Home of one of the most culturally fascinating and vibrant events in the world, Mardi Gras, New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana. Acknowledged for its distinct cross-cultural heritage and rich French and Spanish Creole Architecture, “The Big Easy,” as the city is often called, is among the oldest and the most idiosyncratic cities in the United States of America.
A major sufferer of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans continues to grow as a major tourist destination in the country. Covering both sides of the Mississippi River, the city is popular among the young for it oozes a vibrant atmosphere and fantastic nightlife. Although long reputed as an “adult-oriented” city, the Big Easy offers several family-friendly and child-friendly attractions and activities which encourage all sorts of travelers to pay a visit to this magnificent city.
Let us now explore some of the popular neighborhoods to help you decide where to stay in New Orleans during your visit.
Set in the heart of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, the ever-lively French Quarter, Bourbon Street is unarguably one of the craziest, party streets in the city. No visit to the city is complete without a night-out at this eventful part of New Orleans which has been known to excite visitors and locals alike for a very long time. The part of the street closer to Canal Street is where the majority of the nightlife exists while the lower stretch is mostly filled with entertainment avenues catering to the LGBT community. The street is especially spectacular during the annual Mardi Gras celebration but beware! The area gets jam-packed with visitors so if you are claustrophobic or don’t like a lot of people, it may be a good idea to steer clear of the neighborhood during the festive days. You could check out the historic Jackson square instead.
Good for: All kinds of adult travelers (no children), especially the young.
Other Highlights: New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, St. Louis Cathedral, St. Louis Cemetery, and the Preservation Hall.
- Courtyard by Marriott New Orleans French Quarter/Iberville – Located within the prominent French Quarter, the luxury property offers well-appointed guestrooms with modern amenities, an onsite bar, coffee shop, and access to a luxury spa, swimming pool, and fitness center. Great for couples and families.
- Bourbon Orleans Hotel – A couple of minutes from the Louisiana State Museum, this wonderful hotel offers comfortable rooms, an onsite restaurant and cocktail bar, an outdoor saltwater swimming pool, and private parking facility. A daily breakfast is available at a nominal rate. Suitable for couples and families.
- Dauphine Orleans Hotel – Just a block away from the thriving Bourbon Street, Dauphine Orleans Hotel features modern guestrooms with cable TV, tea/coffee maker, work area, and ensuite bathroom. The property also features a fitness center, an onsite bar, and an outdoor saltwater pool. Great for all kinds of travelers.
The Central Business District (CBD)
Also referred to as Downtown, the Central Business District is an interesting mix of commercial office buildings and entertainment avenues such as restaurants, bars, shopping arcades, and even concert halls. The area also has a handful of well-preserved 19th century structures that adds life to the otherwise high-rise skyscrapers that populate the area. One of the best things about this part of the city is its proximity to all the major attractions and activities. You can literally walk everywhere, however, you should try the Streetcar system as it is perhaps the most charming way to explore New Orleans other than walking around the beautiful streets.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Immaculate Conception Church, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
- Ace Hotel New Orleans – The well-appointed guestrooms at this New Orleans Hotel feature hypoallergenic mattresses, flat-screen TV, a fully stocked minibar, and an ensuite bathroom. The property also houses a fitness center, a restaurant, and a seasonal pool. Valet parking is available throughout the day. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans – Located less than 2 kilometers from the famous French Quarter and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, and an ensuite bathroom. The property also has a whirlpool and an outdoor swimming pool along with a 24-hour health center, a business center, and offers a daily complimentary breakfast. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Hyatt Regency New Orleans – A luxury hotel next to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and New Orleans Arena, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans offers luxurious accommodation, a huge meeting space, a fitness center, onsite restaurants, a bar, and an outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
The Garden District
This charismatic New Orleans district is as picturesque as the city can get. Think oak tree-lined streets, grand antebellum mansions, charming single-story cottages, the well-manicured gardens of St. Charles Avenues, and quite a few stunning churches. Spend just a little while here and you will know why the area is called the Garden District. As opposed to the lively and happening French Quarter, time slows down here and takes one step at a time. Also, this is the neighborhood to try some of the best dishes out of New Orleans traditional cuisine. Lafayette Cemetery, a 19th century burial ground with above-ground tombs and generations of families resting in the same place, is a must visit.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: St. Mary’s Assumption, National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Buckner Mansion, Women’s Opera Guild Home, and House of Broel.
- Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District – An upscale hotel on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line, the property features comfortable guestrooms with modern furnishings, flat-screen TV with cable, a tea/coffee maker, free Wi-Fi, and a work desk. Guests can also use the onsite business center, the fitness center, and the bar and restaurant. Great for solo travelers and couples.
- Henry Howard Hotel – Located within a few minutes’ walking distance from the Lafayette Cemetery, Henry Howard Hotel features well-appointed rooms with ensuite bathroom, free toiletries and hair dryer, a flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can rent a bike at the 24-hour front desk or relax at the terrace or the garden area. Great for couples and small families.
- Avenue Plaza Resort – Situated within the popular Garden District, Avenue Plaza Resort features luxurious accommodation with modern amenities, a rooftop with sun deck, an outdoor courtyard, an onsite restaurant and lounge, and a swimming pool. Located nearby are several shopping avenues, casinos, gourmet restaurants, and jazz clubs. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
Largely residential, the offbeat district of Faubourg Marigny or Marigny, as it is popularly called, is highly famous among locals and tourists for its distinguished live music scene. Characterized by its jazz clubs, bohemian bars, and Cajun bistros, the neighborhood has a come-as-you-go vibe which is as contagious as it is enthralling. For most visitors, Marigny is the real deal that showcases true southern hospitality wrapped with a promise of an epic night out in the town. The area is also famous for the adorable restored structures that are scattered around the streets. Staying in Marigny, you will always be close to the insanity that the rest of the city offers yet have your own pace and peace of mind within the admirable boundaries of the district.
Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially jazz lovers and foodies.
Other Highlights: Chartres Street, Washington Square, Frenchmen Art Market, Voodoo Spiritual Temple, Crescent Park Elevator, and Bywater Historic District.
- Royal Street Inn & Bar – Located within 10 minutes’ walking distance from St. Louis Cemetery, the hotel offers well-appointed guestrooms with brilliant features such as flat-screen TV with cable, free Wi-Fi, balcony, an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries, a coffee maker, and much more. Guests can also enjoy at the terrace or at the onsite bar. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
- Lions Inn Bed & Breakfast – A cozy Bed & Breakfast with beautiful exteriors as well as interiors, Lion Inn features charming guestrooms with a flat-screen TV, a wardrobe, a kitchenette (in selected rooms), and a seating area. A complimentary continental breakfast is served every morning. Guests are also encouraged to enjoy the onsite hot tub for a refreshing and soothing dip. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Blue60 Guest House – Every guestroom at this property is equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen TV with cable, seating area (in selected rooms), mini refrigerator, microwave, coffee machine, and an ensuite bathroom. A beautiful patio and a jet spa is also made available to the guests. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
Originally planned to be the main street of New Orleans, Canal Street was meant to be named after a supposed canal that connected the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. However, the construction never happened, and the street became New Orleans’ chief passageway for pedestrians as well as vehicles. The go-to shopping area for posh adults and the young for almost a century, the area still remains its charm as one of the notable shopping districts in New Orleans. One Canal Place is among the most significant structures in the area which comprises The Shops at Canal Place, a Saks Fifth Avenue store, the Theatres at Canal Place, and approximately around 45 other luxury retail stores. Some of the oldest theatres of the United States are in New Orleans and most of those are here on Canal Street, including the Saenger, the Orpheum, and the Carver.
Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially shopaholics and theatre lovers.
Other Highlights: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Museum of Death, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and Woldenberg Riverfront Park.
- Sheraton New Orleans Hotel – A few minutes’ walk from the throbbing French Quarter, the hotel features luxurious guestrooms with ensuite bathroom, ironing facilities, safety deposit box, and cable TV. Guests can also enjoy the onsite restaurant that serves traditional New Orleans menu, the cocktail bar, and Starbucks Coffee. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- New Orleans Marriott – One among the many plush properties of the Marriott group of hotels, the hotel offers lavish rooms with a contemporary décor, cozy beds, luxury bathroom amenities, tea/coffee maker, seating area, and river view (on selected rooms). The hotel also houses a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, a common lounge, a fine dining restaurant, and a fully-stocked bar. Great for all kinds of luxury travelers.
- Best Western Plus St. Christopher Hotel – This historic hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with a unique combination of exposed brick walls and modern luxury. A flat-screen cable TV, refrigerator, and a coffee maker are made available in every room. Guests can use the hotel’s business center or enjoy at the lively bar. Great for all kinds of travelers.
The most significant landmark of the French Quarter and of New Orleans, Jackson Square is an historic park which was once called “Place d’Armes,” however, it was renamed later as a commemoration to Andrew Jackson, a hero in the Battle of New Orleans. This timeless attraction stands facing the renowned Mississippi River and is encircled by some of the most prominent attractions of the city such as the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, and the Presbytère. The Pontalba Apartments, on two sides of the square, are home to several fashion stores, galleries, diners, as well as museums. The fence surrounding the historic square is also a great opportunity to admire the several artists indulge in their creativities around the outdoor space.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: The Moonwalk Riverfront Park, Steamboat Natchez, New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, and New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.
- Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans – Less than 10 minutes’ walking from the iconic Jackson Square, the elegant hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with flat-screen TV, video games, refrigerator, a seating area, a safe, and an ensuite bathroom. Extra amenities at the property include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and excellent wining and dining options. Great for all kinds of travellers.
- Hyatt Centric French Quarter – Rooms at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter are decorated with warm hues and modern amenities. Onsite services and facilities include a 24-hour business center, fitness center, pool, 3 restaurants, and a swimming pool. Dry cleaning, ironing services, and laundry facilities are available at additional charge. Great for all kinds of travellers.
- Wyndham New Orleans French Quarter – Within a kilometer of the prominent Jackson Square and Harrah’s Casino, the hotel offers stylish guestrooms with contemporary décor and world-class facilities. A 24-hour front desk and room service is made available for all the guests. Other amenities include an onsite restaurant, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a self-service launderette, and a business center. Perfect for solo travellers, couples, and small families.
The finest celebration of Creole heritage and African-American culture in New Orleans, Faubourg Tremé, more commonly known as Tremé, is reportedly among the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the United States of America. Several jazz clubs, cultural centers, and authentic restaurants are dotted around this rich neighborhood. Congo Square, in Louis Armstrong Park, plays host to innumerable concerts and outdoor movie screenings. Among the most remarkable sights in the neighborhood is St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, which is the final resting place to some of the oldest residents, including the infamous voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: St. Augustine Church, Backstreet Cultural Museum, Le Musée de F.P.C., and Tremé Petit Jazz Museum.
- Troubadour Hotel New Orleans, Tapestry Collection By Hilton – Among the few pet-friendly accommodations in the city, this hotel offers plush guestrooms with contemporary décor and amazing facilities such as extra-large beds, minibar, mini-refrigerator, and ensuite bathrooms. Guests can also enjoy the onsite restaurant, fitness center, and rooftop terrace. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Aloft New Orleans Downtown – A few minutes’ away from the happening Bourbon Street, this trendy hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with several amenities along with an onsite fitness center, bar, complimentary breakfast, billiards table, and an outdoor pool. Dry cleaning and laundry services are available at an additional cost. Great or for all kinds of travelers.
- Maison Pierre Lafitte – Situated a few hundred meters from significant attractions such as Bourbon Street, St. Louis Cathedral, and Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Maison Pierre Lafitte is a wonderful hotel and offers self-catering accommodation with free Wi-Fi, an onsite bar, and an amazing view of the city. Suitable for couples and families.