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New Orleans is a city that rewards those who plan the least. Travelers wandering the historic, balcony-crowned streets invariably find themselves in a web of small pleasures … a street band playing on the corner of Bourbon and Canal … the Green Goddess on Exchange Alley … a tiny bar where residents willingly combine anything.
From the horn-heavy bands at The Maple Leaf to the Pontalba Apartments, let Creole mojo cast its spell over your New Orleans vacation. Orbitz insiders reveal the city's top 10s, the best time go and how to cruise the French Quarter like a local.
The best months to travel to New Orleans are March, April, October and November when the air is scented with jasmine, and the sounds of jazz spill out on to the streets. These months also mark the height of festival season, including the French Quarter Festival (April), Jazz Fest (April/May), Voodoo Experience (October), and the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival (November).
During winter months, New Orleans is often infused with a damp cold and raked with ornery winds. And though temps sink below freezing two or three times each year, it doesn’t stop Saints tailgate parties (late fall) or Mardi Gras (February or March).
Then there's summer, when conditions are hot and damp. This is also peak hurricane season -- especially August and September.
Housed in the Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans, this Bourbon Street venue offers a sophisticated scene for live jazz and cocktails.
This park offers even more excitement in the heart of New Orleans. You'll find walking and biking trails, an antique carousel, the New Orleans Museum of Art, an amusement park, plus the world's largest collection of living oaks.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Angelo Brocato's (ice cream) or Sucre (macaroons). Try po-boys at the Parkway Bakery, and Soul food at Praline Connection. Craving Latin? Head to Rio Mar.
Drink with the locals at this punk/dive bar in the French Quarter. Boasting a 1930s history and rockin' jukebox, the surprisingly friendly lounge also gets street cred from several vampire tours.
If you're pining for the Royal treatment, Le Salon in the Windsor Court Hotel hosts an elegant afternoon ensemble of tea, champagne cocktails, English tea sandwiches, classical music and more.
The Wyndham New Orleans, located on Royal Street in the historic French Quarter, provides elegant accommodation and a prime location for visitors to The Big Easy. With 374 modern guest rooms, visitors will feel right at home among the stylish, New Orleans-inspired decor.... More
Harrah's New Orleans Casino & Hotel is the height of decadence. Enjoy views of the Mississippi River from the luxury rooms or grab a culture break with a walk to the French Quarter. Take a shopping trip in nearby Canal Street or just relax with a cocktail and a meal... More
Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans is a high-rise hotel, which boasts contemporary styling with a little Cajun flair. As you navigate around the British Plaza traffic circle and stop near the lobby, you'll be greeted by native palm trees and other tropical... More
Inn on St. Peter is a restored retreat that seamlessly melds Spanish architecture and modern comforts in the historic French Quarter in New Orleans. This comfortable hotel provides tastefully decorated smoke-free accommodations that come with balconies overlooking... More
Experience the best of New Orleans at the boutique Hotel Le Marais, located in the heart of the French Quarter just off Bourbon Street. Chic and atmospherically French, Le Marais balances classic architecture with modern strokes and 4-star amenities. The smoke-free hotel... More
Brush up on your New Orleans history at this historic inn. French Market Inn was built in the 1800s for Baron and Baroness Joseph Xavier de Pontalba, and it was the government house when Louisiana was still a French colony. Today's budget-minded tourists can... More
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel has many stories to tell, sitting on the site of both the grand old Orleans Theater and Ballroom, and a former convent. Restored in the 1960s in the Creole style of the French Quarter, the Bourbon's rooms are all unique. From the gilded hangings... More
The Whitney Hotel rests within a building that once served as a bank, located in the business district of New Orleans. Elegant historic interiors give the hotel a calm and graceful air. Marble columns and fine tiled floors in the public areas of the hotel speak of a grand... More
The Hampton Inn New Orleans Downtown French Quarter places guests right in the heart of the swinging action of the Big Easy, with convenient access to the local restaurants and nightclubs, as well as the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city. The Hampton Inn New Orleans... More
Called the "Belle of New Orleans," Le Pavillon Hotel stands out from the crowd of cookie-cutter chain hotels. A member of Historic Hotels of America, Le Pavillon was built in 1907 and still retains its majesty more than 100 years later with its high ceilings, opulent... More
Book a qualifying 4+ night flight + hotel vacation package between July 24, 2015 12:00AM CT and September 30, 2015 11:59PM CT, for $1000 or more for travel between July 24, 2015 and December 31, 2015 via Orbitz and instantly receive $50 off the hotel portion of your booking through the use of the promotion code. Limit one discount per hotel room and one promotion code per booking. Discounts are not redeemable for cash for any reason. Promotion codes cannot be resold. Any attempt at fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. Orbitz reserves the right to change or limit the promotion in its sole discretion. Promo code not valid for Las Vegas, NV bookings.
Forget the beads, learn the real history of the Creoles who created this legendary neighborhood. Stroll through Jackson Square, home to St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbytere. Stop for a coffee at Café du Monde, then listen to New Orleans jazz at Preservation Hall.
Certainly in step with its bawdy reputation, there's still plenty of old-world charm here. Wander past glamorous hotels and the Old Absinthe House, then bring your appetite to Galatoire's Restaurant for authentic French Creole cuisine.
Visit the seriously eclectic American section of town, known for its Greek Revival and Italianate architecture. See marvelous, antique-filled homes come to life with tales from expert tour guides.
With plenty of bragging rights in tow (Chef Tory McPhail was named to the Culinary Institute of America's Hall of Fame), you'll zap your taste buds with Creole favorites like crawfish maque choux, crispy soft-shell crab, and grilled porterhouse of Colorado lamb.
One of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans, the grounds date back to 1824.Wall vaults line the cemetery's perimeter, and noteworthy tombs include Gen. Harry T. Hays of the Confederate Army and the Brunies family, notable New Orleans jazz musicians.
Recognized by Congress as the country's official World War II museum, this presents the story of America's involvement through photographs, artifacts and film footage. See the famous Higgins landing craft, a Sherman tank, jeeps, half-tracks, and a fully restored C-47.
For a laidback exploration of the Central Business District (CBD), the Garden District and Uptown, board the streetcar at the corner of Carondelet and Canal streets (Stop No. 0).
One block from Bourbon Street, Royal Street is best known for its iron-lace balconies, art galleries, restaurants (Brennan's, the Court of Two Sisters) and elegant hotels. Although it stretches from Canal Street to Faubourg Marigny, Bywater, and the Lower 9th Ward, the most famous section is in the French Quarter when the blocks between St. Louis and St. Ann transforms mid-day into a current of street performers and jazz bands.
Get your live-music fix (and one-drink minimum) along this four-block stretch in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. On any given night, you'll hear modern jazz, swinging traditional jazz, Latin American and rockabilly. Noteworthy clubs include D.B.A., Checkpoint Charlie's, Dragon's Den, the Spotted Cat and Sweet Lorraine's.
Bring youngsters to their kind of party. Meet zebras, bears, giraffes and penguins at the zoo, feed birds and cool off in the splash park. The Aquarium has stingray touch tanks, plus an IMAX Theatre.
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