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New Orleans Culture
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What is the culture of New Orleans? Is it Spanish or French? Creole or Cajun? It is certainly unlike any other city in the United States. To understand why, it is necessary to learn something about the history of the city.

The French settled New Orleans in 1718, but the Spanish ruled from 1765 to 1802. The French and Spanish from Europe were joined in the mid 1700s by many Acadians, or Cajuns. Thrown out of Acadia (present day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) by the British, they eventually ended up in what is today Louisiana, where their culture flourished.

Unique at the time, the Europeans of New Orleans did not try to suppress the American Indians who lived in the region. Instead, the French allowed them to keep their freedom and culture. Also interesting is the fact that the Spanish, in an effort to gain support over the French, allowed many slaves to buy their freedom. Many of those slaves were West Africans who had come directly to New Orleans from West Africa; their descendants are known as Creoles.

Cajun and Creole, Spanish and French, Native American and Catholic - this was New Orleans. The city was geographically and culturally far removed from the Anglo-Saxon settlements in New England and Virginia, and remained so until after the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803. Even after the Louisiana Purchase, French was spoken - not English. Protestantism  did not rule the souls of the citizens - Catholicism did. From the beginning, there was a spirit of inclusion and freedom that horrified some travelers from the north while fascinating others.

Today, the rich and varied culture of New Orleans is evidenced in its food, music, and architecture. It is easy to fall in love with this complex city - it's the type of place that can take a lifetime to truly understand. Start with a few days or a week at a New Orleans bed and breakfast… you'll be back for more.


HH Whitney House on the Historic Esplanade

Phone: 504-948-9448
Toll Free: 800-924-9448
The HH Whitney House sits on the Esplanade Ridge which divides the 6th Ward's Faubourg Treme from the Historic 7th ward - two of New Orleans' most culturally rich neighborhoods - home to countless musicians, artists, Mardi Gras Indians and other performers throughout the years. Experience for yourself what it is like to live in a real New Orleans neighborhood. Stay at the HH Whitney House.
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Southern Comfort

Phone: 504-895-3680
Toll Free: 888-769-3868
New Orleans is like no other city in the United States. A wonderful blend of many diverse cultures and ethnicities make New orleans unique, interesting and alive with tradition. This is a city with a soul. Your innkeeper is a native New Orleanian and is eagar to share her love of the city.
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Degas House

Phone: 504-821-5009
Toll Free: 800-755-6730
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Terrell House

Phone: 504-247-0560
Toll Free: 866-261-9687
The people and culture of New Orleans have made New Orleans, Louisiana unique among and distinct from other cities in the United States, including other Southern U.S. cities. New Orleans in modern times has been described as being not a Southern city but a Caribbean city. In a locale once used by Choctaw, Houmas, and other Indians,prominent cultural influences date to the French and Spanish colonial periods and the introduction of African slaves in the 18th century.
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The Burgundy Bed and Breakfast

Phone: 1-504-942-1463
Toll Free: 1-800-970-2153
Your innkeeper at The Burgundy is a native Louisianan and grew up in Cajun country west of New Orleans. He is knowledgeable and willing to help you plan excursions from New Orleans (swamp tours, plantation tours) or further afield (for example, the Cajun heartland).
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Elysian Fields Inn

Phone: 504-948-9420
Toll Free: 866 948 9420
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B&W Courtyards

Phone: (504) 322-0474
Toll Free: 800-585-5731
We are the third owners of our 1854 Creole compound.
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Auld Sweet Olive Bed and Breakfast

Phone: 504-947-4332
Toll Free: 877-470-5323
Sit on our verandah (southern for "porch"), sip your coffee or wine, and people-watch, as folks have been doing here since the 1850s. Look out our old, wavy glass windows and imagine the horse and carriage that once graced our courtyard. Take a stroll down Rampart Street (featured in dozens of songs) and you will likely be greeted by a neighborly "How you doin'?" At our B&B, you are cheek by jowl with world-class museums, jazz clubs, restaurants, art galleries, and historic homes. But more than that, in the Faubourg Marigny, you are also in the middle of a living breathing culture that goes back hundreds of years. Get yourself a treat from Loretta's Original Pralines, enjoy a fine creole meal, take in some jazz, and immerse yourself in a culture and way of life like no other.
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Oakview Bed & Breakfast

Phone: 504-495-7405

The Crescent City Classic (yearly) 5 mile race and walk begins in the french quarter and ends right here in the park. All of the festivities are a short 3 minute walk from the house and the trolly back to the city is an even shorter walk from the house.
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1870 Banana Courtyard Bed & Breakfast

Phone: 504-947-4475
Toll Free: 800-842-4748
From the beginning, New Orleanians were inclusive, embracing diverse cultures. We're like no other city in the USA. There is a visceral pull that brings visitors back, time and time again (50% of our guests return). People often think of New Orleans original inhabitants as Cajun, African American, Creole, native American Indians, with French, Mediterranean, and Spanish roots, but scratch below the surface. We are a gumbo pot blend of many cultures, while still honoring the traditions of our ancestors (ask us about the Mardi Gras Indians, who are a fascinating & unique facet of New Orleans culture). The varied and rich culture of NAwlins can best be experienced in its music, cuisine, and architecture. And what better place to start your cultural journey than at our B&B
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B&W Courtyards

Phone: (504) 322-0474
Toll Free: 800-585-5731
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Chez Palmiers

Phone: 504-208-7044
Toll Free: 877-233-9449
Music and food. These are two of the main cultural icons of New Orleans. The Faubourg Marigny, our neighborhood is teaming with both. The epicenter of the Marigny is Frenchmen street. Along Frenchmen you'll find unique restaurants, bars, and music clubs. This is not Bourbon Street cover band music, this is mostly local musicians. Any night of the week you can stroll down Frenchman and either pop in to one of the clubs or stand on the sidewalk and listen for a spell. Frenchmen street is four short blocks away.
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Creole Inn

Phone: 504-941-0243

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1896 OMalley House

Phone: 504-488-5896
Toll Free: 866-226-1896
What can I say but we are located in New Orleans! You can't get better than that.
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Pierre Coulon Guest House

Phone: 504-943-6692 or 504-250-0965
Toll Free: 877-943-6692
Stay with us in our 1831 Creole cottage complex in the Faubourg Marigny, and explore New Orleans from a base in the most fabulous neighborhood in America!!
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La Dauphine, Residence des Artistes

Phone: 504-948-2217

Ray is a local of French and Spanish (Creole) heritage. He has a whole page printed on "What is Cajun and What is Creole?" for guests who are interested. (Cajun is not Indian, and Creole is not necessarily black.) Ray speaks French and is connected to the local French community, and a member of the French-American Chamber of Commerce. We know the food and music of our culture intimately :-)
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