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Where to Stay in New Orleans
By far, the most sought-after destination for any New Orleans visitor is the French Quarter. Filled with cultural attractions, live music, excellent dining and New Orleans' best bars and nightclubs, the French Quarter is the heart of this culturally unique city. Plus, with many hotel options to choose from, you can be sure to find some discounted room rates.
If you’d rather not be in the center of the action, consider staying in the city’s historic and elegant Garden District or Uptown neighborhood. For business travelers, a hotel in the Central Business District, located adjacent to the French Quarter, provides easy access to both the city’s center of commerce and vibrant nightlife.
New Orleans Hotel Tips
Although many areas of New Orleans were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city has rebounded to reclaim its title as one of the nation’s party capitals. If you’re looking for a good time, and don’t mind crowds, consider booking a hotel in New Orleans during the February Mardi Gras festivities. You will definitely want to search online for rooms well in advance. The best accommodations fill up fast. Music lovers should scope out hotels in late April and early May when New Orleans hosts its annual Jazz & Heritage Festival. The event is a big draw for tourists, so book reservations far ahead of time.
If you’re not a fan of the heat, stay away from the city during the summer. Because of its proximity to the water, it can get uncomfortably humid. However, winters are very tolerable, with temperatures in the 60s. You may even be able to find cheap flights to New Orleans around the holiday season.
New Orleans Hotel Recommendations
Experience New Orleans history first-hand by reserving a room at Le Pavillon Hotel. Located just five blocks from Bourbon Street, this luxurious boutique is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy a swim in the heated rooftop pool before heading out for a bite to eat at one of the many Royal Street restaurants.
If you’re looking to relax in modern luxury, make reservations at the Windsor Court Hotel. Also located in the French Quarter, this four-star boutique hotel features spacious guest rooms outfitted with genuine Italian marble baths. Listen to live jazz and adult contemporary music nightly at the hotel’s Grill Room Restaurant, the only four-star restaurant in all of New Orleans. The Windsor Court is known to offer last-minute deals. Ask before booking your reservations.
For those looking to stay in New Orleans’ mansion-filled Garden District, check out the Queen Anne. This 1890 Victorian mansion has been converted into one of the city’s most unique hotels. The interior is filled with ornate décor, including beautiful tapestries, antiques and gilded mirrors. Also, if you’re trying to steer clear of crying babies and noisy college students, this is the place for you. The Queen Anne does not allow anyone younger than 25 to stay on the property.
New Orleans Transportation
With its flat streets and grid-like structure, many agree that the best way to see the Big Easy is by bike. In fact, the city is ranked sixth nationally in terms of the number of bicycling commuters. Rent a bike from a local shop and explore the Mississippi River Trail, an extensive path that stretches across the country all the way to Minnesota.
New Orleans’ iconic streetcars also provide transit to tourists. There are three operational lines, which take riders across the city, from the Central Business District to the Loyola and Tulane universities to the Mid-City district.
If you’re staying in the French Quarter and don’t plan on venturing too far, you can forgo renting a car and travel to most places by foot, streetcar and the occasional taxi.