New Orleans Hotels
There are plenty of fantastic hotels to choose from in New Orleans. From large international chain hotels to intimate guest houses and small quirky hotels, there is something to meet every taste and budget. Much of New Orleans’s accommodation is concentrated around the CBD and the French Quarter. If you are looking to save money on your New Orleans vacation, some great bargains can be found during the summer (June to August) and over the Christmas holidays as this when hotel rates are at their lowest. While hotel rooms are plentiful throughout the year, they book up quickly when the town is hosting a convention or during Mardi Gras and Jazzfest.
Many people heading to New Orleans choose to stay in the French Quarter and it is easy to see why. With great shopping opportunities and architecture to keep you occupied during the day and awesome restaurants and lively night scene to explore in the evening, the French Quarter is a destination in its own right!
Larger hotels with more amenities can be found in the CBD, including popular chain hotels. Hotels here are geared towards the needs of business travelers as well as those on vacation.
Uptown New Orleans has some excellent accommodations which are worth taking into account including traditional, grand guesthouses. Although New Orleans is a very compact town, if you choose a hotel in the Uptown area, the French Quarter is slightly out of reach. Nevertheless, you can always take the iconic St Charles streetcar to the French Quarter.
Things to do in New Orleans
Besides the well-known attraction of Mardis Gras, one of the most respected festivals to experience is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This is held every year during the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. This extravaganza has been going strong since 1970 and is the second-largest in comparison to the annual Mardi Gras. Attendees can experience a true taste of New Orleans jazz and blues. Cajun, gospel music, folk rock and gospel are likewise all represented here. Boasting nearly 500,000 visitors each year, this festival should not be missed.
The history of this city also attracts countless visitors each and every year. While Hurricane Katrina unfortunately took its toll, there are still countless examples of classical architecture. Some of the most famous are to be found in the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, Treme and Bywater. Alongside older homes and buildings, a few notable cemeteries are also able to be visited. One of the largest can be found in the Uptown and Mid-City districts. While guided tours are certainly available, many will simply choose to experience these sights on foot. One important region that was somewhat spared from the hurricane is a location known as “Downriver”.
Echoing the spirit of Mark Twain, a final excursion to be experienced is a riverboat cruise. There are many vessels which depart from New Orleans. Some will last a few hours while the duration of others can be a full day or longer. Staying true to tradition, some boats will have a live jazz band on board during the trip. These are great options for anyone who wishes to partake in three of the most important attractions in New Orleans: food, drink and music. The sights to be seen along the way should still not be missed. These include the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas. Such cruises are excellent ways to escape the hustle and bustle of the city itself.