With over 100+ festivals on the docket, New Orleans may seem like a place for the night owls and party starters but there’s even more than meets the eye. If you want to people watch, we’ve got you. If you want live jazz without a wait, that’s here too. Get comfy as we take you through the best of the Big Easy.
New Orleans for Extroverts
- As the birthplace of jazz, you’ll have your pick of Frenchmen Street venues but no matter where you go, get there early for the best seats or wear your comfiest insoles for standing only room. If the wait at The Spotted Cat has you down, head down a block to Maison where two bars will get you a quick drink to catch the next set of brass. Book one of their mixology classes to make and throw down your own classic New Orleans cocktails.
- Pack your stretchy pants because this city has a dedicated festival for all of its iconic dishes ranging from po boys to fried chicken and gumbo. Bearcat CBD serves up a decadent brunch and lines are out the door for their Cat Daddy Biscuit featuring fried chicken on a biscuit smothered in Cajun gravy. Mister Mao calls itself a “tropical roadhouse” and its eclectic interior alone is worthy of a visit. The menu draws inspo from all corners of the globe and for the not-so-faint-of-heart, their hellfire heartburn items like fiery pani puri will leave you burning up for more.
New Orleans for Introverts
- Venture away from Bourbon Street and set your compass for the Garden District. The streets are lined with historic architecture and independent NOLA-only boutiques call Magazine Street home. Take Bella Umbrella where you can customize any fabric of your choice into a new parasol or rent out vintage editions for a special event. Beat the heat with a scoop of small-batch ice cream at Parish Parlor known for their seasonal flavors like banoffee pie and mulled wine sorbet.
- If purple drinks aren’t your thing, swing by Black-owned Dream House Lounge – a new community gathering place that centers on wellness and “conscious cocktails.” There’s a bottle shop to take souvenirs home along with an alcohol-free wine menu and unique elixirs to lift the spirit.
New Orleans for Ambiverts
- While historic Lafitte’s draws in the crowds, head over to Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge for a no-frills neighborhood dive bar experience. Long before Anthony Bourdain paid a visit; Tulane students, artists and locals have been grabbing a cold one here to soak in live music and swap secrets in its dimly lit courtyard. Just make sure to leave a bar stool open for Peeve, the resident canine mascot.
- When it turns to dusk, Frenchmen Art Market opens its doors every day except Mondays and Tuesdays and stays up almost as late as the city (until midnight or 1 am). The open air courtyard is family-friendly and you’ll get to chat with artists directly as you browse their wares ranging from prints to jewelry to vintage clothing.
Where to stay: Kimpton Fontenot Hotel
As part of our Stay Human: Come As You Are series, we’re pulling back the layers to tailor immersive city experiences meant for all energy levels and personalities – from the most extroverted of us to the ones who prefer to sit back and observe.