Just a leisurely stroll (or Cajun two-step) from the French Quarter, the Kimpton in New Orleans will soon make its home at the intersection of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas Streets—and we feel like dancing.
It’s been 15 years since the Kimpton Hotel Monaco New Orleans closed its doors after Hurricane Katrina. Now that we’re coming back, we want to make your itinerary in The Big Easy, well, easy. So we’ve compiled an insider’s list of ways first-time visitors and veteran NOLA lovers can feast on the flavors of this diverse city, wonder at its historic beauty and party till the wee hours.
Yes to streetcars, steamboats, cemetery tours, Bourbon Street and French-Creole fare — of course! But make time for the serendipity of a few under-the-radar options as well.
Steps from the St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest active cathedral in the country, you’ll find Pirate’s Alley Café, known for costumed servers and a specialty cocktail called “Absinthe.” Celebrate the resurgence of tiki bars with hand-crafted tropical drinks at Tiki Tolteca. When you need to cool off and wake up at the same time, it’s time for a frozen Irish coffee at Molly’s at the Market.
Walk down Frenchmen Street any time of day to hear music floating into the streets, but step inside Three Muses for eclectic small plates and live jazz. On weekends, the Drag Brunch at The Country Club is the place to be, and you can even take a dip in the backyard pool. When a hankering for Asian cuisine hits you, head to Dian Xin for dumplings, dim sum and matcha chocolate lava cake, or sample pho, spring rolls and other Vietnamese fare at Lilly’s Café.
Mardi Gras is too big to be contained in a single day. In fact you can see incredible floats being built year-round at Mardi Gras World. Add some sass and sizzle to your trip with a comedy or burlesque show at The AllWays Lounge & Cabaret. Expand your view of art, music and life in general at artist collective Music Box Village. Belt out a karaoke tune at the 24-hour Kajun’s Pub. At One Eyed Jacks, you can catch an ’80s dance party complete with gogo dancers.
The spirit of the Crescent City comes to life colorfully via street art, including submissions from the famous British graffiti artist Banksy. Trace the world’s oldest profession on an adults-only walking tour of Brothels, Bordellos, and Ladies of the Night, or walk the true-crime tour, Sinister Criminal Intentions—not for the faint of heart. Prefer something more family-friendly? Try this kid-friendly ghost tour, which is just spooky enough.
If you’ve been here, New Orleans’ eccentric charms are already embers in your heart. Here are more suggestions to grow your NOLA flame.
- You’ve watched parades. Now be in one. Join a second line if there’s one happening during your stay.
- Stop by Bacchanal, a self-proclaimed “wine laboratory” serving wines galore and legendary cheese plates in a cozy outdoor courtyard.
- Go back in time to this single-screen, circa-1914 movie theater, Prytania Theater, featuring weekly classic movies and family-friendly faves.
- Bask in cultured beauty and Southern luxe at Longue Vue House & Gardens.
- Visit the Seignouret-Brulatour House at 520 Royal Street, a 200-year-old home that recently went through a $30-million renovation.
- Experience the culture, community and cuisine of the city at Pythian Market.
Take a guided tour of Degas House, where you can watch a documentary of Edgar Degas’ storied stint in New Orleans following the Civil War.
Your NOLA Oasis
Slated to open in early 2020, this new Kimpton gem will welcome NOLA newbies and seasoned aficionados with a signature restaurant, indoor-outdoor lounge, and a historic ballroom. We can’t wait to pass a good time with you in New Orleans, cher.