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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 of Culture, taking place Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7, 2024, 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 the festival’s 30th anniversary. This year’s theme is “loving on us,” and Birdman & Friends will honor three decades of the Cash Money Millionaires record label. Janet Jackson is also scheduled to headline.

You can get tickets online and download the festival’s app for streamlined navigation and more information.

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 are 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 festival of note is Satchmo SummerFest (Saturday and Sunday, August 3-4, 2024), which started as a tribute to Louis Armstrong over a decade ago, 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 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.

More Exciting New Orleans Summer Events and Festivals

June

Kick off the summer fest season with the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE), held on Wednesday through Sunday, June 5-9, 2024. In its 32nd year in 2024, NOWFE is a smorgasbord of food and wine tastingstoursmaster classes, and the annual champagne-soaked burlesque brunch. Each year, hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate, offering menus featuring local flavors and innovative new creations inspired by diverse cuisines.

Top chefs from around the city create unique culinary experiences, so much so that the event regularly makes a few national “best of” festival lists. The organization behind this popular event is a nonprofit that donates 100% of its proceeds to beneficiaries ranging from food banks to culinary schools. You can see all the events and get tickets online.

Launched in 2011, New Orleans Pride (Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, 2024) is a celebration taking place in the French Quarter to celebrate and honor LGBTQI+ communities and their allies in New Orleans and surrounding areas. It is the only official Pride Festival in New Orleans, the largest in Louisiana, and one of the fastest-growing Pride celebrations in the nation.

Special events include the Pride Gala, the PrideFest block party at the Phoenix bar, and the annual parade. The parade is held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, starting at 6 p.m. in the Marigny and rolling through the French Quarter.

Up next, is the French Market Creole Tomato Festival which honors the arrival of the beloved Creole tomato. Celebrating its 38th anniversary in 2024, the free festival will again feature live music stages, cooking demos, kid’s activities, farm stands, food vendors, and more. The 2024 dates are Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9.

Restaurant Week New Orleans, held on Monday through Sunday, June 17-23, 2024, features multi-course, special menus and dining deals in numerous participating restaurants, from upscale Creole eateries to neighborhood bistros. Keep up with this year’s list of participating restaurants and their menus, and don’t miss a chance to try a new spot or revisit your favorite.

The last of June festivals, the New Orleans Juneteenth Festival is happening on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Come to Congo Square in Armstrong Park to commemorate this remarkable date with this free festival, held from noon to 7 p.m.

July

Going into July, Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on Friday-Sunday, July 12-14, 2024, 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 streets of New Orleans starting at Gallier Hall on Saturday, July 13. The annual opening and closing parties happening that weekend are also great fun (check out the schedule on the event’s website).

If cocktails are your thing, you may want to check out Tales of the Cocktail (Sunday-Friday, July 21-26, 2024), a six-day festival packed with tastings, seminars, and special events that are all centered around exchanging ideas and techniques in the cocktail world. This lively festival is perfect for passionate mixologists, professionals and enthusiasts alike. The festival’s signature annual blowout is the “best of” Spirited Awards, followed by the always-popular after-party.

August

The fun doesn’t stop there. The White Linen Night (Saturday, August 3, 2024) is a free block party and an open house for galleries on the 300-600 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District, with several stages for live music and dozens of food and drink stands. Participants are invited to wear white (hence the name). About 20 galleries on and around Julia St. will be open to the public.

White Linen’s “cousin,” the Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 10, 2024), is similar in format, though looser in structure and spanning more territory. It actually wasn’t created to compete with the Warehouse District event but to promote the many galleries and shops of Royal Street. The multi-block party takes over the 300-1100 blocks of Royal Street and some cross streets and adjoining areas in the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Dutch Alley.

The always fabulous Southern Decadence festival (Thursday-Monday, August 29 – September 2, 2024) is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. This massive four-day festival celebrates LGBTQI+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world. Just like every year, most activities will be centered in and around the French Quarter, with lots of block parties and dance parties at bars and clubs on Bourbon Street, plus two parades.

Although we’re not sure if this event falls under the festival category, but there is no better time to try out an award-winning restaurant or revisit the old favorite than August, thanks to the annual COOLinary program. COOLinary was conceived as a promotion to lure diners to local restaurants in the slower summer months, during which restaurants all over the city offer discounted dining deals. Please note that this year COOLinary extends into September (until September 15, 2024).

The deals follow the same format every year: the prix fixe three-course dinner and brunch menus, and the two- to three-course lunch menus that don’t exceed a certain price. Over a hundred restaurants typically participate.

Finding a New Orleans Hotel Close to It All

Planning a trip to New Orleans this summer? We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Happy summer!

Making the Most of Jazz Fest 2024

Photo courtesy of New Orleans Jazz Fest 2024 on Facebook

It’s almost that time of year again — time to sip the iced tea, snack on crawfish Monica, and sway to the music of local and international musicians under the hot New Orleans sun. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, or Jazz Fest, is one of the most celebrated festivals in New Orleans and takes place every year during the last weekend of April and the first weekend in May. Jazz Fest has been around since 1970 and gets bigger and better every year.

During these two weekends, locals and out-of-towners get together to enjoy the culture of New Orleans with the various food, crafts, and performances that Jazz Fest has to offer. Contrary to the name, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is more than just jazz music.

Various musical genres like hip-hop, zydeco, blues, tribal, and electronic music can all be heard live from Jazz Fest’s multiple stages. This year the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will take place at its usual spot on the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (1751 Gentilly Blvd.) starting on Thursday, April 25, and ending on Sunday, May 5, 2024.

Some of the top headliners for the festival include The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Queen Latifah, Heart, The Beach Boys, Jon Batiste, Neil Young Crazy Horse, The Killers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind & Fire, and hundreds more. The music schedule is broken down by day in cubes with times for all the acts, which you can view here.

Of course, one of the best parts of Jazz Fest is the food. Some staples for food include Crawfish Monica, mango freezes, ya-ka-mein, snoballs, poboys, and much more. Here’s the list of 2024 food vendors.

The 2024 Jazz Fest

  • Jazz Fest expanded to eight days this year, adding the opening day of Thursday, April 25, to the schedule.
  • Jazz Fest went cashless last year, and remains so. Ticket, food, beverage, craft, and merchandise booths no longer accept cash payments. If you come to the event with only cash, the Festival will offer two cash exchange booths near key vending locations so you can get a prepaid card for your cash.
  • This year, Jazz Fest features over 5,000 musicians across 14 stages.
  • The festival will be the largest one in its 53-year history. Eight is the most number of days for the event, and this year there will be the most food vendors and food items ever. And there also will be 260 art and craft vendors, the highest number ever.
  • Single-day tickets are $95 through April 24 and $105 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 2-10 are $5 at the gate.
  • “Locals Thursday” will be April 25 this year, with tickets at $50 for Louisiana residents.
  • This year Jazz Fest is introducing a 4-day GA+ weekend pass with access to an exclusive GA+ lounge with private restrooms, a full-service bar, and a shaded area to relax.
  • Tickets for Thursday, May 2, the day topped by The Rolling Stones, are sold out, including multiple-day passes.
  • The Rolling Stones headline Thursday, May 2, at 5 p.m. That day of the festival will operate normally until about 3:30 p.m. Then, when the Stones go on at 5 p.m., they’ll be the only band playing on the Fair Grounds.
  • Besides The Rolling Stones, the lineup includes Foo Fighters, Queen Latifah, Heart, The Beach Boys, Jon Batiste, Neil Young Crazy Horse, The Killers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind & Fire, and hundreds more.
  • This year, Jazz Fest will celebrate Colombia’s musical and cultural diversity at the Expedia Cultural Exchange Pavilion. During the festival, 17 bands and a wide variety of artisans from throughout Colombia will present their sounds and traditions.
  • The Jazz & Heritage Gala kicks off Jazz Fest with the celebration of Louisiana music and cuisine on April 24 at Generations Hall (310 Andrew Higgins Blvd.).

Are You Coming to Jazz Fest?

We’d love for you to stay with us! Take advantage of our specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Also, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

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.

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.

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.

5 Activities Near the Place d’Armes French Quarter Hotel

5 Activities Near the Place d’Armes French Quarter Hotel

Whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, locals and tourists with all sorts of interests seem to have no trouble finding something stimulating to sink their sightseeing teeth into. Here’s a list of some of our favorite activities in and around the French Quarter.

1. Taking a cruise on the Creole Queen

1 Poydras Street

Do you dream of a way to journey down the Mighty Mississippi River? Well, now here’s your chance. Dating back to 1983, the paddlewheeler Creole Queen is a New Orleans staple. It’s not unusual to see her rolling down the river as the water rotates beneath her powerful paddlewheel. Paying tribute to 19th-century technology and Victorian-era style, booking a cruise on this waterfront behemoth is a popular New Orleans activity.

It truly is a “floating palace” with its many private rooms, top-notch stereo system, and upgraded bathrooms. You can even reserve the deck for your very own private party — and we have to admit, there’s nothing like a swinging engagement party on board.

We aren’t talking about a small party either because this waterfront beauty has the “largest indoor capacity [of any] excursion vessel in New Orleans.” So make the most of this opportunity and see the French Quarter, the Port of New Orleans, and the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park all in a single morning or afternoon.

2. Visiting the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

1 Canal Street

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is set against the perfect backdrop of the Mississippi River. Before you step inside this underwater world, take in some fresh air as you watch the sunlight hit the Mississippi. The park-like setting really is the perfect place for a pre-aquarium picnic — maybe you’ll even see a steamboat or two.

Inside, the aquarium boasts a very interactive experience. You will enter the aquarium through a tunnel of underwater life as stingrays and sea turtles majestically soar above you. After that, anything is possible. Check out the bright green and rather haunting eels right after the front entrance, watch as a member of the staff feeds the fun-loving, playful penguins, or allow the rhythmic movements of the many species of jellyfish to hypnotize you.

Stop by the gift shop afterward with its cute aquatic-themed trinkets, or pay a little extra at the ticket booth for a 3-D, nature-oriented film shown on a gigantic IMAX screen next door. (Note: The Aquarium is currently closed and is set to reopen in the Summer of 2023.)

3. Strolling Jackson Square

700 Decatur Street

Jackson Square, once known in the 18th century as “Place d’Armes,” is a favorite among locals and tourists. The attraction was later named after Andrew Jackson, a war hero during the Battle of New Orleans.

Many see Jackson Square as the heart of the French Quarter, and we have to agree. In a short distance, one can explore the French Market, Cafe du Monde, and the number of bars and shops that line Decatur Street.

Jackson Square is probably most known for its open-air artist colony, which some families have been members of for many generations. Find the perfect painting to bring back home, have your caricature done, or get your palm read and discover what the future has in store for you. With many nearby restaurants, museums, and historic buildings, Jackson Square is definitely worth the trip.

4. Hitting Harrah’s Casino New Orleans

228 Poydras Street

Looking to kill a little time before that business meeting? Or perhaps you’ve had a fun day in the city already and are looking for a little late-night action? Harrah’s Casino New Orleans can provide you with the entertainment you desire. With 113 table games, 20 poker tables, and 1,873 shot machines (but, who is really counting?), Harrah’s is a go-to spot for thrill seekers eager to try their luck.

If you prefer not to gamble, there are many other opportunities for a little R&R. Stop by one of the many restaurants located inside of the casino such as The Steakhouse New Orleans, Bobby’s Burgers by Bobby Flay, or Nina’s Creole Cottage by chef Nina Compton. If you’ve already had a great meal at one of the many restaurants downtown, perhaps it’s time for some adult refreshments at Hoodoo Cocktail Lounge or Masquerade.

5. Listening to Live Music

Jazz, funk, zydeco, blues, classical, opera — needless to say, you can find every genre in New Orleans, at any time, and on any day of the week. When it comes to live music in the city, the question is never “Where?” but rather “When?”

From Frenchmen to Bourbon Street, authentic New Orleans music engulfs every corner of the city in a constant stream of harmonious melodies. Speaking of Frenchmen Street, check out the Blue Nile, along with many other live-music venues on the block, or journey down to St. Claude Avenue, located in the Marigny neighborhood, for some amateur karaoke performances at Kajun’s Pub, which is open every night till 1 a.m.

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.

24 Hours in the French Quarter – Place d’Armes Hotel

24 Hours in the French Quarter - Place d'Armes Hotel
Photo by Trevor Mark

In New Orleans, some bars stay open all night long, and they’re not the only 24-hour attraction the city has to offer. Here’s your itinerary for a perfect 24 hours in the Vieux Carre. (You can sleep on the plane.)

6 a.m. Watch the sunrise on the Mississippi River

Rise and shine! Start the morning by watching the sunrise over the Mississippi River. Beams sparkle on the water, gulls soar overhead, and the entire city feels fresh and new (mostly because the streets are cleaned at night). Grab a few bucks for your fare and catch the 6:15 a.m. ferry to the Westbank, enjoying the sunrise from the middle of the river.

7:30 a.m. Have breakfast at Croissant d’Or (617 Ursulines Ave.)

Savor the 19th-century ambiance at this pastel jewel box of a patisserie. French pastries, quiches, croissants, and breakfast sandwiches line the glass cases. Grab an almond croissant and a cup of coffee and head to the petite courtyard to peruse the New Orleans Advocate. (Even if you’re reading on your tablet, you’ll still feel transported to a slower time.)

9 a.m. Take a free walking tour of the French Quarter

Get some physical activity while learning the history of the Vieux Carre from a park ranger at the French Quarter Visitor Center. The center opens at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday (closed on Sunday and Monday). Don’t forget to bring water and wear comfortable shoes.

10:30 a.m. Window-shop on Royal Street

Antiques, art galleries, buskers, boutiques — you’ll find all these and more on Royal Street. Standouts on the pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare include M.S. Rau (630 Royal St.), a treasure trove of antiques and oddities, and Trashy Diva (537 Royal St.), a dress boutique with locally designed, vintage-inspired frocks.

12 p.m. Time for lunch at Galatoire’s (209 Bourbon St.)

Lunch at Galatoire’s is a time-honored tradition among New Orleanians. On Friday afternoons, it seems that half the city’s workforce gathers in this tiled dining room to eat, drink and be merry over shrimp remoulade and filet mignon. It’s the rowdiest fine dining you’ll ever experience — but don’t forget to follow the dress code (business casual for lunch, jackets for men during dinner).

1:30 p.m. Stroll through Jackson Square

The French architects who designed New Orleans’ layout originally conceived of Jackson Square as the hub of the city’s activities — and so it remains. Ringed with shops, restaurants and museums, it features a shady park with a large fountain, where you can sit and relax in the shade. Beyond the park, find palm readers, fortune tellers, portrait painters, mimes, buskers, and every flavor of performance artist conceivable.

3 p.m. Explore the St. Louis Cathedral

The St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest operating cathedral in the U.S. — and many believe it is the most beautiful. The cathedral is free and open to the public. Walk the aisle, admire the stained glass stations of the cross, light a candle, and have a moment of prayer or quiet reflection in the pews.

3:30 p.m. Tour the Presbytere (751 Chartres St.)

Visiting after the Carnival season has ended? No worries. You can get your fix of Mardi Gras at the Louisiana State Museum’s Mardi Gras exhibit. Float sketches, ornately beaded costumes and videos capture the excitement of a parade.

6 p.m. Have dinner at Irene’s (539 St. Philip St.)

Creole fare meets Italian cuisine at this intimate eatery. Its softshell crabs (when in season) are some of the best you’ll ever taste.

8 p.m. Catch live jazz at The Bombay Club (830 Conti St.)

Settle into a deep leather chair at this handsome restaurant/bar and enjoy the sounds of trad jazz, cocktail in hand. You’ll feel like you’re in a 1940s-era nightclub (and the martini glasses actually are vintage). Check the nightly offerings on the club’s live music schedule.

10 p.m. Hit Bourbon Street

It’s cheesy, it’s tacky, it’s neon-lit, and it’s an absolute must if you’re visiting New Orleans. Order a hurricane to go from Pat O’Briens (718 St. Peter St.) and make your way down the corridor of decadence. Stop in any club that catches your eye, hit the dance floor, make a friend, or make a fool of yourself — that’s what Bourbon Street is here for.

1 a.m. Have a drink at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (941 Bourbon St.)

Wind up your Bourbon Street expedition with a visit to this ancient, weathered, candlelit bar, where privateer Jean Lafitte once held court, and where it’s easy to feel like a modern-day pirate. After all, it’s the longest-operating bar in the U.S.

2 a.m. Beignets hit the spot at Cafe du Monde (800 Decatur St.)

At this point, you could probably use some food. Deep-fried and topped with mounds of fluffy confectioner’s sugar, beignets hit the spot. Paired with a steaming hot cafe au lait, they just might give you a second wind. Which is good, because you’re going to need it.

3 a.m. Hit the dance floor at Santos (1135 Decatur St.)

Lots of different nightclubs have called this address home over the years. Its current incarnation is Santos Bar, a spinoff from the hip Garden District hotspot called The Saint. Every night has a different theme and a different late-night dance party.

5 a.m. Unwind on your private balcony

Place d’Armes features a number of rooms with balconies overlooking the French Quarter. Sit back, relax and congratulate yourself on a truly epic day (and night) before hitting the pillow. Then enjoy your rest — you’ve earned it.

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.

The Top 10 Landmarks Near Our French Quarter Hotel

french quarter fall
A wrought-iron balcony in the French Quarter, New Orleans

When it comes to travel with a twist of magic and adventure, it doesn’t get much better than exploring the French Quarter on foot. It’s the heart and soul of New Orleans, a testament to its colorful past — a richly woven tapestry of different cultures, cuisines, musical notes, and its everlasting joie de vivre — still manifested ’round the clock in so many unique ways.

Whether you’re on a quest to sample a savory Creole dish, dance the night away to a brass band, stroll the streets to admire the exquisite wrought-iron architectural details, or take in an eclectic street performance — this one-of-a-kind place has them in spades and pretty much around every corner.

While it’s easy to come up with a longer list of must-see landmarks in a city this old and colorful, here are our top 10 recommendations, all located within walking distance from each other in the French Quarter. There’s only one exception — Frenchmen Street is located in Faubourg Marigny, right outside the French Quarter.

1. Jackson Square

751 Decatur St.

This timeless landmark is located in the heart of the French Quarter. Known since the 18th century as Place d’Armes, it was renamed in honor of Andrew Jackson following the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. Jackson’s bronze statue is the focal point of the square, surrounded by lavish flora and facing the Mississippi River.

Jackson Square is also a host to the open-air artist market and performance space, with local art displayed along the fence. You can have your sketch done, dance to a brass band, or have your fortune told. Carriage rides are offered in front of the square. When you cross the street to the riverside, you’ll find the French Market, Cafe du Monde, and The Shops at JAX Brewery.

2. St. Louis Cathedral

615 Pere Antoine Alley

St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. It stands between its two historic neighbors, The Cabildo and The Presbytere, overlooking Jackson Square and the block-long row of the Pontalba Buildings. St. Louis Cathedral is one of the most instantly recognizable buildings in the world, its famous steeples showing up on many a postcard and in quite a few films.

The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France was built in 1724 and had been rebuilt twice after a hurricane and a fire. It was dedicated in 1794 and has enjoyed an illustrious and eventful history. One of its most famous caretakers was Pere Antoine, a popular Capuchin priest who had been pastor of the Cathedral from 1785 to 1790 and again from 1795 to the time of his death in 1829.

You can check out the Cathedral’s stunning interior during its hours of operation, and attend a mass or a music concert. If you’re just passing by, depending on the time of day, you may get to hear its bell or witness an occasional wedding party spilling out of the Cathedral, followed by a second line.

3. The Cabildo and The Presbytere

701 & 751 Chartres St., Jackson Square

Did you know that the 1803 Louisiana Purchase was signed at The Cabildo? This historic building served as the seat of government during the Spanish colonial rule, and was built to replace the building claimed by the fire in 1794.

Standing tall right next to St. Louis Cathedral, The Cabildo is now part of the Louisiana State Museum. It houses such precious artifacts as a painting of Marie Laveau by Frank Schneider; a self-portrait by Julien Hudson, an antebellum artist and free man of color; and Napoleon’s death mask, one of only four in the world.

On the other side of St. Louis cathedral is The Presbytere, built in 1791 in the style to match the Cabildo. It’s called “Presbytere” because it was built on the site of one, which served as a residence for Capuchin monks. The building served as a courthouse in the late 19th century and is now also part of the Louisiana State Museum, just like the Cabildo.

The Presbytere currently houses several temporary and permanent exhibits. The magnificent “Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana” tells the story of the Carnival traditions in Louisiana, including Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras, Zulu coconut throws, 19th-century Rex ball costumes, and much more. “The Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” exhibit documents the natural disaster, its aftermath, and the ongoing recovery with interactive displays and artifacts.

4. French Market

2 French Market Place

French Market was founded in 1791 as a Native American trading post and has been operating continually since, making it the oldest public market in the country. Similar in structure to a traditional European market, this open-air mall covers roughly five blocks, from Cafe du Monde on Decatur St. across from Jackson Square to the daily flea market at the end of Esplanade Avenue.

Many retail shops and restaurants surround it in every direction. The flea market area hosts dozens of local artisans, plus vendors from all over the world. You’ll find souvenirs, handmade masks and jewelry, t-shirts, music, and more.

French Market also includes a small pedestrian plaza on Dumaine and St. Phillip streets called Dutch Alley. The food stands at the Farmers Market Pavilion offer a slew of spices, produce and local food that is uniquely New Orleans — from pralines to oysters to the beignet mix or the hot sauce you’d want to take home. The Farmers Market also hosts an annual Creole Tomato Festival to celebrate its harvest.

5. The Riverfront

1 Toulouse Street

You can access the mile-long riverfront very easily from the Jackson Square area. There you will find the grassy Woldenberg Park and a walkway called the Moonwalk, named after the former New Orleans mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu.

Woldenberg Park is a popular spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks. It also hosts one of the largest stages during the annual French Quarter Festival, which takes place in the spring.

Stroll along the Moonwalk to view public art, like the Holocaust Memorial, and watch the boats go by. The Riverwalk is also home to two popular family-friendly attractions, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Entergy IMAX Theater, soon to be joined by the Insectarium.

6. Bourbon Street

French Quarter

That much is true: Bourbon Street is home to one of the wildest nightly street parties in the country. It’s well known for its karaoke and burlesque clubs, bars that never seem to close, and crowds milling about round the clock. This endless party vibe makes Bourbon Street a great destination for your bachelor party, a girls’ night out, spring break, a couple’s getaway — and any other cause for celebration.

It is also one of the oldest streets in the country, a vivid example of Spanish colonial architecture dating back to 1798 and steeped in history, magic and legends. It’s home to the city’s most iconic destinations like Galatoire’s and the Old Absinthe House. One of the best jazz clubs in the country, if not the world, also has a Bourbon Street address. Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub is located in a historic 1831 building and hosts live, traditional jazz performances nightly, attracting jazz aficionados from all over the globe.

7. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

941 Bourbon Street

This ancient, at least by North American standards, bar is housed in a Creole cottage on the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip streets. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop was built between 1722 and 1732, and it’s said to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the U.S.

It’s also said to have been used by the infamous Lafitte Brothers, Jean and Pierre, as a base for their smuggling operation in Barataria, operating as a facade for the privateers. We won’t likely know the truth beyond the legend, but the bar is dripping in magic and history, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

8. Old Ursuline Convent

1100 Chartres Street

The Old Ursuline Convent was built in 1752, which makes it the oldest surviving example of the French colonial period in the country, circa Louis XV. The building first served as a convent for the Ursuline nuns, and then, as centuries ticked on, it had been, at some point: a school, an archbishop’s and priests’ residence, archdiocesan offices/archives, and is now part of the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Its museum is open for self-guided tours.

9. Royal Street

French Quarter

Only one block away, running parallel to Bourbon Street, Royal Street presents a very different scene — a mix of performance art, live music on the corners, eclectic art galleries, funky boutiques, and upscale antique shops. The French Quarter part of Royal Street stretches for 13 blocks, from Esplanade Avenue to Canal Street, and the stretch between St. Louis and St. Ann streets is a pedestrian mall closed to traffic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and till 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The scenic street is also known for its wrought-iron balconies plus other charming architectural details and lush courtyards, including those featured by the street’s many restaurants. Consider having the iconic bananas Foster in Brennan’s stunning outdoor seating area.

Among the notable art galleries are Harouni, 933 Royal St., featuring the artist’s own work; and Rodrique Studio, 730 Royal St., with his ubiquitous Blue Dog paintings on display.

As for shopping for antiques, from exquisite chandeliers to rare 17th-century furniture to fine art and jewelry, Royal Street also got you covered. M.S. Rau, 630 Royal St., for instance, is considered one of the best destinations in the world for antique shopping.

10. Frenchmen Street

The Marigny

Frenchmen Street is a three-block area with one of the best and most densely packed live-music venues and restaurants in the city. It’s located in Faubourg Marigny, right next to the French Quarter, featuring more than 20 bars and clubs, plus a night art market, a smattering of diverse restaurants, and live music on street, especially at night. Jazz, brass, funk, DJs — you name it — and it’s playing on the corner somewhere on Frenchmen.

Some of the city’s best clubs are located on Frenchmen and offer live music seven nights a week, day and night. The Maison, for example, has three floors and a packed late-night show calendar year-round. Dragon’s Den offers a diverse and eclectic mix of music on its two live music stages, plus the lure of a courtyard and a balcony for a more relaxed experience.

Marigny Brasserie‘s outdoor seating is as elegant as it is perfect for people-watching. Three Muses and Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro are the dinner-and-a-show kind of places that focus on Creole and regional cooking, and d.b.a.‘s roster of world-famous musicians who have played there is legendary.

For smaller venues and a more intimate ambiance, you can try The Spotted Cat Music Club or the cozy, divey Apple Barrel. Finally, top off all the blues and funk with Adolfo’s Creole Italian cooking, from a tiny old-school restaurant directly above the Apple Barrel.

Remember, you can walk to all these places from your hotel! Take advantage of Place d’Armes specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!