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 the ESSENCE Festival of Culture 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 (July 4-7, 2024) 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.

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 2024 theme is “loving on us.” Headliners include Janet Jackson, Charlie Wilson, and Birdman & Friends, who will also honor three decades of Cash Money Millionaires.

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 feature 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 the 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.

Take advantage of Prince Conti Hotel’s specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

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

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 (plus the participants from the other roller derby leagues across the country) 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 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, 2024. 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 Gallier Hall (545 St. Charles Ave.) in downtown New Orleans, enjoying live music, food trucks, and sangria. (Please note the new venue this year.)

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 will stick around after the run is done, at approximately noon, to continue partying at Gallier Hall or do some bar crawling in the area. Another option is the after-party, La Fiesta de Pantalones (2024 location TBA).

The festival’s opening party on Friday is an annual ticketed fundraiser with an open bar, an auction, and delicious food provided by local restaurants. The closing party on Sunday, called El Pobre de Mi (“Poor Me”), will wrap things up. This will be your chance to recover from the run with burlesque and cocktails.

The events happening on Friday and Saturday are ticketed, 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.

Interested? Get tickets online and check out the rules of the run before you go.

Are You visiting New Orleans soon?

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

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

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

The city’s local restaurants and cultural destinations sweeten the deal with citywide promotions like Museum Month and COOLinary, both in August (COOLinary ends on September 15, 2024), 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 a prix fixe deal.

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. 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 Audubon Aquarium, the Audubon Insectarium, or the incredible World War II Museum.

Grab a warm and fresh beignet at the famous Cafe Du Monde, or go shopping at the Riverwalk Outlets 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 of Culture, 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 Gallier Hall.

Some of the best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Tales of the Cocktail on July 21-26, 2024. 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 two-day festival (August 3-4, 2024) is held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the foot of Esplanade Avenue., and will have music on those days 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 cousin, the Dirty Linen Night, exactly one week later). White Linen Night is a block party and an open house for galleries on the 300-600 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District, with several stages for live music and dozens of food and drink stands. About 20 galleries on and around Julia St. will be open to the public.

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 300-1100 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 LGBTQI+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world. Just like every year, most activities will be centered in and around the French Quarter, with lots of block parties and dance parties at bars and clubs on Bourbon Street, plus two parades.

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

See you this summer!

What You Need to Know About the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Jazz Fest Entrance

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

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

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

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

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

The 2024 Jazz Fest

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

Are You Coming to Jazz Fest?

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

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

St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans: What You Need to Know


Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

There’s plenty of Irish in this town, so the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day is an important one for the city of New Orleans. Several parades kick off, including the infamous Irish Channel Parade, where float riders pass cabbages to the screaming crowds. Also, the Downtown Irish Club Parade rolls from the Bywater to the French Quarter, making several pit stops on its way to Bourbon Street.

Here’s what to expect during the nearly two weeks’ worth of festivities, including block parties, balcony parties, and, of course, parades.

St. Patrick’s Day Events in New Orleans

Downtown Irish Club Annual Grand Marshall Party Bus

Saturday, March 9, 2024, 1:30-4 p.m.

The club will be meeting at the Ugly Dog Saloon (401 Andrew Higgins Blvd.) and will head out on a party bus for a “mobile bar crawl.” There are about five scheduled pub stops before the bus returns the revelers to the Ugly Dog Saloon. You don’t have to be a club member to ride, though you are asked to wear “traditional Irish colors, your parade tuxedo, or kilt for this ride.” The cost is $25 per person and includes free Guinness at each stop and on the bus. You can reserve your seat on the club’s website.

Germans Go Irish

Sunday, March 10, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Deutsches Haus (1700 Moss St.) in the Bayou St. John area of Mid-City is throwing a party to celebrate Ireland’s Patron Saint as they do in the small villages in the Old Country: with a Céilí (a gathering). Expect traditional Irish food like cabbage, soda bread, and Guinness beef stew served over colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes), plus Celtic musicians, Irish dancers, bagpipers, and other family-friendly activities. The event is free except for the Beth Patterson concert at 5:30 p.m. (You can get tickets online on the venue’s website or at the door).

Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 1-6 p.m.

The parade begins on the corner of Felicity and Magazine streets around 1 p.m. The parade rolls up Jackson Avenue, turning onto St. Charles Avenue, turning onto Louisiana Avenue, and back onto Magazine Street. Throws include green beads and doubloons, plus the makings of Irish stew (minus the beef). So watch out for flying cabbages (yes, seriously). There is also a block party located at Annunciation Square, near Chippewa and Race streets.

Parasol’s Block Party

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Parasol’s (2533 Constance St.) annual party Uptown features live music, food, easy parade access, and yes, green beer. It’s a popular party, so wear green and arrive early.

St. Patrick’s Day Italian American Viewing Balcony Party

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 7-10 p.m.

Cornet Restaurant (700 Bourbon St.) hosts a balcony view of that night’s Italian American Parade with three hours of unlimited drinks and Cajun and Creole food in the French Quarter. Tickets are $150-$200. Please note that Cornet is also hosting a St. Patrick’s Day balcony party the day after, on Sunday, March 17 (the setup, hours, and offerings are the same).

Downtown Irish Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Sunday, March 17, 2024, 6:30 p.m.

This annual parade starts as usual at Washington Park in the Marigny (700 Elysian Fields Ave.) after a pre-gaming at Marigny Brasserie (corner of Frenchmen St. and Royal St.) beginning at 4 p.m. The route remains the same every year, as are the bar stops. The after-party at the Ugly Dog Saloon will feature live music.

As you can see, there’s plenty to see and do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s not limited to Uptown or the French Quarter. Speaking of, check out our guide on how to spend St. Patrick’s Day without leaving the French Quarter, plus our list of highly recommended Irish pubs in the French Quarter.

Are you visiting New Orleans this spring? Take advantage of Prince Conti Hotel’s specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

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

Happy spring!

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 LGBTQIA+ with block parties, shows, and a parade.

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.

Don’t miss the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival, 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 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 the Beignet Festival at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds.

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 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. 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.

Mardi Gras season culminates every year on Fat Tuesday anytime between February 3 and March 9 (March 4 in 2025). 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 Congo Square Rhythms Festival; 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 also marks the annual return of NOLA on Tap Beer Fest at Lafreniere Park, 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, 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 is another culinary fest, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, and the popular Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, held at Louis Armstrong Park.

Summers here can be pretty hot and humid, but, still, 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 exactly a week later, 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.

As you can see, we have a lot going on all year round! No matter when you visit, take advantage of Prince Conti Hotel specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoying everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

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

Shopping for Women Near the Prince Conti French Quarter Hotel

Photo courtesy of Hemline 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.

Dollz & Dames

216 Decatur Street

A colorful boutique offering everything you’ll need for one-stop shopping for a glam evening out or a stylish, retro-inspired daytime outfit. Retro-chic polka dot halter dresses, boleros, rompers, kimonos, Irregular Choice heels (when you know, you know) — it’s all there.

Dollz & Dames is a treasure trove of accessories too, from funky-glam clutches to bold jewelry to embellished sunglasses. Don’t stop there though, especially if you’re shopping for a gift. There are fragrances plus bath products, candles — the list goes on.

Fifi Mahony’s

934 Royal Street

Fifi Mahony’s has been wigging Mardi Gras krewes, the burlesque community, performance artists, fashion shoots and shows, and us mortals who just need a fresh wig for Mardi Gras Day, since 1997. A second location, with a beauty parlor, opened in Bywater (3212 Dauphine Street) recently.

A true New Orleans original, Fifi’s will make a glam queen out of you in one afternoon with its vast collection of makeup, glitzy accessories, sunglasses, and, of course, wigs. Oh, the wigs. Do you wanna be a “Marylin” or “Antoinette”? Done, and done. Any style, length, or color you have in mind, Fifi’s will have it. Custom wigs run for around $200, but you can snag a wig for as low as $40, too. Beware, come Halloween or Mardi Gras, the line is out of the door, so prep accordingly.

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.

Lost and Found

323 Chartres Street

A quirky boutique with women’s fashions in a wide size range, whimsical accessories, and unique gifts. It’s a gem of a place if you have your eye on a swing dress or a unique accessory to go with it.

Trashy Diva

Trashy Diva Clothing Boutique (537 Royal Street)

Trashy Diva Lingerie (712 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 shop offers custom-fitted corsets and boudoir glam, 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.

UAL (United Apparel Liquidators)

518 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 Balmain 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.

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.

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 in the French Quarter (April 9, 2023).

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 helmed the parade as the Grand Duchess until her passing in 2022, but the organizers chose to go on in her memory. Expect colorful floats, marching bands, whimsical bonnets, and plenty of throws.

The annual Gay Easter Parade celebrates the city’s LGBTQIA+ community and benefits the Food for Friends charity. It starts at 5:30 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.

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 via OpenTable.)

Here are our five top Easter Sunday brunch recommendations.

The Bombay Club (830 Conti St.)

Start your Easter Sunday right with a cocktail and eggs in this elegant restaurant located at the back of the Prince Conti Hotel. The extensive Easter brunch menu runs the gamut from lighter fare to the more substantial and New Orleans-focused. Check with the restaurant for this year’s Easter brunch menu.

Antoine’s Restaurant (713 St. Louis St.)

Antoine’s holiday brunch menu will render you speechless with its baked oysters, Gulf shrimp, and other top-notch, Louisiana-centric delights. Top it off with either pecan bread pudding or strawberry mousse. Brunch includes one complimentary Mimosa. Check with the restaurant for this year’s Easter brunch menu.

Arnaud’s (813 Bienville St.)

In the years past, Arnaud’s Easter brunch menu was prix fixe and highlighted the best of the regional cuisine could offer, such as smoked duck, Andouille and oyster gumbo for starters. Let’s hope that this year one of the appetizer offerings will again include the signature Shrimp Arnaud: Gulf shrimp marinated in Creole remoulade. Check with the restaurant for this year’s Easter brunch menu.

Red Fish Grill (115 Bourbon St.)

On Easter Sunday, you’ll typically find a family-style Easter buffet with dishes like 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 usually offers child-friendly versions of the above and a sundae bar. Check with the restaurant for this year’s Easter brunch menu.

Steamboat Natchez Easter Jazz Brunch Cruise (Toulouse St./boardwalk)

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. Check with the restaurant for this year’s Easter brunch menu.

Mass

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

St. Louis Cathedral usually has a mass 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 throughout the day, including at least one in Spanish.