Weekend Getaway in New Orleans

Best of the Big Easy

Cradled in the muddy embrace of the Mississippi River, the bayou oasis of New Orleans has hypnotized travelers for decades. And rightly so — New Orleans feels like it’s lost in time. It's a city where Caribbean, American, French and African cultures collide beautifully in a sensory explosion of flavors, emotions and sounds. 

We’ve designed the ideal immersive New Orleans experience as a perfect weekend getaway, taking you deep into the music, food and cocktails that make this city one of the most unique places on the planet.

Itinerary Highlights

Our itineraries are for your inspiration. Please contact a travel advisor to customize this itinerary to fit your needs.

  • Visit the acclaimed National World War II Museum
  • Tour a plantation, south of New Orleans
  • Enjoy the architecture of the French Quarter
  • Experience Creole cuisine and cocktail culture

Trip Overview

Day 1 : Explore the French Quarter
Stroll through the historic heart of New Orleans
Day 2 : Garden District
View beautiful mansions, shop for antiques and taste Creole cuisine
Day 3 : Whitney Plantation & Frenchmen Street
Tour a plantation and listen to some of the best jazz in the city

Day 1 : Explore the French Quarter

Arrive early in New Orleans and check in at the Windsor Court Hotel. After settling in, make the short walk to the French Quarter for a stroll through the vibrant heart of the city. It is possible to spend many happy hours simply wandering the Quarter, pausing occasionally to browse some antiques, devour fresh Gulf oysters or to fortify yourself with a Sazerac. Spend your evening sipping cocktails and listening to everything from ragtime to experimental jazz in one of the many historic jazz clubs in the city.

The lobby at the Windsor Court Hotel
Bedroom at the Windsor Court Hotel
Windsor Court Hotel

This distinguished 316-room hotel is set near the French Quarter.

Where to Dine

The New Orleans metropolitan area has upward of 1,500 restaurants, so your choices are really limitless. Some of our recent favorites include  Peche Seafood GrillShaya for modern Israeli food; Compère Lapin for Caribbean-influenced cuisine from chef Nina Compton and contemporary Creole at Meril, Emeril Lagasse's newest restaurant. That said, here are two classics that never go out of style:

Antoine’s Restaurant — For an authentic taste of the city’s French-Creole fare, visit the country’s oldest family-owned restaurant and birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller. 713 St. Louis Street. Tel. (504) 581-4422.

Galatoire’s — A French Quarter institution justly famous for its sautéed fish with crab meat Yvonne and its long lunches on Fridays. 209 Bourbon Street. Tel. (504) 525-2021.

Where to Drink

Swizzle Stick Bar — Located in the Loews Hotel in the Central Business District. Order an 1886, composed of Glenfiddich, Bénédictine, Peychaud’s bitters and Green Chartreuse. The taste is fruity, cinnamony and smooth, with a spicy kick and a smoky underbelly. 300 Poydras Street. Tel. (504) 595-3305.

The Sazerac Bar — The Roosevelt's Sazerac Bar is the birthplace of its namesake cocktail — reputedly the first mixed drink of any kind. 130 Roosevelt Way. Tel. (504) 648-1200

Bar Tonique — One of the most fastidious cocktail lounges in the city, with just about everything made in-house except the spirits themselves. Order the Red Light Fir, a mixture of Bols Genever, Clear Creek Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir, simple syrup, lemon juice and Angostura bitters that is admirably balanced. 820 N Rampart Street. Tel. (504) 324-6045.

Other favorites to try in and around the French Quarter: Cane & Table for rum drinks and a Caribbean theme; Arnaud's French 75 Bar for classics served by professional barmen; The Carousel Bar & Lounge for its merry-go-round bar; and Napoleon House for the ambiance that comes with its 200-year-old history.

Dining room at SoBou
Cocktails at SoBou

Favorite Jazz Clubs

Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse — This plush, contemporary space in the Royal Sonesta Hotel showcases top-tier talent. Although it’s located in the heart of Bourbon Street madness, it draws a fashionable crowd of mostly 30- and 40-somethings. 300 Bourbon Street. Tel. (504) 553-2299.

Preservation Hall — A visit to this historic New Orleans institution is a must. 726 St. Peters Street. Tel. (504) 522-2841.

Fritzel’s — Those wishing to take just a sip of Bourbon Street nightlife might try this German-themed jazz club, reputedly the city’s oldest. On a tiny stage, the house band performs ragtime and other traditional New Orleans music. 733 Bourbon Street. Tel. (504) 586-4800.

Palm Court Jazz Café — In a quiet corner of the French Quarter near the Soniat House, this friendly club has well-spaced tables, a lovely old mahogany bar and a surprisingly good wine list. 1204 Decatur Street. Tel. (504) 525-0200. 

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse
Palm Court Jazz Café

Day 2 : Garden District

Spend the day exploring the peaceful Garden District, with beautiful mansions and magnolias and azaleas set against wrought iron fences. Magazine Street offers numerous boutiques selling everything from delightful sweets at Sucré to antiques and decorative objects at perch. Along the way, stop to sip perfectly crafted cocktails and taste traditional and contemporary Creole cuisine before heading to one of the city's oldest and most eerily beautiful cemeteries, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, across the street from Commander's Palace, and The National World War II Museum, in the nearby Warehouse District.

Where to Dine

Commander’s Palace — Garden District classic managed by the Brennan family. 1403 Washington Avenue. Tel. (504) 899-8221.

The American Sector — A ’40s-themed restaurant in The National World War II Museum seems an unlikely place to encounter fine dining, but chef John Besh rarely disappoints. An appetizer of savory rabbit paté served in a rations tin raised a smile, and the blue crab and sausage stew was sumptuous. Be sure to make time for lunch here after your museum visit. 945 Magazine Street. Tel. (504) 528-1940. 

Gautreau’s — Charming restaurant, beloved by locals, on the western periphery of the Garden District, closer to Uptown. 1728 Soniat Street. Tel. (504) 899-7397. 

Skillet-seared trout at Commander’s Palace
Skillet-seared trout at Commander’s Palace - © Michael Palumbo

Where to Drink

Cure — A former Freret Street firehouse in Uptown has turned into the place to go for creative cocktails and an array of eclectic food. 4905 Freret Street. Tel. (504) 302-2357.

The American Sector — Order the Jezebel, a creation of gin, cucumber, mint and ginger beer. Very cool, very sharp and very strong, it comes with a pleasant gingery aftertaste. 945 Magazine Street. Tel. (504) 528-1940. 

Root — Try the drink called And Her Name Was Cassandra: a zippy concoction of vodka, pear brandy, Asian pear-jalapeño shrub, lemon and bitters. 1800 Magazine Street. Tel. (504) 309-7800

Swizzle Stick Bar — Located in the Loews Hotel in the Central Business District. Order an 1886, composed of Glenfiddich, Bénédictine, Peychaud’s bitters and Green Chartreuse. The taste is fruity, cinnamony and smooth, with a spicy kick and a smoky underbelly. 300 Poydras Street. Tel. (504) 595-3305.

The American Sector restaurant/bar inside The National World War II Museum
The American Sector restaurant/bar inside The National World War II Museum

Day 3 : Whitney Plantation & Frenchmen Street

Rent a car or engage a driver to transport you to the Whitney Plantation, about an hour outside the city. Tours are given every hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. While Houmas House, Nottoway Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation are popular among tourists, Whitney Plantation offers an honest, raw perspective on plantation life and Louisiana's enslaved people. 

Drive back to the city to spend the afternoon walking Frenchmen Street, within walking distance of the French Quarter. This two-block stretch is home to some of the best live music in the city. Dining can be found back in the Quarter or at one of the many jazz clubs on Frenchmen.

The Big House on Whitney Plantation
The Big House on Whitney Plantation - Bill Leiser / Wikimedia Commons

Favorite Jazz Clubs & Bars

Snug Harbor — Listen to local jazz musicians in an intimate atmosphere. Dinner is served in a separate room. 626 Frenchmen Street. Tel. (504) 949-0696. 

The Maison — Stop by this three-story venue, bar and restaurant for live jazz, brass and funk shows. 508 Frenchmen Street. Tel. (504) 371-5543.

The Spotted Cat Music Club — The nightly live music here ranges from blues to jazz to Latin. 623 Frenchmen Street.


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