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Your New Orleans vacation
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.
Best time to take a vacation to New Orleans
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.
Insider tips for New Orleans travel
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse
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.
Afternoon Tea at Le Salon
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.
New Orleans Vacation Packages
Two Poydras Street Map
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As one of the world's most widely recognized hotel brands, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has a rich family history and a mission to provide smart designs and thoughtful amenities. The Hilton New Orleans Riverside continues the company's traditions, offering guests 29 floors... More
A time-honored New Orleans landmark, this French Quarter hotel has been owned and operated by five generations of the Monteleone family since 1886. It has appeared in movies, television and literary works. Keurig coffee makers, plush robes, marble and granite bathrooms, a... More
A full service hotel at the heart of the entertainment districtThe Doubletree Hotel New Orleans is an ideal place to stay for a lively visit to New Orleans. Guests begin enjoying Southern hospitality from the minute they receive their famous warm Doubletree chocolate chip... More
The La Quinta Inn & Suites New Orleans Downtown was recently named a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner! Flat screen TVs with 30 channels of HD programming. Easy-access Plug-and-Play feature makes it simple to connect electronics for work or... More
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Prime location near French Quarter Hotel offers many amenities Be Our Guest Breakfast Buffet Wired and WIreless Internet Access Programmable Safe Refrigerator and Microwave in all guest rooms Concierge Service 7 days a week 8am - 8 pm Heated Outdoor 9 by... More
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Romantic and sleek hideaway in the heart of the French QuarterExperience 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... 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
Top amenities and services easy for historic New Orleans’ arts districtThe Lafayette Hotel provides guests with immediate and convenient access to Lafayette Square in New Orleans. The Lafayette Hotel is perfectly positioned as a base for exploration of many of the... More
French Quarter Standout hotel with views, notable restaurant and bar This former office building was transformed into a contemporary-style, 21-story hotel. The on-site Cafe Adelaide is named for the colorful Ti Adelaide Martin of Commander's Palace fame. The restaurant is... More
Historic hotel offers central French Quarter location, courtyardBrush 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... More
New Orleans highlights
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.
Commander's Palace Restaurant
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.
National World War II Museum
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.
St. Charles Avenue Streetcar
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.
Audubon Nature Institute
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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