Prince Conti Hotel’s Guide to Summer in the French Quarter

New Orleans is home to many delicious restaurants, famous landmarks, exciting festivals, rich history, and unique entertainment for all ages. It doesn’t come as a surprise that people travel from all over to New Orleans to experience its unique local flavor. Summer is a good time to visit despite the soaring temps, as the city’s party schedule is jam-packed with festivals and other events unique to New Orleans, and there are fewer crowds than, say, during Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, or the cooler months in general.

Take Advantage of the Summer Deals

Plus, the city’s local restaurants and cultural destinations sweeten the deal by the citywide promotions like the Museum Month or COOLinary, both in August, when you can visit a number of local museums for the price of the annual membership for just one of them, or have a three-course dinner in a top restaurant for as little as $39. The one-time admission fee to some local museums can run over $20, so this is a great opportunity to explore on the budget. The fees for the smaller museums are probably the best deal, ranging from $30 to $35 annually. (You can buy a membership upon arrival.)

With COOLinary, there’s no better time to try out an award-winning restaurant during your visit, or revisit an old favorite. For the month of August, this dining program offers discounted dining deals at participating restaurants located all over the city. Over 100 of participating local restaurants run the gamut from the iconic to the smaller, more casual ones.

The extraordinary summer dining deals don’t end with COOLinary in August. Behold the Restaurant Week (September 9-15), with more and more restaurants participating every year. For one week in September, dozens of local restaurants will be dishing out prix fixe lunches, brunches and dinners — averaging at $20 for lunch and not exceeding $39 for brunch and dinner. Just like COOLinary, Restaurant Week is a citywide promotion designed to lure diners, both local and visiting, to increase patronage at restaurants across the city. Cross an iconic white-tablecloth establishment off your bucket list, or discover a new fave in the neighborhood!

Family-Friendly New Orleans

New Orleans is more than a romp on Bourbon Street (though we recommend that too). There is entertainment for people of all ages all year round, but, with fewer people out on the streets, you can really take the time to explore the city at your own pace in the summer. Bring your family to the Aquarium of the Americas, or the incredible World War II Museum. Grab a warm and fresh beignet at the famous Café Du Monde, or go shopping at the Riverwalk outlet mall or the French Market open-air mall, where you will find a flea market, local arts and crafts, and edible souvenirs like pralines and every kind of hot sauce under the sun. Want something special to bring home as a gift? Check out our top recommendations for the unique New Orleans gifts you can get near the Prince Conti Hotel.

Then, of course, there are the stunning St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square to explore, plus dozens of other important landmarks, all located within walking distance in the historic French Quarter. Both the Presbytère and the Cabildo that flank the cathedral have excellent museums worth exploring by the whole family.

A convenient way to check out countless New Orleans attractions is on the City Sightseeing double-decker tour bus. With a pickup location at Basin Street Station, close to the hotel, the City Sightseeing tour is very flexible and allows you to see many famous destinations in the city at your own pace by hopping on and hopping off the bus whenever you desire. This system allows you to stay as long as you would like at each destination, since a bus comes every 30 minutes and runs seven days a week for your convenience.

Another option is to take your family on a historic cruise to Chalmette battlefield, on the Creole Queen. This beautiful paddlewheeler also offers dinner jazz cruiser that will keep you cool and entertained.

So Many Festivals and Celebrations

This year’s Independence Day weekend is shaping up to be spectacular as usual, filled with special events, fireworks, and — this being New Orleans — great food and music. Kick off the festivities with Go 4th on the River celebration, a free Dueling Barges fireworks show over the Mississippi River at the Riverfront.

Gear up for the best in R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and blues with ESSENCE Festival (July 5-7), held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Convention Center. Beyond the concerts held each night of the fest at the Superdome, the free daytime activities at the Convention Center include motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demonstrations with top chefs, and lots more. The always-impressive music lineup this year includes Brandy, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and more. Former First Lady and best-selling author Michelle Obama will make an appearance too, her first at the fest, to discuss her recently published memoir.

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on July 12-14, 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.

Celebrate the French National Day in America’s most French city during the annual Bastille Day Fête at the New Orleans Museum of Art (June 12-14), and at the block party on Saturday, July 13 in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. Live music and kid-friendly events abound, while dozens of local vendors present their food and drinks, many with a French flavor.

Some of the best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Tales of the Cocktail on July 16-21. Since 2002 the festival has grown from an annual walking tour of historic New Orleans cocktail bars into a series of dinners, tastings, seminars, and more. This year will be its 17th, with Royal Sonesta as the new hotel host and the Highball as the official festival drink. Expect over 300 events crammed into six days, including the always-popular “best of” Spirited Awards and many cocktail-themed parties.

Satchmo SummerFest (August 2-4), named so after one of Louis Armstrong’s nicknames, started as a tribute in 2001, on Armstrong’s 100th birthday. It has been traditionally held on the first week of August and marked by strong attendance. The three-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.

Browse the galleries on the White Linen Night on Saturday, August 3 (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night). In its 25th year, White Linen Night is a block party and an open house for galleries on the 300-700 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District, with three stages for live music and dozens of food and drink stands. About 20 galleries on and around Julia St. will be open to the public, with an after-party traditionally held at the Contemporary Arts Center.

The Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 10) usually follows the White Linen Night on the second Saturday in August. It’s similar in format, though looser in structure and spanning more territory. Although Dirty Linen Night does riff off White Linen Night, it 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 200-1000 blocks of Royal Street and some cross streets and adjoining areas in the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Dutch Alley. About 40 galleries are expected to participate again this year, plus a number of shops and restaurants.

The Red Dress Run (also on Saturday, August 10) isn’t exclusive to New Orleans, but the local participants take it up a notch by costuming on top of wearing their best and/or most outlandish red dress, regardless of gender. This is an annual fundraiser run for local charities organized by hashing groups (adults-only, non-competitive social running clubs) all over the world. They call themselves “drinking clubs with a running problem” and the local group is no exception. Any adult can participate with registration, and the run traditionally starts at Crescent Park, though the route will not be publicized until the day of the run.

The incomparable Southern Decadence festival (August 29 – September 2) is traditionally held on the Labor Day weekend. It started as a going-away party in the early 70s but now considered the fifth largest event in New Orleans. This massive four-day festival celebrates LGBT 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.

The Nightlife, Of Course

 It is no secret that New Orleans is known for its nightlife scene, and the Prince Conti Hotel puts you right by many incredible New Orleans nightlife spots, such as the bustling Harrah’s, Pat O’Brien’s, House of Blues, the legendary music spots on Frenchmen Street in the Marigny, and many more. But, really, you don’t need us to tell you that whatever floats your boat, from the dives with local beer on tap to the chef-driven destinations with exquisitely crafted cocktails served alongside small plates, you’re bound to find it in the French Quarter and nearby. (But if you do want recommendations, here are some picks for the best bars, best live music clubs, and your best-bet late-night eats in the French Quarter.)

Cooling Off in the French Quarter

Then there are these chilled-out destinations offer a refreshing refuge from the summer heat along with a shot of New Orleans flavor. The first rule of dealing with NOLA heat: Never walk anywhere without a cool beverage in hand. So, how about a daiquiri? These frozen drinks are seriously the next best thing to a portable A.C. unit. Options run the gamut from classic (the piña colada-flavored daiquiri at Big Easy Daiquiris) to craft (Cane and Table’s inspired creations), but your best bet for the beat-the-heat drinks are St. Lawrence’s seasonal versions. Past offerings include Pimm’s Cup and Peach Bellini versions. Grab a daiq and be restored!

Take the edge off with a classic martini and cool, free live jazz at The Bombay Club

— there’s a different local act each night. Best of all, you don’t have to venture outside and brave the heat to experience The Bombay Club’s unique ambiance — it’s actually attached to the Prince Conti Hotel’s back carriageway.

The Country Club requires you to venture outside the French Quarter (it’s about two miles from the Prince Conti Hotel), but it’s well worth the effort. The Bywater neighborhood standby is located in a lushly landscaped Italianate raised center-hall cottage. Enter through the breezy, fern-hung front porch to find a dining area and granite-topped bar. Beyond that lies a saltwater pool, cabana bar, hot tub, sauna, and shower area accessible via a day pass, which ranges from $10 to $15. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. (P.S. If it’s raining, it’s happy hour at The Country Club.)

Staying at the Prince Conti Hotel This Summer

If you are planning a trip to New Orleans this summer, make sure you book your stay at a hotel with great summer rates and close to all of the action, the Prince Conti Hotel. The Prince Conti Hotel provides you with all of the luxurious and convenient amenities you want during your stay in New Orleans, and its prime location in the French Quarter simply cannot be beat. The Prince Conti Hotel is just minutes from many great local attractions and famous sights, such as Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and more. See you this summer!

Running of the Bulls Brings Excitement to New Orleans this July

Photo: Some rights reserved by Infrogmation

You haven’t seen it all until you’ve witnessed New Orleans’ eccentric version of Running of the Bulls. This wild festival, known as San Fermin in Nueva Orleans, is fashioned after the traditional event that takes place in Pamplona, Spain, each year. But instead of the wild beasts running in the streets goring people, the Big Easy Rollergirls dress up like bulls and skate after runners, attempting to whack them with wiffle ball bats. This fest is sure to get your blood pumping!

The runners are encouraged to wear all white with red accents like sashes and kerchiefs (following the style of the traditional Spanish festival). The bulls sport black and red, and the horned helmets. Both the runners and the bulls are known to get creative with their costuming, so you’ll have the chance to see some pretty eccentric creations out there.

This year, the festival will be held over the weekend of July 12-14. The Encierro (the run) itself is always held on Saturday, and the partying starts early. Around 6:30 a.m. people will start gathering around the Sugar Mill (1021 Convention Center Blvd.) in the Central Business District in downtown New Orleans, enjoying live music, food trucks, and sangria. After the procession and the invocation honoring San Fermin, patron saint of Pamplona, the run begins at 8 a.m., making its way through the CBD and Warehouse District on a near mile-long route.

Although you will get some exercise while running from the Derby Girls, Running of the Bulls is just as much about the food and drinks as it is about the “running.” Many participants stick around after the run is done, at approximately 11:30 a.m., to continue with the bar-crawling in the area. Another option is to attend a live music show back at the Sugar Mill (the route begins and ends there). After that, you can also check out the after-party, La Fiesta de Pantalones, held this year at the Rusty Nail (1100 Constance St.) starting at 11:30 a.m.

The festival’s opening party on Friday is an annual ticketed fundraiser with an open bar, an auction, and delicious food provided by Commander’s Palace, SoBou, Tavolino, and Atchafalaya. The closing party on Sunday, called El Pobre de Mi (“Poor Me”), will wrap things up at Lula Restaurant Distillery (1532 St. Charles Ave.), 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This will be your chance to recover from the run with burlesque, cocktails, and a Papa Hemingway look-alike contest (yes, the party is Ernest Hemingway-themed).

The events happening on Friday and Saturday are ticketed (tickets are $30-$95), while the Sunday closing party is pay-as-you-go. Proceeds go to Beth’s Friends Forever, a charity named after Nola Bulls cofounder Beth Hanning, which raises money for local women fighting cancer; and the Big Easy Animal Rescue.

Come run with the bulls this summer at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans, and stay at the historic New Orleans hotel close by, the Prince Conti Hotel. Conveniently located in the French Quarter, the Prince Conti Hotel has all of the new amenities and conveniences you want, without sacrificing any of the old-world charm.

Kick Off Your Summer With Essence Festival in New Orleans

Summer has arrived, and now is the time to embark on exciting adventures with family and friends. There is no better way to kick off your summer than with ESSENCE Festival this July in New Orleans. This massive event features a host of famous musical performers, guest speakers, delectable local cuisine, fashion, beauty, and much more. Between four days, multiple stages, and a multitude of great musical artists, there is an incredible lineup of chart toppers, influencers, celebrity wellness experts, and world-famous personalities.

ESSENCE will be held over the Independence Day weekend (July 4-7) mostly at the two New Orleans venues: the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the evening performances and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the daytime activities. Some of the daytime events including the conferences and the exhibits will also be held at the Contemporary Arts Center. New this year, the Wellness House experience will be held in the Arts District downtown at the Lighthouse Glass Gallery (743 Camp St.).

You can get your tickets a la carte (for the evening concerts at the Superdome and for the ESSENCE After Dark) or in bundled day and VIP packages, online. The headliners sell out fast, so don’t wait till the last minute! All the events held at the Convention Center during the day are free and open to all (registration is required for everyone over 18).


Photo courtesy of Essence Festival on Facebook

A Music Lover’s Dream

Music fans from all over simply can’t go wrong with all the incredible names in this year’s lineup. You will have the chance to see live performances from renowned musical artists like Brandy, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas, New Orleans’ own Big Freedia, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and many more. 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 to the Superdome.

ESSENCE is Much More Than Music

Besides the stellar music lineup, the festival is jam-packed with conferences, keynote events, and other experiences. One of the highlights of this year’s keynote events is the chance to see Michelle Obama on the Superdome mainstage on Saturday, July 6. A slew of exciting conferences, exhibitions, roundtables, and other experiences is also scheduled, including a series of keynotes with Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, and Pharrell Williams. The Beauty Carnival and Wellness House experiences will feature celebrity beauty influencers and wellness experts, and the popular ESSENCE Eats will once again have cooking demos and the food court with the vendors from all over the South offering a wide range of classic New Orleans food, world cuisine, vegan and vegetarian fare, desserts, and beyond.

Stay Close to All of the ESSENCE Action

 Don’t wait — grab your tickets to ESSENCE Festival and then book your stay nearby at the Prince Conti Hotel. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, it’s minutes away from many popular New Orleans bars, restaurants, landmarks, and destinations — including the Superdome and the Convention Center. This elegant hotel is a nice calming change of scenery from the bustling city that awaits outside, offering the old-world New Orleans charm along with all the modern-day amenities.

Nightlife Near the Prince Conti


Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Want to dive into New Orleans’ storied nightlife? You’ve got a head start at the Prince Conti Hotel. The Bombay Club, the hotel’s swank in-house bar and restaurant, is just steps away from your room.

Start your evening at one of the club’s nightly music showcases, where you can sip a perfect martini from the largest martini selection in town while listening to the smooth jazz stylings of Banu Gibson or the lively Latin beats of Tres Amigos. The musical menu changes nightly, so the Bombay is always a good launching pad for hitting the streets at other legendary New Orleans venues.

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro (626 Frenchmen St.)

Jazz mavens make a beeline for Snug, the city’s premier showcase for contemporary jazz. Nightly shows at 8 and 10 feature New Orleans icons like Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the city’s first family of jazz, whose son Delfeayo also draws big crowds for his weekly Uptown Jazz Orchestra gig. Other regulars include master keyboardist David Torkanowsky and the always-inventive Astral Project, along with world-class visiting artists like the Mahmoud Chouki International String Trio.

Balcony Music Club (1331 Decatur)

You never know what kind of music you’ll find at BMC, as the locals call it, and that’s all part of the fun. Creole Funk, Legends Brass, and Dapper Dandies are among the dozens of bands featured nightly, when as many as five acts play. And since there’s never a cover, you can always dip in and dip out, after fortifying yourself with the daily drink and shot specials. Conveniently located on the Esplanade edge of the Quarter, it’s a good pit stop before or after hitting the lively Frenchmen St. scene.

 Chris Owens Club & Balcony (500 Bourbon St.)

Bourbon St. isn’t all loud cover bands and lethal Hurricanes. The seemingly ageless Chris Owens, a French Quarter legend, is an only-in-New-Orleans phenom who truly must be seen to be believed. She’s a high voltage perpetual motion machine who belts out songs, dances like everyone’s watching and makes the audience part of her show. You might just find yourself sharing the spotlight with her onstage at one of her two weekly 9 p.m. shows, which happen most Friday and Saturday nights. Go for it!

Blue Nile (532 Frenchmen St.)

Hailed as the “premiere live music venue in the city” by Where Y’at magazine, the Blue Nile hosts a stellar roster of New Orleans artists every night on both the main stage and in the club’s upstairs Balcony Room, from Cyril Neville and Big Sam’s Funky Nation to Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers. It’s also a must-stop venue for national touring acts. Shows start early and go late, so it’s a great place to cap off the night in a high-energy environment where the collective force field can be contagious.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (941 Bourbon St.)

Ready to wind down but don’t want to go to bed? Lafitte’s is just what the doctor ordered. Founded in the early 18th century, and housed in a historic building reputed to have served as the New Orleans headquarters for the infamous pirate and smuggler Jean Lafitte, the candlelit bar exudes exactly the kind of spooky ambiance you’d expect to find in New Orleans. Piano man Dave Hood, the latest in a series of keyboard legends, plays classics like “Marie Laveau” deep into the wee hours at Lafitte’s, which serves a potent menu of nightcaps.

Best Things to Do/See in Nearby Neighborhoods


Photo by Trevor Mark

Just outside the Quarter, not far from the Prince Conti, you’ll find a wealth of nearby neighborhoods with their own distinctive character. Ready, set, explore!

Feast Your Eyes and Fine Dine in the Arts District

New Orleans is steeped in history. But modernism takes center stage in the Arts District, where old warehouses find new life as contemporary art galleries and nouvelle cuisine restaurants. Home to more than a dozen world-class galleries, Julia Street invites the public to view their latest exhibits at lively wine-fueled receptions the first Saturday of every month. Feast your eyes on art, then delight your palate with cuisine from some of the city’s most creative chefs at Herbsaint and Cochon (Donald Link), Compere Lapin (Nina Compton), and the man who started it all:  Emeril’s.

Bar-Hop to Live Music in the Marigny

Once known only to locals, Frenchmen Street now rivals Bourbon Street as a tourist destination. Live music bars line the street, where top New Orleans musicians start playing long before dark at small clubs like the Spotted Cat and continue well past the wee hours at marquee venues like Blue Nile. But don’t stop at Frenchmen. Hit three hotspots right next to the Elysian Fields streetcar stop: Siberia, the Allways Lounge & Cabaret and the Hi-Ho Lounge. All offer an eclectic range of terrific music from both local and touring bands, along with a colorful grab bag of homegrown entertainment, from the Bluegrass Pickin’ Party at the Hi-Ho to Drag Queen Bingo at the Allways.

Spend the Day Exploring Bywater

If you’re feeling outdoorsy, walk or bike along the Mississippi from Marigny to Bywater through Crescent Park, a lovely 1.4-mile stretch of native landscaping. Cross the “rusty rainbow bridge” over the tracks to Piety Street, where you can grab a slice at Pizza Delicious and browse bins of collectible vinyl at Euclid Records. Junk hounds can rummage through found objects at Bywater Bargain Center (3200 Dauphine St.), while vintage mavens will love the retro styles at Independence St. NOLA. Whet your whistle at Bud Rip’s, the locals’ favorite dive bar, and take a dip in the pool at the Country Club. Then swing by Bacchanaal, grab a bottle of wine and take it out to the open air courtyard, where you can feast on upscale bar food like bacon-wrapped dates and braised pork shoulder while listening to young jazzbos. Dreamy!

 Discover the Heart of African-American Culture in Tremé

The living, breathing heart of New Orleans culture is the African-American community of Tremé, where free people of color once proudly brought their own property and where many generations of black residents continue to live today. Second-line parades and Mardi Gras Indians emerged from these streets, which nurtured countless jazz greats. Get a crash course in Tremé history at the Backstreet Cultural Museum, and catch its current incarnation at the Candlelight Lounge, where live brass bands perform nightly. Tremé also abounds in the city’s signature Creole cuisine. Known for its world-famous fried chicken, Willa Mae’s Scotch House serves “food for your soul,” while Dooky Chase’s menu is a rich sampler of Creole faves like Shrimp Clemenceau and Gumbo Z’Herbes. Both have been justly honored by James Beard awards. Dig in, and enjoy!

Getting Around as a Guest of the Prince Conti Hotel

You can pretty much walk to all of your destinations in the French Quarter from the hotel as the terrain is flat, the area is just 78 square blocks, and the street layout makes sense and is easy to navigate. The next best thing would be to bike or hail a pedicab (check out Blue Bikes). If you want to go outside the Quarter, try a cab or rideshare, or a streetcar.

Taxicab and ride-share services

The ride-share options in New Orleans include Uber and Lyft. We also recommend United Cabs, Inc. (504-522-9771). Use the United Cabs Passenger app to book.

Bus and streetcar

 The city buses run every 30 minutes on average on weekdays (less often on weekends) and have special schedules on holidays. It costs $1.25 one-way (a transfer costs 25 cents), and you can see the maps and the schedules here. To pay the fare on the bus, you must have exact change, but you can also buy passes via the GoMobile app, online, and at the ticket machines.

Another option is the Hop-On Hop-Off double-decker bus tours by City Sightseeing. They run every 30 minutes on a two-hour loop; the unlimited one-day pass is $39 for adults and $10 for kids under 12. To hop on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, walk to Canal and Carondelet streets (directly across Canal from Bourbon St. in the French Quarter) and look for the iconic green car.

Eat, Drink, Work: Co-Working in the French Quarter


Photo Courtesy of The Bombay Club

Traveling purely for pleasure is delightful. But if you need to work remotely on the road, New Orleans is one of the best places on the planet to mix business with pleasure. Many charming spots in the Quarter near the Prince Conti are co-working meccas with blazing WiFi, where you can soak up local ambiance along with cafe au lait, craft cocktails, and gourmet New Orleans cuisine.

The Bombay Club (Prince Conti Hotel, 830 Conti St.)
You could work in your room at the Prince Conti. But what fun is that? Wander down to The Bombay Club during happy hour, and graze on $4 small bites like Pork Belly Tacos and Cajun Poutine while imbibing great specials on beer, wine and house cocktails. 4pm–7pm Mon–Fri; 3pm–7pm Sat–Sun. Contact restaurant for updates.

French Truck Coffee (217 Chartres St.)
Need a jolt of caffeine to get down to business? French Truck boasts some of the city’s best locally-roasted coffee, prepares espresso to perfection, and puts a unique spin on mocha with hints of cayenne and cinnamon. Contact restaurant for updates.

Kingfish (337 Chartres St. at Conti)
Known for its award-winning craft cocktails, the Kingish is another great happy hour co-working spot. Sip Prohibition Punch and other signature drinks for just $6, enjoy half-price beer and wine, and sample hearty $5 small-plate specials like Fried Boudin Balls and Chicken and Smoked Andouille Gumbo. Daily from 3:30-6pm. Contact restaurant for updates.

Envie Espresso Bar & Cafe (308 Decatur St.)
One of the few coffee shops in the city that serves shots of booze in their coffee, Envie has it all: steaming cups of java, scrumptious pastries and breakfasts, and a full-service bar.

Celebrating Easter Sunday in the French Quarter

Celebrating Easter Sunday in the French Quarter

As a historically Catholic city, New Orleans takes Lent seriously. New Orleans also loves a good parade. Naturally, breaking the 40-plus days of fasting and the arrival of spring are great reasons to catch a parade, show off your bonnet, and feast on some Gulf seafood.

If you’re lucky enough to be staying in the French Quarter for Easter weekend, you can celebrate the end of Lent with three parades, Catholic masses, special Easter brunches, and an Easter Bonnet contest. Here’s a quick rundown of the things you can do on Easter Sunday, April 16, in the French Quarter.

The Parades

Three groups parade annually through the French Quarter and downtown on Easter Sunday. The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade leaves from Antoine’s Restaurant at 9:45 a.m. and proceeds to St. Louis Cathedral for 11 a.m. Mass. The riders, clad in their best Easter attire, ride in convertibles and carriages, handing out stuffed Easter bunnies, candy and other theme-appropriate throws along the way. After Mass the parade slowly weaves its way back to Antoine’s.

The French Quarter Easter Parade rolls at 1 p.m. from St. Louis and Royal streets. The one and only Chris Owens traditionally helms the parade as the Grand Duchess. Expect colorful floats, marching bands, whimsical bonnets, and plenty of throws.

The annual Gay Easter Parade celebrates the city’s LGBTQ community and benefits the Food for Friends charity. It starts at 4:30 p.m. on N. Rampart St. by the Armstrong Park arch and continues to St. Ann, Bourbon, and Esplanade. With stops at some bars along the way, the parade makes it back to N. Rampart for the after-party at GrandPre’s.

The Easter Bonnet Contest at Good Friends Bar at the corner of Dauphine and St. Ann streets is open to all participants, and spectators decide on the winners. A tall order every year, as the entries are often fabulous and wildly creative.

Brunch

What’s better than marking the end of Lent with a multi-course Cajun/Creole brunch? Many French Quarter restaurants offer a special Easter menu buffet-style or as a sit-down prix fixe option.

Since it’s a family tradition for many, reservations are highly recommended. (You can check the list of participating restaurants and make a reservation here.)

Here are our five top recommendations.

The Bombay Club (830 Conti St.; 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; a la carte menu)

Start your Easter Sunday right with a cocktail and Eggs Sardou in this elegant restaurant located at the back of the Prince Conti Hotel. The extensive Easter brunch menu runs the gamut from lighter fare like roasted beets and strawberry salad to the more substantial steak and eggs, and lamb grillades. Other options are traditional New Orleans: BBQ shrimp, shrimp and grits, pain perdu, and Croque Madame. Or try the “Heavenly” Hash: crispy boudin cake with poached egg.

Antoine’s (713 St. Louis St.; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; $51 prix fixe)

Antoine’s holiday brunch menu will render you speechless with its baked oysters, Gulf shrimp with chef’s special Regua sauce, duck a l’Orange, and broiled Louisiana drum stuffed with crabmeat. Top it off with either pecan bread pudding or strawberry mousse. Brunch includes one complimentary Mimosa.

Arnaud’s (813 Bienville St.; Easter menu available all day; $55 prix fixe)

This four-course feast offers smoked duck, andouille and oyster gumbo for starters, and roasted leg of lamb among its three entree choices. Appetizer offerings include the signature Shrimp Arnaud: Gulf shrimp marinated in Creole remoulade. And how about Creole cream cheese peanut butter pie for dessert?

Red Fish Grill (115 Bourbon St.; 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; prix fixe buffet: adults $59, children 12 and under $19, 6 and under free)

You’ll find a family-style Easter buffet with alligator sausage and seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee, Creole potato salad, BBQ shrimp, oysters, pickled crawfish, and a carving station (just to name a few options). The kids’ buffet offers child-friendly versions of the above and a sundae bar.

Steamboat Natchez Easter Jazz Brunch Cruise (Toulouse St./boardwalk; 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.; adults $44, children 6-12 $22, children 2-5 $9)

The two-hour Mississippi River cruise with live music by The Steamboat Stompers includes a buffet and reserved seating. Kids can meet the Easter Bunny aboard the steamboat!

Mass

Church services on Easter Sunday start early and continue throughout the day. You can see this year’s schedule for the city here. For a truly unique experience, consider a stroll to Jackson Square to hear the bells of St. Louis Cathedral and to mingle with the revelers in their Easter finery.

St. Louis Cathedral has mass that day at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and remains open between services. The majestic Our Lady of Guadalupe (411 N. Rampart St.) also offers Easter mass at 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (in Spanish), and 6 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Shopping for Women Near the Prince Conti French Quarter Hotel

Shopping for Women Near the Prince Conti French Quarter Hotel
Photo courtesy of Bambi Deville’s Vintage Clothing New Orleans on Facebook

Shopping in New Orleans gives visitors another way to experience the city’s vibrancy. Clothing in the French Quarter runs the gamut of styles and this list of some of the area’s best women’s clothing shops reflects that. Whether you’re looking for vintage or contemporary, formal or casual, there’s something for everyone in the French Quarter.

Dirty Coast (713 Royal Street)

Dirty Coast offers casual New Orleans themed clothing and gifts for women and men. Their French Quarter location opened in 2016 “at the corner of Pirates Alley and Touchdown Jesus” (their description). Since 2002 the company has printed more than 250 local designs for t-shirts and posters that proclaim their love for New Orleans. Co-founder and designer Blake Haney was in Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina and created the company’s first design, a bumper sticker that said “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are” and stuck 5,000 of them all over the city as soon as he could move back. Write ups in the Times Picayune and the New York Times followed. The company now has devotees around the globe, locals and visitors who want to celebrate how much they love New Orleans.

Bambi DeVille Vintage (818 Royal Street)

Bambi DeVille Engeran’s vintage clothing business grew out of a lifetime of collecting, inspired by her father’s antique and collectible business with a thirty year history on Royal Street. The shop features vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories from the turn of the 19th century into the 1980s, with dresses and casual wear for every occasion. There are vintage kimonos from Kyoto, mid-century Mardi Gras capes and headdresses, and thousands of pieces of Bakelite. Housed in a former private residence built in the 1920s, the space also features photography, fine art, stamps, and coins. The family’s history in the area and the building’s design make the shop an unforgettable New Orleans experience.

Trashy Diva, Lingerie Shop (712 Royal Street) Trashy Diva Clothing Boutique (537 Royal Street)

Trashy Diva started in 1996 as a traditional vintage clothing store and has expanded into five shops across New Orleans carrying vintage inspired clothing and lingerie with contemporary touches. There are two locations on Royal Street: a lingerie shop near the cathedral and a clothing boutique two blocks up. Trashy Diva’s lingerie shops offers custom fitted corsets, essential to the city’s burlesque community, as well as myriad other lacy undergarments. Many styles in the clothing boutique pay homage to the 1940s and 50s; bold Asian inspired prints and elegant florals decorate day dresses while evening options include velvet, bias cut gowns like something Audrey Hepburn might wear to Tiffany’s.

Hemline (609 Chartres Street)

Hemline is an elegant boutique with two locations in New Orleans. Their flagship store is located in the French Quarter and sells contemporary designers like Nanette Lepore, Tracy Reese, Amanda Uprichard, and Dolce Vita, among many others. Brigette Holthausen moved to New Orleans from Brazil at age 16 and started the business selling backpacks, sandals, and jewelry at the French Market, opening her shop on Chartres several years later.

UAL (United Apparel Liquidators) (512 Chartres Street)

UAL focuses on deeply discounted designer fashion. The inventory changes almost daily and the wide variety of merchandise in the store’s single room makes digging for the perfect look a lot of fun. Christian Louboutin heels, Kara Ross handbags, and Chloe blouses will fill the store one week, and next week that’s gone and Alexander Wang dresses occupy the racks along with Chanel and Valentino. Some of the pieces are sample items or marked as defective, so a careful eye makes for the best shopping experience.

All of these shops are in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, short blocks from the Prince Conti Hotel. Guests can enjoy first class accommodations as well as shopping that reflects the diversity of cultures and styles that make New Orleans unique.

Enjoy the Music at Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans

One of the best things about New Orleans is the city’s undying passion for music. Music lovers come from near and far to experience New Orleans’ diverse music scene, that features a variety of musical artists and genres. Make your way down to New Orleans this summer and experience the city’s extravagant musical scene for yourself! This summer, the famous Satchmo SummerFest will be returning to the New Orleans August 5th-7th. Come enjoy fantastic live music and delicious local food and drink in Jackson Square at Satchmo SummerFest, and  take advantage of low summer rates and reserve your spot at one of the best hotels in New Orleans, the Prince Conti Hotel!

New Orleans French Quarter

Experience Foot-Tapping Music at Satchmo SummerFest

Satchmo SummerFest is New Orleans’ tribute to one of its most famous native sons, the beloved Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong on the centennial of his birth. This festival began back in 2001, and has since evolved into one of the top celebrations in the city. For many that attend this dynamic festival, if is the highland of the summer season! This festival includes live bands on two different stages, featuring some of New Orleans’ best musicians. Many of the musical artists performing will play their tributes to Louis Armstrong and his famous music. Some of the headliners at this New Orleans festival include the Preservation Hall Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bill Summers and Jazalsa, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, and several others. There will also be smaller indoor concerts and performances within the Louisiana State Museum’s Arsenal at 600 St. Peter Street.

satchmo fest

In addition to the vibrant outdoor music scene, this New Orleans festival would not be complete without plenty of delicious local food and drink. This festival offers some of New Orleans’ world-famous culinary delicacies for sale around the festival site, as well as refreshing beverages to keep you hydrated throughout the day. There are also several indoor events at Satchmo SummerFest, including inspiring seminars and lectures by musical authorities held at Le Petit Theatre, located across the street from The Cabildo and Jackson Square.

Shrimp From The Bombay Club in New Orleans

Looking for Hotels in New Orleans? Choose The Prince Conti Hotel

The charming Prince Conti Hotel is situated in the heart of the French Quarter, conveniently located close to numerous New Orleans attractions and destinations. When it comes to hotels in New Orleans, location is key. This hotel is located just minutes from Jackson Square, where Satchmo SummerFest will be taking place this coming August. You do not have to venture far to listen to live New Orleans music when you stay at the Prince Conti Hotel; Their restaurant, The Bombay Club, features great live music every night! The Prince Conti is a quick walk to Frenchman Street, where you will find tons of local bars and restaurants playing live music for all to enjoy. The hotel is also located near the Streetcar, which can take you to New Orleans’ Uptown to visit famous places for music like Tipitina’s and Le Bon Temps. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans this summer, be sure to check out the city’s unique music scene and book your reservation at one of the best hotels in New Orleans with great low room rates, the Prince Conti Hotel!

The Prince Conti Hotel in New Orleans, LA