Family-Friendly French Quarter: What to Do This Summer

Family-Friendly French Quarter: What to Do This Summer

The French Quarter is brimming with nightlife and entertainment, but there are plenty of family-friendly activities as well – most of which are within walking distance of our hotel. Hotel Monteleone has an on-site restaurant plus a rooftop pool to keep kids entertained, but there are a host of other activities right in the neighborhood. Here are a few family-friendly suggestions on what to do (and how to stay cool) during your summer family vacation in New Orleans: Explore the History of Mardi Gras The Louisiana State Museum showcases the history and origins of Mardi Gras within the historic Presbytère, which stands next to St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. The second floor of the museum houses their permanent exhibit, Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana, which offers an interactive look at Mardi Gras then and now. Adults will enjoy viewing the elaborate 19th century Carnival costumes while the kids will delight in climbing over parade floats and pretending to ride in a Mardi Gras parade. Nearby, Mardi Gras World offers an inside glimpse at how Mardi Gras gets made, as daily tours walk visitors through the production area where local artists create the Mardi Gras floats that will be used in more than 40 parades throughout Carnival season. Each visitor also receives a free slice of king cake, which is difficult to find out of season. Mardi Gras World provides a free shuttle service offering rides to and from the French Quarter. Cruise Down the Mississippi River The historic Steamboat Natchez offers a variety of daily cruises that are a great activity for all ages. The day-time Harbor Jazz...
Must-See June Events in New Orleans

Must-See June Events in New Orleans

In New Orleans, the fun continues all summer long. Whether you prefer to indulge in local delicacies or take in a show, there are plenty of things to do in New Orleans throughout the month of June. Here are a few of our favorites: June 2016 Festivals in New Orleans Beer lovers flock to Champions Square for the New Orleans International Beer Festival on Saturday, June 4. The ticketed event features two ounce unlimited sampling of craft beers from around the world, plus live music, food pairings, educational seminars, and a silent disco. The New Orleans Oyster Festival will celebrate the beloved bivalves (June 4-5) at Woldenberg Park at the Mississippi Riverfront, near the Aquarium. Get your fill of oyster-themed dishes, watch local shuckers compete for who can unveil oysters the fastest, or check out live music from local bands like Tank and the Bangas, Bucktown Allstars, and Bag of Donuts at this free outdoor festival. Bite into mouth-watering local Creole tomatoes at the 30th annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival (June 11-12), just blocks away from our hotel. There will be plenty of food vendors, joined by 4 stages of free live music, cooking demonstrations, and activities for children. New Orleans Pride (June 17-19) celebrates the history and future prosperity of the LGBT community with a weekend full of events, including An Evening with Bianca Del Rio (New Orleans native and season 6 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race), the New Orleans Pride Parade through the French Quarter, and Pridefest on Bourbon Street. (Did you know? Hotel Monteleone is a TAG-approved LGBT-friendly hotel.) The 10th annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival (June 18-19)...
French Market Creole Tomato Festival 2016

French Market Creole Tomato Festival 2016

There’s a lot of debate over whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. But there’s no debating the fact Creole tomatoes are one of New Orleans’ favorite harvests. These vine-ripened tomatoes flourish in Louisiana’s alluvial soil, the nutrient-rich soil that is deposited by running water (in this case, the Mississippi River). When Creole tomatoes are at their ripest, as they are in the summer, the city can’t help but host a festival in their honor. Head to French Market for all things Creole tomato at the 30th annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival, June 11-12, 2016! The French Market is a short walk from our hotel and gives visitors the chance to explore the country’s oldest public market (it opened in 1791) while also celebrating the delicious, super-sweet Creole tomato. Things to Eat Crab cakes, eggplant parmesan, crawfish beignets and many others get the tomato treatment as part of the Creole Tomato Festival. Favorite dishes from past years have included the Creole tomato, mozzarella, basil and bacon crepe from Crepes a la Carte, shrimp & Creole tomato ceviche from Superior Seafood and fried green tomato with a trio of sauces from Chartres House. View a full list of food booths here. Things to Do You’re not limited to food at Creole Tomato Festival. Cooking demonstrations from local and up-and-coming chefs, kids activities, tomato eating contests, and 4 stages of live music are all part of the fest, including performances from Little Freddie King, Original Pinettes Brass Band and Robin Barnes. More Tomato Treats… After the festival, head to Criollo for tomato-centric dishes like the Shrimp, Blue Crab, and Avocado Stack...
New Orleans Oyster Festival: What to Eat!

New Orleans Oyster Festival: What to Eat!

Although New Orleans has an endless variety of cuisines, oysters are the pearl. (See what we did there?) And, as oyster season draws to a close, the city celebrates these slurp-able mollusks with a full-blown festival: New Orleans Oyster Festival takes place on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2016 at Woldenberg Park at the Mississippi Riverfront, next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. As usual, our prime French Quarter location means you can walk to and from the venue in ease: our hotel is just about a five minute walk from the park. We also have a host of ways for you to cool down after the free, outdoor festival, whether splashing around at our rooftop pool or sipping a Pimm’s Cup at our iconic Carousel Bar. Read on for how to eat and dance your way through Oyster Fest: Aww, shucks! It's almost #oysterfest Click To Tweet What to Eat Whether you prefer your oysters raw on the half-shell, charbroiled, or fried, you will find a wide variety of oyster dishes at the festival. Oyster Rockefeller Pasta from Desire Oyster Bar is a delicious spin on the typical seafood and white wine variety, while Oyster Jambalaya from Don’s Seafood puts a tasty twist on the classic New Orleans dish. If it’s po-boys you seek, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, with restaurants serving up everything from traditional Oyster Po-Boys (Acme Oyster House) to Oyster Rockefeller Po-Boys (Oceana Restaurant) to BBQ Oyster Po-Boys (Red Fish Grill). Tons of restaurants will be at the fest, so look out for French Quarter favorites like Antoine’s and Royal House plus incredible restaurants from elsewhere in...
Visit New Orleans for Memorial Day Weekend

Visit New Orleans for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans brings with it several opportunities to honor fallen military members or simply enjoy a long weekend in the city. As always, we’re centrally located so that you can walk or find easy transportation to all the best events happening in New Orleans. Take your pick below! Head to the National World War II Museum New Orleans is home to the country’s National World War II Museum, which will hold Memorial Day ceremonies all day long on Monday, May 30, 2016. In addition to showcasing artifacts, images and stories related to Memorial Day and fallen soldiers, the museum will host guest speakers, including Tom Tudor, who was the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia, and Clay Bonnyman Evans, grandson of 1st Lt. Alexander Bonnyman, a Medal of Honor recipient and one of 36 Marines killed in the Battle of Tarawa in 1943. Evans will tell the story of an archaeological dig he took part in to find the remains of those men. The day’s events will also offer a special performance from the U.S. Marine Corps Brass Quintet, featuring their traditional military uniforms and meticulous rhythms. Get to the Greek Bayou St. John in Mid-City hosts the 43nd annual New Orleans Greek Festival May 27-29, 2016, featuring authentic Greek food, music, and cultural entertainment. The event is known for its live traditional Greek dancing and a huge assortment of homemade Greek desserts you can purchase to take home. Though the event isn’t walk-able from our hotel, ask our concierge for complete directions or to schedule a cab for you! If you plan to drive your...
NOWFE’s the Time: New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

NOWFE’s the Time: New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

The annual New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) is a literal and figurative feast for the senses. Comprised of several events that include everything from a stroll down Royal Street to a charitable component, NOWFE is a 21-and-up experience that showcases what the city of New Orleans does best: fine dining. We’re fortunate that many of NOWFE’s events take place in and around the French Quarter, May 23-29, 2016. Check out a few of the standout events below, and if you can’t make it to NOWFE, don’t worry! You can eat like you’re there at our restaurant, Criollo, one of NOWFE’s renowned participants. Vinola! Friday, May 27 at 2:00pm Sample rare, elite wines from around the world during NOWFE’s Vinola!, an event created especially for wine connoisseurs. The winemakers themselves will present many of the selections, which include wines from vineyards like Antica Napa Valley, Pernod Ricard, Jackson Family Wines, and more. Royal Street Stroll Friday, May 27 at 5:30pm Second line through the French Quarter down Royal Street during NOWFE’s annual Royal Street Stroll, happening rain or shine. The Krewe of Cork leads this parade-style stroll, with several elite winemakers serving as Grand Marshals. Royal Street is one of the city’s most iconic streets, featuring beautiful antique shops, historic architecture, and the sounds of live jazz. Wearing wine-inspired costumes to this event is highly encouraged. Be sure to check out @criollo_nola at #nowfe Yum! Click To Tweet Grand Tasting Saturday, May 28 at 6:00pm Pairing beautiful, full-bodied international wines with some of New Orleans’ best restaurants, Grand Tasting is a not-to-be-missed event at NOWFE. Restaurants like Kingfish, Shaya, and our very...