Street and been to a Mardi Gras parade or two, but there exists a Crescent City beyond what you may already know—and here, we’ve got the best ways to help you experience it.
Much like its people, hotels in New Orleans pride themselves on heritage: Each has a little something special to it, their ties to the city’s rich history woven into the architecture, the decor, or even the structure of the buildings themselves. No matter what aesthetics you prefer—something a little more modern, more Southern, more avant-garde—there’s a place for you just around the corner from the city’s best restaurants, attractions, and more.
You don’t know Southern comforts until you’ve rounded out your belly with a heaping plate of New Orleans’s best dishes: red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, crawfish, po’boys, and more, all in servings fit for a king. (Our mouths are watering just typing it all out.) No matter the time of day, you’d better come hungry: The brunches, lunches, dinners, and late night bites are all equally delicious and beg for second helpings.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for! The French Quarter tends to be the tourist go-to, and for good reason: the beautifully chaotic energy is often just what the doctor ordered. But if you’d rather spend an evening dancing, drinking, and generally mingling with locals, it may be time to look beyond the busy bars of Bourbon Street and try imbibing in one of these lesser-known (but equally as energetic) alcoves.
The primary draw of New Orleans isn’t only in the things you can see, eat, or drink, but also in the relentless spirit of the people who live here: No matter how far you travel, you will be hard-pressed to meet locals more proud of where they come from than those that come from New Orleans. The artists, whether this home is one born-and-bred or chosen, are especially proud of their city, where people from all walks of life come together through art, music, and community to find beauty even in chaos.
Welcome to one of the American South’s most beautiful and historic towns. Roam the French Quarter, explore City Walk, go shopping on Magazine Street, or head on down to the Audubon Zoo: Whatever you choose, you’re bound for a good time.