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Archive for February, 2012

Festival Fun in New Orleans

February 27th, 2012 by bbnola

Bagpipes

One of many St. Patrick's Day Parades in New Orleans.

Festivals fill the March calendar in New Orleans. Pack your bags, book a room in a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast, and make your travel plans today.

Soul Fest, March 3-4, 2012. Celebrate the history and heritage of African Americans in New Orleans. Soul Fest celebrates with music, food, crafts, history and culture at the Audubon Zoo.

St. Patrick’s Day, March 11-18, 2012. Why limit St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to just one day? In New Orleans, we celebrate for a week. Four parades, numerous street parties, and plenty of fun await visitors during this time.

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, March 21-25, 2012. Scream “Stella” in the streets like your life depends on finding her. Participate in lectures and special events with literary figures, actors and actresses. Live the dream.

Spring Fiesta and Historic Home Tour, March 23 and April 1, 2012. Finally! Peek inside many of the historic homes you’ve long admired in the French Quarter, Uptown, and Garden District. Embrace the wonderful cultural heritage of New Orleans.

Eat on Your Feet

February 23rd, 2012 by bbnola

Great place for a Muffuletta sandwich, New Orleans

Save your appetite for dinner, and share a Muffuletta for lunch.

We live to eat when in New Orleans, and so we don’t often think to eat on our feet.  Indeed, most of us try to have as many superlative gustatory experiences as we can while here. Reservations are made months in advance. Dresses are purchased and suits pressed, for when in New Orleans, we dress for dinner. We spend hours at the table, indulging our appetites, savoring each bite. When eating in New Orleans, life is good.

Yet to truly experience in New Orleans, visitors should step out of the restaurants and onto the street. Eat on your feet once during your stay. There may not be many places to grab a quick bite in New Orleans, but a few are worthy of note.

Verti Marte is always open (literally), and you’ll always find over-stuffed po-boys with spicy mayo.

Some of the finest Muffulettas are found at Central Grocery on Decatur Street. Start with one and share it; you can always go back for seconds.

Instead of a second Muffuletta, try a creamy gelato from the Sucré Gelato Truck that is usually parked somewhere around Frenchman Street in the Marigny, or Audubon Park.

The standard cooling treat in New Orleans, of course, is a snobliz from Hansen’s. They’ve been in business for more than 70 years, and it’s still run by a Hansen. The sno-bliz is fluffy, it’s flavorful, it’s amazing. Hansen’s opens in March, just in time for the really warm weather. Is it too early to get in line?

The innkeepers of your New Orleans Bed and Breakfast may know other great spots to grab a quick bite in the city. It’s worth investigating.

 

The Leisurely Side of New Orleans

February 17th, 2012 by bbnola

Bayou St. John, New Orleans

Bayou St. John.

Visitors to New Orleans come here to celebrate Mardi Gras with outrageous parades and cocktails in the street. They come to listen to some of the finest musicians alive play in dark, intimate bars. They come here to feast on po-boys, beignets, and gumbo, to admire the architecture, to experience the culture.

Many people don’t think about experiencing New Orleans from the water. They should. It’s a wonderful way to see the city from a different perspective.

Bayou St. John meanders past many New Orleans attractions. To paddle the bayou is to experience the area the way some of the first people did; it is easier to approach the city from the Gulf of Mexico through Lake Pontchartrain and Bayou St. John than to fight the current of the Mississippi River. Plus it’s fun.

Kayak tours of the bayou lead past the vast and serene City Park, the Spanish Custom House, and the Pilot House. Paddlers will float past the New Orleans Museum of Art and St. Louis Cemetery #3, with it’s spectacular above-ground tombs. In addition to New Orleans landmarks, kayaking along Bayou St. John provides excellent viewings of wildlife: herons, pelicans, and other water fowl being most predominant.

Mardi Gras may be in full swing, but it’s still possible to find serenity in New Orleans. Check in to a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast and look into kayak tours. They’re a wonderful way to round out any New Orleans vacation.

 

Go With the Mardi Gras Flow

February 11th, 2012 by bbnola

The Mardi Gras parade season officially begins today, and as of this writing, there are five parades underway in New Orleans. Many more will take place over the coming days, culminating in the grand parades Uptown and in the Metairie on Fat Tuesday itself, February 21, 2012.

This is a period of celebration. It’s a time to enjoy food and drink and fun before Lent. Yet you don’t have to participate in Lent in order to celebrate Mardi Gras. You just have to be willing to have fun now.

Mardi Gras on Canal Street postcard with Tudor Theater

People have been flocking to New Orleans for Mardi Gras for ages. Why not come yourself?

It’s also important to take care of yourself. Parades mean lots of time on your feet and lots of people. Talk to the innkeepers of your New Orleans Bed and Breakfast about the best places to watch and the best places to avoid. If you’ll be wandering far from your New Orleans B&B during the course of the day, learn where you can sit and rest and where you can find a restroom!

We find it’s best to go with the flow. You can have a plan (know when and where parades start, etc), but be willing to alter it. Spontaneous parties crop up all over town, and the music and dancing can be irresistible.. Let yourself wander and explore, and laisser les bons temps rouler.