800-977-0008 Check Rates

Grand Victorian Bed & BreakfastGrand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

Top 5 Side trips from New Orleans

If you want the full Southern experience and have an extra day or two, here are a few side trips that you may want to include in your itinerary beyond the French Quarter, Garden District and New Orleans city sites.

1.  Plantations

There are 10 large historic homes west of New Orleans along the Mississippi River.  Each has something special to offer. You can take a leisurely drive and view all the lovely gardens, stopping to tour the ones that appeal to you.  You can also reserve a half day or whole day tour through one of the tour companies that will pick you up from our front door.

http://www.neworleansplantationcountry.com/

Plantation New Orleans

 

If you are really entranced by the plantations, add an extra day to your vacation and travel a few hours north of Baton Rouge to the town of St. Francisville, one-time home of John James Audubon.

 2.  Swamp

Southern Louisiana is swampland.  There are many places where you can touch a wild alligator and hear fantastic tales about life lived in the rugged swampland surrounding New Orleans.  There are several companies that will pick you up  and offer tours on covered pontoons or raucous air boats that skim the water.  If you have a car, you can drive yourself down to Jean Lafitte State Park (40 minutes) and walk the Bayou Coquille Trail into the watery wilderness.

http://www.louisianatravel.com/

 

Biloxi Lighthouse

Biloxi Lighthouse

3.  Mississippi Gulf Coast

Since all of Louisiana’s waterfront property is a swamp, if you need some beach, travel just two hours east of New Orleans and drop down to one of New Orleanian’s favorite spots for R&R – the Gulf Coast.  You’ll find miles of beautiful white beaches, casinos, great food, fishing, boating, history, art galleries, museums, shopping, and much more.

From the small artsy towns of Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs to the larger destinations of Gulfport and Biloxi, you are sure to find wondrous views, and memories worth the trip.

 http://www.gulfcoast.org/

4.  The Northshore

Head across Lake Ponchartrain, north of New Orleans, for about 45 minutes, and you’ll find yourself in cooler country.  Rent bikes and travel on Louisiana’s only Rails to Trails conversion, the Tammany Trace. Visit the home of famous craft brewery, Abita Beer. Have some outdoor fun along the Tchefuncte River, go antiquing in  Ponchatoula or visit an alligator farm.  You can do all of this and still make it back in time for dinner at your favorite New Orleans restaurant.

http://www.louisiananorthshore.com/

5.  Cajun Country

New Orleans is not Cajun, despite what the rest of the world may think. You’ll need to tack on an extra day to see real Cajun food, music, dance, fun and hospitality a few hours west in the small towns around Lafayette.

Visit a live Cajun radio show at a roadside dancehall in Mamou on a Saturday morning. Take a pontoon boat ride into the Atchafalaya Basin to see nutria, egrets turtles, and alligator floating around the water hyacinths or basking under the cypress trees.  Follow the trail of the Acadians from Nova Scotia to St. Martinville.  Spice up your travels with a trip to Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco sauce.

Avery Island

Avery Island

Wherever your travels may take you in southern Louisiana, you’ll find a comfortable rest awaits you at the Grand Victorian B&B.  Schedule your stay with us today!

Should I Stay in a B&B or a Hotel?

You’re traveling to New Orleans, and you have heard about all the incredible architecture and beautiful historic homes.  You’ve never stayed in a bed and breakfast before and are wondering … should I?

Here is a simple break down between hotels and bed and breakfast inns to help you decide.

Grand Victorian B&B

Average hotel room in U.S.

Hotels

  • Often located near a major airport or roadway for convenient commuting.
  • Usually associated with a corporation for a consistent look.
  • Designed for large groups that may not require personal touches.
  • Large scale staff and round the clock service.
  • Most charge for using many of the amenities, such as parking, buying snacks, bottled water, certain television channels, etc.
  • Appeals more to the cautious traveler looking for a convenient location and a high level of services available at all times.

 

Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

Evergreen Room at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast:

  • Often located near a natural landmark or tourist destination and in an historic residential neighborhood.
  • Often have fewer rooms in a converted historic property with furnishings suggesting to the era of the building.
  • Usually independently owned and operated; each inn and each room within each inn is different.
  • Offers a more personal  ”home away from home” experience, with comfortable spaces for family and friend conversations.
  • Smaller group of staff members who are generally “locals” who offer insider tips for activities.  They leave the inn periodically for supplies and appointments, so may not offer a 24 hour front desk.
  • Most offer free amenities such as breakfast, internet access, snacks, water, television, parking.
  • Appeals more to the adventurous traveler wanting the locals experience away from the busy part of the city.

 

If you still have questions, we shatter the Top 5 myths about staying at a bed and breakfast here.  

Hope this helps you decide which lodging option is the best for your needs.  And if you decide on a B&B, we think you should choose the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

How to choose a room at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

Once you’ve decided to forgo the sterile hotel for the interesting B&B, how do you choose among the variety of rooms to meet your special needs. The Innkeepers in New Orleans proclaim there are “Two Hundred Rooms; No Two Alike.”  We may be biased, but we believe the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast is the best place to stay in New Orleans. Our Garden District bed and breakfast offers eight unique rooms, all named after local plantation homes.  Here are some suggestions from the Grand Victorian staff on finding just the right room for you.

best place to stay in New Orleans

If you are planning a romantic getaway, then the Nottoway Suite is for you.  Separated from the rest of the house by an extra doorway and stairwell,  Nottoway is known as our honeymoon suite and is popular among our New Orleans elopement couples.   If you prefer one of our deluxe rooms, the deep hues and bay windows of the Shadows Room are also a favorite with couples.

For a quiet place to read and rest, the two rooms farthest from the street are Destrehan and Magnolia.  You can still hear some of the rattle of the streetcar, but these century-old thick walls drown out most everything else.

If you are traveling with a third person or would like to sleep separately (all rooms have only one bed), we have several rooms that are large enough for a rollaway cot:  Oak Alley, Greenwood, Magnolia, Evergreen and Nottoway. Please note that we go to great lengths and many layers to create a comfortable bed here. Our rollaway mattresses simply cannot compare, but are available as a convenience.

End your day with a long hot bath in one of our suites, Greenwood or Nottoway.  Each have large European style jacuzzi bathtubs good for a soak with wall-mounted handheld attachments for a shower.   All of our rooms have bathtubs with showers except for Evergreen which has a shower only. If you are a vintage buff,  try the old cast iron tubs in Rosedown,  Shadows, or Destrehan.

Don’t like stairs?  We have two rooms on the first floor:  Rosedown and Oak Alley, plus a ramp that leads to the front door.  Rosedown houses our “Princess and the Pea” bed because it is high and requires bed stairs to climb in. Oak Alley is ADA compliant with an accessible bathroom and low queen size bed. Also note that our Nottoway suite has an extra and private set of stairs that takes you down into the room. Because it was added onto the back of the original house in the 1940s, the ceiling height below is not the same 14′ ceilings as the rest of the house.

Are you a tall traveler (over 6 feet)?  Then choose one of these rooms without a high footboard on the antique beds:  Rosedown, Greenwood, Magnolia, Shadows, Destrehan or Nottoway.

New Orleans lodging

The Shadows Bed has plenty of leg room.

Girlfriends traveling together would appreciate the roomy bathroom of the Magnolia room or the expansive window bench in the Evergreen Room, good for sitting, reading, talking or spreading out your stuff. Both spots also comfortably fit a rollaway in case you don’t want to share a bed or you are a group of three.

For taking in the street scene, choose one of the suites with private balconies.  The Greenwood Suite overlooks the streetcars along St. Charles Avenue and is a great people-watching spot! Nottoway’s balcony is more private and has  a quiet view of the neighborhood.

New Orleans Garden District

Your private balcony in the Greenwood Suite

What is a “plantation sized bed you ask?  Because our furniture is all from the turn of two centuries ago, there were no “standard” bed sizes. These beds are all unique in length and width, each with a custom-made mattress.  They all fall between a full and a queen by modern standard definitions.  You can also customize your bed with a choice of feather or foam pillows and choose to sleep with or without the feather-top mattress.

If you are sensitive to light, choose the shaded rooms:  Rosedown, Magnolia, Destrehan or Nottoway.  If you need some sunshine to get going, try Oak Alley, Greenwood, Shadows, or Evergreen.

Lastly, if you are traveling with a group of friends or family members, we have three great hangout spots available.  You can talk and view the street scene in the parlor, have a glass of wine on the porte cochere balcony, or play cards in the dining room.

New Orelans vacation packages

Catch the street scene views from our front parlor.

You might just get inspired by your room or the carved painting of it’s namesake plantation home.  If so, several of the plantations are still open for tours:  Oak Alley, Evergreen, Destrehan and Nottoway.

Wherever you sleep in the Grand Victorian, you are sure to have a wonderful experience and great memories of the Garden District of New Orleans.  Call or email us today if you have any special needs and would like help choosing the perfect room for the perfect New Orleans vacation at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast.

 

 

 

NBA All Star Game in New Orleans

130812095512-2014-as-logo-wordmark-jpg.story-top

Are you looking for lodging near the 2014 NBA All-Star game? Don’t wait to find out who is on the team to get your reservations for the NBA All-Star Game events to be held in New Orleans, February 13-16.  Bring your sweetheart and celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend off the courts with us!

The fan voting results for the All-Star team are not official until January 20, but you can expect to see some of your favorite players and a few surprises taking part in this showcase of events, with top players competing from both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The weekend activities also feature NBA and the Women’s NBA players and alumni competing in exhibition games including a shooting contest, obstacle course, 3 point competition, and the popular high-flying slam dunk contest.

Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross
(courtesy www.nba.com)

The All-Star Game is on Sunday night, and the halftime show features musical performances by popular artists such as Elton John, Beyoncé, and John Legend.

You can also get tickets to the world’s largest interactive basketball theme park (All Star Jam Session), held at the New Orleans Convention Center. Get your voluntourism experience with the NBA Cares events that give back to the Greater New Orleans community.

New Orleans knows how to do world class sporting events, and all of these experiences are just a streetcar ride away from the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast in the historic Garden District.  Join in on the excitement for Valentine’s Day weekend!

New Year’s Eve in New Orleans: Fun, Fireworks and Fleur-de-Lis

new years at our new orleans bed and breakfast

Fleur de Tree

Get your count down on at Jackson Square, near our New Orleans bed and breakfast, for live music with Eric Lindell and the Honey Island Swamp Band.  Just before midnight, from the top of Jax Brewery, the 8-foot-tall fleur-de-lis drops down to switch on the 2014 light.

After the drop, you will want to keep your eyes on the sky for a spectacular 10-minute firework display, consistently ranked one of the best in the nation. You’ll find a club in the French Quarter or along Frenchman Street that will be perfect for your ongoing celebration of the new year.  You can also reserve a spot on one of our historic paddlewheel riverboats to watch the fireworks and enjoy some music and food.

If the French Quarter scene isn’t for you, check out local listings to find your favorite band or discover a new love at some of New Orlean’s great music venues such as Tipitina’s, the Howlin’ Wolf, or the new Civic Theatre on Freret Street near our New Orleans Bed and Breakfast.

The Grand Victorian wishes you a safe and happy new year.  We look forward to seeing you during your travels in 2014.

 

Top 5 Myths about Staying at a Bed and Breakfast

new orleans bed and breakfast

Make a new travel resolution!

Is more travel on your New Year’s Resolution list?  This year, add trying a Bed and Breakfast to your travels!  You might be skipping the bed and breakfast experience because you think it’s not for you.  Check out these Top 5 Myths about Staying at a B&B to see if a bed and breakfast (or our New Orleans B&B!) might be in your future for 2014.

1.   Too many lace doilies 

We’re not all tchotchkes, antiques, and patchwork quilts.  More inns these days have a clean, sophisticated decor with modern furnishings and amenities.  Victorian homes like ours often feature rooms that appeal to different tastes.  ( Our Evergreen Room might be just right for you.)

2.   You have to share a bathroom with other guests.

The majority of inns offer private bathrooms.  (All rooms at our New Orleans B&B have their own bathroom with shower, hair dryer, special soaps and other amenities.)

new orleans bed and breakfast

Who could say no to fresh breakfast?

3.   You have to eat a specific breakfast with total strangers at a specific time.

Many inns offer guests a variety of choices of breakfast or brunch as well as meeting needs for special diets or food allergies.  (You can take advantage of our continental plus breakfast anytime between 8:30 and 10:30am, and we are glad to offer gluten-free, sugar-free or vegan items if you’ll let us know ahead of time!)

4.   You have to be home at a certain time.

Guests are almost always given keys to the main house and guest room doors, providing them with the flexibility to come and go as they please.  (All Grand Victorian room keys also open the front door to our New Orleans bed and breakfast.)

5.   B&Bs are only for couples and prohibit children and pets

Many inns offer family units with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and a number of inns offer pet friendly rooms as well.  (While the Grand Victorian is not the best option for the youngest family members; our New Orleans bed and breakfast easily accommodate older children with rollaway cots, kid-friendly snack items all day, and free wireless internet.  We also have a new pet resort spa just down the street if you want to bring your furry family member along.)

 

We hope we have debunked some of the myths surrounding life at the bed and breakfast inn, and you come to the Grand Victorian for your inaugural visit.   Check out our rooms and specials pages for the one that is just right for you!

 

Holiday Home Tours, Concerts and More make New Orleans Your Place of Joy

The holiday events near our New Orleans bed and breakfast just keep rolling with 85 events listed, 50 of which are free, and many great specials still available to make your holiday a festive one.

Take a peek into quiet courtyards in the French Quarter, conveniently located near our bed and breakfast in the Garden District, and private homes in the Garden District with these holiday home tours:  The Preservation Resource Center hosts its eagerly awaited 38th annual Garden District Tours, December 14 and 15.  The Grand Victorian is proud to welcome the tour fans to our neighborhood each year.  The residents of the French Quarter open their garden gates on December 22 with the Patio Planters self-guided walking tour.

new orleans bed and breakfast holiday events

Cathedral Concerts Holiday Series

St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States, hosts free concerts until Christmas Eve, featuring New Orleans’ best in jazz, gospel and classical holiday music.  Just outside St. Louis Cathedral you’ll find a decades old tradition of Caroling in Jackson Square.  It is a truly moving holiday tradition beloved by locals and visitors held by candlelight on the Sunday before Christmas.  December 22, 7pm.

Also moving, but in a slightly different way is the annual festival and pub crawl, Running of the Santas.  An anticipated 4,000 costumed revelers will jingle their way around the business district on December 14.

new orleans bed and breakfast events

Running of the Santas pub crawl on Dec 14

Finally, add a new tradition to your holiday experience.  On Christmas Eve, take a drive along the Mississippi River west of the city to view the bonfires that light the way for Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa Claus.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Papa Noel special at our New Orleans bed and breakfast for your last minute getaway to the city that helps you “Follow Your Joy” this holiday season!

New Orleans is your home for history and tradition this holiday season

The National Geographic Traveler lists New Orleans as one of the Best Trips of 2014.  They mention our hot summer months as the time to come for hotel deals in New Orleans, but we know that December is also a great time to visit our city for fun activities and holiday specials.

While we may not have snow in New Orleans, there are many places that twinkle with lights and fun activities to fill your December days and nights.  Our favorite  is Celebration in the Oaks in City Park.

New Orleans Holiday activities

Cajun Night Before Christmas light display at City Park Celebration in the Oaks

It opens November 29 and runs through the holiday season.   City Park’s oak trees are covered in hundreds of thousands of white lights amid extravagant, detailed light displays across 13 acres.  There are musical events and entertainment ranging from children’s choirs and bands to Irish dancing.

The new light display opening this year is Christmas in the District.  Launching November 30 along the Convention Center is an incredible ribbon of lights and spectacular displays synchronized to New Orleans Christmas music.

 

New Orleans holiday shopping

Modern Market on Magazine Street nominated as 2013 “Retail Star to Watch”

New Orleans consistently rates high among travel writers and travel magazine readers as a great city for shopping.  In and around the French Quarter you can find everything from original artwork and grand antiques to handcrafted voodoo dolls.  On the edge of the quarter, the French Market is the oldest public market in the country and is the best place to find regional food items, local music cds, and gifts for every family member back home.

Running through our Garden District neighborhood, where our New Orleans bed and breakfast is located, is  the world-renowned Magazine Street.  Six miles of some of the best antique stores, art galleries, craft shops and classy boutiques to be found anywhere in the city.  During the month of December, the stores have extended hours, holiday decorations, and hold special sales and events to celebrate the Merriment of the Holiday Season.

New Orleans holiday dining

“Wake up” to a holiday feast at your favorite restaurant!

Reveillon Dinners are a Creole tradition from the 1800′s to “wake up” with a dinner following midnight mass.   This holiday convention has been transformed in restaurants that serve sumptuous holiday feasts at incredible rates.

Currently 34 restaurants are offering 4-course meals starting at $34.00, including our neighborhood restaurants:  Commander’s Palace, Upperline, Brigtsen’s and Martinque Bistro.  Christmas New Orleans Style also lists which restaurants are open on Christmas and New Years.

 

Check with us next week for information on holiday home tours, Christmas concerts, bonfires to light the way and more.  Check out our New Orleans bed and breakfast special at our New Orleans bed and breakfast today for your chance to stay in this historic city this holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep Small with Us

November 30 is Small Business Saturday for American Express card owners. Small businesses are the building blocks of a neighborhood, and we have been a pillar Garden District lodging destination for 15 years.  Get $10 from American Express when you stay at the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast.

garden district lodging near shopping

Shop small near our Garden District Lodging.

Make your reservation today for the November 30 weekend.  Then, starting November 24, you must register your American Express card  to take advantage of the offer.

Sleep small with the Grand Victorian, the best choice for Garden District Lodging. We help make the Garden District neighborhood your neighborhood.

 

 

New Christmas Season Events in New Orleans

If you’re planning ahead, the month of December has always been a magical and economical time to visit the city of New Orleans with a stay in our Garden District Lodging, the Grand Victorian.  Now a new family-friendly event offers another opportunity to get into the holiday spirit.

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center near the French Quarter and the Arts District will feature  “New Orleans Christmas in the District,” a series of holiday-themed large-scale light displays celebrating the culture and history of New Orleans.  Over 70 trees will be lit up in festive holiday colors with unique sparkling lights installed at the tops of many of the palm trees, creating a one-of-a-kind holiday environment.

garden district lodging

Tons of fun near our Garden District Lodging!

The display will include a unique digital Christmas tree, thousands of channels of lights that dance to the music and strobe lights that will surprise and delight visitors at just the right moments during the show.

garden district lodging

Garden District Lodging near festivities!

New Orleans Christmas in the District begins Saturday, November 30, 2013, and runs nightly through January 6, 2014, and is free and open to the public.

Check back at our Garden District Lodging to learn more about holiday events in the city.  The Christmas in New Orleans guidebook is due out soon.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our New Orleans Lodging weeknight special going on right now.  Buy two weeknights and get the third weeknight absolutely free!