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Archive for August, 2010

St. Louis Cathedral

August 26th, 2010 by bbnola

It’s impossible to miss St. Louis Cathedral, which presides over Jackson Square. Take the time to visit the interior as well as admire the exterior of this beautiful church. The residents of New Orleans have worshiped in this building since 1794, and mass is still celebrated daily.

Travelers in Europe often rest weary feet in ancient cathedrals. Travelers to New Orleans bed and breakfasts can do the same in St. Louis Cathedral.

New Orleans - French Quarter: Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square.

Discovering the French Quarter

August 19th, 2010 by bbnola

Coffee with Beignet´s @ Cafe Du Monde

Coffee and beignets at Café Du Monde

Ah, le Vieux Carré – the old French Quarter of New Orleans. It is the geographic heart of the city, a neighborhood where people live, work, and play; many New Orleans bed and breakfasts are located in the French Quarter. The area between the Mississippi River and North Rampart Street, Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue, is a feast for the senses: ears, eyes, nose and taste buds. You’ll find beautiful historic architecture here, and numerous restaurants, clubs and shops.

After a delicious breakfast at your bed and breakfast New Orleans, stroll to Jackson Square and see if any artists have set up their easels. Admire St. Louis Cathedral – the oldest cathedral in continual use in the United States – with it’s triple steeples soaring high above the neighborhood. Nearby, the Old Ursuline Convent is open to visitation. It is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley.

Before heading off to explore the rest of the French Quarter, grab coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde. They’ll keep you nourished until you find the perfect spot for lunch, which can be a huge po-boy at the Quartermaster Deli, or a Verti Marte’s Philly Cheese Steak – a great adaptation of the classic. If you like the muffuletta sandwich, be sure to stop by Central Grocery, where it was first created. Or sit down with the locals at Coop’s Place, where you can savor smoked duck quesadilla or rabbit and sausage jambalaya.

An afternoon would be well spent enjoying a tour of the French Quarter; knowing something about the neighborhood’s rich history can really help travelers appreciate it. There are horse-drawn carriage tours, walking tours, tours that focus on architecture and tours that focus on cocktails and pubs. Riverboat Tours are a great way to take in the sites of the city while listening to Dixieland jazz, and cemetery tours help travelers understand the city’s interesting relationship with the dead.

You may want to dress for dinner in the French Quarter, but you’ll want to hide some dancing shoes in your purse. It is nearly impossible to listen to the music of New Orleans without moving your feet. You can find Zydeco on Thursday nights at the Mid-City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl, or hear the joyous trumpeting of Kermit Ruffins at Vaugn’s Lounge. The innkeepers of your bed and breakfast New Orleans may know whether or not Ellis Marsalis is in town and playing at Snug Harbor. Check out the bar at One Eyed Jacks, or see if folks are dancing in the street outside Cafe Brasil – just get out and have fun.

After a late night of music and reverie, feed the soul with one of the many street vendors. Then find the comfortable bed in your New Orleans bed and breakfast, and rest up for tomorrow.

The Creole Culture of New Orleans

August 12th, 2010 by bbnola

New Orleans would not be the same without the Creoles. This diverse community helped shape the culture of New Orleans from the outset, bringing influences from their various backgrounds: French, Spanish, German, African, Native American…. One of the most interesting aspects of a stay in New Orleans bed and breakfasts may be exploring the rich Creole heritage of the region, especially through the city’s food and music.

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Discover New Orleans Food

August 5th, 2010 by bbnola

People travel to New Orleans for many reasons, such as the music, the culture, and the architectural beauty. New Orleans has all of these items in spades. But if you are one of those people who loves to experience places through food, you are in for a special treat when next you stay in a New Orleans bed and breakfast.

After your first night, you’ll be treated to a delicious meal at your bed and breakfast New Orleans. This is a great time to get the scoop on various local restaurants from both the innkeepers and other guests. You will undoubtedly be told the closest spot to find the best po-boy sandwich, and, if it is hot, everybody’s favorite shaved-ice stand. Take good notes, then head off to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, or SoFAB, is located in the Riverwalk Marketplace next to the Mississippi River, between the Central Business District and The French Quarter. The Canal Street Ferry crosses the Mississippi and docks at the Riverwalk Marketplace, and the Riverfront Streetcar stops by its doors.

Fried Oyster Po´ boy

Have at least one po-boy while in New Orleans

SoFAB is a nonprofit living history museum dedicated to discovering, understanding, and most of all celebrating the food of the south. It’s hard to find a better place to orient yourself to the local cuisine. Start with “Louisiana Eats! Laissez Faire – Savoir Fare”, a permanent exhibit that uncovers the many layers of Louisiana food, its origins and development. Then check out Absinthe Visions, a photographic exhibit of this fabled green alcohol, long outlawed in this country but now available in New Orleans; if you are in town on Saturday August 21, 2010, you may enjoy attending “Absinthe in Art and Literature”, where Todd Price will discuss the cultural significance of absinthe.

Another interesting project underway at SoFAB is The Menu Project. They are collecting menus from every restaurant in the South, and southern-inspired restaurants throughout the world. As you nibble your way through New Orleans, you can help the project by collecting menus as you go.

After visiting the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, wander through Woldenberg Park to Jackson Square, where you can grab a coffee at the Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand. Revived, you’ll be ready to loosen your belts and eat your way through New Orleans, one great restaurant at a time.