A classic Creole dinner
Locals love their creamy shrimp Creole remoulade, spicy jambalaya and oysters Rockefeller. Splurge on a meal at Brennan’s, Galatoire’s or Antoine’s, three French Quarter restaurants set in sumptuous surroundings.
Brennan’s: 417 Royal Street, French Quarter Brennan’s Website
Galatoire’s: 209 Bourbon Street, French Quarter Galatoire’s Website
Antoine’s: 713 Rue Saint Louis, French Quarter Antoine’s Website
Rollin’ on the river
Time-travel back to the mid-19th century on an authentic steamboat cruise on the Mississippi River, with views of the French Quarter. A calliope steam organ and zesty Creole staples like gumbo enliven the daytime cruise, while Dixieland jazz and a savory Southern buffet keep the boat jumping on the dinner cruise. Steamboat Natchez Website
Cocktails in a cottage
One of the most photographed buildings in New Orleans, rustic 18th-century cottage Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop evokes the spirit of old New Orleans. A crackling fireplace and flickering candles provide a soothing spot for an after-dinner drink.
941 Bourbon St., French Quarter
Dinner at Commander’s Palace
The celebratory spirit of New Orleans’s dining heritage is perfectly captured in this grand dame of fine dining. The smells of culinary specialties like veal chops and sautéed Gulf fish fill this stately Garden District mansion. Reserve a table in the upstairs Garden Room and peer out at the giant trees below.
1403 Washington Ave., Garden District Commander’s Palace Website
Beignets and coffee at Café du Monde
Don’t leave New Orleans without stopping for a plate of sugar- dusted beignets (deep-fried pastries) and a cup of chicory-laced café au lait. Street saxophone players blow their tunes for the packed tables at all hours – the line is worth the wait.
800 Decatur St., French Quarter Café du Monde Website
A muffaletta and a cold beer
The Napoleon House Bar &Café might look a little faded, but its tiny courtyard with a trickling fountain is a perfect spot to dig into a meat- and olive-stuffed muffaletta sandwich. Wash it all down with a cold bottle of the local Abita beer.
500 Chartres St., French Quarter Napoleon House Website
A romantic drink at the Carousel Revolving Bar
Romantic couples come to the Carousel Revolving Bar, a stylish lounge inside Hotel Monteleone, to sip cocktails and revolve to the tinkling of ivories on the piano.
214 Royal St., French Quarter Hotel Monteleone Website
First Saturday gallery hopping
On the first Saturday of every month block after block of Warehouse District galleries keep their doors open late, serving up a cultural feast accompanied by hors d’oeuvres, wine and music. Julia Street is where you’ll find most of the action at this lively street party.
Julia Street, Warehouse District
Eat and tap your feet
Food and music come together in the Big Easy, and many of the hottest restaurants spice up their menus with a live band. One of the top places which fits the bill is the handsome Palm Court Jazz Café.
1204 Decatur Street, French Quarter Palm Court Jazz Café Website
Sunday Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues
Fried chicken, grits and gospel — a brunch like this is a rousing Sunday staple. The House of Blues is the place for a gospel feast of local and international acts and ample portions of Southern cooking.
225 Decatur St., French Quarter House of Blues Website