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Southern Decadence Festival

August 17th, 2013 by katiep

Since 1972, a small gathering between friends has grown into one of New Orleans’ premier yearly events, not to mention one of the wildest weeks of partying in the American South: Southern Decadence.

Held annually in the French Quarter over Labor Day weekend, this celebration of LGBT culture has attracted as many as 130,000 participants from all over the world! This year’s dates for Southern Decadence are August 28 – September 2, 2013.

Big crowds on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence.

Big crowds on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence.

Nicknamed the “Gay Mardi Gras,” Southern Decadence is a quintessential New Orleans occurrence: participants proudly strut in their elaborate costumes and the more over the top the costume, the more admiration you receive!

The action revolves around the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann streets in the French Quarter. There is always plenty of lively entertainment here and a number of LGBT bars and clubs in the immediate vicinity provide nonstop music, dancing and prancing throughout the event. Along with stage shows in the individual clubs, some street blocks will be closed-off for outdoor concerts.

One of the highlights of  Southern Decadence is the parade through the French Quarter on the Sunday before Labor Day.

Parade Marchers

Parade Marchers

This year’s parade will start at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 1. The route starts near the Old U.S. Mint and the French Market and end at Bourbon and Dumaine streets.

In keeping with tradition, Southern Decadence donates a large portion of its proceeds to a local charity. Past year’s charities included the N/O AIDS Task Force.

Gay Friendly Lodging in New Orleans

Would you like to attend Southern Decadence? Even if you can’t attend a festival, you might be thinking about visiting New Orleans. Perhaps you are concerned about picking somewhere to stay where the innkeeper won’t raise their eyebrows when you check in. We have a large selection of gay friendly bed and breakfasts throughout New Orleans that will make you feel welcome and at home.

New Orleans Girlfriends Getaway Package

June 2nd, 2013 by katiep

Looking for the ultimate girlfriends getaway south of the Mason Dixon? Search no further than Festigals, a women-oriented event in New Orleans taking place this June, the weekend of June 20-23. Take in the sights and sounds of the French Quarter while also participating in workshops and discussions pertaining to life for the modern American woman.

This event is a fun, safe and enriching weekend. While there are plenty of organized events, the weekend also leaves plenty of time for you to explore the rich cultural heritage of America’s most European city.

A festival created by women for women, the Festigals weekend is designed to be all about empowering women and celebrating fashion, food, friendship and fun.

festigals-2013-new-orleans-getawaysThe organizers call Festigals “A Party with a Purpose” and some of the speakers scheduled to present at this year’s Fesigals include:

    • Rhonda Shear, a New Orleans native and former Miss Louisiana, she has also worked in television and currently owns a women’s clothing line.
    • Amilya Antonetti, entrepreneur, businesswoman and mother will speak Thursday evening  on her recipe for “success and balance.”
Amilya Antonetti

Amilya Antonetti

This year’s celebrity chef is Tory McPhail of the Commander’s Palace restaurant. McPhail will host a culinary presentation at Cafe Adelaide on Saturday afternoon from noon to 2 p.m.

There are more fun and interesting events lined up for Festigals weekend – check it all out on their website, 

New Orleans Bed and Breakfast Lodging

Make your weekend in New Orleans truly unforgettable by staying in a bed and breakfast during your visit. Enjoy historic, luxurious lodging, delicious breakfasts and welcoming innkeepers.


French Quarter Festival 2013

March 27th, 2013 by insideout

The most famous street in New Orleans is Bourbon, inside the most famous neighborhood: The French Quarter. Of course, you do yourself a disservice to limit your visit to this small piece of our historic city, but certainly is an entertaining district, filled with Daiquiri shops, live music, shopping, dining and more.

To celebrate this famous neighborhood and continue to host the best parties in the nation (and maybe worldwide), New Orleans holds the French Quarter festival. 2013 marks its 30th year.

The French Quarter Festival at Jackson Square

The French Quarter festival is only bested by Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, it comes in as the third largest celebration the city hosts. It has grown so popular, in fact, that last year the event was expanded from three to four full days of events.

The 30th Annual French Quarter Festival will be held from Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14. More than 1,300 musicians perform over the course of the weekend and over 60 restaurants set up booths in three food court areas: all around Jackson Square, at the Old U.S. Mint and along the Riverfront at Woldenberg Park. Some of New Orleans’ top artists and craftspersons will have work on display and for sale. There are also going to be two areas of fun for the kids to enjoy. On Saturday night, a fireworks display will erupt over the waters of the Mississippi River.

The music features Louisiana musicians only, playing almost every genre under the sun.

Because of an anticipated shortage of available parking in the French Quarter, bus shuttle service will take place between downtown parking lots and the festival site. The shuttle will have six buses running Friday through Sunday during festival hours, for free.

French Quarter Festival Lodging

If you are coming from out of town and will be staying overnight, we recommend you make your reservations early. Most rooms are sold out by the time the festival arrives. Check our listings of New Orleans bed and breakfasts for those with availability during the festival!

New Orleans Tales of the Cocktail July 25-29, 2012

July 6th, 2012 by insideout

Cocktail in Martini Glass with Raspberries

2012 Tales of the Cocktail marks the 10th anniversary of this internationally recognized premier cocktail festival.

If you’re visiting New Orleans at the end of July, be sure to check out the 10th Annual Tales of the Cocktail hosted throughout the French Quarter. This is not your ordinary “mixed drink” fest. Instead, think of the world’s best cocktail professionals gathering among fans and aspiring mixologists to teach, celebrate and drink the classic combinations and newest innovations. Book a room at one of the nearby New Orleans bed & breakfasts and you’ll be right at the center of this mecca of mixology.

With over 200 events over five days, this is the world’s premier cocktail festival. There are competitions, demonstrations and plenty of opportunities to taste, socialize and learn. The informative and delicious “Spirited Lunches and Dinners” Series cover a wide range of topics by distinguished speakers over a delicious multi-course meal.

There are 60 Seminars offered this year. You can get the how-to on opening your own bar,

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Discover the Bayous of New Orleans

May 9th, 2012 by bbnola

It’s easy to get caught up in the music, food, and people of New Orleans. But not far outside of this vibrant city are quieter places equally worthy of exploration: the bayous of New Orleans.

Swamp tour in New Orleans

Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours

Swamp tours leave frequently from the heart of the city. Some, like Tours by Isabelle, will collect you at your New Orleans Bed and Breakfast and return you there after the tour.

New Orleans Swamp Tours

Keep on the lookout for swamp shacks.

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Visit A Creole Plantation

May 1st, 2012 by bbnola

If you only have time to visit one plantation during your New Orleans Bed and Breakfast vacation, make it Laura.

Laura Plantation

Laura: A Creole Plantation

Laura: A Creole Plantation is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, about an hour outside of New Orleans. It’s one of a handful of remaining Creole-built houses. Lonely Planet Travel names Laura: A Creole Plantation the “Best History Tour in the United States”.

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Mother’s Day in New Orleans

April 18th, 2012 by bbnola

New Orleans San Francisco Plantation

The San Francisco Plantation.

If you’re a mother, you know that what most mothers want for Mother’s Day is simple: to spend time with her children.

That said, sometimes it’s nice to give a little more than time. It’s nice to give, perhaps, a trip to New Orleans.

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New Orleans by Bike

March 27th, 2012 by bbnola

There are many ways to explore New Orleans: on foot, by car, by boat, and by bus. A favorite way is to explore New Orleans by Bike.

Try a bike tour during a New Orleans B&B vacation.

A fun way to see New Orleans.

Confederacy of Cruisers offers relaxing, slow-paced bike tours of the city. Tours last 3 hours and cover six miles — you may not even break a sweat. Cycle through the scenic Creole neighborhoods of Faubourg Marigny and Treme, and discover the colorful community of Bywater.

Tour guides will talk of the history of New Orleans, her architecture, and her culture. You’ll see places you probably wouldn’t find on your own, and visit spots other tours overlook. The beauty of the bike is that you go where no bus would fit.

Consider taking a bike tour of the city the next time you’re staying at a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast. The cruisers are comfy, the fresh air feels good, and the stories you’ll hear are interesting.

New Orleans Business Travel

March 13th, 2012 by bbnola

Business travel New Orleans

Bring your laptop and get down to work at your New Orleans B&B.

So many people travel to New Orleans for fun that it’s easy to forget people travel here for work, too. New Orleans business travelers are a lucky lot; during their off hours, they can explore one of the most exciting cities in the country.

Many of our member New Orleans Bed and Breakfasts are located in the heart of the city, near the Central Business District. This allows for short commutes to business meetings by day, and convenient access to restaurants and entertainment by night. In addition, innkeepers are a great source of information; they can help you come up with a short list of sites and activities you shouldn’t miss during your business trip.

The best way to start of day of work is with a gourmet breakfast in a New Orleans Inn. A great way to wrap up a hard day of work is with a drink in your inn, something many B&Bs offer. Business travel can be lonely, and the relaxed and homey atmosphere of many New Orleans Bed and Breakfasts is a welcome respite from larger, less personal hotels.

Please visit New Orleans Business Travel for a list of Inns that cater to business travelers. May your next work trip be a success.

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.