Updated: May 25
New Orleans - "The Big Easy" as its popularly described is a city worth taking a trip to!! The music, history, food, and fun makes it a city worth being on your bucket list! When you think of New Orleans you instantly think of the French Quarter. Popularly known as the “Crown Jewel of New Orleans" , it has fantastic architecture, rich history, street artists, beautiful churches, iconic restaurants & streets, wonderful French Market, talented street performers, and tons and tons of food & drinks. French quarters are full of culture, a lot of charm & have a great vibe! New Orleans is best described as a place a place full of long-told legends, ghost tours with curbside parties, horse hooves clop, music throbs, and flickering gaslights. With a perfect backdrop for visual storytelling, this too has a celebrity attraction as many Hollywood movies and TV Show Series have been shot here. Remember “The Originals!"
Where to stay
Inn at the Old Jail
Located just 14 miles away from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Inn at the Old Jail offers unique accommodations. If you're planning a trip to New Orleans you'll want to stay here! This striking Queen Anne structure is built in unique style with authentic touches including marble steps and original police memorabilia. The rooms are super clean and comfortable and each room has it's own history. Take in the views of the city from the rooftop terrace and garden. It is just 1.6 mi from Bourbon Street and 1.8 mi from Jackson Square and what is more it fits right in your budget.
The place is run by a cute couple - Raul and Liz. They were visiting their daughter, when they happened on the abandoned, desolate beauty and absolutely fell in love with it. That very week they became the proud owners of this broken down jail!!! After three and a half years of struggling with permissions, and changing laws and painstaking restoration of the 1902 Police Jail and Patrol Station, they opened their unusual inn and are now receiving guests from all over.
Quoting the owner of the Inn, Liz - " We have enjoyed company from all over the US and from somewhere around 50 different countries - many of whom have become repeat offenders."
If you are planning to visit New Orleans in October, don't forget to register yourself to the savory Beignet Fest which is held annually the first Saturday in October. Launched in 2016 to celebrate the beignets, this unique fest has a charitable mission - To raise money to support non-profit programs in the community that support children with autism. They also support organizations that work towards similar goals to celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings.
Beignet Fest is one of the most family-friendly festivals in the South. Admission is just $5 for adults and entry for children under 12 is free. You will get a sense of the true New Orleans tradition and community while at the Beignet Fest. It features a myriad of restaurant vendors, local and regional musical entertainment, and family-friendly activities. Celebrity judges give an award for their favorite beignet dish, and attendees also have a chance to vote on favorite sweet and savory beignets.
Mardi Gras Festival
New Orleans plays host to one of the most famous public festivities of Mardi Gras in February/March each year. It is a popular cultural phenomenon that dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Mardi Gras or The Fat Tuesday is celebrated every year as a big giant festival that marks the beginning of the Christian fasting season of Lent. The carnival is 6 weeks long and marks the beginning for official party season in New Orleans. There is a local folklore that the Grand Duke Alexis visited New Orleans in 1872 and his welcoming committee handed out purple, green, and gold beads to the party-goers that year. The trio of shades came to symbolize the festivities - purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith. Customarily people celebrate by catching beads on Bourbon. Galas, parades, and parties take over the city during the fest.
Start your New Orleans sightseeing with an artsy twist by visiting the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. Jonathan Ferrara who is an artist, activist, and entrepreneur founded the gallery in 1998 to give artists a voice. The gallery regularly exhibits art fairs in the US and Europe. Located in the heart of the Arts District of New Orleans, the gallery hosts opening receptions on the first Saturday of each month. The gallery is now open Tues-Sat from 10 am - 5 pm.