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Your Itinerary: 24-Hours in Uptown New Orleans

The Uptown New Orleans area near the Alder Hotel is full of interesting and exciting destinations, most of which you can easily reach on foot, although you can just as easily hop on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar. Sightseeing, dining, shopping — it’s all within reach and doable — even if you’re pressed for time. Here’s our 24-hour itinerary for things to see and do around the hotel, so grab a comfortable pair of shoes (and maybe an umbrella for those sudden afternoon showers), and let’s explore.

Morning: Breakfast at the Riverbend and a streetcar ride

We suggest you start the day with breakfast at The Camellia Grill, a landmark diner beloved by locals and visitors alike since 1946 and famous for its pecan pie, “freezes” and generous omelets. To get to the Camellia Grill, walk to the nearest streetcar stop on St. Charles Avenue ($1.25, exact change; or get a $ 3-day pass for unlimited rides).

Our preferred and therefore most recommended walking route from the hotel to catch the St. Charles Ave. streetcar takes about 20 minutes:

  • Take a left at the hotel’s entrance
  • Take Magnolia St. toward Napoleon Ave.
  • Make a right at Napoleon Ave.
  • Walk down Napoleon Ave. for about 10 blocks until you arrive at St. Charles Ave.

The ride on the historic streetcar is high on top of many visitors’ bucket lists because it’s the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world (since 1835), and because it affords a very easy and pleasant way to see the Garden District and Uptown areas.

Once you hop on, head all the way to the Riverbend to Camellia Grill, and take in the magnificent sights of the mansions and historic homes lining up under the canopy of oak trees along St. Charles Avenue. The Italianate, Victorian and Greek Revival architecture of Uptown is unique, and many of the original mid-19th-century mansions have been immaculately preserved and are surrounded by impressive gardens.

For more breakfast ideas, read our guide to where to get breakfast near the Alder Hotel.

Late morning: Audubon Park and Zoo; Loyola and Tulane campuses

After breakfast either hop back on the streetcar or, if you feel like it, walk for about 13 blocks until you reach the beautiful campuses of both Loyola and Tulane universities, and, right across St. Charles Avenue, the historic Audubon Park. A must-stop, this magnificent park is perfect for a stroll. Lined with hundreds of ancient live oaks, it features a 1.8-mile jogging path, playgrounds, picnic shelters, a lagoon, recreation areas, and a zoo.

Located within the park, the Audubon Zoo is one of the top zoos in the country, full of lush vegetation and exotic animal exhibits. The Zoo features rare white alligators, sea lion shows, a carousel, and the award-winning Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle natural habitat areas.

The historic campuses of Loyola and Tulane, with their landscaped grounds and architecture ranging from Italian Renaissance to Mid-Century Modern, are also worth a visit. You’ll be getting two for one, basically, since they’re located so close to one another. Here are some ideas on what to do on Loyola and Tulane campuses.

Afternoon: Lunch and shopping on Magazine and Freret streets

Magazine Street runs parallel to St. Charles Avenue, about 10 blocks apart. It might be too much to walk the entire strip, but it’s packed with restaurants, boutiques, unique vintage and costume shops, and cafes — so you can have your pick without straying too far from one destination to another. So, shop away, or grab a sidewalk seat at any of the many great little coffee shops to caffeinate and people-watch. Nearby, Freret Street is another vibrant commercial corridor that’s packed with shopping destinations, art galleries, and restaurants (many of which have spacious outdoor or balcony seating).

For lunch, there are several fabulous options on and around Magazine and Freret but we love La Petite Grocery, High Hat, and The Company Burger. Alternatively, you can head to the incomparable Commander’s Palace (elevated Creole fare), and then walk around in the historic Lafayette Cemetery #1 located right across the street (either self-guided or as part of the guided tour). It’s one of the oldest cemeteries in the city and features a number of historically significant above-ground tombs. (Please note that as of 2022, it closed for maintenance and repairs.)

Here are more of our suggestions on where to get lunch, brunch and coffee in the area.

Late afternoon: Happy hour in the Lower Garden District

At this point, it’s happy hour! So head to Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar to take advantage of its popular happy hour and a full-service oyster bar. Another option is The Avenue Pub, an iconic Lower Garden District pub that boasts fireplaces, tin ceilings, a balcony overlooking St. Charles Avenue, a pool table, and sidewalk and patio seating.

Evening: Dinnertime! And the options are endless

There are numerous options Uptown, from high to low and casual to iconic. Where you head for dinner depends on whether you’re looking for something more casual and on the budget, want to cross off a few items from your New Orleans food bucket list, or want to fully immerse yourself in experiencing a night out somewhere busy and packed with nightlife and action. (See our dining guides below to help you pick a perfect dining destination.)

Late Night: Live music and dancing

For some late-night entertainment Uptown, including some live local music, check out the Maple Leaf Bar, Le Bon Temps Roule, Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar, The Saint Bar & Lounge, or Gasa Gasa. Yet another option is to head back to the Riverbend to see who is playing at the iconic Tipitina’s.

Explore our Uptown guides to help you get the most out of your 24 hours Uptown

Food and Drink

New Orleans Food Bucket List, Uptown Edition
Where to Get Lunch Near the Alder Hotel Uptown
Where to Get Breakfast Near the Alder Hotel Uptown
Coffee and Brunch Near the Alder Hotel Uptown New Orleans
Late Night Eats Uptown New Orleans
A Night on Freret Street

Sightseeing

Guide: Navigating the Freret Neighborhood and Uptown New Orleans
Essential Stops and Sights Along the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Route
Our Neighborhood — Most Popular Attractions Near the Alder Hotel
Architectural Landmarks — Uptown New Orleans
Things to Do on Loyola and Tulane Campuses – Alder Hotel Uptown New Orleans
Exploring Uptown New Orleans on a Budget

Shopping

Shopping Near Alder Hotel Uptown New Orleans

More

Uptown New Orleans: A Family-Friendly Itinerary
Fun with Fido in Uptown New Orleans
Fun for Couples in Uptown New Orleans

10 Dishes That Define New Orleans and Where to Try Them Uptown

bread-pudding-uptown-new-orleans

When you think of the must-try food in New Orleans the culinary wonders spread far beyond the French Quarter and the iconic Creole and Cajun restaurants. You can easily find delicious renditions of the New Orleans and southern staples that make the food-bucket lists for very good reasons in many restaurants Uptown. From ambitious newcomers to old-world landmarks — there’s much to recommend for you to try.

There’s a slew of restaurants along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar route, so you can hop on and off the streetcar while sampling your way between Canal Street and the Riverbend. The commercial stretches of Magazine and Freret streets are also packed with restaurants and cafes, many with ample sidewalk and balcony seating. Here’s a list of our favorite dishes that define New Orleans and where to try them Uptown.

  1. Bread Pudding

What do you do with the leftover French bread? You make a classic Creole dessert, the bread pudding!

Where to try it: One of the best places in the city to try it is at Commander’s Palace. This grand dame of Creole cuisine is a beloved landmark that’s been occupying a tree-lined block across the street from Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District. Along with the turtle soup, the Commander’s version of this dish is legendary. Dubbed the “Queen of Creole Desserts,” the Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé is bread pudding whipped into a light fluffy soufflé, served with whiskey sauce added tableside.

  1. Gumbo

One of Louisiana’s most famous dishes, excellent gumbo is easy to find anywhere in New Orleans, it just depends on whether you like your gumbo with darker or lighter roux, and with meat or seafood (or laden with both). Most restaurants include at least two versions on the menu, the meat and the seafood, and tend not to stray too far from the classic Cajun and Creole recipes.

Where to try it: At Pascal’s Manale, for one. This family-owned institution is over 100 years old, and its chicken andouille gumbo is excellent. Going back to Commander’s Palace, its Creole gumbo is exceptional: Rich stock slow cooked with regional ingredients spiked with toasted garlic, Creole seasonings and local hot sauce. Or pair your seafood, or chicken and Andouille gumbo at Frankie & Johnny’s with the restaurant’s famous red beans and rice. The High Hat Cafe also offers great chicken and andouille gumbo ya-ya made with a dark roux (we also recommend you try the fried catfish). Part old-fashioned diner, part neighborhood bar and part Deep South food destination, the High Hat Cafe is located in a once-sleepy neighborhood thoroughfare bordering Tulane University. Now revitalized, the Freret Street corridor is a food and entertainment destination in its own right. Another plus? It’s only two blocks from the Alder Hotel.

  1. Jambalaya

This flavorful one-pot, rice-based dish is right up there with gumbo when it comes to well-deserved international fame, and can be found in many New Orleans restaurants. This staple traditionally incorporates stock, meat, seafood, long-grain rice, and vegetables (the “holy trinity” also used in gumbo — bell pepper, onion and celery). The main distinction is that the Creole version has tomatoes and the Cajun recipe does not.

Where to try it: We highly recommend the Creole jambalaya at Jacques-Imo’s, which comes as an appetizer, but, really, so many restaurants do it really well it’s difficult to single out the true standouts.

  1. Pain Perdu

This breakfast and brunch mainstay means “lost bread,” referring to the dish’s ability to resurrect stale and otherwise lost to most purposes bread. For this version of French toast French bread is soaked in eggs and milk and then fried (sometimes deep-fried) or grilled, which results in a crisp and buttery exterior and a soft and custardy inside.

Where to try it: Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar, in the Lower Garden District on Magazine Street, hands down. Surrey’s acclaimed Pain Perdu is part of the full breakfast menu of Southern staples. You can wash down this fluffy, sugar-coated gem with one of Surrey’s incredible organic juices.

  1. Po-Boys

 A po-boy is a sandwich (just please don’t call it that) that comes in as many versions as there are ingredients to stuff inside a loaf of French bread. Some of the classics are fried seafood, like oysters or shrimp, but the ingredients vary all the way up to French fries.

Where to try it: Jacque Imo’s, Guy’s Po-Boys, Mahony’s, Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar, Zara’s Lil’ Giant Supermarket & Po-boys — the list goes on and depends on whether you want to enjoy your po-boy to go or on-premises. The lunch staple Guy’s and Zara’s grocery market are more casual, while the restaurants are sit-down affairs.

  1. Raw Oysters

One of the quintessential New Orleans food experiences is having a dozen raw, and the deals are especially sweet during the happy hour.

Where to try it: Head to the Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar, located in a high-ceilinged, imposing building on the corner of St. Charles and Napoleon Avenues with some of the best views of St. Charles Avenue in the city. The full-service oyster bar doles out raw oysters, which you can enjoy with Superior’s signature frozen pomegranate mojito. Another option is the bucket list, iconic Casamento’s Restaurant, a staple and a go-to destination for fresh seafood since 1919.

Also on the streetcar’s route on St. Charles Avenue, Luke offers a deal on raw oysters for its happy hour (3-6 p.m.), complemented by the French/German menu. If you’d like a really well-made martini with your dozen raw, head to the iconic Pascal’s Manale, and stay for dinner.

  1. Red Beans and Rice

In the past, Monday was traditionally laundry day in New Orleans, and also the day for having red beans and rice. Our laundry schedules aren’t that rigid anymore, but you can still find a delicious plate of beans and rice around town, usually accompanied by a hunk of smoked sausage. While many restaurants still feature it as a Monday special, you can still find it on many menus on any day of the week.

Where to try it: Uptown, we recommend the renditions served up at Joey K’s (as a cup standalone appetizer) at Parran’s Po-Boys & Restaurant.

  1. Snoballs

If you’re here from March through October, no New Orleans visit would be complete without trying a local snoball. These heavenly, frozen concoctions of finely shaved ice and flavored cane sugar syrup are uniquely Southern and come with an explosion of flavors.

Where to try it: Your best options near the Alder Hotel are SnoWizard Snoball Shoppe with a creamy and sweet Mexican vanilla flavor as one of the standouts, or Plum Street Snoballs. Pink lemonade, bananas Foster, nectar cream, and vanilla orchid cream are just a few flavors you’ll find at this cash-only joint with ample outdoor seating. Another New Orleans treat, yakamein, is available alongside classic snoballs at Red Rooster Snoball Stand (open year-round; look for Yet-Ca-Mein on the menu).

  1. Southern Breakfast Staples

This is a loose term for a few of the New Orleans breakfast and brunch staples, including eggs done every which way, plus the ubiquitous shrimp and grits and biscuits and gravy. Many places do all those things right, but a few stand out. For instance, the Mardi Gras sandwich at The Camellia Grill is a must-try. Stuffed with turkey, bacon and corned beef, it’s a meal in itself, and worth joining a fast-moving line of students, visitors and locals waiting for a seat. The classic 1940s diner is also famous for its grilled pecan pie and cherry-chocolate slushies, served by the white-jacketed staff.

Another inexpensive local hangout with Southern staples and plenty of local color, the upbeat Slim Goodies Diner, does many different kinds of scrambles, from meaty to vegan, called slammers. Try the Creole slammer, which comes with a biscuit, crawfish étouffée and hash browns.

A locally owned mini-chain with one location Uptown, Ruby Slipper hits all the right notes when it comes to brunch mainstays but with distinctly Louisiana twists. This brunch queen’s acclaimed house specialty is BBQ shrimp and grits.

  1. Turtle Soup

This Louisiana classic is considered a delicacy in many cultures across the globe. The silky Creole version, served with a touch of sherry (and sometimes with grated or chopped egg, and more sherry tableside), can be found in many classic New Orleans restaurants that serve Creole dishes.

Where to try it: Everything you decide to try on haute Creole menu at Commander’s Palace will be top-notch, but the turtle soup is a must.

We hope you try all these classic New Orleans dishes while you explore Uptown!

New Orleans Food Bucket List, Uptown Edition

When you think of the must-try food in New Orleans the culinary wonders spread far beyond the French Quarter and the iconic Creole and Cajun restaurants. It seems there’s a handful of new places opening every month, adding to the stellar roster of delicious food you’ll likely won’t find anywhere else. Then there are the old (sometimes decades- or even centuries-old) favorites that make the food-bucket lists for very good reasons. The Uptown area is no exception — from the ambitious newcomers to the old-world landmarks — there’s much to recommend for you to try. Here’s just a sampler of our favorites.

There’s a slew of restaurants along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar route, so you can hop on and off the streetcar while sampling your way between Canal Street and the Riverbend. For breakfast or brunch, try the Mardi Gras sandwich at The Camellia Grill (626 S. Carrollton Ave.), a classic 1940s diner where white-jacketed staff members serve up delicacies ranging from grilled pecan pie to cherry-chocolate slushies. Stuffed with turkey, bacon and corned beef, it’s a meal in itself, and worth joining a fast-moving line of Tulane students, tourists, and locals waiting for a seat.

Another inexpensive local hangout with Southern staples and plenty of local color, the upbeat Slim Goodies Diner (3322 Magazine St.) does many different kinds of scrambles, from meaty to vegan, called slammers. Try the Creole slammer, which comes with a biscuit, crawfish étouffée, and hash browns.

For satisfying lunch options, try the house burger at The Company Burger (4600 Freret St.) or the fried shrimp po-boy at Guy’s Po-Boys. The burger comes with a fried egg, two patties, and bacon. And all hot dogs at Dat Dog (with two Uptown locations, 3336 Magazine St. and 5030 Freret St.) come with a choice of more than 30 toppings. Both locations also have dog-friendly outdoor seating.

For oysters, head to Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar (4338 St. Charles Ave.), located in a high-ceilinged, imposing building on the corner of St. Charles and Napoleon Avenues with some of the best views of St. Charles Avenue in the city. The full-service oyster bar doles out raw oysters, which you can enjoy with Superior’s signature frozen pomegranate mojito.

Another option is Casamento’s Restaurant (4330 Magazine St.). A staple and a go-to destination for fresh seafood since 1919, Casamento’s is as New Orleans as it gets. Head on over to enjoy the oyster bar nestled inside a small, mosaic-tiled space, but also try any and all of the seafood offerings on the menu. Casamento’s should be on every local’s and visitors’ bucket list.

Also on the streetcar’s route, Luke (333 St. Charles Ave.) offers a raw bar complemented by Executive Chef Erick Loos’ Creole-inspired menu that features plenty of seafood and local ingredients. The menu’s seasonal ingredients come from the Gulf and local farms and are highlighted in dishes like BBQ Gulf oysters and trout Amandine. If you’d like a really well-made martini with your dozen raw, head to the iconic Pascal’s Manale (1838 Napoleon Ave.), where oysters are shucked right in front of you.

Everything is worth trying at the James Beard Award winner Chef Donald Link’s wildly popular restaurant Herbsaint (701 St. Charles Ave.). Herbsaint predates Katrina and remains the flagship of the Link Restaurant Group (which runs several businesses including Peche, Cochon and La Boulangerie). Herbsaint has been, and continues to be, on many “Best Restaurants” lists, for reasons that will become clear as soon as you dig into its grilled tuna sandwich, or shrimp and fish ceviche. The French-Southern menu sports some Italian influences (evident in the presence of housemade spaghetti), with a spotlight on local, seasonal produce and sustainably sourced seafood and meats.

For outstanding gumbo and fried catfish head to High Hat Cafe (4500 Freret St.). Part old-fashioned diner, part neighborhood bar and part Deep South food destination, High Hat Cafe is located in a once sleepy neighborhood thoroughfare bordering Tulane University. Now revitalized, the Freret Street corridor is a food and entertainment destination in its own right. Another plus? It’s only two blocks from the Alder Hotel.

For lighter fare, like a well-curated cheese board, perhaps paired with a glass of wine, check out St. James Cheese Company (5004 Prytania St.), also home of the kid-friendly $5 Mini Moo sandwich. Wine and small plates rule at Bar Frances (4525 Freret St.), a lovely bistro with a seasonal menu and a large selection of natural wines, so that’s another solid bet for a great cheese plate. Yet another contender in that category is Cure (4905 Freret St.), a chic, dimly lit craft cocktail bar with a leafy patio and award-winning concoctions.

For something more substantial, the romantic La Crepe Nanou, located on the corner of Robert and Prytania Streets, has a fantastic selection of sweet and savory crepes. Patois (6078 Laurel St.), helmed by Chef Aaron Burgau, puts a local spin on mussels, scallops, and southern staples like seasonal gumbo in a lovely, softly-lit setting.

For authentic Sicilian cuisine by the renowned Chef Nick Lama head to Avo (5908 Magazine St.). 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.

The grand dame of Creole cuisine, Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave.) is a beloved landmark that’s been occupying a tree-lined block across the street from Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District. Everything you decide to try on Chef Meg Bickford’s haute Creole menu will be top-notch, but the turtle soup and Creole bread pudding soufflé (dubbed the “Queen of Creole Desserts”) are a must.

Set in a renovated double shotgun cottage, Apolline (4729 Magazine St.) 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, or bring the family for brunch.

At La Petit Grocery (4238 Magazine St.), the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner Justin Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like blue crab beignets and shellfish stew.

If you’re here from March through October no New Orleans visit would be complete without trying a local snoball. These heavenly, frozen concoctions of finely shaved ice and flavored cane sugar syrup are uniquely Southern and come with an explosion of flavors. Your best options near the Alder Hotel are SnoWizard Snoball Shoppe (4001 Magazine St.) with a creamy and sweet Mexican vanilla flavor as one of the standouts, or Plum Street Snoballs (1300 Burdette St.). Pink lemonade, bananas Foster, nectar cream, and vanilla orchid cream are just a few flavors you’ll find at this cash-only joint with ample outdoor seating. Another New Orleans treat, yakamein, is available alongside classic snoballs at Red Rooster Snoball Stand (2801 Washington Ave.).

For more dessert options, we heartily recommend small-batch, handcrafted Italian gelato at Piccola Gelateria (4525 Freret St.), which comes in classic and experimental flavors including bananas Foster, caramelized fig, and pistachio. Finally, Sucre (3025 Magazine St.) cannot be beat for its Parisian patisserie feel and amazing macaroons the whole family could enjoy.

Bon appetit!

Exploring Uptown New Orleans on a Budget

You don’t have to drop serious cash anywhere in New Orleans to have a great time, and Uptown is no exception. You can still eat really well and get around for a little over a dollar to see some astonishingly beautiful sights. Here are our budget-friendly recommendations near the hotel.

Free parking from Alder

Alder offers complimentary self-parking in the parking lot directly across the street from the hotel — take full advantage as street parking in the area is limited, and commercial parking lots could be pricey.

The sightseeing

For just $1.25 per ride, hop on the historic streetcar that runs along St. Charles Avenue. It can take you all the way to Canal Street (the French Quarter is just across the street), and to the Riverbend in the opposite direction. Many visitors use this opportunity to soak up some incredible views of the stately mansions and live oak trees the Garden District and Uptown are famous for. If you plan to hop on and off the streetcar, you can buy one-, three-, or five-day Jazzy passes online. We also highly recommend taking a (free) self-guided walking tour.

Next,  enjoy the urban oasis of the historic Audubon Park. This 350-acre public park, where New Orleanians have come to relax since 1898, has a 1.8-mile jogging path, tennis courts, riding stables, soccer fields, plus an area behind the Audubon Zoo and along the Mississippi River called The Fly that is great for walking.

For under $25, you can also hit the historic Audubon Zoo located at the rear of the park (you can save money by buying tickets online). The elephants, tigers, white alligators, monkeys, and other animals make a visit to this beautifully landscaped zoo a must.

While you’re in the area, why not walk through the grounds of two historic universities, located next to each other? You’ll spot the campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities right across Audubon Park. 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. Both campuses absolutely deserve a walkthrough thanks to their architectural significance and lush grounds.

Also, take note: The Newcomb Art Museum on Tulane University’s campus 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.

Eating and drinking

For a well-priced breakfast, head to the Riverbend area, and hop off at The Camellia Grill (626 S. Carrollton Ave.), a classic diner where white-jacketed staff members serve up cheeseburgers, grilled pecan pie, and cherry-chocolate slushies. Get in line and find out why The Camellia Grill has been an institution since 1946.

Need a caffeine fix? Mojo Coffee House (4700 Freret St.) is a cozy, welcoming hangout where you can grab small-batch roasted coffee and a vegan muffin, and connect to wi-fi.

For lunch, grab a cheese plate or a sandwich from St. James Cheese Company, and sit outside for some people-watching. Dat Dog’s both Uptown locations (3336 Magazine Street near Louisiana Avenue and 5030 Freret Street near Soniat Street) have dog-friendly outdoor seating, great for people-watching too. The very affordable Dat Dog dishes out a wide variety of meat, fish, vegan and veggie hot dogs, sausages, and other comfort food like burgers and chicken. The dogs and the sausages come with a choice of more than 30 toppings.

We also recommend The Company Burger on Freret and Cadiz streets (4600 Freret St.) for its affordable 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 “not burger” options are also kept simple: hot dogs, and grilled cheese and fried chicken sandwiches.

Guy’s Po-Boys is a no-frills, budget-friendly, beloved local lunch staple since the early 1990s. It’s often voted among the top five po-boy shops in the city, if not the top. The fried shrimp po-boy is definitely among the best in the city.

Nomiya defines itself as a New Orleans ramen bar and sticks to it by serving the traditional, pork-based tonkotsu plus two more types of broth. The menu is simple: pick your broth and the toppings, and maybe supplement with edamame and pork buns. The mochi ice cream flavors rotate.

Coming from the people helming Commander’s Palace, including co-founder and owner Tory McPhail, the former executive chef at Commander’s, Picnic Provisions & Whiskey is a casual family-friendly spot serves comfort food cold and hot. Check out the mouthwatering hot fried chicken thighs along with a buttermilk biscuit and Cajun potato salad (crawfish boiled potatoes, sweet corn, chopped egg topped with crushed jalapeño Zapp’s chips). Eat indoors or outdoors, and bring your family and your pup.

A great on-the-go option on the bustling Magazine Street, Tal’s Hummus is a quick-service-style tiny spot that specializes in Israeli-inspired food such as falafel, hummus, pita sandwiches, platters, kebabs, salads, and more. It’s fresh, quick, delicious, and made to order.

The family-owned and wallet-friendly Sarita’s Grill (4520 Freret St.) is a good option for both dinner and lunch. This Mexican and Cuban popular eatery has a loyal local following, and you’ll understand why once you try Sarita’s fish tacos or housemade guacamole.

Taqueria Corona is a go-to for the whole family if you’re craving well-done classic Mexican food like tacos and burritos. The house margarita is a good deal, and tasty, too. This Uptown sit-down is popular for very good reasons and always seems to be packed, but the service is efficient, so you’ll be seated quickly. Taqueria Corona is not just our dinner recommendation, it’s a great pick for brunch and lunch as well.

Piccola Gelateria, a classic Italian gelateria with crepes and Italian flatbread sandwiches, can satisfy a craving for something sweet with over a dozen flavors of its small-batch, housemade gelato and sorbetto (and the crepes come in both savory and sweet options). Piccola Gelateria also sells its own, custom-blended, micro-roasted espresso.

For sipping on the budget, hit a happy hour at the James Beard Award winner Cure (4905 Freret St.) or Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar (4338 St. Charles Ave.). Sidle up to Superior’s 32-foot French zinc bar and enjoy raw oysters and Superior’s signature frozen pomegranate mojito.

Want to see some local music for a small cover? The venues we recommend in our guide to the 24-hour itinerary in Uptown New Orleans often have covers as low as $10, especially for their earlier shows, so check those out.

Happy exploring Uptown New Orleans on a budget! We promise you, it’s very doable.

Guide: Navigating the Freret Neighborhood and Uptown New Orleans

New Orleans has a lot to offer, as does the Uptown Freret neighborhood where the Alder hotel is located. You’ve probably also done your homework and have your sightseeing, dining, and shopping options and preferences lined up. However, the idiosyncrasies of any city might throw off even a seasoned traveler. On top of that, online directions could be unreliable, transportation schedules confusing, and what looks like an easy 10-minute walk on the map might get you lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

That’s why we’d like to help you navigate the Freret neighborhood and beyond with comfort and confidence, to make your stay in Uptown New Orleans as pleasant as possible. Here’s our guide to your transportation options, our top recommendations for places to see, eat and shop within walking distance, as well as the options for when you’re looking for a workout or a little pampering, and more.

Transportation Options

Parking

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. There’s also street parking available near the hotel, but it might be limited depending on the time of year and day.

Streetcar

The historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar line is within walking distance, about 20 minutes away. The streetcar stops on every block of St. Charles Ave., running from every eight to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day and night (although please don’t quote us on that). The fare is $1.25 per person, and you can get passes ranging from one-day passes ($3) to month-long ($55).

Our preferred and therefore most recommended walking route from the hotel to catch the St. Charles Ave. streetcar is to:

  • Take a left at the hotel’s entrance
  • Take Magnolia St. toward Napoleon Ave.
  • Make a right at Napoleon Ave.
  • Walk down Napoleon Ave. for about 10 blocks until you arrive at St. Charles Ave.

Bus

Besides the streetcar, another public transportation option is getting around by bus. There are three lines that stop within walking distance, with the #15 Freret St. line being the closest:

  • #15 Freret and Cadiz streets
  • #16 at S. Claiborne Ave. and Cadiz St.
  • #28 at Napoleon Ave. and Magnolia St.

Walking

Our guests often ask if the area near the hotel is safe for walking, and it generally is. Plus, the hotel’s close proximity to the Ochsner Baptist sprawling medical campus means you get the advantage of dedicated security patrolling the area.

Getting to the hotel from the airport

You can get the shuttle service from the airport that will deliver you to our door, for $24.00 per person. Airport Shuttle Inc. is a minibus/van service located at baggage claim. To book your ride, click here.

Taxi service is also available at baggage claim, with the $36 flat rate for one or two passengers, and $15 per person if more than two passengers are riding.

Taxicab and ride-share services

The ride-share options in New Orleans include Uber and Lyft (you can download their apps at the links). There’s also a handful of taxicab services servicing the Uptown New Orleans neighborhood. We recommend:

  • United Cabs, Inc., (504) 522-9771
  • New Orleans Carriage Cab, (504) 207-7777
  • Coleman Cab, (504) 586-0222

Distance

If you are getting to places by car or public transportation:

  • French Quarter: 4.5 miles; a little under 20 minutes by car, depending on the traffic
  • Central Business District: 3 miles; 15 minutes by car, 20 by streetcar
  • Warehouse/Arts District: 2.8 miles; 10-15 minutes by car, 20 by public transportation

Fitness and Spa Services

Check out the 24/7 Anytime Fitness center (4600 Freret St.). It’s located 0.2 miles from the hotel, which takes about five minutes to walk. There is also a spa within walking distance, Spa Savoire Faire (5014 Freret St.). It’s a seven-minute walk, for 0.4 miles. Savoire Faire offers coupons for discounts on services. Guests can pick up a coupon from the Concierge at the front desk.

Pets

We are a pet-friendly New Orleans hotel. At The Alder Hotel, we welcome dogs and cats and look forward to hosting you and your pets when you stay in Uptown New Orleans. You can review our pet policy here. If you are traveling with large dogs (over 50 pounds) or would like supervision for your dog while you sightsee, we recommend Zeus’ Place (4601 Freret St.).

Top 10 Recommendations for Food and Drink Near the Alder Hotel

You’ll find more recommendations specifically for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and snoballs at the links below (see the “Eating and Drinking section), but here are our top 10:

Bearcat Cafe2521 Jena St.

Comfort food, vegan and gluten-free options.

Less than a block off Freret Street and within walking distance of Ochsner Baptist Medical Center and the Tulane and Loyola University area, this full-service cafe offers lunch and breakfast plus micro-sourced, sustainable coffee. The menu is mostly comfort food, divided into “Good Cat” and “Bad Cat” sections. The lighter fare is full of gluten-free and vegan options. The hearty “Bad Cat” offers items like pork chops, burgers, and shrimp BBQ pasta.

The High Hat Cafe, 4500 Freret St.

Louisiana cookin’, where catfish and Gulf seafood (and pimento!) are the stars. 

This casual neighborhood eatery specializes in the Mississippi Delta and Louisiana staples like catfish, Gulf seafood, and slow-roasted pork served along with a long cocktail menu. Pimento cheese is prominently featured in the house burger, specialty fries, and even deviled eggs.

Bar Frances, 4525 Freret St.

Wine pairings and small plates in a contemporary bistro setting.

This airy bistro, located in the thick of Freret Street’s shopping and dining scene, features a large selection of natural wines plus a seasonal menu of small plates. It also offers full breakfast/brunch and dinner menus.

The Company Burger4600 Freret St.

Award-winning burgers with sides, shakes, and cocktails.

We also recommend The Company Burger on Freret and Cadiz streets for its 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 “not burger” options are also kept simple: hot dogs, grilled cheese, and fried chicken sandwiches.

Mojo Coffee House4700 Freret St.

A cozy, welcoming hangout where you can grab small-batch roasted coffee, and a vegan muffin and connect to wi-fi.

You won’t find full kitchen service at this laid-back coffee house (the counter-service destination is more of a pastry-and-sandwich place), but for those mornings when you just need caffeine and a quick bite, nothing beats Mojo.

Humble Bagel4716 Freret St.

Small-batch sustainably made bagels.

Humble Bagel’s creations are made in-house daily, from scratch, with just five ingredients, and in small batches (the proprietors are big on minimizing food waste and using locally sourced ingredients when possible). The place is open till 1 p.m. daily, or until they sell out. The menu is kept simple — bagels, cream cheese, and breakfast combos like eggs, bacon, and lox — and it’s worth getting up early for.

Cure4905 Freret St.

Dimly-lit, upscale lounge inside a former firehouse on Freret Street with craft cocktails and small plates.

A popular destination for cocktail lovers, Cure is a stylish, upscale lounge located inside a renovated firehouse. There you can sip your classic New Orleans cocktails surrounded by bottles of bourbons from around the world, including the hard-to-find, rare and reserve varieties. The well-reviewed menu offers a rotation of frequently changing cocktails made by seasoned mixologists along with small plates and bar snacks. If you’re coming in for lunch on a weekend, it would have to be on a later side, as Cure opens at 3 p.m.

Blaze Pizza, 5001 Freret St.

Signature and build-your-own pizzas plus salads in the 2,400 sq. ft. space.

This is the second New Orleans location for the Los Angeles-based, LeBron James-backed chain. (The first one opened in 2015 on O’Keefe Avenue in the CBD.) This restaurant is located on Robert Street and Freret near Dat Dog. It’s open till midnight Sun.-Thu., and till 2 a.m. Fri.-Sat. The menu is straightforward, featuring signature pizzas with some vegetarian options, and lots of kid-friendly toppings if you want to BYO pizza.

Dat Dog5030 Freret St.

Affordable comfort food includes meat, fish, vegan, and veggie hot dogs and sausages with more than 30 toppings. Dog-friendly outdoor seating.

Dat Dog’s both Uptown locations (3336 Magazine Street near Louisiana Avenue and 5030 Freret Street near Soniat Street) have dog-friendly outdoor seating, great for people-watching too. At its Freret Street location, 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 & Bar5100 Freret St.

Vietnamese classics with modern twists in the bustling corner location in the Freret Street corridor.

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.

If you want to keep exploring, here’s our collection of resources, from the fun things you can do as a couple, or with your dog, plus where to get the best breakfast, find a comfy co-working spot nearby, and much more.

Local Attractions & Things to Do

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

Alder Hotel’s Top 12 Reasons to Stay in the Freret Neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans

Your Itinerary: 24-Hours in Uptown New Orleans

Our Neighborhood — Most Popular Attractions Near the Alder Hotel

Architectural Landmarks — Uptown New Orleans

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

Essential Stops and Sights Along the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Route

A Night on Freret Street

Rainy Day Fun Near the Alder Hotel

Eating and Drinking Near the Alder Hotel

10 Dishes That Define New Orleans and Where to Try Them Uptown

New Orleans Food Bucket List, Uptown Edition

Where to Get Breakfast Near the Alder Hotel Uptown

Where to Find Snoballs near the Alder Hotel in Uptown New Orleans

Coffee, Brunch, Lunch, and Co-Working Near the Alder Hotel Uptown New Orleans

Late Night Eats Uptown New Orleans

Shopping Uptown

Shopping Near Alder Hotel Uptown

Shopping the Freret Market

Edible Souvenirs From New Orleans

Family-Friendly Uptown

Uptown New Orleans: A Family-Friendly Itinerary

Romantic Uptown

Fun for Couples in Uptown New Orleans

Dog-Friendly Uptown

Fun with Fido in Uptown New Orleans

Fit Uptown

Staying Fit in Uptown New Orleans

Uptown on a Budget

Exploring Uptown New Orleans on a Budget

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.]

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!

Have a New Orleans Summer

In the summer hotel rates are at their lowest, and there’s plenty to do indoors and out. Even in the heat and humidity, we are happily eating, drinking, dancing, mingling, strutting, and even running. From brass bands to block parties to parades to running in a fancy dress, there’s something going on every weekend. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss if you’re in New Orleans this summer.

Start off with a lovely, smaller French Market Creole Tomato Festival (June 11-12, 2022; 2023 dates TBA) that celebrates the arrival of the beloved Creole tomato. In its 36th year in the summer of 2022, the free festival features two stages for live music (French Market and Dutch Alley), kid’s activities, and vendor booths with all things creole tomato (think fried green tomatoes, sandwiches and Bloody Marys).

Produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the free Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival (June 10-12, 2022; 2023 date TBA) features top Cajun and Zydeco musicians from New Orleans and Acadiana on two stages at the Louis Armstrong Park, plus a big art market, cooking demos, and numerous food options from local vendors, with emphasis on Cajun and Creole food. Past festivals were headlined by Grammy winners (and festival regulars) The Lost Bayou Ramblers and Grammy nominees Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers.

Every year, the Independence Day weekend is spectacular as usual, filled with special events, fireworks, and — this being New Orleans — great food and music. Kick off the festivities with Go 4th on the River celebration, a free Dueling Barges fireworks show over the Mississippi River at the Riverfront.

Gear up for the best in R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and blues with ESSENCE Festival (June 29 – July 3, 2023), held at the Caesars Superdome and the Convention Center. Beyond the concerts held each night of the fest at the Superdome, the free daytime activities at the Convention Center include motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demonstrations with top chefs, and lots more. The always-impressive music lineup included in the past such big acts as Brandy, Missy Elliott, Sheila E., Mary J. Blige, Nas, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and more.

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on July 8-10, 2022 (2023 dates TBA), except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans pays annual homage to the world-famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, running through the CBD starting at the Sugar Mill.

Celebrate the French National Day in America’s most French city during the annual Bastille Day block party on Friday, July 14, 2023, in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. Live music and kid-friendly events abound, while dozens of local vendors present their food and drinks, many with a French flavor.

Some of the best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Tales of the Cocktail on July 23-28, 2023. Since 2002 the festival has grown from an annual walking tour of historic New Orleans cocktail bars into a series of dinners, tastings, seminars, and more. (It went virtual during the pandemic and is now a hybrid experience.) Expect over 300 events crammed into six days, including the always-popular “best of” Spirited Awards and many cocktail-themed parties.

Satchmo SummerFest (August 4-5, 2023), named so after one of Louis Armstrong’s nicknames, started as a tribute in 2001, on Armstrong’s 100th birthday. It has been traditionally held on the first week of August and marked by strong attendance. The three-day festival is held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the foot of Esplanade Avenue., and will have music all weekend on its two outdoor, tented stages. Other events will include a Sunday morning Jazz Mass at the historic St. Augustine Church in Tremé, seminars and film screenings, kid’s activities, and a second-line parade.

Browse the galleries on the White Linen Night on Saturday, August 5, 2023 (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night). White Linen Night is a block party and an open house for galleries on the 300-700 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District, with three stages for live music and dozens of food and drink stands. About 20 galleries on and around Julia St. will be open to the public, with an after-party traditionally held at the Contemporary Arts Center.

The Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 12, 2023) usually follows the White Linen Night on the second Saturday in August. It’s similar in format, though looser in structure and spanning more territory. Although Dirty Linen Night does riff off White Linen Night, it wasn’t created to compete with the Warehouse District event but to promote the many galleries and shops of Royal Street. The multi-block party takes over the 200-1000 blocks of Royal Street and some cross streets and adjoining areas in the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Dutch Alley. Many galleries in the area participate every year, plus a number of shops and restaurants.

The Red Dress Run (also on Saturday, August 12, 2023) isn’t exclusive to New Orleans, but the local participants take it up a notch by costuming on top of wearing their best and/or most outlandish red dress, regardless of gender. This is an annual fundraiser run for local charities organized by hashing groups (adults-only, non-competitive social running clubs) all over the world. They call themselves “drinking clubs with a running problem” and the local group is no exception. Any adult can participate with registration, and the run traditionally starts at Crescent Park, though the route will not be publicized until the day of the run.

The incomparable Southern Decadence festival (August 31 – September 4, 2023) is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. It started as a going-away party in the early 70s but is now considered the fifth-largest event in New Orleans. This massive four-day festival celebrates the LGBTQIA+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world. Every year, most activities are centered in and around the French Quarter, with lots of block parties and dance parties at bars and clubs on Bourbon Street, plus two parades.

There’s no better time to try out an award-winning restaurant or revisit the old favorite than August, thanks to the annual COOLinary program. COOLinary was conceived by New Orleans & Company (formerly the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau) as a promotion to lure diners to local restaurants in the slower summer months — the month of August especially — during which restaurants all over the city offer discounted dining deals. The deals follow the same format every year: the reasonably priced prix fixe three-course dinner and brunch menus and two- to three-course lunch menus. Participating restaurants run the gamut from the iconic high-end to super casual with everything in between.

About the Alder Hotel

From its pet-friendly grounds to its peaceful Uptown location, everything about the Alder is different from other hotels. In 1964, it opened as a residence for doctors, nurses and medical professionals at nearby Ochsner Baptist. Formerly known as the Bristow Tower, the historic building recently underwent a $2 million renovation.

Today, the Alder Hotel melds its present and its past. Mid-century modern design complements the hotel’s 1960s-era “bones,” while 21st-century amenities (free Wi-Fi, large-screen TVs) provide contemporary comforts. Whether you’re in New Orleans to care for a loved one at the nearby Ochsner Baptist Medical Campus, or just to get away, Alder Hotel is designed to feel like a home away from home.

All the Comforts of Home

What does a typical morning at home look like for you? If you start by reading the paper or going online for the news, with your pet cuddled at your feet and a hot cup of coffee, you’ll feel comfortable at the Alder Hotel.

You’ll find a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, iron, ironing board and blow dryer in your room. Pets are welcome too (max 40 pounds), with a $65 fee.

The Neighborhood

You can relax on the lush grounds and enjoy the courtyard and pool — or take in the view from your private balcony — or you can use the Alder Hotel as a jumping-off point to explore New Orleans. Uniquely positioned in the Uptown neighborhood, it’s only two blocks from Freret Street, a bustling corridor lined with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, music venues, and more.

You’re also very close to Tulane University, Loyola University, and Xavier University, making the Alder a convenient choice for families of students at the nearby universities.

If you’d like to explore downtown, head to the St. Charles Streetcar, which is less than a mile away. Its 13.2-mile route transverses almost all of New Orleans.

Historic Mid-Century Modern Design

Designated by the National Register of Historic Places, the Alder Hotel was built in the International Style, which was popular in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. It was renovated with an eye toward preserving its clean-lined, rectilinear design. Ninety guest rooms are available with queen or king beds, and all feature beautiful views and mid-century modern design.

A Warm Welcome

The Alder is excited to welcome you to New Orleans. We hope you will visit us soon. To book your stay, click here or call 888-626-5861.