January 27, 2021

New Orleans: European Traditions Blend With Caribbean Influences

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6260661969_e5f08349c9_bBy Brenton Garen From Westside Today

, which extends 13 blocks in the heart of the , comes to life each night with its bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Party Continues In The Big Easy

When it comes to one of America’s most storied cities, New Orleans boasts a colorful history with a progressing future with its lively atmosphere featuring some of the best experiences, music, food, and entertainment in the United States.

Nearly nine years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005, the city has since rebuilt itself into a greater experience for visitors than ever before.

The visitor experience today has improved over what it was prior to Katrina as a result of more than 500 additional restaurants since 2005, new cultural attractions, and $336 million of improvements in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (home of the Saints).

The French Quarter remains the place to visit, especially with New Orleans’ open-container law that means you don’t have to worry about drinking in the streets.

The original settlement of New Orleans, called Vieux Carré, French Quarter or simply The Quarter, is the oldest neighborhood in the city, which was established by the French in 1718.

The district as a whole, bound by Canal Street, Decatur Street, , and Rampart Street, is a National Historic Landmark.

At the heart of the French Quarter is Bourbon Street, which is shut down to vehicles each night leaving plenty of room for visitors to walk the strip and check out the wide-ranging nightlife that feels like every night is the weekend.

Every street in the French Quarter has something to offer from classic restaurants, music venues, boutique shopping to voodoo temples. Some of the most popular areas include Royal Street, Chartres Street, and the historic French Market.

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is the number one source for information on where to stay, where to eat, and sights to see. Find them online at www.neworleanscvb.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

International House A Home Away From Home

International House celebrates contemporary New Orleans style just two blocks from the bustling French Quarter. The Panoramic Corner King room (pictured) features sweeping views of the city skyline.

With the French Quarter bustling with revelers into the early hours most nights of the week, a home away from home in a much quieter area can be found just two blocks from all the action: International House.

Upon entering the boutique hotel, the lobby is dimly lit with candles that illuminate the 23’ ceilings, ornate pilasters, and intimate groupings of furniture hand crafted by local artisans.

Each of the 117 rooms, suites, and penthouses has a spacious bathroom, architectural artifacts, and all the modern amenities: complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, Sony and Sharp LCD televisions, iHome micro-stereos, Modern Fan Company fans, and Aveda bath amenities. The hotel is also completely smoke-free.

For a little bit of added luxury, request one of the eight Panoramic Corner King rooms.

Alive with the energy of contemporary New Orleans, the lobby offers 23′ ceilings, ornate pilasters and intimate groupings of furniture hand crafted by local artisans.

Each offer perhaps the most compelling experience with 12’ ceilings and two window-walls of natural light clad in theatrical sheers and velvetine drapes, each room feels particularly spacious with sweeping views of the city’s skyline.

New OrleansThe 12-story building has a rich history. The first major incarnation began in 1906 as the Canal Louisiana Bank & Trust Co. Designed by architect General Allison Owen, it housed one of the leading financial institutions of its day, an era of remarkable wealth creation in New Orleans.

In 1943, visionary businessman Archie Jewell renovated the building to become “The International House,” the first World Trade Center in the world. Dedicated to world peace, trade, and understanding, it thrived for more than 50 years as New Orleans’ most prominent business address.

In 1998 entrepreneur Sean Cummings purchased the building. He and architect Brooks Graham transformed the building into a quintessentially boutique hotel around the idea of a forward-looking New Orleans. Renovated in fall 2007, the building continues to reassert itself as the iconic local institution and international travel destination of its day.

International House Hotel is located at 221 Camp Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. For reservations and more information, call 504.553.9550 or visit ihhotel.com.

Experience The Best Of New Orleans Culture

The City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

The best way to enjoy all the sights of New Orleans without wearing your legs out is the City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off experience.

For just $29 for a one-day ticket (children $10), visitors can hop on any of the red double-decker open-top buses with live-guided commentary between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm daily.

The tour loop is two hours with buses visiting each stop every 30 minutes.

There are 20 stops, which include all the top tourist attractions such as the French Quarter, the National World War II Museum, the Garden District, Mardi Gras World, and St. #1.

• For more information, call 800.362.1811 or visit CitySightseeingNewOrleans.com.

The future resting place of Nicholas Cage.

St. Louis Cemetery #1

Visit the tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau or of Civil Rights Leader, Homer Plessy, at St. Louis Cemetery #1, the oldest above ground cemetery in New Orleans. Located next to the French Quarter, this is true New Orleans, the Cities of the Dead, because of the unique above ground architecture in New Orleans, where you feel you are in a city unto itself.

One of the most unique sites: a brand new Pyramid tomb that will be the resting place of actor Nicholas Cage. The Latin phrase ‘Omnia Ab Uno’ (Everything From One) has been carved on the front of the concrete face.

• Basin at St. Louis Street, New Orleans. Free.

Preservation Hall is an institution for Jazz.

New Orleans’ Preservation Hall was established in 1961 to honor one of America’s truest art forms – Traditional New Orleans Jazz. Operating as a music venue, a touring band, and a non-profit organization, Preservation Hall continues its mission today as a cornerstone of New Orleans music and culture.

Situated in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street, the Preservation Hall venue presents intimate, acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts more than 350 nights a year featuring ensembles from a current collective more than 100 local master practitioners. On any given night, audiences bear joyful witness to the evolution of this venerable and living tradition. Shows are held 8 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm.

• 726 St. Peters Street, New Orleans. 504.522.2841. preservationhall.com.

Rock ‘n’ Bowl.

Looking for a unique New Orleans experience? Jump in a cab for just 10 minutes from the French Quarter to Rock’n’Bowl.

A recognized part of the New Orleans music scene by 1993, Rock ‘N’ Bowl is part bowling alley, part dance hall with live music, and part bar with food options.

Each night has a different theme, with Thursday being one of the most popular with its Zydeco theme (a musical genre evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers which blends Cajun music, blues and rhythm and blues).

The atmosphere is electric with people of all ages dancing while there are a good amount of lanes available to rent by the hour (a maximum of six people per lane) all under the same roof.

• 3000 S. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. 504.861.1700. rocknbowl.com.

The National World War II Museum is a must see for history buffs.

Celebrate the American spirit. Appreciate the teamwork, optimism, courage, and sacrifice of the men and women who won World War II for the nation. The National World War II Museum promotes the exploration and expression of these values to future generations.

In addition to the Museums exhibits, visit The Solomon Victory Theater, featuring “Beyond All Boundaries,” executive-produced by Tom Hanks, the Stage Door Canteen featuring entertainment from the WWII-era, the American Sector, a Chef John Besh Restaurant, and the Soda Shop.

• 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans. 504.528.1944. nationalww2museum.org.

Top Five Dining Spots In New Orleans


Located steps off of Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter, Arnaud’s offers classic Creole Cuisine and exemplary service in beautifully restored turn of the century dining rooms.

Since its inception in 1918, Arnaud’s has remained true to its traditions and courtesies.

Offering live Dixieland Jazz in the Jazz Bistro, romantic dinners in the Main Dining Room, cocktails in the award winning French 75 Bar, and an assortment of private French Quarter fine dining rooms, Arnaud’s offers the quintessential New Orleans dining experience.

• 813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans. 504.523.5433. arnaudsrestaurant.com.

RestaurantsPalace Café

This classic New Orleans restaurant, located at the foot of the French Quarter, serves contemporary Creole food in an upbeat and lively grand café. As bearers of the torch keeping Creole cuisine alive and vital, owner Dickie Brennan and Palace Café’s culinary team are constantly evolving traditional Creole dishes and creating a few new favorites.

The restaurant, housed in the historic Werlein’s music building, has won a number of local and national awards since it opened in 1991 including: Best New Restaurant from Esquire magazineand USA Today, the prestigious Ivy Award from Restaurants and Institutions magazine, and Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.

• 605 Canal Street, New Orleans. 504.523.1661. palacecafe.com.

Cafe-BeneitCafé Beignet

New Orleans’ two Café Beignet locations serve delicious, traditional treats: rich, tasteful coffee with crisp, sweet beignets. For those not in the know, a beignet is best described as a cross between a French pastry and an American doughnut. In New Orleans, beignets are enjoyed at a breakfast, for dessert, or any time for a special treat.

Both Café Beignet locations provide a grand cafe setting outside and in, and the best coffee and beignets anywhere. Breakfast is served all day. New Orleans cajun specialties and fried seafood are also available.

• 311 Bourbon Street, New Orleans. 504.525.2611. cafebeignet.com.

• 334-B Royal Street, New Orleans. 504.524.5530. cafebeignet.com.

Court-of-the-Two-SistersCourt of the Two Sisters

The Court of Two Sisters, a historic New Orleans restaurant, offers a daily jazz brunch and French Quarter courtyard dining, and a sumptuous selection of Creole creations. Its Jazz Brunch is a sumptuous selection of hot and cold dishes available every day in its French Quarter courtyard. As the restaurant only uses the freshest ingredients, the buffet’s selections change according to season and time of day. In the morning, a typical selection of hot dishes includes made-to-order omelets, Eggs Benedict, pancakes, hash browns, sausage, bacon and grits, and grillades.

• 613 Royal Street, New Orleans. 504.522.7261. courtoftwosisters.com.


YeOldeYe Olde College Inn

With a menu that highlights the old and inspires new creations, Ye Olde College Inn, just a 10-minute cab ride from the French Quarter, has solidified its post-Katrina mark as more than a neighborhood restaurant. Award-winning dishes, appearances on local and national television, even private dinners in Napa Valley have been a nice complement to the long history as a quintessential New Orleans restaurant and bar. Its tenderloin of beef with sauteed spinach and red wine-mushroom reduction is one of the best filets you’ll ever have.

• 3000 S. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans. 504.866.3683. collegeinn1933.com.

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