New Orleans Delights
Although New Orleans is primarily known around the world for grandiose celebrations such as Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, the summer brings a quiet calm along the streets of the French Quarter. With more availability and less debauchery, you will discover the beauty and resilience that New Orleans offers year-round. Exquisite architecture surrounded by private gardens will have you snapping pictures at every street corner and the heady scent of cajun spices and Creole cuisine will have you popping into every restaurant.
A recent visit to New Orleans took us through a calmer French Quarter with the same exuberance and love for life that can be experienced during celebratory parades during Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday.
WHERE TO STAY
Omni Royal Hotel
The site of the modern day Omni Royal Hotel has survived many devastations over its history. From fires to floods, this four diamond awarded hotel recently had the added honor of being inducted into the Historic Hotels of America Organization.
The site on the corner of Royal and Saint Louis Streets, dates back to the New Orleans Exchange when it was first an epicenter for business and trade and later becoming the first Creole hotel in the French Quarter.
Known for it’s Creole cuisine and gathering place for social and business events, The City Exchange became a hub for all things New Orleans. Later rebuilt following a devastating fire, the renamed Saint Louis Exchange revived it’s social stature as the focal point for lavish events and banquets until the destruction brought by the United States Civil War. It wasn’t until the famous 20th-century architect, Arthur David, renovated what is now known as The Omni Royal Hotel that it began to thrive again.
Today you will find the lavish history displayed throughout the grand lobby, hallways, and each of the 345 renovated rooms. As a destination for the modern luxury traveler, The Omni Royal will meet all of your needs and desires.
Discover an on-site full-service barber shop and shoe shine for last minute business travel needs. A luxurious rooftop pool and credenza with views of the French Quarter and Mississippi River that will make you weak in the knees.
[bctt tweet=”Discover an on-site full-service barber shop and shoe shine for last minute business travel needs”]
The luxe rooms will embrace you with modern conveniences and stunning french doors leading to wrought-iron balconies.
With Bourbon Street a mere two blocks away, you can still enjoy the festivities known to the area or you can join a luxury historic tour of the French Quarter. No matter what calls you to this beautiful city, The Omni Royal and its central boutique location will satisfy even the highest standards.
WHERE TO EAT
After you have settled into your room and enjoyed the exemplary features of The Omni Royal Hotel, be sure to head over to one of Arnaud’s 17 dining rooms. This historic restaurant will be celebrating 100 years of service in 2018 and hasn’t missed a beat since first opening it’s doors in 1918.
[bctt tweet=”This historic restaurant will be celebrating 100 years of service in 2018 and hasn’t missed a beat since first opening it’s doors in 1918″]
If, by chance, you did not make a reservation before arriving do not fret! Join locals at the French 75 bar for a signature cocktail and get to know the people that make this historic city so amazing. If a cocktail isn’t what you prefer, Arnaud’s has an impressive private museum of exquisite custom gowns that belonged to the previous owner.
Since opening in 1918, Arnaud’s has grown to an extravagant 17 dining rooms which occupy 11 buildings in the historic French Quarter. You will discover the history of all the original buildings still exists as you walk through each dining room and see the original tiles differentiating the rooms. The Jazz Bar offers a live jazz quartet through your meal and will take special requests if asked nicely.
Arnaud’s is not without its own history of “sitings”, so keep your eyes peeled for a man in a suit smiling as he glides through the rooms in satisfaction that his restaurant is still thriving in the hands of the Casbarian family.
Cafe Du Monde
One can not visit New Orleans without a visit to Cafe Du Monde. Although it is open 24 hours a day, be sure to take advantage of “off hours”. If you decide to brave a breakfast trip, you will have to arrive early to beat the line that can go as far as two blocks in the summer. With quick service, you won’t have to wait very long in line and is well worth it. A limited menu consisting of fresh New Orleans Beignets with a side of Cafe Au Lait or signature Chicory coffee. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ordering a second serving!
Bourbon Street is home to the recently reinvented Cornet restaurant. Offering balcony views of the historic and well-known happenings, Cornet invites a quieter crowd through its door. Diners that wish to watch what is going on in the French Quarter, but that seek a site with a bit less chaos will enjoy this perspective. The revised menu will have you returning for several meals throughout your stay. The Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese is a must-have dish along any of the signature cocktails.
WHAT TO DO
As mentioned above, Arnaud’s Restaurant is home to a free display of gorgeous memorabilia that belonged to Mardi Gras Queen, Germain Cazenave Wells. She presided over twenty-two Mardi Gras Balls between 1937-1968, more than anyone else in New Orleans history.
70 vintage photos adorn the walls surrounding over two-dozen stunning gowns, headdresses, trains, faux jewels, and masks. Get lost in history as you wander through the museum sipping a signature French 75 from the namesake restaurant.
There is no shortage of tours available in such a historic city. Walking tours are a great way to explore the history and stories surrounding the stunning buildings. Quiet family tours to late night cocktail tours, everyone will be pleased.
Eco Tours in Slidell
Pearl River Eco Tours is an amazing out-of-city experience. You will not only have an opportunity to get up close with alligators and feral pigs but also see where families have lived for generations in the heart of the swamp.
If you ask nicely, the captain may allow you to toss a snack out for some of the wildlife… just don’t pet anything.
Yes, a parade. Celebrate New Orleans-Style in a second line parade. The brass band, jubilant dancing, and singing will create a memory to last a lifetime for that special someone in your life.
No matter what draws you to explore the city of New Orleans, you will be remiss to leave after enjoying the hospitality and cuisine of the area. The locals will welcome you with open arms and remind you to, “come back ‘n see us, y’all!”
[bctt tweet=”No matter what draws you to explore the city of New Orleans, you will be remiss to leave after enjoying the hospitality and cuisine”]