Shopping Near Alder Hotel Uptown New Orleans

Shopping Near Alder Hotel Uptown

What sets a unique boutique apart from the rest of the big-box stores and chains? It’s simple: a strong point of view. Fortunately, New Orleans is home to a diverse group of bold, creative personalities, and while many of them find their niches in music, food or art, some express themselves by curating shops like none you’ve ever seen.

Fortunately, Alder Hotel is just a short car ride (about a mile) from Magazine Street’s collection of shops. Nearby, bustling Freret Street is worth a visit as well. If you’re looking for the best places for shopping near Alder Hotel Uptown, check out these boutiques (arranged in chronological order) and find an excuse to leave with a fantastic, wearable souvenir — for a loved one or yourself.

Ashley Longshore

4537 Magazine St.

Join pop artist Ashley Longshore‘s legions of fans, which include 312,000-plus Instagram followers and clients like Blake Lively and Cher, when you visit her Uptown studio gallery. Longshore playfully skewers trophy wives, excess, designer labels, and celebrity in her work: butterfly-bedecked silhouettes of women, champagne bottles, renditions of media personalities like Anna Wintour, and sassy phrases. All in all, Longshore’s large-scale acrylic paintings mirror her personality: glittery, hilarious, and larger than life.

Babe

5007 Freret St.

Babe is one of very few retailers to open on the revitalized Freret Street corridor, which boasts a wealth of bars, restaurants and venues. While the nightlife is sparkling on the commercial stretch, the daytime shopping opportunities at this contemporary casual women’s boutique also are not to be missed. Find the perfect romper, chambray off-the-shoulder frock or statement jumpsuit at this bright and airy boutique (then wear it out on the town that night).

Bambi DeVille’s Vintage Clothing 

3017 Magazine St.

Bambi DeVille’s Vintage Clothing is a jewel box of a boutique. The vast collection spans the Edwardian and Victorian eras, extending to the artfully beaded gowns, birdcage veils, furs, Japanese kimonos, Bakelite accessories, crocheted cover-ups, and sherbet-hued 1950s prom dresses. Notably, the boutique also has men’s and children’s vintage clothing. Everything is curated to the tee, kept in pristine condition, and organized by era. The owner has been collecting museum-quality vintage pieces for decades and is a treasure trove of fashion knowledge.

Buffalo Exchange 

4119 Magazine St.

A trendy nationwide chain that buys, sells and trades vintage and used clothing and accessories for men and women, Buffalo Exchange is a reliable stop for gear ranging from designer evening dresses to basics to funky accessories. Located on a bustling stretch of Magazine Street and surrounded by boutiques and restaurants, Buffalo Exchange is popular among locals and visitors alike. Thanks to its affordability and proximity to the Loyola and Tulane campuses, it’s also frequented by college students.

Century Girl

2023 Magazine St.

This elegant vintage boutique showcases a carefully curated selection of rare and gorgeous vintage pieces spanning the decades including Jazz Age, many of them designer (think vintage Chanel earrings, Gatsby-esque rhinestone headbands, and bridal romantic lingerie of yesteryear). Everything is in pristine condition and impeccably presented.

Dirty Coast

1320 and 5415 Magazine St. 

Dirty Coast is a New Orleans-based T-shirt company that’s been around since 2004, outfitting the locals and the visitors alike in the NOLA-centric tees, hoodies and tanks, and coining the ubiquitous phrase “Be a New Orleanian Wherever You Are.” Besides T-shirts Dirty Coast is packed to the gills with coasters, bumper stickers, home goods, merch for kids, and lots and lots of all things Who Dat and Mardi Gras. In addition to its two Magazine Street locations, the company has an outpost at the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

Fleurty Girl

3137 Magazine St.

A successful vision of New Orleans-native Lauren Leblanc Haydel, Fleurty Girl was founded in 2009 and has since expanded to eight locations in Louisiana, including one Uptown, and the latest addition at the new North Terminal at the Louis Armstrong International Airport. The boutique T-shirt chain sells New Orleans-inspired apparel, accessories, home decor, and gifts. Fleurty Girl’s specialties are Who Dat shirts and “Shirts With Y’atitude” for men, women, kids, and even dogs — very New Orleans pride.

Funky Monkey

3127 Magazine St.

The affordable, quirky and locally owned Funky Monkey mixes new, used and vintage clothing and accessories for both men and women with costumes, trendy basics, and contemporary indie labels. Come Halloween or Mardi Gras this is your destination for seasonal gear like vintage ballgowns and costume jewelry.

Hemline

3310 Magazine St.

This is just one of many outposts of the popular French Quarter boutique. There are eight stores in Louisiana alone, including a popular location in the French Quarter. Owner Brigitte Holthausen built her style empire starting in New Orleans in the early 90s, eventually ending up with 30 locations throughout the South. Hemline excels at expertly curating a rotating collection of covetable fashion from premium brands, luxe to casual, including high-quality denim, cocktail dresses, and shoes and accessories.

Jeantherapy

5505 Magazine St.

This hip local chain is well stocked with enviable designer denim, plus things like graphic tees (JTees) for men, women, and kids. Think lots and lots of football-fan gear to represent your Saints/LSU pride. Jeantherapy has another location in metro New Orleans, at the Lakeside Mall.

Magazine Antique Mall

3017 Magazine St.

This sprawling indoor haven for antique and vintage shoppers is brimming with estate jewelry, vintage clothing, 70s tchotchkes, antique furniture, collectibles, and anything else you can dig out. It’s a 6,500 sq. ft. trifecta of a walk down memory lane, a bargain hunt, and a trip down the rabbit hole, all under one roof.

Magpie

4529 Magazine St.

Magpie is an absolute treasure trove of unique vintage items, from sparkling 1920s art deco engagement rings to the hallucinogenically colorful 1960s caftans. Prices are surprisingly affordable for vintage and antique items in such good condition, and the cozy, wood-floored shop is as inviting as a friend’s living room. Out-of-towners who fall in love with Magpie can shop the store’s Etsy page once they return home — a visit to this boutique is only the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing & Costumes

4204 Magazine St.

Small but mighty, Miss Claudia’s is a goldmine filled with majorette boots, funky vintage costumes, wigs, dazzling accessories, and other everyday and festive essentials for your one-of-a-kind Halloween or Mardi Gras outfit. Follow the store on Instagram and see for yourself.

Perlis

6070 Magazine St.

Perlis has been going strong since 1939 as a family-run clothier in Southern Louisiana, now with four locations including Baton Rouge and the Jax Brewery in the French Quarter. If you have a hankering for southern-style clothing Perlis has you covered with designer brands and made-to-measure items. The company caters heavily to men, but you’ll also find lots of clothing for women and kids, plus Louisiana-themed gifts. One of the best-known collections by Perlis features a crawfish logo — where you’ll find the famous mudbug gracing shorts, shirts, polos, socks, and wallets — very Louisiana.

United Apparel Liquidators (UAL)

3306 Magazine St.

This small Southern chain has three locations in the New Orleans metro area (the others are in the French Quarter and Metairie), offering up to 90% off on past-season and overstock items obtained directly from high-end boutiques and department stores. They also work directly with designers to purchase their samples and overruns, so this is a great shop for one-of-a-kind pieces from designer brands at a fraction of the original price.

Victoria Boutique

5420 Magazine St.

Upscale, understated, and home to luxury designer brands, Victoria Boutique is the retail equivalent of Posh Spice. It’s the destination for New Orleans’ well-heeled crowd, boasting exclusive labels and high-end items. Shop at this gorgeous, sprawling boutique and you just may brush shoulders with a former Carnival queen. (You’ll feel like royalty.)

Edible Souvenirs From New Orleans

Edible Souvenirs from New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Peychaud’s Bitters on Facebook

Southern Louisiana didn’t just spawn an entirely new musical form in jazz. It also engendered new cuisines — Creole and Cajun food — when Spanish, French, African, and Acadian influences melded. And although it’s easy to buy a CD or stream New Orleans music online, finding authentic Cajun or Creole cuisine outside parish lines can be a challenge. In fact, a lot of people say the only place to eat real Louisiana fare is in a local’s kitchen.

Fortunately, there is a variety of edible (and drinkable), travel-friendly souvenirs that will allow you to bring a taste of the Crescent City back home. Just be sure to carefully wrap and stash any liquids and sauces in your checked baggage, not your carry-on.

Aunt Sally’s Original Pralines

Where to buy: Aunt Sally’s Original Pralines, 810 Decatur St. (French Quarter); 750 St. Charles Ave. (Warehouse District); local gift stores.

Sweet and nutty, these handmade confections consist of fresh cream, cane sugar and Louisiana pecans. Just don’t call them pray-leens! It’s prah –leens.

A few stores throughout the Quarter sell high-quality pralines, but Aunt Sally’s, right by the French Market, has been doing it (right) for a long time. While there, stock up on houseware, cookbooks, Creole seasonings, Steen’s Cane Syrup, and other culinary souvenirs.

Beignet Mix and Coffee With Chicory

Where to buy: Café Du Monde, 800 Decatur St. at the French Market (or multiple locations)

You’ll find many locations throughout New Orleans of this iconic establishment, both the cafe and the gift shop outposts. Or go to the mothership on Decatur Street in the French Quarter, and get a plate of sugar-dusted beignets with a cup of chicory-laced cafe au lait while you shop and people-watch.

Cajun and Creole Seasoning

Where to buy: Local supermarkets, grocery stores, gift shops.

There’s plenty of authentic Cajun and Creole seasoning to recommend, and we’re only scratching the surface by mentioning Slap Ya Mama and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning blend. Most local grocery stores and supermarkets also carry chef-driven, proprietary seasoning blends that showcase Louisiana flavors, like the late, great Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic seasonings and Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning.

Hand Grenade Drink Mix

Where to buy: Local stores and supermarkets; wine and liquor shops; the Tropical Isle outposts in the French Quarter.

Did you love this melon-flavored potent concoction while visiting New Orleans? You can take it home with you! Grab one of the few bottled varieties of the Hand Grenade’s secret recipe, and just add alcohol.

King Cake

Where to buy: Multiple locations, including local bakeries, grocery stores, and supermarkets.

If you’re here during the Carnival season, which is between January 6 (referred to as Epiphany, or Twelfth Night) and Ash Wednesday (the date varies each year), you can grab a King Cake to take with you on a plane or a car ride. Those festive Mardi Gras staples are pretty sturdy and should travel well. During Mardi Gras, they’re ubiquitous, ranging from mass-produced to works of art, at every price point. Better yet, many local businesses will also ship (Randazzo’s, Haydel’s Bakery, Gambino’s, and many more).

Olive salad

Where to buy: Central Grocery, 923 Decatur St.

It’s not just any olive salad in a jar. Those who have tasted Central Grocery’s muffuletta would understand that to even try to recreate this gem of a sandwich at home you would need the Lupo’s family Italian olive salad. (They also ship.) Now, finding the right bread for the muffuletta outside of Louisiana is another story.

Many a visitor had also been known to stash a muffuletta too, for the car or plane ride home (well, depending on how long it is). If you wrap it thoroughly it should travel well. Beats anything you’ll be offered on the plane food-wise anyway.

Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix

Where to buy: Local stores; Pat O’Brien’s, 718 St. Peter St.; wine and liquor shops.

If you’re a fan of this drink, you can find the famous Pat O’Brien’s hurricane mix in many local grocery stores and at Pat O’Brien’s French Quarter outpost on St. Peter St. All you need to do is add ice and equal parts of rum and the mix.

Peychaud’s Bitters

Where to buy: Local supermarkets; grocery stores; wine and liquor shops.

Peychaud’s is an essential ingredient of a proper Sazerac. The aromatic bitters have notes of vanilla, nuts and anise.

Roux in a Jar

Where to buy: Local supermarkets and grocery stores.

Sure, you can make your own roux, but if you go for the ready-made to get you started, we (highly and subjectively) recommend Savoie’s Old Fashioned Dark Roux or Richard’S Cajun Style Roux (also dark).

Steen’s Cane Syrup

Where to buy: Local supermarkets; grocery stores; gift shops.

Steen’s is the only American producer of sweet and mild sugar cane syrup. Drizzle it over pancakes or mix it into cornbread dough for a taste of Louisiana.

Tabasco Hot Sauce

Where to buy: The French Market, 1008 N. Peters St.; local supermarkets; Tabasco Country Store, 537 St. Ann St.

These bottles dot tables worldwide, but the spicy, vinegar-based sauce is made only in Louisiana’s Avery Island — and has been produced by the McIlhenny family since 1868.

Zapp’s Potato Chips

Where to buy: Widely available in stores of any size, supermarkets, drugstores, etc.

Kettle-cooked in small batches, these thick-cut potato chips come in distinctly Louisiana flavors like Spicy Cajun Crawtators and Cajun Dill Gator Tator.

Zatarain’s New-Orleans-in-a-Box Mixes

Where to buy: Local supermarkets and grocery stores.

The local legend Zatarain’s has been packaging the flavors of the Crescent City in boxes of all-natural ingredients you can prepare at home since 1889 — like Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Red Beans & Rice. To jazz up your home cooking, also pick up some Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil seasoning.

Get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list at https://alderhotel.com/email-offers/. Did you find a lower rate on your Alder Hotel room at the time of booking? Call us at 1.888.626.5861, and we’ll be happy to match that rate!

October in New Orleans

October in New Orleans

Get ready! October is an amazing time to be in New Orleans, and we’re not just talking about Halloween. October is packing over a dozen music and food festivals alone, not to mention the milder temps you’d want to be here for. Here are the highlights of what’s going on in New Orleans in October. 

Art for Art’s Sake

October 1, 2022

The Magazine Street Merchants Association‘s Art for Art’s Sake features more than 100 businesses stretching the entire length of Magazine Street offering free white wine as well as art shows, special deals, promotional sales, and live music.

Oktoberfest

October 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22, 2022

New Orleans throws its version of Oktoberfest over the three weekends in October at Deutsches Haus in Mid-City, to celebrate the city’s rich German history with all the usual trappings, including authentic food and live music.

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival

October 14-16, 2022

Presented by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the free, over-decade-old fest always sports an eclectic lineup, consistently booking a mix of young talent alongside seasoned blues veterans. And that’s before you even consider the wide variety of BBQ vendors that surround Lafayette Square throughout the weekend.

Just like in the past years, there will be two stages of music and a huge arts market. As always, the event will include copious amounts of barbecue, with some of the best barbecue vendors in the region. Past vendors have included McClure’s, Blue Oak BBQ, The Joint, and many, many others. The spread will honor several regional styles, with an emphasis on Louisiana — made easier than ever with the recent proliferation of BBQ restaurants on the New Orleans dining scene. Beyond BBQ, there will be, of course, options for vegetarians, plus vegan and gluten-free fare.

Tremé Fall Festival

October 22, 2022 

This local fave throws a serious party in the blocks connecting Henriette Delille, Tremé and Gov. Nicholls Streets in one the nation’s first African American neighborhoods, just as the weather is getting nice. Most of the action is centered in front of the historic St. Augustine Church on the 1100 block of Henriette Delille Street. Expect entertainment from New Orleans musical royalty and food trucks and vendors from some of New Orleans’ best eateries. The festival is donation-based.

Krewe of Boo

October 22, 2022, & October 21, 2023 

Krewe of Boo is one of the city’s most impressive parades outside of carnival season. This Halloween procession kicks off at 6:30 p.m., starting at Elysian Fields Ave. and rolling through the Quarter to the Warehouse District. Expect plenty of floats and dance troupes, all themed after monsters, spooks, and general ghostly goodness that’s not too scary even for the youngest kids.

The parade is brought to you by Kern Studios, so expect the usual 3-D fiberglass and papier-mâché extravaganza. Parade-goers are encouraged to come in costume. Expect plush toys, candy and unique, eco-conscious throws. The fun ends with a ticketed post-parade costume party.

Additionally, that morning the Krewe hosts its annual New Orleans Zombie Run. This two-mile race starts at 9 a.m. and ends at noon, both at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant (701 Tchoupitoulas St.). Participants are encouraged to come dressed as zombies and monsters. Registration for the race begins at 7:30 a.m. You can also pre-register online.

Halloween

October 31 

In New Orleans, Halloween is much more than just a night for kids to go treat-or-treating, although there’s much to do with the little ones for Halloween too. Teeming with costume balls, street parties, and, of course, the Krewe of Boo parade, the two weeks leading up to the day itself are packed with some ghoulish, outlandish treats.

Not to be confused with another, Halloween-weekend Voodoo Fest, which is a massive music festival, Voodoo Authentica‘s VoodooFest will be held inside and outside the shop on the day of Halloween, from 1 to 7 p.m. There you can shop for potion oils, gris gris bags, voodoo dolls, plus African and Haitian art; witness an ancestral healing ritual, or speak to the priests about this version of faith.

Throughout October, the historic Hermann-Grima House, located in the French Quarter (820 St. Louis St.), changes up its historical tours to explore the mourning spaces of the 19th century. During a guided tour, you’ll explore the property while learning about the religious and cultural significance of death for the families living here in the 19th century.

You can also take any of the themed and historic tours offered this time of year, from the popular haunted tours to the vampire and voodoo tours in the French Quarter or the cemeteries tours in Mid-City or Uptown. One of the tours offered, the French Quartour Kids Spooky Tour, caters specifically to kids ages 4-8, leaving the gore out. Ask your concierge for tour recommendations.

Or, you can all trek Uptown to see some over-the-top decorated houses. The lawns at St. Charles Ave. and State St. and at Magazine and Second Streets, in particular, go above and beyond with scores of skeletons, holograms, music, and dazzling lights.

Looking for some grownup fun? Strut your stuff and see some fabulous costumes on Frenchmen St. in the Marigny, where a massive street party has been breaking out for years on Halloween night. Things really get going after 10 p.m., and there are plenty of bars to duck in and out of to recharge and replenish.

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

TBA 2023

This massive annual undertaking started small, eventually becoming a mega fest with thousands of costumed attendees, big headliners, art installations, and a weekend of great music among the oaks. These days Voodoo Fest is considered second only to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in attendance. The fest will be held at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds (4 Friedrichs Ave.). Because parking will be limited we recommend hopping on the streetcar that runs along N. Carrollton Ave. and will bring you right to the City Park. [The fest was canceled for 2020-2022 but plans to return in 2023.]

Mac n’ Cheese Fest

TBA 2023

This free annual fest is held at Louis Armstrong Park and keeps expanding to accommodate its growing popularity. Over the years, it had featured a judged competition among the dozens of mac ‘n’ cheese dishes from Louisiana restaurants, pop-ups and food catering businesses, an artist market, and an eating competition. [Please note that the festival was canceled for 2020-2022, but expects to return in 2023.]

Fun for Couples in Uptown New Orleans

Uptown New Orleans

New Orleans is considered one of the most romantic destinations in the country, if not the world. It’s easy to have a great time on a date in practically any part of this city, but Uptown holds its own against, say, the French Quarter, by bringing its historic past as the “American sector” and its unique charm into the equation.

There you’ll find majestic mansions under the canopies of the centuries-old live oaks, charming, dimly lit restaurants, modern cafes, shopping for blocks, photogenic streetcars, and iconic bars with world-class live music pouring out on any given night. Impressing your loved one doesn’t need to break the bank, either. In New Orleans, even a morning stroll in the park could bring on the magic. Here are our suggestions for some fun activities for couples in Uptown New Orleans.

Breakfast

Whether you would prefer to linger with a cocktail or want to have a quick yet solid breakfast at a diner, Uptown has no shortage of high-to-low options. If you’re looking for an inexpensive local hangout with Southern staples and plenty of local color, the fun, upbeat Slim Goodies Diner on Magazine Street won’t steer you wrong with its inventively named slammers (different kinds of scrambles, from meaty to vegan, served with hash browns). The Creole Slammer, for instance, comes with a biscuit and crawfish etouffee.

Another inexpensive option is the Camellia Grill, a legendary Carrollton Avenue diner that’s been serving hearty omelets and pecan pie since 1946. There will probably be a line, but it moves quickly, and you can get breakfast all day.

If you are coffee-and-a-pastry-for-breakfast people, the incomparable Gracious Bakery + Cafe has two locations Uptown, at 2854 St. Charles Avenue on the corner of 6th Street in the Garden District, and at 4930 Prytania Street. All baked goods and breakfast sandwiches are top-notch, and there are house-made granola and house-cured salmon bagels.

Looking for a cozy, welcoming hangout where you can grab small-batch roasted coffee, and a vegan muffin, and connect to wi-fi? Mojo Coffee House is the spot. You won’t find full kitchen service at this laid-back coffee house but for caffeine and a quick bite, nothing beats Mojo. French Truck Coffee has the best iced cold-drip coffee New Orleans has to offer,  served in a high-ceilinged, Edison bulb-hung space.

Another excellent option is the beautiful La Boulangerie, a French bakery and cafe with all the menu items hand-prepared according to traditional recipes and sidewalk tables.

If you can swing an early breakfast, Molly’s Rise and Shine and Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe  are both excellent choices.

Molly’s serves a mean breakfast full of items like bagel bites, burritos, the star special, the Grand Slam McMuffin (pork patties, hashbrowns, onions, American cheese), but also lighter fare like the roasted carrot yogurt. And, since opening in 1998, Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe has become a New Orleans fixture, known for some of the best breakfast in the city. Both are open from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m.

St. Charles Streetcar

Not just a means of public transportation, the historic St. Charles Avenue line streetcar is on many visitors’ bucket lists because it’s the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world (since 1835). It will set you back $1.25 per person, and the route is as scenic as it gets, with the columned mansions surrounded by impressive gardens and wrought-iron fences. Take it either all the way from Canal Street to the end of the line by the River, or hop on and off along St. Charles Avenue to take in the sights.

Walking Tours

Spend some time taking in the extraordinary beauty of Uptown’s many architectural styles. Whether you prefer to explore on foot, by car or by bus, both self-guided and guided tours are available daily. You can just walk around the historic district spotting celebrity houses and marveling at the gardens, or hop on the streetcar to visit the historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. (Please note that as of Fall 2022 the cemetery is still temporarily closed for repairs.)

Audubon Park and The Fly

The streetcar also brings you right to the urban oasis of historic Audubon Park. Located near the picturesque campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities, Audubon Park is perfect for a stroll among the oaks and the lagoons, or a picnic (bring some bread to feed the ducks). The area behind the Audubon Zoo and along the Mississippi River, known as The Fly, is a lovely spot to simply sit and watch the boats go by.

Shopping

Magazine and Freret streets and St. Charles Avenue are all commercial hubs with block after block of shopping destinations. Magazine Street in particular is worth (an easy walk) for about 10 blocks, which are packed with sidewalk cafes, galleries, antique stores, vintage boutiques, and funky local costume stores. Get some locally made New Orleans-centric gear at Dirty Coast or Fleurty Girl, or satisfy your costuming and vintage needs at Funky Monkey and Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing & Costumes.

Lunch and Dinner

Uptown has many cozy, romantic spots for either a lingering lunch or a romantic dinner date. La Crepe Nanou, located on the corner of Robert and Prytania Streets, is an intimate French bistro with a fantastic selection of sweet and savory crepes and a wine list to complement them. It’s consistently voted as the “most romantic” on various lists for its ambiance. Another small, French-Italian bistro, Lilette, boasts a heated patio, cozy booths and a sophisticated, sharable menu. Patois puts a local spin on mussels, grilled Gulf shrimp and southern staples like sweetbreads in a lovely, softly-lit setting.

You’ll find exposed brick, chandeliers and gleaming hardwood floors at Coquette, another sophisticated Magazine Street destination with a locally sourced menu and craft cocktails. Choose from the small and big plate menus, or put yourselves into the chef’s capable hands with a five-course blind tasting.

For authentic Sicilian cuisine head to Avo. The seasonal menu is bursting with seafood (try the charred octopus) and homemade pasta dishes. The interior is gorgeous, but see if you can score a table in the candlelit courtyard, perfect for a special occasion.

We also recommend both Apolline  and Bistro Daisy for their romantic settings. Set in a renovated double shotgun cottage, Apolline spotlights chef Michael Shelton’s creative use of local ingredients in modern Southern dishes like veal sweetbreads and crawfish bisque. Impress your date with some elevated dining, New Orleans style.

Bistro Daisy is a quaint eatery nestled in a charming cottage located in the heart of Uptown New Orleans. It’s been open since 2007 and is named after the owners Anton & Diane Schulte daughter. As the name suggests, it’s a bistro, with fresh, seasonal and often local ingredients on the French-leaning menu. Expect elevated takes on the Gulf fish, leg of duck confit, and bouillabaisse.

La Petite Grocery, the former 19th-century neighborhood grocery, was beautifully transformed by owner-chefs Justin Devillier in 2010. A 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South, Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like blue crab beignets and shellfish stew.

Two more good date spots are the Misa (lovely patio) and Alon Shaya’s Saba. Both are located on Magazine Street and feature Middle Eastern cuisine.

Last but not the least, you haven’t gotten a taste of classic romantic New Orleans if you haven’t visited Pascal’s Manale Restaurant. Watch the oysters getting shucked in front of you in this dark-paneled, elegant space with a martini in hand, and maybe stay for dinner to sample Pascal’s legendary BBQ shrimp and veal Picatta.

A Movie

Few things are more romantic than catching a classic movie in a century-old theater, especially on a rainy day. Prytania Theatre is the oldest theater in the city and the only single-screen one left in Louisiana. Inside, you’ll find plush red seats and a tiny coffee stand with excellent gelato and espresso. Prytania screens the classics like Citizen Cane and Casablanca regularly, and cult classics at midnight.

Happy Hour

Pizza Domenica on Magazine Street offers excellent wine and draft beer lists as well as half off its wood-fired pizzas (some of the best in New Orleans) daily, 3-5 p.m. If you’d like to share some wine, head to Bar Frances on Freret Street, to sample its excellent selection during a generous happy hour.

Music

Dance the sultry night away at the iconic Tipitina’s, which has hosted everyone from world-famous acts in town for Jazz Fest to local brass bands and the Mardi Gras Indians. The Maple Leaf Bar, with its tin ceiling and a hopping dance floor, has live music every night at 10 p.m., including some of the best brass bands in the city every Tuesday. Don’t miss that.

Have fun being out and about!

Want some exclusive deals and discounts on your stay at the Alder Hotel? Sign up for our email list at https://alderhotel.com/email-offers/. And if you find a lower rate on your Alder Hotel room at the time of booking, call 1.888.626.5861, and we will match it!

Must-Try Po-Boys at the Po-Boy Festival


Photo courtesy of Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

One thing New Orleanians can agree on, the po-boy satisfies hunger like nothing else. The once-humble sandwich has gone high-class in recent years, with top chefs serving their own inventive takes. But you can still find hearty 12-inch versions spilling fried shrimp and oysters for under $15 in local corner stores.

There is a po-boy for every budget and palate in New Orleans at the annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. (The last one was held on November 6, 2022.) This year’s fest will be held on Sunday, November 19th from 10 am to 6 pm, and you can be sure that you will be able to sample the best po-boys the city has to offer.

The Oak Street Fest is held between the 8100 and 8800 blocks of Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood. About 35 vendors present more food than you could shake your fork at, with over 60 varieties of delicious sandwiches alone — plus beer, specialty cocktails, and desserts.

And, of course, this being New Orleans, there is live music, with stages set up on side streets to avoid the Oak Street foot traffic congestion of the past years. A second line usually opens the fest at 10 a.m., forming at Oak and Carrollton streets.

In all past years, the admission was free, but you had to get a $5 wristband at the fest to purchase the po-boys (it’s OK if one person in the group buys multiple po-boys, according to the event organizers). Hate the long lines? At the previous fest, attendees could get their hands on the po-boys faster by getting one of the two passes.

One option was a $20 “fast pass” to enter the fast lane. The VIP pass ($99) granted access to the Oak VIP lounge with a balcony and a front-row view of the main stage, plus food and drinks, including specialty cocktails.

In the festival’s 14 years of existence, some of the best restaurants in the city have competed in six “Best of” categories: seafood, oyster, shrimp, sausage, pork, and beef. Past winners included the wildly popular Red Fish Grill’s BBQ oyster po-boy and Bratz Y’all’s Drunk Pig. The 2022 winners included the Parkway Bakery & Tavern‘s deep-fried buffalo shrimp Bahn mi, Boucherie‘s 12-hour roast beef sandwich, and fried oyster mushroom po-boy from Voodoo Vegan.

To give you just a taste of what to expect, here’s a sample menu from some of the past vendors. And don’t worry, most do come back year after year, so all this deliciousness will be within reach once the next fest rolls around.

The fest regular, the Mid-City-based po-boy king Parkway Bakery and Tavern, has been known to impress with its incredibly popular signature creation, “The James Brown” po-boy — slow-cooked roast beef topped with fried Gulf shrimp smothered in gravy. The ever-popular Godfather po-boy from Vincent’s Italian Cuisine marries three savory types of meat: Italian sausage, meatballs, and daube meat (beef slow-cooked in a red sauce, like brisket) and tops them with mozzarella cheese. Redfish Grill has repeatedly offered its signature BBQ oyster concoction, flash-fried and tossed in Crystal BBQ sauce. Metairie’s NOLA Boils & Catering kicked it up one year with an escargot po-boy while Oceana Grill keeps offering its oyster Rockefeller po-boy (with housemade sauce).

There are plenty of creative concoctions for the adventurous taste buds too, with game, elevated touches, and Asian and Caribbean flavors. In the dessert category, expect items like strawberry and Nutella tiramisu po-boys from Crêpes à la Cart.

As with any fest, there are an art market and a kids’ area. The festival is rain or shine, pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and pets are welcome. Parking options are limited, so if you go next year, consider biking or taking the St. Charles Avenue streetcar (get off at the Oak Street stop).

We can’t wait to see who wins next year!

Best Haunted Houses in New Orleans and Nearby

Scout Island Scream Park New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Scout Island Scream Park on Facebook

Sure, every old house in New Orleans has a story — and more often than not, a spooky past — but what if you want to be scared in the here and now? Fortunately, there are plenty of fantastic haunted houses in the greater New Orleans area.

Read up and choose the haunt that fits your fancy (and don’t forget to wear your costume when you go).

The Mortuary Haunted House

September 24 – November 5, 2022 (not every day)

4800 Canal St., New Orleans

The cobwebs and monsters in the house are fake, but the cemeteries surrounding it and the ghosts inside are real. This haunted house was established in 2007 in the actual former mortuary that was in operation till 2004. The Mortuary features multiple floors, all with gruesome tableaus that include a mangled medical scene, a crypt, and a bizarre circus.

New Orleans Nightmare

September 23 – October 31, 2022 (not every day)

319 Butterworth St., Jefferson

This haunted house replaced the beloved House of Shock, which closed in 2017 after 25 years. It bills itself as the largest and longest outdoor haunted attraction in Louisiana and stands on the House of Shock’s former site near the Huey P. Long Bridge. The two-story Spanish colonial mansion features a  courtyard and has escape rooms and high-tech features throughout its attractions with creepy names like Cursed Voodoo and Museum Macabre. The haunted house doesn’t have the satanic/heavy metal themes of its predecessor but promises to be plenty scary (and therefore inappropriate for kids under 12).

Boo at the Zoo

October 21-23, 2022

Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans

Looking for a kid-friendly Halloween experience (or something that won’t give you an anxiety attack)? Boo at the Zoo is Audubon Park’s annual Halloween party held during normal zoo hours, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. There’s a costume contest, trick-or-treating, a spooky train ride, and live music. The activities are designed for kids under 12, and all games and treats are included in the admission.

Things to Do in November in New Orleans


Photo courtesy of Celebration in the Oaks at New Orleans City Park on Facebook

At almost 377,000 residents, New Orleans is a relatively small city — but over 19 million tourists who visit each year mean The Big Easy boasts the amenities, dining and cultural scene of a bustling metropolis. The result? During the high tourist season (which runs from October through May), there are more events during any given week than any one person could attend.

November brings a heady mix of food, football, festivals, and fun. Here’s a sampling of things to do in November in New Orleans — and just remember, if you can’t get to all these events, you can always come back next year.

Mid-City Art Studios Open House

November 1, 2022

Mid-City Art Studios is located at 4436 Toulouse Street. This former Century Graphics Building, a 19th-century brick industrial structure, now houses 15,000 square feet of studio spaces and dozens of artists. Every November, they open up their studios for tours. You can view and buy some incredible original works of art in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, watercolor, prints, and photography.

New Orleans Film Festival

November 3-8, in person, November 3-13, 2022, virtually

To date, the New Orleans Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in the South and is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state. The festival has grown to the point of attracting thousands of attendees and industry insiders, plus more than 400 filmmakers and over 200 films annually. It’s one of the few film festivals in the nation that showcases Oscar-qualifying films drawn from all three Academy-accredited categories: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short. Venues include Broad, Orpheum, and Prytania theaters.

Bayou Bacchanal

November 5, 2022

In a nutshell, it’s a Caribbean Festival that happens in America’s most Caribbean city. Hosted by Friends of Culture, an organization run by New Orleans locals native to parts of the Caribbean, Bayou Bacchanal is a free, day-long festival held at Louis Armstrong Park. It’s typically held during the first week of November, featuring authentic food, music, a parade, and representation from several Caribbean nations.

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

November 6, 2022

Back and bigger than ever, the Po-Boy Festival features live music and more than 50 varieties of this beloved New Orleans staple. Admission is free, but you must purchase a $5 wristband to buy food. Dozens of vendors also compete in several “Best of” categories.

Boudin, Bourbon & Beer

November 8, 2022

Every November celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse invites scores of top local and national chefs to join him for his one-night fundraiser to benefit the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, featuring a specially curated, Louisiana-inspired menu, live music and open bar. Over 60 chefs participate in this outdoor festival held at Champions Square, the plaza located adjacent to the Caesars Superdome.

Hell Yes Fest

November 9-13, 2022

Who says New Orleans doesn’t have a comedy scene? Not only does it boast comedians aplenty, but the Crescent City also hosts the largest comedy festival on the Gulf Coast. Spearheaded by Chris Trew, co-owner of improv school and comedy venue The New Movement, Hell Yes Fest features home-grown talent as well as stars. Past headliners include Sarah Silverman and Amy Heckerling.

Thanksgiving at the Fair Grounds Race Course

November 24, 2022

Per a long-standing New Orleans tradition, it’s customary to turn out at the track on Thanksgiving Day to watch the opening-day races while sporting cocktails and some seriously fabulous hats. The first race starts at 11 a.m., and the racetrack also serves a sumptuous holiday buffet, plus a fancy dinner with all the holiday trimmings at the Clubhouse.

Celebration in the Oaks

November 24, 2022 – January 1, 2023

New Orleans’ most beloved holiday tradition (second only to Mr. Bingle, who also makes an appearance here) takes over 25 acres of City Park, bringing lighted displays to its gardens, oaks and lagoons. Bundle up and prepare to be enchanted. Please note that the event has been selling out quickly for the past few years, so get your tickets soon!

Bayou Classic

November 25-26, 2022

Watch Grambling and Southern University go head-to-head at the Caesars Superdome. The only thing more heated than the rivalry is the tailgating food. Don’t miss halftime, when the school’s respective marching bands face off. It just might be a greater spectacle than the Superbowl’s halftime show. The event stretches for two days and includes a fan fest, a parade, the battle of the bands, and, of course, the big game at the Superdome.

A Night on Freret Street

cure freret street
Photo courtesy of Cure NOLA on Facebook

Once a sleepy neighborhood thoroughfare bordering Tulane University, Freret Street has undergone a revival over the past decade, becoming a food and entertainment destination in its own right. From Japanese to Southern soul food, there’s a cuisine for almost everyone — and Freret Street is only two blocks from the Alder Hotel.

Another plus? Freret’s Uptown location means it attracts a smaller, more local crowd, which equals shorter waits at excellent, off-the-beaten-path bars and eateries. Here’s a sample of what to do, eat and drink along one of the most vibrant, action-packed commercial corridors in the city.

High Hat Cafe (4500 Freret St.)

Part old-fashioned diner, part neighborhood bar and part Deep South food destination, High Hat Cafe is a great place to grab a plate of fried catfish, a bowl of chicken and andouille gumbo, or a shrimp po-boy. Huge glass windows offer a prime opportunity to people-watch while eating a slice of house-made pie. (Save room for a snack at the next Freret Street destination.)

Ancora (4508 Freret St.)

Ancora’s pizza is made Neapolitan-style, using wood-burning ovens and without commercial yeast. Ancora created its own starter in-house, and the dough takes three days to prepare from start to finish, with a crust that is unique to New Orleans. Drinks include seasonal Italian sodas, craft cocktails, and wines from the Campania region of southern Italy. Check out the house-made salumi and happy-hour pizza specials. Ancora is located in a renovated building next to High Hat Cafe.

The Rook Cafe (4516 Freret St.)

Looking for a quiet locals’ hangout with vegan pastries, locally roasted coffee, free wi-fi, and a vibe that encourages you to settle in for a few hours with a game of chess or a good book? The Rook is the place. The cozy coffee shop also hosts frequent gamers’ nights and pop-ups.

Bar Frances (4525 Freret St.)

Bar Frances has been operating since 2016, courtesy of Mark Latter, who also owns the historic Tujague’s in the French Quarter. It’s an airy, spacious and thoroughly modern bistro, with wood finishes, a marble bar that seats more than a dozen, and covered patio seating. The menu is seasonal, with small plates like tuna tartare and lamb meatballs. There’s also a full dinner menu featuring high-quality steaks, burgers and Gulf fish if you want to dig in. Wine rules at Bar Frances, offered on tap and by carafes, and through clever pairings. There’s a generous daily happy hour featuring a large selection of natural wines.

The Company Burger (4600 Freret St.)

The Company Burger on Freret and Cadiz streets offers a solid menu of delicious burgers, fries and milkshakes. The menu keeps it simple with the award-winning lamb, turkey, and beef burgers, plus sides, shakes, and cocktails. The house burger comes with a fried egg, two patties, and bacon. The “not burger” options are also kept simple: hot dogs, and grilled cheese and fried chicken sandwiches.

Midway Pizza (4725 Freret St.)

Deep-dish pizza isn’t that easy to find in New Orleans, and this restaurant housed in an industrial, high-ceilinged space uses an age-old family recipe. All of its pizzas, salads and flatbreads are made in-house.

Cure (4905 Freret St.)

The owners of Cure were at the forefront of Freret Street’s revitalization when they opened this chic craft cocktail bar in 2009. Located in a 1903 fire station, the James Beard Award-winning Cure is sleek, dimly lit, and filled with stylish nine-to-fivers, especially during its happy hour. The Washington PostEaterThe New York TimesTravel + Leisure, and many other publications have listed Cure among their picks for top U.S. bars. Get a classic or custom craft cocktail and a cheese plate, and enjoy both on a leafy, secluded patio to start the night.

Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.)

You’ll know you’ve arrived at this hip music venue when you see the psychedelic, black-and-white mural by Berlin graffiti artist MTO outside. Depending on the night, local or touring musical acts, comedy shows, burlesque performances, or movie screenings may be on the roster. The patio is a comfortable place to relax with a beer. And, if a hunger pang strikes, a food truck is never far away.

Freret Beer Room (5018 Freret St.)

This gastropub had a revamp in the summer of 2019, adding TVs and an updated menu that focuses on pairing craft beer with modern American cuisine (sandwiches, salads, cheese and charcuterie boards). Proprietor Eli Gay also runs a retail beer shop next door.

Dat Dog (5030 Freret St.)

Dat Dog’s both Uptown locations, including the Freret St. one near Soniat St., have dog-friendly outdoor seating, which is great for people-watching too. The affordable Dat Dog dishes out a wide variety of meat, fish, vegan and veggie hot dogs, sausages, and other kid-friendly comfort food like burgers and chicken. The dogs and the sausages come with a choice of more than 30 toppings.

Mint Modern Vietnamese Bistro & Bar (5100 Freret St.)

Mint’s streamlined menu is modern indeed, packed with specialty rolls, several varieties of pho, banh mi, and a kimchi burger. One of the unusual specialty cocktails is Fishy Surprise, which is made with whiskey, Drambuie, grapefruit juice, and fish sauce.

Things to Do on Loyola and Tulane Campuses – Alder Hotel Uptown New Orleans


Photo courtesy of Loyola University New Orleans on Facebook

Nestled side by side on historic St. Charles Avenue, directly across from Audubon Park, you’ll find two of the nation’s foremost private universities: Tulane and Loyola. Their campuses house plentiful amenities for those lucky enough to be enrolled as students, but visitors and members of the community are also able to partake in many of these resources. From art galleries to cutting-edge fitness centers, here are a just few good reasons to visit the campuses.

Walk through to take in the history and the architecture

Both historic campuses absolutely deserve a walkthrough thanks to their architectural significance and lush grounds. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tulane University’s campus occupies more than 110 acres and extends north to S. Claiborne Avenue through Freret and Willow streets. From Italian Renaissance to Mid-Century Modern, the campus boasts many styles and is known for its large live oak trees.

Loyola’s sprawling main campus also faces St. Charles Avenue and Audubon Park. Marquette Hall is the oldest campus building and is the iconic image of the university you’ll probably recognize the most.

Check out a free music recital at Loyola

Loyola University’s music program is considered one of the best in the nation. From jazz studies to ballet performances, students hone their skills under the tutelage of the nation’s most talented performers and teachers. What does this mean for you? Well, students need to practice performing — and they do so in a series of free recitals at the 400-seat Nunemaker Auditorium (third floor of the Monroe Science Complex, 6363 St. Charles Ave.) or at the 586-seat Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall (on the second floor of the Communications/Music complex located on the corner of St. Charles Ave. and Calhoun St.). When school is in session, check out up-and-coming musicians who are perfecting their skills. The recital schedule is available here.

Grab a pint at The Ratskeller on the Tulane campus

Built in 1966 and designed to resemble a German biergarten, Der Rathskeller (aka “The Rat”) remains a laid-back place to have a cold one. The Rat is a WOW Cafe and Wingery outlet, so pub grub ranging from chicken wings to fried mozzarella sticks is available, as are draft beers. On some nights, you can catch free jazz performances from students and visiting masters.

Take a fitness class at Loyola

Boasting a six-lane Olympic-sized pool, sauna, indoor tennis and racquetball courts, free weights, and much more, the Loyola University Sports Complex isn’t just for students. You can get a week’s membership for just $25.

Visit a free art museum and sculpture garden at Loyola (6363 St. Charles Ave., 4th floor of the Monroe Library)

Loyola University’s Collins C. Diboll Art Gallery and Visual Art Center stars artifacts from the Belgian Congo, as well as rotating exhibits of student art, pottery and graphics. Afterward, stroll through the university’s sculpture garden, located between Marquette and Bobet Halls.

Visit the free Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane

This museum sits on Tulane University’s campus, and it is free and open to the public. Past and present exhibitions have focused on works by contemporary women abstractionists and other contributions by women artists in the multi-disciplinary fields spanning art and design. Be sure you have a map handy, and check the hours of operation before you go, as the museum is closed on Sundays and closes at 4 or 5 p.m., depending on the day of the week.

Go to Crawfest at Tulane

Crawfest takes place once a year, but if you happen to be visiting New Orleans during April, you must check out this tribute to Louisiana’s favorite crustacean: two stages of music, more than 20,000 pounds of crawfish, and plenty of arts and crafts vendors take over Tulane’s quad. It’s free for students and faculty, and for everyone else, a $15 wristband gets you access to all-you-can-eat crawfish, soda and water. Now that’s a hot deal.

Visit The Mushroom (1037 Broadway St.)

The Mushroom isn’t technically on Tulane’s campus, but it’s close enough to count. For more than 40 years, it’s been Uptown’s go-to indie record store. You’ll know you’re there when you see the psychedelic murals on the building’s exterior. Climb a concert-poster-papered stairway and arrive in the incense-scented shop, where it’s easy to while away an afternoon sifting through record crates and admiring intricate handmade glass pipes. It’s a trip back to your own college days — in the best possible way.

Getting to the campuses from the Alder Hotel

Need to stay close to the Tulane or Loyola campuses? The Alder Hotel is only a little over a mile away, which translates to an under 10-minute ride by car, about 10 minutes on the streetcar, or, if you like to walk, it might take about 20 minutes.

Navigating this part of Uptown is also very simple. The historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar line will bring you right to either campus. It stops on every block of St. Charles Ave., running from every eight to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day and night. The fare is $1.25 per person, and you can get passes ranging from one-day passes ($3) to month-long ($45).

If you’re walking, we recommend the following route from the hotel to catch the St. Charles Ave. streetcar:

  1. Take a left at the hotel’s entrance, then take Magnolia St. toward Napoleon Ave.
  2. Make a right at Napoleon Ave. and walk down Napoleon Ave. for about 10 blocks until you arrive at St. Charles Ave.
  3. Want to walk all the way? Just reach St. Charles Ave. and continue towards the river until you see Audubon Park and the university campuses across St. Charles Ave. from the park.

Also, remember: The Alder Hotel offers free self-parking in the parking lot directly across the street. It’s relatively rare to find this amenity in New Orleans, so we hope you take advantage of it!

Stay in touch and save on rates and more at the Alder Hotel by signing up for our email list at https://alderhotel.com/email-offers/. If you find a lower rate on your Alder Hotel rooms at the time of booking, call 1.888.626.5861 to let us know, and we will match that rate!

Things to Do in New Orleans: Year-At-A-Glance

Things to Do in New Orleans: Year-At-A-Glance

The New Orleans dance card is full all year round, from major music and culture events like Jazz Fest to honoring just about every type of food we enjoy in Louisiana with its own festival, to the unique traditions like Super Sunday and Reveillon. Check out these annual events grouped by the season.

Winter

The weather is mild, the streetcars are decked with wreaths, and the city is alight with the holiday sparkle. The family-friendly Celebration in the Oaks and NOLA ChristmasFest keep the dazzle going. The ChristmasFest is the only indoor Christmas festival in the area, taking over the Convention Center starting in the third week of December and wrapping on New Year’s Eve. The fest features giant slides, inflatables, rides, a gingerbread house display, and New Orleans’ only ice-skating rink.

Celebration in the Oaks is a beloved New Orleans tradition that has been around for over 30 years. It’s a dazzling display of holiday lights scattered throughout the 25 acres of the City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. The park is swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, with hundreds of visitors strolling through the grounds, riding the historic carousel and the miniature train, photo-opping with the iconic Mr. Bingle, and enjoying the caroling and the holiday shopping. Celebration in the Oaks typically opens on Thanksgiving weekend and runs up to the first week of January.

During the second weekend of December, the LUNA Fête light show illuminates the Convention Center. The annual large-scale light and sound installations are fascinating, and the fest is free and family-friendly.

The bonfires on the bayou, concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and Reveillon dinners are also the New Orleans holiday traditions that make the season so special. The New Year’s Eve in Jackson Square, the Sugar Bowl in the Superdome, and the popular Tet Fest, which celebrates the Lunar New Year with the help of the largest Vietnamese communities in the country, all ring in the new year. The Dick Clark Rockin’ New Year’s Eve near the historic Jax Brewery in the French Quarter features a live fleur-de-lis drop at midnight and the countdown on Jackson Square, followed by the fireworks over the Mississippi River and the night of revelry.

Just when the rest of the country settles down we’re just getting started, with the Twelfth Night marking the beginning of the Carnival season (always on January 6) with three parades. Phunny Phorty Phellows board the St. Charles streetcar line Uptown and ride it to Canal Street and back, with toasts and revelry along the way. In the French Quarter, the Krewe of Joan of Arc walking parade rolls from Jax Brewery and celebrates St. Joan’s birthday with medieval pageantry. Société Des Champs Elysée rounds up the night of festivities. Time for the first beads of Mardi Gras and king cake!

Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) always falls on a Tuesday, but the actual dates, occurring sometime between February 3 and March 9, change every year depending on Easter, tied to the Catholic calendar and counting 47 days before Easter Sunday. This year, Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, and there’s much to see and do.

Once that’s over, it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day in one of the most romantic cities in the country! Need ideas of what to do as a couple near the hotel, in the Uptown area of New Orleans? We have suggestions!

Spring

The lovely weather brings the festival season this time of year, with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (don’t miss the “Stella!” shouting contest on Jackson Square) and Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival in March. Also on the menu is the massive annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, including several parades and block parties, and the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday, a treasured tradition dating back to the 19th century and held on Sunday closest to St. Joseph’s Day (March 19).

The spring’s heaviest hitter is, of course, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, with its multiple stages and excellent lineup. The Bayou Boogaloo is held over three days in late May on the picturesque banks of Bayou St. John in Mid-City, and the Freret Street Festival in March is getting bigger every year. Then there is the immensely popular French Quarter Festival, held in April. It’s one of the largest free music festivals in the U.S., with multiple stages set throughout the French Quarter.

Crescent City Classic, the annual 10K run, is one of the largest athletic events in New Orleans. It’s usually held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday each year. Runners take off from Jackson Square, run through the French Quarter and the Tremé, then up the majestic Esplanade Avenue all the way to City Park.

Ready for more parades? New Orleans is one of the most Catholic cities in the country, and it celebrates Easter (Sunday, April 9, 2023) with three big parades, brunches, and parties all over the city.

Summer

Hotel rates are at their lowest and there’s plenty to do indoors to escape the heat. Presented by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival is a free weekend event held at Louis Armstrong Park in June. The best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Restaurant Week New Orleans in June, the ever-growing Tales of the Cocktail in July, and COOLinary New Orleans with prix fixe menus in August. You can also browse the galleries on the White Linen Night (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night).

The city comes to life for the Satchmo SummerFest and a slew of events over the Fourth of July and the Labor Day weekends, like Go 4th on the River, the Essence Festival at the Superdome, and the incomparable Southern Decadence festival.

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival is one the smaller fests to enjoy, and Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans, except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls! And, speaking of running, the Red Dress Run, held on the second Saturday of August, is a fun fundraiser to don the red outfit and brave the heat for.

Fall

The temps are down and it’s time to hit the city’s parks and squares. The endless stream of food and drink fests continues with Boudin, Bourbon, and BeerNOLA on Tap (the largest beer fest in the Gulf South that benefits the LA SPCA), Tremé Fall Festival, Crescent City Blues & BBQ, Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, and the Fried Chicken Festival. Phew!

Held on the first Saturday in October, Art for Art’s Sake has grown and into a citywide phenomenon since the ‘80s, packed with openings at Julia Street galleries and special events along Magazine Street.

The fall in New Orleans also means the Saints football. New Orleans does Halloween like no other city, including the Krewe of Boo parade and the massive Voodoo Music + Arts Experience held in the City Park.

Rounding up the fall festivities is a four-day feast of events, when the Tigers of Grambling State meet the Jaguars of Southern University for the annual Bayou Classic, starting with a Thanksgiving parade and featuring a slew of amazing marching bands. Thanksgiving Day is also a traditional opening of the season at the racetrack, when the locals and visitors alike don their most elaborate and outrageous hats and stream to the Fair Grounds, kicking off the holiday season in a uniquely New Orleans style.

As you can see, there’s something always going on in New Orleans throughout the year, and we’d love to see you no matter what season. If you find lower rates on your Alder Hotel room(s) at the time of booking, call 1.888.626.5861, and we will match those rates! Stay in touch and save on rates and more at the Alder Hotel at https://alderhotel.com/email-offers/!