Four Days in New OrleansWords by Jennifer Stein
There are a few ways to experience one of the most eclectic, yet stunning and hip cities in the United States. New Orleans can be treated as a tourist trap with frequent visits to Bourbon Street and debauchery abounding (fun for the bachelor/bachelorette type of trip), or it can be enjoyed the way the locals do it. Imagine instead jaunts to hot spots like Frenchmen Street for live music and reservations at the most sumptuous dining available.
On a recent visit to New Orleans, one of my absolute favorite cities in the U.S., I was shown firsthand what a couple can experience.
Day 1: Cozy up at Ace Hotel New Orleans
Ace Hotel is by far, one of the coolest hotels in the area. Just outside of the French Quarter in the Warehouse District and new as of March 2016, this property offers chic accommodations, thoughtful common areas and an on-site music venue with outstanding food options.
Afternoon: Enjoy craft libations and an uber hip atmosphere at the Lobby Bar. Available at happy hour, signature drinks like a Sazerac or Old Fashioned are a must.
Evening: Walk over to experience Seaworthy, the property’s oyster bar. Enjoy locally and U.S. sourced oysters and pop a bottle of bubby to get the party started right.
Late Evening: Head to Frenchmen Street for live music and a dose of local culture. Experience everything from live jazz, reggae, popular cover bands and bluegrass as you hop from one music club to another.
Day 2: Sightseeing the Non-touristy, Touristy Way
Morning: Enjoy scratch-made breakfast offerings at Josephine Estelle at Ace Hotel. Local flavors combine with old-school hip surroundings for a perfect start to the day.
Mid-Morning: Jump on a bike and experience the three-hour “Creole & Crescent” tour in the heart of the French Quarter courtesy of FreeWheelin’. Learn the multifarious and fascinating history of the area while taking in the sights, sounds and sensations that make up this incredible destination.
Mid-Day: Head back with your group to Ace Hotel for a gorgeous, top floor view and a scrumptious lunch at Alto. This rooftop garden bar and restaurant is also home to the hotel pool and is nothing short of magnificent in both service and cuisine.
Evening: Enjoy dinner at the Napoleon House. This 200 year-old landmark’s history is as juicy as the Pimm’s Cup they serve. Bring your entire group here for a gathering of muffulettas, charcuterie and Sazeracs in the haunted courtyard or in one of their private dining rooms upstairs.
With a belly full of NOLA traditions, head back to Ace Hotel and enjoy live music at their on-site music venue – Three Keys.
Day 3: Say “I Do” the NOLA Way
Morning: Primp and prepare in your junior suite as you go over your vows one last time. Relax, breathe and ENJOY this moment!
Afternoon: Tie the knot inside Ace Hotel in any one of their fabulous venues, courtyards or common areas. See a full list on our website (destinationido.com).
Evening: Party the night away, NOLA style!
Day 4: Send-Off in Style
Morning: Sleep in and then head over to Windsor Court Hotel to check in for a total change of pace. This luxury hotel is opulent in all the right ways. Vintage furnishings and live piano music greet you as you walk through the marble-floor lobby filled with fresh flowers.
Mid-Morning: Head down to the Spa at Windsor Court for a day of pampering and wellness. This gorgeous and traditional spa is well appointed and has a long list of services to choose from.
Afternoon: Get those pinkies up at Le Salon, located inside the Windsor Court Hotel, with afternoon tea service. Enjoy scratch-made scones, tartlets, an assortment of English tea sandwiches and endless other intricately prepared items.
Evening: End your visit at Tujague’s, one of the area’s oldest and most notable restaurants. Enjoy fine dining while throwing it back to a bygone era. The service, ambiance and food will make you feel like you’re in the New Orleans of old – in a good way.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Ace Hotel (1st, 4th & 5th), Windsor Court Hotel (2nd, 7th & 8th), Napoleon House (3rd & 6th)
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