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A Walking Guide to the French Quarter Fest

french-quarter-fest
Bonerama by David Fary

You could — and probably should — spend $105 or more for a one-day ticket to Jazz Fest this spring (we’re quoting the latest at-the-gate price). But you should also consider coming to New Orleans a few weeks earlier, from Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14, 2024, for the largest free music festival in the south that celebrates its 41st anniversary this year.

During French Quarter Festival, the weather is better (read: less hot); there are plenty of restaurants where you can escape the crowds and relax over a meal — and, did we mention the festival is entirely free?

These are just a few reasons why over 875,000 music fans (the 2023 number) get their groove on at French Quarter Fest, and there are 300 more reasons for you to come this year. That’s how many performances will be held on 22 stages scattered throughout the French Quarter, playing traditional jazz, zydeco, and every Louisiana music genre in between.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of four days of music spread across multiple stages, that’s totally understandable. Here’s your walking guide to the French Quarter Festival — so you can plan your day for minimum trekking and maximum music enjoyment.

2-minute walk from Hotel Place d’Armes: Jackson Square

Don’t be surprised if you can hear the St. Louis Cathedral bells ringing from the hotel lobby — that’s because you’re literally steps away from Jackson Square, which hosts the outdoor stage. Jackson Square’s palm-tree-lined park offers a shady place to dance the day away, and don’t forget to swing by the Pirates Alley Cafe while you’re at it. Pirates Alley was one of William Faulkner’s favorite hangouts — he used to live and write there.

Jackson Square is also the spot for the festival’s opening ceremony. The festival kicks off on Thursday, April 11, 2024, with a parade starting at 10 a.m. in the 200 block of Bourbon Street and making its way to Jackson Square for an opening ceremony.

3-minute walk: Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street is bustling, it’s bawdy, and no trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit. Fortunately, several stages in the 300-700 blocks provide ample excuses to indulge in this booze-soaked thoroughfare.

5-minute walk: Royal Street

On any given day, sections of Royal Street are closed to traffic. Buskers, bands and other performers fill the streets while pedestrians browse antique shops, galleries and boutiques. But French Quarter Fest pushes Royal Street’s everyday ambiance to a new level. You’ll find several music stages nestled in the 400-700 blocks of Royal Street.

10-minute walk: Woldenburg Park

This narrow, grassy strip overlooking the Mississippi River is where you’ll find the lion’s share of the action, with musicians on four main stages pumping out the jams.

The outlier is a stage at Spanish Plaza, which is located at the southernmost end of Woldenberg Park, by The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. It’s about a 15-minute walk to this stage, so while you’re out there, you can scoop up some bargains at retailers including Neiman Marcus Last Call and Nordstrom Rack.

12-minute walk: Old U.S. Mint

Functioning as a branch mint of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861, this historic building now hosts a Jazz Museum. During the French Quarter Fest, you’ll find two stages there. A first-aid station, restrooms, ATM, merch shop, bike parking, and food tents round out the offerings at this oh-so-essential stop.

It’s also situated near the Decatur Street stages and is right on the edge of the French Quarter, where the funky, music-club-lined Frenchmen Street begins. After dark, head this way to keep the party going at legendary venues like The Spotted Cat, Blue Nile, and d.b.a.

What else you need to know and what’s new for 2024

New stages

Considering the ever-growing popularity of the festival, this year the festival organizers are providing two new stages, the DJ Stage and the Culinary Stage.

Music lineup

The who-is-who of the local music scene is returning or joining this year. Expect beyond excellence when it comes to the French Quarter Fest music lineup. That includes Irma Thomas, Ivan Neville, Little Freddie King, George Porter Jr., Charmaine Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., Kermit Ruffins, The Soul Rebels, Big Freedia, and many more who will be performing on stages stretching from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue. Check out the full music schedule on the fest’s website.

Food vendors

As in the previous year, expect a mouthwatering melting pot of traditional New Orleans dishes such as fried shrimp or catfish, stuffed crabs, locally brewed beers, meat pies, crawfish macaroni and cheese, and hot sausage po-boys. Beyond that, there will be plenty of global flavors.

The food and beverage vendors are set up in several locations throughout the French Quarter: Jackson Square, the Jazz Museum at the Mint, JAX Brewery, and Woldenberg Riverfront Park.

Our favorite vendors that are returning include Jacques-Imo’s Cafe, Tujague’s Restaurant, Plum Street Snoballs, 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant, Pat O-Brien’s, Miss Linda the Yakamein Lady, Desire Oyster Bar, Couvant, Morrow’s, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, Addis NOLA, Cochon King BBQ, and many more.

This year, Bao Mi and Paco’s Tacos will have their culinary debut at the festival along with Miss River and Fritai Nola.

Also, if you see an orange “Eat Fit” sticker next to the food item, it means that it’s part of a special menu that focuses on lighter fare like lean proteins, vegetables, plant-based fats, and whole grains, with no white carbs and minimal added sugar. Fourteen vendors are participating in this program this year. Examples include crab, artichoke and citrus salad from Jacques-Imo’s Cafe, and sugar-free raspberry and sugar-free pink lemonade from Plum Street Snoballs.

Special events

Don’t miss the special events at the Fest! Besides the parade and the opening ceremony, those include free dance lessons, Children’s STEM Zone, French Quarter Fest After Dark programming from 9 p.m. till midnight at various local venues, a choir concert at St. Louis Cathedral, the 2024 French Quarter Fest Official Poster signing, interviews, and more. Here’s a full list of special events.

Street closures and getting around

In addition to increased traffic, some streets will be closed for the duration of the festival beginning at approximately noon until 8:30 p.m. (Those who live in the area will need to get access passes from the NOPD Eighth District Station.)

The streets that will be closing are Iberville, N. Rampart, Dumaine, and Decatur. We suggest that instead of driving, you use RTA buses, streetcars, rideshare services bikes, cabs, or the ferry to get to the festival.

The poster

You can buy the official 2024 poster at one of the four merch booths at the festival, and then online starting on April 22.

The navigation app

To streamline your music experience and navigation, you can download an app on the fest’s website (either for IOS or Android).

And, finally…

  • The live-music hours every day of the festival are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • No coolers and ice chests, please. Help keep the festival free by purchasing food and beverages at the festival.
  • And yes, we’ll say it again: The fest is free unless you opt to buy a pass for a VIP experience.

Planning a trip to New Orleans to attend the French Quarter Festival?

Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! See you at the French Quarter Fest!

Top 5 Reasons to Visit New Orleans in the Fall

Fall in New Orleans is some of the best times to visit for many reasons, including these top five below.

1. The Weather Is Glorious

Fall in New Orleans is like a breath of fresh air. The dog days of summer, which last deep into September, give way to milder weather. While you probably won’t need a jacket in the daytime, evening temps can dip to the low 60s in October and the low 50s in November, so pack some light outerwear. Lagniappe: Less rain falls in the city in autumn than at any other time of year.

2. Fall Festivals Abound

In the fall, foodies chow down at the Beignet Festival and the National Fried Chicken Festival; culture mavens celebrate Art for Art’s Sake and the New Orleans Film Festival; and music fans get down at the Tremé Fall Festival. The city also celebrates German food, music, and beer during the three weekend-long Oktoberfest.

3. It’s Hauntingly Fun

Boo! Halloween isn’t just one day in New Orleans, where the veil between the living and dead is paper thin. It’s an entire season, filled with balls, costume parties, and multiple parades. Krewe of Boo, the city’s official Halloween parade, kicks off the season in mid-October with an extravaganza of family-friendly monster floats that throw scads of plush toys and candy. On October 31, join a more Bohemian street parade and block party on Decatur Street and dive into the throngs of costumed revelers on Frenchmen Street, which rages till the wee hours.

4. November Is a Thanksgiving Cornucopia

Thanksgiving is just the final course of a month’s worth of food festivals in November. Sample more than 50 varieties of New Orleans’ most iconic sandwich at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, and scarf your gumbo with a side of brass bands at Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival. Then don a fabulous hat and hit Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds Race Course for the opening day races, a New Orleans see-and-be-seen tradition where you can feast on a sumptuous buffet in the clubhouse whilst betting on the ponies.

5. It’s Football Season!

New Orleanians bleed black and gold, but you don’t have to be a Saints fan to cheer your favorite teams on to glory. College sports fans converge on Thanksgiving weekend for the Bayou Classic, when longtime rivals Grambling State and Southern University clash in the Superdome.

Catch your own home team in action-packed Quarter sports bars like American Sports Saloon (1200 Decatur St.); Jimani Lounge & Restaurant (141 Chartres St.); and The Corner Oyster House (500 St. Peters St.). But be forewarned: If your team’s playing the Saints, you might be in for a little friendly roasting.

Planning a trip to New Orleans this summer? Book your reservation today with Place d’Armes Hotel! Just minutes from exciting summer festivals, events, restaurants, shops, bars, and more, the Place d’Armes is ideally located in the heart of the city, the historic French Quarter.

New Orleans Summer Festivals

trumpet players New Orleans

Here’s what’s on tap for the upcoming summer months in terms of festivals and other fun events you should consider attending if you’re visiting New Orleans this summer.

Enjoy Music Like Never Before

Music has been an integral part of New Orleans history, culture and traditions. It comes as no surprise that people come from near and far to experience the unique music scene in this culturally diverse city. This summer, you will have the opportunity to hear outstanding live music at a number of local festivals.

ESSENCE Festival, taking place June 29 – July 3, 2023, over the Independence Day weekend, will be returning this year to the Caesars Superdome for the nightly concerts, plus there will be a packed schedule of free daytime events at the Convention Center, including motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demos, and lots more.

Expect a stellar music lineup of major headliners and the best of the local talent. This year, the spotlight is on hip-hop to honor its 50th anniversary.

The traditional Sunday Gospel Celebration at the Convention Center will feature the greatest gospel hits, and ESSENCE After Dark, a series of late-night jam sessions, comedy shows, underground performances, live podcast recordings, and more, is returning once again to the Superdome.

Since ESSENCE is so much more than music, a slew of exciting conferences, exhibitions, roundtables, and other experiences is also scheduled, including a series of keynotes. The celebrated ESSENCE Eats will once again have cooking demos and a food court with vendors from all over the South.

Another music festival of note is Satchmo SummerFest (August 5-6, 2023), which started as a tribute to Louis Armstrong on his 100th birthday. The two-day festival is held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the foot of Esplanade Avenue and will have music all weekend on its two outdoor, tented stages. Other events will include a Sunday morning jazz mass at the historic St. Augustine Church in Tremé, seminars and film screenings, kid’s activities, and a second-line parade on Sunday.

More Exciting New Orleans Summer Events and Festivals

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on July 14-16, 2023, except the “bulls” are the Big Easy Rollergirls. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans pays annual homage to the world-famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, running through the CBD starting at the Sugar Mill on Saturday, July 15, 2023. Check out the schedule on the event’s website for the annual opening and closing parties happening that weekend.

If cocktails are your thing, be sure to check out Tales of the Cocktail (July 23-28, 2023), a six-day festival full of special events, tastings and seminars — all geared towards sharing ideas and techniques of cocktail-making. The theme this year is “Vitalize,” and the Spirited Dinner series will feature special cocktail and food menus at restaurants across the city. The festival’s signature annual blowout, the “best of” Spirited Awards, will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2023, followed by the always-popular after-party.

The fun doesn’t stop there, of course. The White Linen Night (Saturday, August 5, 2023), its cousin Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 12.2023), the Red Dress Run (also on Saturday, August 12, 2023), Southern Decadence (August 31 – September 4, 2023), and the monthlong COOLinary will all be making their way to New Orleans this August.

Finding a New Orleans Hotel Close to It All

Planning a trip to New Orleans this summer? Book your reservation today with Place d’Armes Hotel! Just minutes from exciting summer festivals, events, restaurants, shops, bars, and more, the Place d’Armes is ideally located in the heart of the city, the historic French Quarter.

Feel the Thrill at Running of the Bulls in New Orleans

Experience the thrill of a lifetime at this year’s Running of the Bulls (San Fermin in Nueva Orleans) festival, a unique spin on the traditional event that takes place in Pamplona, Spain. We think it’s safe to say New Orleans’ version is a lot less dangerous — and maybe even more fun!

On the weekend of July 14-16, 2023, the runners and the “bulls” will come from all over to partake in this exciting festival that involves runners who wear all white with the exception of a red piece of cloth, running from the bulls, who are actually the Big Easy Rollergirls with wiffle ball bats.

Running of the Bulls takes place in the Central Business District in downtown New Orleans, and features a number of delicious local restaurants, food carts, and drinks for you to consume while you are out in the streets defending yourself from the ruthless bulls.

On the day of the run, Saturday, July 15, 2023, the fun starts as early as 6:30 a.m., centering around the Sugar Mill (1021 Convention Center Blvd.). Live music, sangria and food trucks will help get the party started, and, after the Procession of San Fermin (Pamplona’s patron saint) and the Invocation, the run begins at 8 a.m. sharp.

Running of the Bulls is not just meant for the runners and the bulls to enjoy — spectators are more than welcome to this public event. And there will be plenty to see, as the bulls will be chasing after the slowest runners first, whacking them with wiffle ball bats. (This part is similar to the traditional Spanish festival, minus the actual goring from the live bulls.)

While many of these feisty bulls will be sporting black and red horns and various accouterments, you will have the chance to see some wild and ornate costumes from both bulls and runners. This is New Orleans, after all.

The route begins and ends at the Sugar Mills, and the run will end around 11:30 a.m. A live music show back at the Sugar Mill will follow. After that, you can attend the traditional La Fiesta de Pantalones, (venue TBA) starting at 11:00 a.m., or just stick around to join the other revelers to partake in some downtown bar crawling.

Also, don’t miss the festival’s opening and closing parties. The opening party takes place on Friday, July 14, 2023, (venue TBA) from 6 to 9 p.m. Called El Txupinazo (and pronounced “el choo-pin-AHT-so”), it features a live auction, music, and food from some of the top local restaurants.

The Ernest Hemingway-themed closing party, called El Pobre de Mi (“Poor Me”), will wrap things up on Sunday, July 16, 2023, (venue TBA) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be your chance to recover from the run with burlesque, cocktails, and a Papa Hemingway look-alike contest.

Don’t miss your chance to participate in a unique New Orleans experience! Grab your festival tickets today, and reserve your spot at the Place d’Armes Hotel, conveniently located in the New Orleans French Quarter.

Top 5 French Quarter Historic Places

New Orleans is a city full of rich culture and history. The French Quarter in particular has a great deal of historical significance, with several important attractions located within its boundaries.

If you are visiting New Orleans, you will not want to miss out on visiting some of the city’s most famous historical landmarks. Here is a list of the top five historic spots in the French Quarter we recommend checking out.

1. Old Ursuline Convent Museum

Regardless of whether you are a history buff or looking to expand your knowledge of New Orleans history, you will enjoy a tour of one of the greatest historic spots in the French Quarter.

The Old Ursuline Convent is the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley, built on Chartres Street back in 1752. This building has worn many hats over the centuries and was once a convent, orphanage, and even a makeshift hospital.

Now, you can tour the inside of this beautiful building, where you will see oil paintings featuring past archbishops, bronze busts, a hand-crafted cypress staircase, and many religious statues.

Ursaline Convent in New Orleans

2. St. Louis Cathedral

Often found in the front and center of many photographs and logos for New Orleans, the iconic St. Louis Cathedral is one of the city’s most notable landmarks. Situated between the Cabildo and the Presbytere, it overlooks Jackson Square, towering over its neighbors with its famous triple steeples. Also, did you know? The St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the United States.

St. Louis Cathedral French Quarter

3. The Cabildo

The Cabildo is a magnificent Spanish colonial building that neighbors the St. Louis Cathedral and is home to many rare artifacts of America’s rich history. Among these artifacts is the famous Napoleon’s death mask, one of just four remaining in existence.

You will also find an 1839 self-portrait by Julien Hudson on display at the Cabildo. Hudson was a free man of color and was one of many during the Antebellum period who worked as a professional artist in New Orleans.

The Cabildo was also the site of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which finalized the United States’ acquisition of the Louisiana territory and doubled the size of the nation.

The Cabildo in New Orleans

4. Old Absinthe House

For nearly 200 years, the Old Absinthe House bar has been a staple for New Orleanians. Here you will find antique chandeliers, along with jerseys and helmets of football legends.

Authentic marble fountains with brass faucets that were once used to drop water over sugar cubes into glasses of absinthe align the bar that seats patrons along the rail. You will have the chance to sample a wide variety of fine malt scotches, house specialties, and, of course, absinthe at this eccentric and historically significant bar.

Old Absinthe House in New Orleans

5. Place d’Armes

We may be biased, but our hotel is truly a piece of French Quarter history and is a registered historic landmark.

In 1725, Father Raphael De Luxembourg Capuchin opened the first school in French colonial Louisiana, teaching students of all ages where the Place d’Armes now stands.

Some of the best things to do in New Orleans are just minutes away from our beautiful hotel. The Place d’Armes hotel itself is an experience, with its restored 18th and 19th-century buildings that surround tropical courtyards, fountains, and an inviting swimming pool.

Be sure to book your room at the Place d’Armes Hotel, a beautiful French Quarter hotel conveniently located close to many historical destinations and attractions. Some of the best things to do in New Orleans are waiting just outside the front door!

Place d'Armes Hotel in New Orleans

Top Tours to Try When You’re a Guest at the Place d’Armes French Quarter Hotel

Top Tours to Try When You're a Guest at the Place D'armes French Quarter Hotel

Maybe we’re biased, but we don’t think any other city does tours quite like New Orleans. This city’s historical and cultural significance is well known around the world, adding to the many reasons why New Orleans is so special and unique.

Because of its endless amount of wonderment and mystery, some first-time visitors find themselves in awe. This is where tours come in. There are some types of tours you might be familiar with that are popular in New Orleans: history tours, home and garden tours, and even ghost tours. Take a look at some of our favorite tours in and around the French Quarter.

Bike Tours

Did you know that, increasingly, New Orleans is a biking city? Multiple nights a week, there are mass rides and bar crawls for those who rather leisurely take their time as they ride. Luckily enough for you, New Orleans provides many opportunities to see this enchanting city, which seems to be stuck in some sort of time capsule, on your own set of two wheels.

While riding down a bike lane in this bike-friendly city, you can take in all of the historic landmarks, unique architecture, and, of course, maybe a dive bar or two. Go for a spin and explore quintessential New Orleans neighborhoods such as the Marigny and the Bywater.

If you prefer more greenery, then don’t miss an opportunity to ride through the Garden District where you will find some of the city’s most beautiful homes and gardens.

Personally, we recommend the two-hour French Quarter tour where you can hit a number of landmarks we’ve already mentioned including the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Mississippi River and the Creole Queen, the French Market, Cafe du Monde, Jackson Square, and the St. Louis Cathedral.

Cemetery Tours

Maybe you wouldn’t think it if you hadn’t been to the city before, but in New Orleans, cemeteries are large tourist attractions. To some, especially since the airing of American Horror Story’s third, New Orleans-based season, Coven, this isn’t much of a surprise. New Orleans has a deep and extensive occult history, grounded in the practices of voodoo.

Due to a high water table as well as low sea levels, New Orleans is famous for its aboveground tombs, which are often referred to as “cities of the dead.” With New Orleans’ unconventional burial practices, it is no wonder travelers would have a piqued interest to explore the city’s relationship with death and the afterlife.

There are dozens of cemeteries throughout the city, but the majority of tours will take you through St. Louis Cemetery #1 where you will find the graves of famous New Orleans residents, such as Marie Laveau.

City Sightseeing Tours

You may have seen that big, red double-decker bus coming down one of the streets in New Orleans’ biggest neighborhoods: the French Quarter, the Garden District, or the Central Business District.

The City Sightseeing Tour is great for any tourist who is visiting New Orleans for the first time. It’s like a catch-all for New Orleans history, architecture, and culture. You might be thinking that this tour would take a significant amount of time away from your other plans. You know, New Orleans was founded in 1718, and its battle between French and Spanish influence is enough to make anyone exhausted. It really is a lot to cover!

Surprisingly enough though, this tour only lasts two hours, which leaves you plenty of time to explore the other facets the city is so well known for, like music, cuisine, and nightlife.

Walking Tours 

New Orleans is the perfect city for walking. Not only is it flat and relatively easy to navigate, but you also have plenty of scenery along the way with the stunning French and Spanish architecture that differs drastically from the aesthetic of other modern cities.

Hear the brass band on the street corner or the click-clack of tapdancing feet, marvel at the stillness of the human statues, who have painted themselves entirely in gold or silver, smell the fresh scent of to-die-for cuisine, or listen to the buzz of the crowd. On your tour, you’ll discover how sensory the city really can be.

French Quarter Walking Tours are among the most popular, taking you to some of the most iconic landmarks of the city. Whether you’ve been to New Orleans or not, nothing is more charming than making your way down cobblestone streets as you watch the red Canal Street streetcars pass by, slow and steady like the locals that walk the street. (No one is ever really in a rush here.)

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, or you just loved that cemetery tour so much that you just had to learn more, don’t hesitate to try out any number of the New Orleans ghost and haunted history tours. New Orleans has a long history of hauntings and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most “Haunted Cities in America.”

Whichever walking tour you happen to choose, you can uncover the extraordinary history of the city at your own leisure.

Place d’Armes invites you to take advantage of exclusive seasonal savings on our room rates! Book today and experience the true New Orleans spirit with this French Quarter Hotel.

The French Quarter on $20

French Quarter Under $20 Beignets by Matt Forcey
Beignets by Matt Forcey

The Crescent City is surprisingly affordable all year round, and the bulk of its fun, free activities are concentrated in the French Quarter near Place d’Armes Hotel. In fact, it’s entirely possible to spend a day exploring, eating and sightseeing in the Vieux Carre without spending more than $20. Here’s your itinerary — laissez le bon temps roulez!

Cafe du Monde

800 Decatur St.

Cost: $6.79 (beignets and cafe au lait)

Cafe du Monde is an institution and for good reason: the Vieux Carre coffee stand has been slinging beignets since 1862. There are no reservations at the 24/7 joint — just find a table and take a seat. Order a cup of hot cafe au lait and a steaming plate of beignets (fried French donuts topped with a small mountain of confectioner’s sugar).

Dig in while listening to jazz music drifting over from Jackson Square and feeling the breeze off the nearby Mississippi River. It’s a priceless experience, but it will only set you back about $7 (be sure to bring cash and don’t forget to leave a few bucks on the table for a tip).

Central Grocery & Deli

923 Decatur St.

Cost: $13.95 (half of the muffuletta)

Layered with Italian deli meats, provolone cheese and olive salad and served on a seeded bun, a muffuletta sandwich is an original New Orleans creation, and Central Grocery invented it. Line up at the historic grocer and deli to try one. Word to the wise: a whole muffuletta is enough to feed two people, so opt for a half-sandwich. Bring it to the Moonwalk for a riverside picnic that won’t set you back much cash and that will keep you happily full for hours.

M.S. Rau

622 Royal St.

Cost: Free

Every item at the auction house looks like it costs at least a quarter of a million dollars, but a visit is free. If you walk through the spacious back area, you’ll find a room filled with priceless antiques and oddities, including 18th-century French mantels, statuary, and elaborate player pianos.

The Algiers Ferry

2 Canal St.

Cost: $2.00 ($4.00 round trip)

Admiring the passing riverboats on the Mississippi, but short on cash? There’s a way you can cruise the Mississippi for a fraction of the cost of admission to a paddlewheeler. It’s called the Algiers Ferry, and it’s your portal to the West Bank.

Pay $2.00 cash to board the double-decker ferry, which docks at the foot of Canal Street, near the Aquarium of the Americas. Lean against the railing as the ferry pulls away, and enjoy sweeping views of downtown. The St. Louis Cathedral’s spires never look as beautiful as when viewed from the river.

After the five-minute ride to the West Bank concludes, you can walk around Algiers Point, New Orleans’ second-oldest neighborhood, and stroll the Jazz Walk of Fame on the Mississippi River levee.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

419 Decatur St.

Cost: Free

Want to soak up some Crescent City history? Visit the Historic New Orleans Collection’s free exhibits for an up-close, visual history of the city.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

5 Spots for Breakfast and Brunch Near Place d’Armes Hotel in the French Quarter

5 Spots for Breakfast and Brunch Near Place d'Armes Hotel in the French Quarter

There’s something special about exploring the streets of New Orleans and wandering into a restaurant for breakfast or lunch. Whether you’re looking for traditional American fare or Creole and Cajun-inspired recipes the city’s dining scene provides endless options, particularly in the French Quarter. These five spots cater to every taste, from bacon and eggs to elegant French pastries.

Croissant D’Or Patisserie

617 Ursuline Avenue, French Quarter

This quiet, French-inspired bakery and café is perfect for early risers, opening at 7 a.m. Guests enjoy a quaint interior and courtyard as they sample fresh pastries, quiches, cakes, and sandwiches. During the Carnival season, one of the cafe’s most popular items is a French king cake – flaky layers of puff pastry separated by almond paste. The delicate and butterfly flavor is the opposite of the cinnamon-forward, sugar-coated version typically served in celebration of Mardi Gras (though both are delicious). Decadent lunch/brunch options include quiches, sandwiches, and savory crepes.

Horn’s Eatery

2440 Chartres Street, Marigny

Horn’s offers a perfect mix of quirky, local flavor with traditional breakfast and lunch options. This brunch spot in the Marigny has minimal outdoor seating – three or four tables on the sidewalk, along with a cozy interior dining room with modern decor.

The menu is an extensive list of basic breakfast options like eggs, waffles and pancakes to more decadent, complicated concoctions with New Orleans flare, like waffles cochon or grilled veggies and grits.

Stanley

547 St. Ann Street, French Quarter

Stanley serves New Orleans-style breakfast and brunch all day, from a location abutting Jackson Square with views of the Cathedral and the hustle and bustle along the Riverfront. Menu options reflect the influence of Creole and Cajun cuisine on otherwise standard American fare. The eggs Benedict comes in the form of a po-boy, and the French toast comes with bananas Foster. Stanley also offers house-made ice creams and Italian sodas.

The Ruby Slipper

204 Decatur Street, French Quarter; 2001 Burgundy Street, Marigny

Husband and wife owners Jennifer and Erich Weishaupt started the restaurant in 2008 in Mid-City, and now there are six locations around the city alone (with more in Baton Rouge and out of state). Affordable, everyday options like eggs, pancakes, and French toast dominate the menu, but there’s an attention to detail and New Orleans-inspired flare that makes it different from breakfast restaurants outside the city.

The mix-and-match benedicts are wildly popular, with options including eggs cochon – with slow-cooked pork, eggs, and hollandaise on a biscuit, as well as the Chicken St. Charles – fried chicken, eggs, and a tasso cream sauce. Lines here tend to be long, but the breakfast-focused cocktail menu keeps the crowd patient.

Toast

1035 Decatur Street, French Quarter

From the owners of Tartine, this is one of the two locations (the other one is in Gentilly near the racetrack). You can linger with an omelet sipping a cafe au lait or grab a latte and a pastry to go — either way, expect excellent French-leaning food. All breads, jams, custards, and curds are made in-house daily.

Fittingly, there are three French toast options on the menu, including the king cake version filled with cinnamon cream cheese, with Mardi Gras sprinkles on top. Another standout is Toast’s signature aebleskiver, a puffy Danish-style pancake ball, served with lemon curd, jam, maple syrup, and caramel (or other sauces) for dipping.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

Kid-Friendly Activities Near the Place d’Armes French Quarter Hotel

Kid-friendly Activities Near the Place D'armes French Quarter Hotel
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas by Gary J. Wood on Flickr

Don’t be fooled by New Orleans’ hard-partying reputation. Beyond the 24/7 bars and Bourbon Street debauchery, there’s a culturally rich, historic, and yes, kid-friendly city to explore. That goes double for the French Quarter, which is a tourist destination as well as a living, breathing neighborhood with residents of all ages.

It might not be the whitewashed version you’ll find in Disneyland — which is all the better for travelers in search of authenticity. Round up the kids and head to the following destinations. The little ones will have so much fun, they won’t realize how much they’re learning.

Ride the streetcar

The expanded streetcar routes mean you have options when contemplating this historic and affordable (a day pass, or Jazzy Pass, is $3) mode of transportation. Want to check out mansions on St. Charles Avenue and end at the Audubon Zoo? Hop on the St. Charles streetcar at the foot of Bourbon and Canal Streets.

If you prefer to cruise up Canal Street to Mid-City, where City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Sculpture Garden await, pay the $1.25 fare and climb aboard the Canal Street line.

For those who prefer to stay closer to home, the Riverfront streetcar glides from end to end of the French Quarter. (Tip: Red streetcars are air-conditioned and handicapped-accessible, while the older green streetcars are not.)

Shop at the French Market

2 French Market Place

New Orleans’ oldest outdoor market (a fixture since 1791) offers everything under the sun: tie-dyed sarongs, local produce, Zippo lighters, sterling silver jewelry, sunglasses, alligator heads, body jewelry, and more. You’ll find souvenirs and travel essentials you may have forgotten at home in this five-block stretch of vendors. It’s hard not to be entertained by this open-air market, but a scavenger hunt or souvenir allowance can make it even more exciting for kids.

Go to the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium and Aquarium of the Americas

423 Canal St. and 1 Canal St.

Kids can hold stingrays, parakeets and butterflies at these two offshoots of the Audubon Institute. The Aquarium of the Americas offers a mini version of an Amazon rainforest, while the Insectarium’s Butterfly Garden is a peaceful escape that’s aflutter with beautiful winged insects. You can even dare your kids to eat chocolate-covered ants (for sale at the Insectarium). (Note: The Insectarium is moving in with the Aquarium. The two are slated to reopen in the Summer of 2023.)

Visit Jackson Square

From mimes and musicians to palm readers and portrait artists, there’s so much to see and do in Jackson Square. Take a slow stroll around the block and patronize any street artist who strikes your fancy. If the sun gets overbearing, cool off under the trees or by the fountain in the center garden, or wander through the St. Louis Cathedral. It’s a beautiful, serene, and sacred place to stop and reflect for a moment.

Nosh on beignets at Cafe du Monde

800 Decatur St.

You may spur a major sugar high when you bring children to Cafe du Monde, but the rewards are worth the risk. Order beignets and hot cocoa — the price is under $10, and the adorable shots of kids covered with spilled powdered sugar will be treasured for years to come.

Take a ghost tour

Let’s face it: Ghost stories are spookiest when you’re a child. That means the under-18 set is the best audience for a ghost tour. Check out Gray Line’s Ghosts and Spirits Walking Tour, which is child-friendly, or take the New Orleans City and Cemetery Tour. Stroll through these ornate, historic “cities of the dead,” view the tomb of Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and let your imagination run wild.

Additionally, French Quartour Kids specifically caters to children and has several tours for different age groups on the history of New Orleans, music, Creole heritage, ghosts, pirates, and more. (Warning: Not all ghost tours are kid-friendly. If you don’t go with our suggestion, be sure to inquire before you book your tour).

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

Drink Like A Local Near the Place d’Armes Hotel

Drink Like A Local Near the Place d'Armes Hotel

Three-for-one beers, hand grenades, anything that comes in a giant novelty cup — sure, there’s a time and a place for these drinks. But you can only spend so long on Bourbon Street before every fire-spurting courtyard fountain starts to look the same.

So venture off the beaten path and explore a few local watering holes. After all, the French Quarter is a neighborhood where the residents share rich social ties, and these hangouts are where all the socializing goes down. Visiting one is the best way to see another side of the Vieux Carre (and possibly make a new friend).

Black Penny

700 N. Rampart Street

A dim, rustic hideaway for beer snobs, this beautifully weathered bar serves more than 90 American, regional and craft beers. The exposed brick walls, heavy overhead beams, chandeliers, and arched doorways give the space a feel reminiscent of the belly of a pirate ship. Friendly, knowledgeable bartenders make the Black Penny atmospheric without being depressing. Bonus: It sits right on the Rampart Street streetcar line.

Buffa’s

1001 Esplanade Avenue

Perched right on the edge of the French Quarter on Esplanade Avenue, Buffa’s has been a neighborhood favorite since 1939. The unassuming back room hosts top-notch musical acts, plus a jazz brunch on Sundays, but the long-term regulars in the front room would probably prefer to keep that fact under the radar. Pub grub includes standards like burgers and fries, along with distinctly Louisiana fare like boudin balls and jambalaya.

Erin Rose

811 Conti Street

It’s a divey Irish pub in the heart of the French Quarter, serving Guinness and Harp on tap alongside huge po-boys, but no, Erin Rose doesn’t have an identity crisis. Rather, it exhibits the kind of cultural mingling that makes New Orleans great.

More about those po-boys: Killer PoBoys serves the hefty sandwiches from a takeout window in a cramped, tiny room at the rear of the bar, and though they’re a little pricier than what you’ll find at a corner store, the well-crafted, inventive and NOLA-centric, these gems are well worth the price.

Molly’s at the Market

1107 Decatur Street

Molly’s has been a fixture since 1974, and the memorabilia-lined walls (hung with newspaper clippings, flags and business signs from institutions that “ain’t dere no more”) are a tribute to its storied past. You’ll find a great jukebox, tattooed bartenders, and the best frozen Irish coffee on the continent at this lower Decatur Street hangout. And if you want the neighborhood vibe but your friends are set on hurricanes, have no fear — Molly’s Irish Bar (732 Toulouse St.) offers the same feel and menu, but is only steps away from Bourbon Street.

Aunt Tiki’s

1207 Decatur Street

A classic dive located just off Bourbon Street, Aunt Tiki’s keeps it simple by serving up inexpensive drinks 24/7. It has a great jukebox and typically isn’t swamped, which are all the reasons for its popularity with the locals.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.