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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.
Previously the Astor Hotel, the multi-story Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter grew organically from a collection of existing retail buildings and apartments, giving it a blended Crescent City charm. Inside, ironwork stair-rails, exposed brick walls, and mismatched... 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
A traditional boutique-style hotel, the Royal Sonesta New Orleans opened in 1969 and contains 483 guestrooms, several eateries, tropical courtyards and fountains, and an amazing collection of fine art. The hotel boasts a staggering 7,000 original works throughout the... More
Built in 1972, the New Orleans Marriott is the perfect base from which to enjoy all that the French Quarter has to offer, and travelers will appreciate its Southern hospitality, comfortable rooms and elegant special event facilities. Guests sleep soundly beneath the... More
The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans features 1,110 fully renovated guest rooms, including 53 suites. Each of the rooms boasts the plush Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, and the hotel is equipped with more than 100,000 square feet of revitalized event and meeting... 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
With its diamonds of amber glass, the Hyatt Regency hotel forms a striking part of New Orleans' modern skyline, west of the river. Whether you want a quick espresso at Starbucks or a luxurious spread of Louisiana delicacies from award-winning chef John Besh at Borgne,... More
The Hyatt French Quarter is a modern hotel slotted into a 19th century townhouse, emulating the Creole stylings of Bourbon Street in its earth-tone frontage. On-site restaurants offer a smorgasbord of regional fare, from the hickory tastes of the Red Fish Grill to the... 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
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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