More than one million people attend Mardi Gras, the 12-day celebration held annually 59 days before Easter. Yet there is a festival for every occasion in New Orleans, so you can avoid crowds and still experience lively festivities and events every month of the year. More than just Mardi Gras and mint julep, the music, food & wine, sports, shopping, culture and holidays are six other reasons to visit N’Awlins and stay in a bed and breakfast inn for lagniappe.
New Orleans Guest House
Start the day with a beignet and café au lait amid a lush courtyard at New Orleans Guest House. Personalized service is available 24 hours a day for the utmost luxury in a romantic setting. The ideal location of this renovated yet historic, gable-sided brick Creole house is perfect for an unencumbered stroll along Bourbon Street to listen to the many musical sounds of the Gallic French Quarter. Sample authentic Cajun cuisine then dance the night away to a variety of music including lively zydeco and fais-do-do. Stroll on Cobblestone walkways that pass by restored painted ladies with lacy trim. Shop the high-end stores of Canal Street, the Riverwalk festival marketplace along the Mississippi and the open-air French Market for local souvenirs.
The Green House Inn
Take a walking tour of the elegant Lower Garden District surrounding The Green House Inn. Built as a Greek Revival side-hall townhouse, this intimate and historic inn boasts a European attitude with a well-known welcome to diverse lifestyles and pets. Visit nearby Coliseum Square, a popular public gathering place with a sculptured fountain and surrounded by antebellum homes with wrought iron details and pillared porches. The inn’s Magazine Street location is world renown for its more than six miles of antique shops and art galleries. Stroll along or hop on a streetcar or a bus for easy access to the Warehouse/Arts District, Convention Center, National World War II Museum and other nearby attractions.
Famous for creating customized group getaways from photo or yoga retreats to history tours and inspiring seminars, elegant Magnolia Mansion offers year-round accommodations, concierge service, transportation and guides for a romantic time for two or a crew of 18. Popular choices include the Dining Tour of the Great New Orleans Chef’s Gourmet Restaurants & Local Favorite Dives, as well as Haunted Honeymoons & Ghostly Getaways. Take a ride up the Mississippi River from the foot of the French Quarter on the 100-year-old Natchez Paddle Steamboat. The Insectarium is considered the only museum exhibit of its kind in the world. Sports buffs can watch the Saints play at the nearby Superdome. Who Dat!
Christmas is a magical time in New Orleans with caroling in Jackson Square, holiday bazaars and fun festivals. Romantic Marigny Manor House is featured as one of the 12 inns of Christmas with an open house, candle-lighting ceremony and specialty dinners. This historic bed and breakfast is three blocks from the music clubs in the Frenchman Street Music District. Find great jazz clubs, nightclubs and bars with a variety of live bands playing an assortment of music every night of the week. Marigny’s new breakfast menu includes traditional favorites such as maple praline bacon, upside down pecan banana pancakes, shrimp and grits, blueberry-stuffed French toast with cream cheese and many more mouth-watering Southern-style dishes.
Garlands (The Jazz Quarters)
Newly renovated and restored, Garlands is located in the Fauburg Treme across the street from the French Quarter. The guest house will soon be known more appropriately as The Jazz Quarters with individual creole cottages named after local jazz artists. Owners and innkeepers Vince and Lola speak several languages fluently, including the language of hospitality. Take a swamp tour on an air boat to see gators in their natural habitat or leisurely cruise a bayou lined with moss-draped oaks. Visit an exotic wildlife sanctuary and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Nature lovers enjoy the Kisatchie National Forest, Creole Nature Trail All-American Road and the Atchafalaya Trace Heritage Area. For golf enthusiasts, the Audubon Golf Trail features challenging courses and scenic landscapes.
A favorite of locals, tourists and business travelers, Creole Gardens is like a European guest house with a Caribbean feel yet offering an authentic New Orleans experience. Three historically renovated antebellum houses face a shaded banana-tree courtyard with fountains. Pet- and child-friendly bed and breakfast accommodations boast whimsical, romantic or traditional themes. The inn stands at the gateway to the mansions of the Garden District and the uptown attractions of Tulane and Loyola Universities, the zoo and the aquarium in Audubon Park. Bicycle rentals make area explorations scenic excursions. Indulge in an award-winning plantation adventure on a narrated journey down Old River Road surrounded by magnolias.
Whatever your pleasure or passion, Louisiana will captivate your heart and soul and renew your joie de vivre—love of life. Whether you are attracted to New Orleans for the music, food, sports, shops, cultural events or holiday festivities, there is so much more to the Big Easy than just Mardi Gras and mint julep. Let these New Orleans bed and breakfasts share their lagniappe with you. Expect a warm Southern welcome and explore the Big Easy any time of the year.