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French Quarter Bars Historic Hotels Holidays New Orleans Attractions New Orleans Dining New Orleans Music Uncategorized

New Year’s Travel Resolutions

Southern Comfort exterior

 

 

In the hustle and bustle of the passing year, it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget to take some time to do a little traveling. Unless finances are keeping you from it, there’s really no need to forgo traveling—even if it means a quick weekend getaway to somewhere close by. Traveling gives you the opportunity to recharge your batteries, to see and experience new places, to try new foods and create memories that can last a lifetime. Here are a few New Year’s travel resolutions for 2014 that you can add to your list.

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New Orleans Christmas Celebrations

Celebration in the Oaks

New Orleans is a fantastic city to spend Christmas in, whether or not you have family in town. The city is alight with Christmas-themed things to do, many of which are common in other cities but have a unique New Orleans twist. From light displays to caroling in Jackson Square, you’ll find plenty of Christmas celebrations this holiday season.

New Orleans Christmas in the District is one such celebration, and it lasts from now until Jan 5th.  Sponsored by the New Orleans Convention Center, the event features Concerts at the Plaza every Wednesday at 5:30pm, including the National WWII Museum Victory Bells and more this Wed., Dec. 18th. There are also brand new holiday-themed light displays synchronized to music going on every day of the week. The music is provided by 93.9 FM so that drivers can tune in on their car radios, and they run each night from 5:00pm to 11:00pm.

City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks lights up City Park each year with one of the best holiday light festivals in the country draped among the park’s magnificent oak trees and gardens. 13 gated acres of the park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland and Carousel Gardens all take part in the lights display. The park’s attractions and Storyland area are also open for adults and children alike to take part in the fun and fantasy land. The Cajun night before Christmas display is one of the most popular spots in addition to New Orleans’ iconic snowman, Mr. Bingle.

This Sunday, Dec. 22nd, you can partake in the 58th annual Caroling in Jackson Square, which is a beloved and moving tradition in the city. A candlelit crowd sings spirit-lifting carols in front of the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral. The gates open at 6:30pm, and caroling begins promptly at 7pm. Candles and sheet music are provided.

Held on most days until Dec. 23rd, the St. Louis Cathedral plays host to Christmas concerts that feature Christmas carols and gospel favorites in the lovely backdrop of this historic cathedral. The concerts are free and begin at 8pm. Jeremy Davenport will play on the 18th, Thomas Kientz on the 19th, and the final concert will feature the St. Louis Cathedral Choir at 5:30pm on Dec. 22nd.

These are a few of the biggest events held throughout the city, but you can find plenty more hosted by different churches and social groups if you know where to look. Even just driving around the city looking at the lights on homes in different neighborhoods is a wonderful way to spend a holiday evening. We hope you visit New Orleans this holiday season, and we’d love to see you over at Southern Comfort B&B!

New Orleans Festivals Uncategorized

2013 French Quarter Festival : What to Expect.

 

brass band playing for tourists , in the background is a 2 story red brick building with wrought iron balconies

Street Musicians around Jackson Square

 

 

As one of the top three annual New Orleans festivals and the largest free music fest in the South, French Quarter Fest remains a favorite in the hearts of many of the city’s visitors and inhabitants. It’s a weekend in which an entire section of the city is transformed, from street to sidewalk to green space, into a boisterous celebration of local culture: food, music, art and more. This upcoming four-day weekend, April 11th-14th, the French Quarter will open its doors to hundreds of thousands of attendees to celebrate its 30th annual festival this year.

If you’ve never had the chance to go to French Quarter Fest, you can expect to see, hear and taste some of the best that New Orleans has to offer. With more than 800 musicians and food from 65+ local restaurants, you’ll enjoy a heaping taste of New Orleans culture any day of the fest—and more if you visit for the whole weekend.

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A Day at Jazz Fest – a New Orleans Must Do

2012 Jazz Fest Blues Tent

In the “city that care forgot,” (or that forgot to care?), the best time of the year is Jazz Fest.  It’s the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May, and we all pile in our cars or get on our bicycles and head for the Fair Grounds to indulge ourselves in all that Jazz Fest is.   It’s the sum of the whole that makes it an experience to anticipate excitedly every year.

You walk in the gate at whatever entrance you choose, and hear the familiar deep tones of the Jazz Fest announcer coming over the loudspeakers.  You smear yourself with suntan lotion and get ready for the sun to begin warming your sandaled toes. You feel the breeze wafting the smell of barbecue from one of the food booths, but you’re not going there.  No, you’re standing in line at the soft-shell crab poboy booth because before you go to hear any music, you’ve GOT to have that rare New Orleans treat . Or maybe for you it’s the strawberry mint iced tea booth you hit first.  Or maybe you immediately go the biggest stage with your friends and set up your encampment, complete with the artistically decorated flag you carry around every year to mark your spot.

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Freret Street Market

New Orleans has numerous monthly markets for our locals to escape their regular Saturday errands and instead, socialize with their neighbors, check out creative regional arts & crafts, pick up some fresh produce, all while listening to great local music! When staying at your Southern Comfort Bed & Breakfast, you are just a short walk away from Freret St., host to our neighborhood favorite, Freret Market on the first Saturday of every month from 12:00-5:00pm.

Once a bustling commercial district, the stretch of Freret St. between Jefferson Ave. and Napoleon Ave., sat quiet and virtually abandoned by local businesses for years until its rebirth after Hurricane Katrina. In the past 6 years, wonderful new restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, and more have all popped up along this popular local drag. The resurgence of Freret St. has brought life back into this area of the city and Freret Market has become the perfect celebration of that renaissance! Each month, Freret Market takes over a large parking lot just off Napoleon Ave. providing a vibrant coalescence of culture for New Orleans Uptowners. Live local music greets the market’s visitors as they enter the maze of tents filled with fantastic crafts, fresh produce, homemade snacks, and much more. ARNO even frequents the market to introduce friendly doggies to potential adoptive parents; it’s hard to pass up petting a few of the adorable pups.

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The Red Dress Run: Unique New Orleans Fun!

New Orleans Red Dress Run
Seems to me that people in New Orleans simply like to “dress up”. Whether it be at Mardi Gras, Running with the Bulls, Southern Decadence or even a Saints football game, you’ll find interesting attire. Well, here’s another one!   The Red Dress Run.
The New Orleans Red Dress Run isn’t just about fun, it does donate to several local charities, but where else are you going to see both men and women in bright red dresses.  Imagine a sea of red from one end of the French Quarter to the other.  There were 7000 registrants last year!
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A Ferry Ride across the Mississippi to Algiers Point

Old Algiers, a.k.a. Algiers Point, is perhaps one of New Orleans best kept secrets. It’s located just over the Mississippi River facing the French Quarter. Founded in 1719, Algiers Point is considered one of the earliest areas of the Crescent City and is dotted with wonderful Victorian architecture and shotgun houses. The Algiers neighborhood is accessible from the French Quarter via the Canal Street Ferry.

The ferry runs from 6 a.m. and midnight seven days a week. The ride over the Mississippi river is free for pedestrians. I always suggest this to my guests. It’s a great way to actually get on the river, feel the power of the great Mississippi  as the ferry forges against the current, and watch the river traffic up close. I especially like a evening  crossing as the lites of the Mississippi bridge sparkle in the night and the city’s skyline is magnificent.

Old Algiers is known for its beautiful, historic architecture,  bike and walking paths. Some of the most beautiful views New Orleans are accessible from atop the levee in Algiers Point. Wander aimlessly through the neighborhood and admire the architecture. Enjoy a cold beer and perhaps have lunch at Dry Dock Cafe. You’ll find local favorites of gumbo, crawfish etoufee, poboys , red beans and rice and salad’s if you’re feeling the need for a  healthy choice.

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