What to Do in the French Quarter in April

What to Do in the French Quarter in April

Don’t spread this around too much, but April might just be the best time to visit New Orleans. The city has recovered from its massive Mardi Gras hangover, crawfish season is in full, spicy swing, and the weather is just about as perfect as it gets, with average highs hovering in the mid-70s.

If that’s not incentive enough, April is a month jam-packed with music, food, parades, festivals… You know, all the stuff that makes New Orleans so New Orleans. Best of all? You don’t have to venture outside the French Quarter to enjoy the best the city has to offer, and many of these events don’t cost a dime.

Just bring a sense of joie de vivre and let the good times roll!

Hogs for the Cause – March 31 – April 1, 2023

Still going strong after 15 years, Hogs for the Cause is an annual fundraiser with plenty of BBQ, live music, and family-friendly fun. Held at the UNO Lakefront Arena, with plenty of room to accommodate the crowds.

Crescent City Classic – April 8, 2023

Yes, the Crescent City Classic is a 10k that attracts top athletes from around the world, but it’s so much more than a road race. Even if your idea of a workout is walking from Cafe du Monde to Pat O’Brien’s, you owe it to yourself to check out the race, festival, music and people who have made the Crescent City Classic a New Orleans institution for close to 40 years.

You can run, walk, dance, or push a stroller down all or part of its scenic route, which loops from the Superdome, through the Quarter and up Esplanade Avenue before ending in a party in City Park. Or you can sit on the sidelines, cheer on the participants and ask yourself how it’s possible for so many people to run while drinking and wearing a full bunny costume. Either way, traditionally held the day before Easter Sunday, the Crescent City Classic is a spectacle not to be missed.

Easter Sunday Parades – April 9, 2023

Easter is a time for celebration, chocolate bunnies and church services, but in New Orleans, it’s decidedly over the top. Wear your finest pastels, florals, seersucker, and hats (the bigger the better) and you’ll fit right in at the city’s three Easter parades.

They kick off at 9:45 a.m., when The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade rolls from Antoine’s Restaurant (713 St. Louis St.) to St. Louis Cathedral for 11 a.m. mass.

After that, things take a turn for the campy with the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade, which celebrates the late Bourbon Street’s reigning queen. It rolls from Canal and Bourbon streets at 1 p.m.

Finally, the Gay Easter Parade closes down the celebrations at 5:30 p.m., with floats, throws and dancers galore. Celebrate good times, come on!

French Quarter Festival – April 13-16, 2023

It’s the largest free music festival in the South, when more than 1,700 musicians take over 23 stages scattered throughout the Vieux Carre and commence to rock out. There’s a preponderance of jazz, zydeco, New Orleans funk, brass bands… Pretty much every form of music native to Louisiana and the Delta gets a chance to shine in front of more than 760,000 attendees. Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes, because you’ll be doing a lot of walking from stage to stage (not to mention dancing).

Crawfest – April 22, 2023

You probably guessed it right: It’s a festival that revolves around crawfish, but it also comes with music and other kinds of food. It’s an annual festival held on Tulane’s Uptown campus.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – April 28-May 7, 2023

If you’re coming to New Orleans during the last weekend in April, you probably already know about the granddaddy of all music festivals, Jazz Fest. From contemporary arena-filling rock stars and rap gods to pop princesses and living legends, the festival covers every musical base as it takes over the Fair Grounds Race Course (1751 Gentilly Blvd.). This year’s lineup is stellar, as it is every year.

And of course, there’s a hearty assortment of Louisiana acts at the stages. Don’t leave without feasting on food as well as music — crawfish bread, po-boys, muffulettas, boiled seafood, red beans and rice, and more are all for sale. Pro tip: Tent a bike to cruise right up to the gates — it’s an easy 3.4-mile ride — and wear rubber boots and a poncho if it rains. (You’ll thank us when the dirt race tracks turn to knee-deep mud.)

Wednesday at the Square – every Wednesday in April

This is the free spring concert series held on Lafayette Square from March through May in the CBD. Proceeds from food and beverage sales benefit the Young Leadership Council’s community projects. Check the event’s website for this year’s lineup.

The Top 10 Landmarks Near Our French Quarter Hotel

The Top 10 Landmarks Near Our French Quarter Hotel

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 Street)

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 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)

General admission to either: $10

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, which was 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 houses several permanent exhibits, including these two standouts. 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 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.

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. And 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 the 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, the 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. Museum at the Old Ursuline Convent (1100 Chartres Street)

$8 general admission

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.

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 weekends.

The scenic street is also known for its wrought-iron balconies and other charming architectural details and lush courtyards, including those featured by the street’s many restaurants. Consider having a leisurely break at Cafe Beignet, or 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 George Rodrique Studios, 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 Antiques, 630 Royal St., for instance, is considered one of the best destinations in the world for antique shopping.

10. Frenchmen Street, Marigny

Frenchmen Street‘s three-block area has 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, plus New Orleans classics on its food menu. 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 kinds 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 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.

When you’re done with the hustle and the bustle of the French Quarter and the Marigny, have a handcrafted cocktail at The Bombay Club or a bite to eat at Cafe Conti at the Prince Conti Hotel. Although it’s located in the heart of the historical French Quarter, just steps away from its most exciting sights and destinations, Prince Conti offers a quiet respite from it all, an oasis with an elegant yet relaxed vibe.

Best Things to Do and See in Nearby Neighborhoods


Photo by Trevor Mark

Just outside the Quarter, not far from the Prince Conti Hotel, 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 on 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 Hear 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 local and touring bands, along with a colorful grab bag of homegrown entertainment.

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.).

Whet your whistle at Bud Rips, the locals’ favorite dive bar, and take a dip in the pool at the Country Club. Then swing by Bacchanal Wine, grab a bottle of wine, and take it out to the open-air courtyard, where you can feast on upscale bar food like build-your-own-cheese-plate and bacon-wrapped dates. 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 often. 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 with James Beard awards. Dig in, and enjoy!

The Perfect French Quarter Girls’ Day

Full of the feminine mystique, from the great voodoo queen Marie Laveau to Baroness Micaela Pontalba, the savvy aristocrat who built Jackson Square’s historic Pontalba buildings, the French Quarter is an ideal setting for spending time with women you love. Whether you’re a mother-daughter duo or traveling with a group of friends, the Prince Conti Hotel is a terrific launching pad for spending a delightful day in the company of women.

Start Your Day at Café Conti

You don’t have to leave the hotel to enjoy one of the Quarter’s most delicious breakfasts/brunches. Open every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cafe Conti offers an extensive menu of crepes, from savory (crab and brie) to sweet (peaches and cream), along with brunch bites like Benedict of the Day and ham and brie baguettes.

Go Shopping

Shopping in the French Quarter runs a long gamut of opportunities: from high-end chain retail at The Shops at Canal Place to magical spell components at a voodoo-for-tourists shop located down a small back alleyway (Voodoo Authentica). You’ll find just about every version of retail therapy in the Quarter. So, hit the streets and check out the boutiques lining up on Chartres Street, or try on wigs at Fifi Mahony’s. Another must-shop destination: Trashy Diva, a motherlode of original vintage-inspired designs that flatter every body size and shape.

Enjoy Happy Hour at Hermes Bar Antoine’s

You’ll feel like a grande dame sipping house cocktails and wine at the Hermes Bar. Adjacent to the legendary Antoine’s restaurant, this elegant enclave is lined with glass cases of Mardi Gras memorabilia dating back to the late 19th century. To complete the experience, order the house specialty: Oysters Rockefeller, originated by Antoine’s in 1889.

Get Your Fortune Told at Jackson Square

Head to Jackson Square, where a whole army of colorfully-clad soothsayers can divine your future with tarot cards, bones, runes, and other divinatory tools. The experience is always entertaining, especially with girlfriends.

Have Dinner at Muriel’s Jackson Square

Nearly destroyed in the Good Friday fire of 1788 and later rebuilt as a grand private home, Muriel’s Jackson Square has been restored to its mid-1800s glory and opened to the public in 2001. Start out with a house Bloody Mary or martini and dig into New Orleans classics like gumbo and pain perdu bread pudding.

Cap Your Day in Style at The Bombay Club

You’ll want to deck yourself out in style for drinks, dinner and jazz at one of the Quarter’s hidden gems. So take plenty of time to primp in your room before heading down to The Bombay Club. Tucked away at the back of the Prince Conti Hotel, this chic restaurant and lounge is stocked with top-shelf spirits and boasts the most extensive martini menu in town.

Cajun meets Brit in a creative menu with dishes like fish and chips, and alligator sausage and duck confit gumbo. Stick around for live jazz performed nightly by some of New Orleans’ top jazz combos and cabaret artists. Then hit the hay or hit the streets, depending on how the spirit moves you.

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 also 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 with citywide promotions like 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 participating local restaurants run the gamut from the iconic to the smaller, more casual ones.

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 the 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 cruises 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, held at the 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.

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans every summer, 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 block party 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 23-28, 2023. 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. Expect over 300 events crammed into six days, including the always-popular “best of” Spirited Awards and many cocktail-themed parties.

Satchmo SummerFest, 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 the first Saturday of August (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night, exactly one week later). 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 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, always held on the second Saturday of August, 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 is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. It started as a going-away party in the early 70s but is now considered the fifth-largest event in New Orleans. This massive four-day festival celebrates LGBTQA+ 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.

Cooling Off in the French Quarter

Then there are these chilled-out destinations that 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) 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 ($20). 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!

Kick Off Your Summer With ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans

Photo by Danny Howe on Unsplash

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 is typically held over the Independence Day weekend (June 29-July 3, 2023) mostly at the two New Orleans venues: the Caesars 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 were also held over the years at the Contemporary Arts Center. New since 2019, the Wellness House experience is held in the Arts District downtown.

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).

A Music Lover’s Dream

Music fans from all over simply can’t go wrong with all the incredible names in every year’s lineup. The 2023 lineup is yet to be announced, but in the past, attendees were treated to performances by some of the biggest names in the music business, including 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 features 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 also not to be missed.

ESSENCE Is Much More Than Music

Besides the stellar music lineup, the festival is jam-packed with conferences, keynote events, and other experiences. A slew of exciting exhibitions, roundtables, and other events await, including a series of keynotes. The Beauty Carnival and Wellness House experiences features celebrity beauty influencers and wellness experts, and the popular ESSENCE Eats has cooking demos and a food court with 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.

New Orleans Fall Highlights

Fall in New Orleans means the end of heat-induced hibernation and switching gears to enjoy the upcoming months of moderate weather, a calendar full of foodie-haven and music festivals, a unique take on Halloween, plus several parades and many other fun activities. With the summer lull over, this is a great time to visit Crescent City. Here are a few highlights, to give you an idea of just how much is going on in New Orleans in the fall.

SEPTEMBER

Southern Decadence

August 31 – September 4, 2023

Held over the Labor Day weekend, this popular festival celebrates LGBTQA+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world. The festival’s annual hub, Bourbon Pub/Parade, is typically open 24/7. Just like in previous years, it serves as an epicenter of the Bourbon Street Extravaganza, a free show/block party happening on Saturday, and the annual Southern Decadence Grand Marshal Parade on Sunday.

National Fried Chicken Festival

September 30 – October 1, 2023  

This relative newcomer on the foodie-fest scene serves as one of the highlights of September. The two-day free fest usually features three outdoor stages, two for music and one for the cooking demos, at the Lakefront. The stellar food lineup includes over 30 well-known fried chicken vendors coming from all over the region to represent different cooking styles of this classic Southern dish.

New Orleans Burlesque Festival

September 2023 dates TBA  

This annual international event brings together the best of local talent and some big international names. Dancers, emcees, comics, singers, and variety-act performers will be doing nightly shows at the Civic Theatre and House of Blues. The main event, usually held on Saturday at the Civic Theatre, will have performers from all over the world competing for the title of “Queen of Burlesque.”

Beignet Festival

September 2023 date TBA

This annual extravaganza returned in 2022 and is held at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds. The free, daylong party gives you an opportunity to sample over 30 renditions of the beloved beignet, from traditional sweet treats swimming in powdered sugar to savory options bursting with seafood and cheese. There are usually vegan and gluten-free beignets to accommodate every diet, and awards are given in four “Best of” categories. Don’t forget to vote for your pick!

OCTOBER

Oktoberfest

October 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2023

New Orleans throws its version of Oktoberfest over three Fridays and Saturdays in October at Deutsches Haus in Mid-City, to celebrate the city’s rich German history with all the usual trappings, including authentic food and live music.

Art for Art’s Sake

October 7, 2023

The always well-attended Art for Art’s Sake is an opportunity to browse the shops and galleries along the commercial stretch of Magazine Street. Expect extended hours, special deals, live music, and beverage sampling.

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival

October 13-15, 2023

This free fest happens every year in the CBD, in Lafayette Square. Join the fun for two stages of music, a dozen of the best barbecue vendors in the region, and a large art market.

Krewe of Boo

October 21, 2023

This lively affair has become the “official Halloween Parade” in New Orleans in 2007, and has been going strong since, only growing in popularity. The parade is brought to you by Kern Studios, so expect the usual 3-D fiberglass and papier-mâché extravaganza, plus all of your favorite spooky characters. All the monsters on the floats are PG-13 and not too scary even for the youngest kids. Parade-goers are encouraged to come in costume. Expect plush toys, candy and unique, eco-conscious throws.

Halloween

The second half of October; October 31, 2023

New Orleans puts its own spin on the Halloween fun with a slew of balls, costume parties, a parade, haunted tours, and a huge block party on Frenchmen Street. The city knows how to do Halloween in a family-friendly style too. We are thankful for the variety, and hope you’ll find plenty of entertainment in the two weeks leading up to the holiday as well as on the day of Halloween itself.

Tremé Fall Festival

October 2023 date TBA

This local fave throws a serious party in the blocks connecting Henriette Delille, Tremé, and Gov. Nicholls Streets in one the nation’s first African American neighborhoods during the first weekend of October, just as the weather is getting nice. Most of the action is centered in front of the historic St. Augustine Church on the 1100 block of Henriette Delille Street. Expect entertainment from New Orleans musical royalty and food trucks and vendors from some of New Orleans’ best eateries. The festival is donation-based.

NOLA Mac n’ Cheese Fest

October 2023 date TBA

This free annual fest is held at Louis Armstrong Park and keeps expanding to accommodate its growing popularity. The fest features a judged competition among the dozens of mac ‘n’ cheese dishes from Louisiana restaurants, pop-ups and food catering businesses, an artist market, and an eating competition. The festival was canceled in 2019-2021, but is slated to make its fourth appearance in 2023.

NOVEMBER

New Orleans Film Festival

November 2-7, 2023

The New Orleans Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in the South and is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state. The festival has grown to the point of attracting thousands of attendees and industry insiders, plus more than 400 filmmakers and over 200 films annually. It’s one of the few film festivals in the nation that showcases Oscar-qualifying films drawn from all three Academy-accredited categories: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short. Venues include Broad, Orpheum and Prytania theaters, and the festival’s hub, the Contemporary Arts Center.

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival

November 16-17

The annual Tremé Creole Gumbo festival serves up the perfect trifecta of gumbo, brass bands and cooler temps, returning to celebrate over a decade of existence at Louis Armstrong Park. A few years ago this festival was merged with another popular local event, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, adding more music, and featuring two art markets and two food courts.

Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds Race Course

November 23, 2023

Per a long-standing New Orleans tradition, it’s customary to turn out at the track on Thanksgiving Day to watch the opening-day races while sporting cocktails and some seriously fabulous hats. The first race starts at 11 a.m., and the racetrack also serves a sumptuous holiday buffet, plus a fancy dinner with all the holiday trimmings at the Clubhouse.

Bayou Classic

November 24-25, 2023

Each November the Bayou Classic draws the fans and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans over the Thanksgiving weekend to partake in one of the country’s greatest college sports rivalries. Over the years, this has become much more than a football game, drawing more than 200,000 visitors to New Orleans. The event stretches for two days and includes a fan fest, a parade, the battle of the bands, and, of course, the big game at the Superdome.

Celebration in the Oaks

November 24, 2023 – January 1, 2024

This beloved New Orleans tradition is celebrating over three decades of existence, selling out quickly for the past few years. Celebration in the Oaks is a dazzling holiday lights festival scattered throughout the 25 acres of the City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Stroll through the magical grounds swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, take a train ride or a holiday picture by the iconic Mr. Bingle, listen to the caroling, do some holiday shopping, or ride the historic carousel.

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

November 2023 date TBA

There’s a po-boy for every budget and palate in New Orleans, and at this festival dedicated to the beloved New Orleans staple you can sample over 50 varieties. Dozens of vendors also compete in several “Best of” categories.

Year at a Glance in New Orleans

From major music and cultural events to the festivals that honor just about every local food there is, New Orleans celebrates life like no other city. From the fabulously unique traditions like Reveillon and Super Sunday to the Saints football season, the city doesn’t stop eating, drinking, and celebrating. To give you a glimpse of just how much is going on in New Orleans all year round, here’s a quick look at the annual highlights grouped by season.

Fall (September 1 – November 30)

Cooler temps and the seemingly endless slew of food, drink and music festivals are on tap in the fall in New Orleans, starting over the Labor Day weekend with the massive and fabulous Southern Decadence, a popular festival that celebrates LGBTQA+ with block parties, shows, and a parade. September fun continues with the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, with performers from all over the world competing for the title of “Queen of Burlesque.” The Beignet Festival is also held in late September, at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds.

October begins with the ever-expanding National Fried Chicken Festival at the Lakefront. Also, New Orleans throws its version of Oktoberfest over the three weekends at Deutsches Haus in Mid-City, to celebrate the city’s rich German history, followed by one of the best-attended art events in the city, Art for Art’s Sake.

October is pretty heavy on food festivals as well: Mac n’ Cheese Fest and Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival happen then (sometimes on the same day), plus the Tremé Fall Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival, which is one of the largest film festivals in the South and is the longest-running one festival of its kind in the state.

New Orleans does Halloween like no other city, so if you’re lucky to be visiting around that time, consider any of the balls, costume parties, parade, haunted tours, and a huge block party on Frenchmen Street! The kid-friendly parade called Krewe of Boo rolls through the French Quarter, courtesy of Kern Studios, and there are many more Halloween activities around the city happening in the couple weeks leading up to Halloween.

November brings more food festivals — the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival and Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival (now merged with the Congo Square Rhythms Festival).

Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds Race Course is a long-standing New Orleans tradition of turning out at the track on Thanksgiving Day to watch the opening-day races while sporting cocktails and some seriously fabulous hats. Next, there’s Bayou Classic, a fan fest, a parade, the battle of the bands, and, of course, the big game at the Superdome between Southern University and Grambling State University. The beloved Celebration in the Oaks kicks off the holiday season with a dazzling holiday lights festival scattered throughout the 25 acres of the City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

Winter (December 1 – February 28)

There’s a whole slew of events that accompany Christmastime in the Crescent City, from bonfires on the Algiers levies to concerts at St. Louis Cathedral to the family-friendly NOLA ChristmasFest to Reveillon menus at some of the city’s classic Creole restaurants.

But surely one of the most pleasurable things you can do during the winter holidays in New Orleans is to simply stroll through the French Quarter, marveling at the light displays that are hung from wrought iron fences and elegant European-style balconies. The streetcars are decked with wreaths, and the city is alight with the holiday sparkle, including at the annual LUNA Fête that brings large-scale light and sound installations to the Convention Center.

The New Year’s Eve celebrations in New Orleans include the Dick Clark Rockin’ New Year’s Eve at the historic Jax Brewery in the French Quarter, with a fleur-de-lis drop at midnight to the countdown on Jackson Square, quite a few balcony parties on and around Bourbon Street, and the fireworks over the Mississippi River.

The first day of the carnival season, known as Twelfth Night, or the Epiphany, kicks off every year with three parades — Phunny Phorty Phellows ride the streetcar from Uptown to Canal Street and back, plus the walking Krewe of Joan of Arc in the French Quarter, and the Société Des Champs Elysée that follows the N. Rampart/St. Claude streetcar route.

The King Cake Festival also marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras season, which culminates every year on Fat Tuesday anytime between February 3 and March 9. There’s not enough room to describe one of the great spectacles in the world, but keep up with the parade schedule to at least get started on how to do Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

February closes with an enormous public Tet celebration in New Orleans East to celebrate the Lunar New Year (did you know that New Orleans is home to one of the largest Vietnamese diaspora communities in the country?), and Valentine’s Day – which isn’t unique to New Orleans but is nevertheless good to celebrate in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Spring (March 1 – May 31)

Lovely weather and endless festivals continue this time of year with Wednesday at the Square; the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (don’t miss the “Stella!” shouting contest); the Mid-City’s own Bayou Boogaloo, held on the picturesque banks of Bayou St. John; the Freret Street Festival that’s getting bigger every year; and, of course, the two heavy hitters and the reason so many visitors come to New Orleans in the spring – the French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest.

March rages on with NOLA on Tap Beer Fest at the Lafreniere Park (March 18, 2023), the largest fundraiser for the Louisiana SPCA and the largest beer fest in the area, with more than 400 beer offerings from local and national breweries and homebrewers.

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are subject to more celebration, with multiple parades and parties. Finally, the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday is a treasured tradition dating back to the 19th century and held on the Sunday closest to St. Joseph’s Day, which gets its own unique celebration across the Catholic churches and even private homes in the city with the beautifully appointed altars (the Italian-Sicilian contribution to New Orleans’ rich cultural tapestry).

Summer (June 1 – August 31)

Want to cross an iconic New Orleans restaurant off your bucket list? There’s no time like Restaurant Week New Orleans (June 19-25, 2023), during which dozens of participating restaurants, from the James Beard luminaries to the new hotspots to the Creole grand dames offer set course menus at a deep discount. Also in June (June 7-11, 2023), is another culinary fest, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, and the popular Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, held at Louis Armstrong Park.

The best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Tales of the Cocktail in July, and COOLinary New Orleans with prix fixe menus in August. You can also browse the galleries on the White Linen Night (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night).

The city comes to life for the Satchmo SummerFest and a slew of events over the Fourth of July and the Labor Day weekends, like Go 4th on the River, and the Essence Festival at the Superdome. The French Market Creole Tomato Festival is one of the smaller fests to enjoy, and Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans, except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls.

Finally, the Red Dress Run (who doesn’t want to run a madcap two-mile course through the city in August while wearing a red dress?) will at least keep your mind off the heat.

Phew! These are just some of the annual highlights. Happy exploring, in any season!

Getting Fit in the French Quarter

get-fit-french-quarter

New Orleans may be the city that care forgot but that doesn’t mean it has to be the city where your fitness regime is forgotten, too. Admittedly, it’s not always easy to stay disciplined, especially on vacation. Between beignets, jambalaya, eggs Benedict and bourbon milk punch, the Crescent City offers many delicious ways to fall off the wagon, diet-wise.

But what most people don’t know is that the French Quarter also is host to several fantastic gyms, running paths and group exercise classes. If all else fails, just walking the Vieux Carré’s slate-paved sidewalks is a great way to plow through calories — strap on a pedometer and watch the steps add up alongside your sightseeing.

Craving a more intense burn? Here are some fantastic workouts that’ll take you into the vibrant, bustling heart of the French Quarter itself.

Running the Riverwalk

More than 16 million gallons of water roll down the mighty Mississippi River every minute — and with this sunny riverside run you’ll be getting in the flow right alongside them. The paved route is just blocks from the hotel’s front door.

Looking for an energizing two-mile route? Make a right when you hit the river, jog through scenic Woldenberg Park until you approach the Aquarium of the Americas, then double back and run to the opposite end of the Moonwalk (a paved path named for former mayor Moon Landrieu).

For a more challenging, 5.5-mile route, tack on a jaunt down Crescent Park. You’ll exit the Moonwalk, make a right on Decatur Street, follow it to Esplanade Avenue, turn right on Esplanade, and follow the signs to a beautiful 1.4-mile linear park connecting the Bywater, Marigny and French Quarter. Run to the end and back, and by the time you return to your room, you’ll have racked up almost a 10K.

P.S. Forget to pack your sneakers? The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, where you can snag a pair of discount designer running shoes, is just steps away from this path.

New Orleans Athletic Club

A local staple since 1872, frequented by stars ranging from Tennessee Williams to Clark Gable, this opulent gym is worth a visit even if all you do is splash in the pool. (Where else will you find chandeliers, ballrooms, a library, and a full bar alongside top-of-the-line fitness equipment and weights?) The daily drop-in rate is $20 and includes admission to yoga and group exercise classes. Just bring your driver’s license and hotel room key to register.

Pole Perfect Fitness

Sure, you can schedule a group pole class or a bachelorette party with this fitness studio located at The Shops at Canal Place, but Pole Perfect Fitness also offers a more serious fare though still with a fun vibe such as pole classes, hooping, and pilates.

The Sweat Social

For many, high-energy group exercise classes are a great motivator. (You’re not going to phone in your workout when an instructor is right there demanding more reps, right?) The Sweat Social is a group exercise class geared toward travelers, offering yoga, high-intensity interval training, mat Pilates, bodyweight strength exercises, kickboxing, and many other workouts for people of all fitness levels.

Best of all, instructors encourage participants to mingle with team-building exercises, icebreakers, and raffles — so who knows, you might find a new drinking buddy to grab cocktails with after class. Scheduled on demand, classes are held in central locations in the French Quarter. Pricing varies depending on the type of class and group size.

Yoga at the Cabildo

This elegant building housed the Spanish colonial building in the 1700s, and now it’s a venue for yoga classes (also, a museum). For a double dose of history and fitness all under one French mansard roof, check out Yoga at the Cabildo. Appropriate for all practice levels, classes take place in a sunny, high-ceilinged room overlooking Jackson Square on Saturday mornings. They are $20 or $10 for Friends of the Cabildo members.

Guide to Frenchmen Street: The Venues, Music and More

Frenchmen Street

Frenchmen Art Market photo by Connie Ma

Check out the city’s robust music culture — there’s no better place for live music than the Marigny Triangle. Situated between Esplanade Avenue and Elysian Fields, this wedge-shaped neighborhood is bisected by Frenchmen Street, a pedestrian-friendly strip of music clubs, bars, restaurants, and an art market, some of which don’t get going until after 10 p.m. At that point, brass bands, pedestrians and food trucks combine to create a giant block party. Dance on the street corner or venture into one of these excellent music venues and restaurants.

Blue Nile (532 Frenchmen St.)

You may have spotted a neon crescent moon sign of this stalwart music club hanging above the sidewalk. Blue Nile hosts a wide range of musical genres ranging from funk to brass bands. Cover price varies depending on the act, and a word to the wise: the club’s second-floor balcony is the best place to overlook the wild street party that is Frenchmen Street.

Bamboula’s (514 Frenchmen St.)

Here, you’ll find casual New Orleans fare like po-boys and jambalaya. The no-cover eclectic live music seven days a week is another draw.

Dat Dog (601 Frenchmen St.)

Dat Dog is a colorful, affordable option if you end up partying on Frenchmen. It’s open late (till 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and till midnight the rest of the week), and has a kid menu and vegetarian options. But, basically, it’s tots, fries and dogs made with many different kinds of meat and loaded with sauces, condiments, veggies, and other goodness. Create your own or choose from a large menu of creatively named specials. There are more than 30 toppings to choose from. Though Dat Dog has two more locations, both Uptown, this one has an undisputed perk, a big balcony for all your viewing and partying pleasure.

d.b.a. (618 Frenchmen St.)

Since this live music venue opened its doors in 2000, d.b.a. has hosted hundreds of live acts. The bar features a broad selection of beer and spirits, and the music plays nightly. Tin Men and John Boutte perform there regularly.

Downtown Tattoos (501 Frenchmen St.)

This corner tattoo shop is the premier place to get inked in New Orleans. Its roster of talent includes heavy hitters, and the shop takes walk-ins for the ultimate souvenir — but if you’re not ready to commit to the artwork on your skin, you can hang the tattoo artists’ work on your walls when you visit the adjacent art gallery. There, tattooers who also paint on canvas sell their work.

Frenchmen All Day (630 Frenchmen St.)

Small and quaint, Frenchmen All Day is a cafe with indoor seating, as well as sidewalk cafe seating, a full bar, coffee, and brunch fare. The menu has breakfast quiches, Cuban sandwiches, NOLA staples like crawfish etouffee and red beans and rice, and salads. Open till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Marigny Brasserie (640 Frenchmen St.)

The casual, live music venue at the end of Frenchmen offers an elevated Cajun/Creole menu, hand-crafted cocktails, a good wine list, and local draft beer plus live big-band music.

Palace Market Frenchmen (619 Frenchmen St.)

This nightly art market is held in a quirky, light-strung lot, lined with vendors selling everything from handmade soap and incense to original art and clothing. It’s a good place to shop, chat and hang out when the hustle and bustle of Frenchmen get too overwhelming. Bring your drink and settle into a cozy nook, where you can chat and people-watch until you catch your breath.

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro (626 Frenchmen St.)

Snug Harbor is a sit-down ticketed music venue that is home to local and touring heavyweights of traditional and modern jazz (such as a weekly show by Ellis Marsalis). For over 30 years, Snug Harbor has provided the best in live jazz and great regional cuisine. Snug Harbor is located in three rooms of a renovated 1800s storefront — a dining room, a bar, and a music room.

The Maison (508 Frenchmen St.)

A music club that triples as a restaurant and bar. It’s three-level, with multiple stages where you can find drag, burlesque, and live music of many genres. The menu is primarily New Orleans classics, a house burger, and sandwich platters.

The Spotted Cat (623 Frenchmen St.)

Petite, sweaty, noisy, and fun, this music club features up to three bands nightly. It draws an eclectic crowd — you’ll see everyone from college students to septuagenarian tourists out there dancing. The venue can get crowded, so if you need to get some air, step out and take a breather at a nearby art market.

Three Muses (536 Frenchmen St.)

Three Muses is one of the best dinner-and-a-show venues in the city, and there’s live music every night. It can get crowded, so you want to make a table reservation (good for 90 minutes, after which you can go to the bar). Some of the best musicians have played there, and the excellent food menu has a lot of vegetarian options.