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Grand Victorian Bed & BreakfastGrand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

Ten Details of a Vintage Wedding from Topazery

The Grand Victorian is please to be included in this beautiful infographic as the Vintage Wedding destination of choice!

Ten Details of a Vintage Wedding
Brought to you by: Topazery.com

5 Tips for the Ultimate New Orleans Honeymoon

honeymoon in New Orleans

Widely hailed as one of the most romantic, charming, and exciting cities, a New Orleans honeymoon will be packed with memories to last a lifetime. You can live it up at some of the world’s finest restaurants and craft cocktail bars.  You can also relax and immerse yourself in historic neighborhoods, peek into secret garden courtyards, and let the beauty of the city take you to new places.

Whatever your honeymoon style, New Orleans will delight and restore you. The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast, in the heart of the beautiful Garden District and a quick streetcar ride to the excitement of the French Quarter. Check out some of our can’t miss suggestions for an itinerary to help you make the most of the balmy nights and slow jazz rhythm of the city that never sleeps.

New Orleans Honeymoon Suite

1. In the French Quarter, go for a romantic stroll among the shops and galleries.  Enjoy lunch at a small bistro and watch the city drift by from the deck of a riverboat gliding up the Mississippi River.

2. Enjoy a candlelight dinner for two then leads to a stroll through the city’s Jazz clubs.  Don’t forget to end the night with a late night order of beignets at Cafe DuMonde.

3. Garden District delights that are within walking distance of the Grand Victorian include romantic strolls among the historic mansions and beautiful gardens and funky shops nestled in with world class restaurants of Magazine Street.

Honeymoon in New Orleans

Courtesy of nolagondola.com

4. Explore some of the colorful neighborhoods like the Marigny and Bywater on bicycle, and learn about the history and culture from locals offering tours.  Try some of the smaller restaurants and get tips from locals on where the best dancing happens.

5. Head out to City Park for a picnic among the secluded oak trees.  Pose for a picture at the LOVE statue in the Sculpture Garden.  Try a sunset ride in a gondola at City Park or drift down Bayou St. John on a paddle board or kayak.

Whatever you decide to do, a New Orleans honeymoon at our beautiful Garden District bed and breakfast will be funky, romantic and unique!

We are also a romantic location for New Orleans elopements and small weddings. Click here to check out these 10 Details of a Vintage Wedding featuring the Grand Victorian.


New Orleans Yoga Studios :: Garden District Bed and Breakfast

New Orleans yoga studios

Image from Swan River Yoga

Take a break from your routine this summer and add a healthy stretch to your getaway to New Orleans.  The city has gotten big into yoga culture recently with over 20 yoga studios and centers around the city.

If you are new to yoga, here are two places that each offer a variety of classes and make it easy to drop in for a single class.  You don’t need yoga clothing, just comfortable and stretchy clothes.  You can usually borrow or rent a yoga mat and don’t forget to leave your shoes at the door.

Wild Lotus Yoga (uptown – 5 minutes on streetcar) has an easy drop in rate, and a 10 different classes just on the weekends.  Check for their “mellow” classes if you are a yoga beginner.

Swan River Yoga (downtown-15 minutes on streetcar)  lists 12 classes on the weekends and fun themed classes.

Jazz National Park

Yoga at the Jazz National Park

Six blocks from the Grand Victorian is access to the miles of shopping, restaurants and yes, the yoga studios of Magazine Street.  You can walk or take the bus up and down this creative corridor to find the space that matches your search.

Shanti Yoga – Vinyasa yoga for fluid, movement-intensive practice

Audubon Yoga Studio – Iyengar yoga for a safe, orderly, systematic progression of poses

Life Yoga and Boutique – also offers clothing and gifts to help incorporate healthy activities into your active lifestyle.

Also along Magazine Street are studios which go beyond basic yoga for more intensive strength training such as:  Free to Be Power Yoga; 504 Fit (oga and pilates), Barre 3 (yoga, pilates and ballet), and Romney Pilates Center

There are also clusters of yoga studios further away but still uptown along Freret Street, Oak Street and also downtown and the French Quarter.

Whatever your level of activity or health, whether you want to try something new or deepen your usual practice, there is a yoga space for you.  Rest, relax and enjoy your new found serenity at the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast.

Most Convenient Location in New Orleans – Garden District B&B

Garden District, New Orleans

Catch the streetcar just steps away from the Grand Victorian!

The Grand Victorian is conveniently located in the Garden District, but how convenient are we to various event venues in other parts of the city?  The quick answer is about 15-20 minutes from most places.  Here is a guide to help you plan your stay.
French Quarter (Cafe du Monde, Bourbon Street, French Market etc.)  15 minutes by streetcar or 5 minutes by car or taxi
Frenchman Street and Bywater (Music clubs, evening art market) – other side of French Quarter – 15 minutes by car or taxi
Convention Center (Conferences, Outlet Mall, Mardi Gras World)  10 minutes by streetcar to Lee Circle then 6 block walk to Convention Center Blvd.
Superdome and Smoothie King Center (football, basketball, concerts)  10 minutes by streetcar to Poydras Street and walk up about 5 blocks
City Park and Fairgrounds (New Orleans Jazz Fest, NOMA, Sculpture Gardens, Morning Call)  30 minutes by streetcar. St. Charles Avenue Streetcar until it ends, then City Park Streetcar until it ends. (then 8 block walk to Fairgrounds for Jazz Fest).
Canal Street (Aquarium, Insectarium, Performance Theaters: The Joy, The Civic, The Saenger) – 15 minute streetcar ride ends at Canal Street or 10 minutes by car/taxi
Audubon Park/Zoo and Universities (Tulane and Loyola) 10 minutes streetcar heading uptown, away from the French Quarter, take zoo shuttle to Magazine Street
WWII Museum (Ogden Art Museum, Contemporary Art Center, Confederate Museum)  10 minutes by streetcar to Lee Circle, walk 2 blocks.
Magazine Street (6 miles of shops and restaurants) – 6 block walk down Washington Avenue; can walk or take bus or taxi to get further along on street in either direction
Oak Street – (restaurants, shops, nightlife) – 15 minutes streetcar going uptown, away from French Quarter
 WW II Museum in New Orleans
The Grand Victorian is very close to the activities and events around town, but once you get here, you may not want to leave!  Come find out for yourself!

New Orleans Food and Wine Experience

New Orleans Food and Wine Festival

Experience the New Orleans Food and Wine Experience May 20-23, 2015.  Now in it’s 23rd year, this nationally recognized festival boasts 52 wineries, 53 restaurants, 24 exhibitors, and 26 special guests – plus numerous special events and seminars spread out over 4 days.

Since its inception, this non-profit festival has raised over 1 million dollars for local non-profit organizations, such as food banks and culinary schools!

Royal Street Stroll - New Orleans

Most events are held in the French Quarter and Convention Center, a 10 minute historic streetcar ride from our New Orleans Garden District bed and breakfast. Except for the Vintner Dinners, which are hosted at restaurants around the city with wine pairings and reasonable price fixe menus. See if your favorite restaurant is on the list, or fall in love with a new restaurant.

New Orleans Festivals

Highlights from this year’s events include:

  • “Grand Tastings” at the Convention Center match New Orleans’ finest chefs with wines from around the world plus the crowning of the “King of Louisiana Seafood” on Saturday.
  • Stroll down Royal Street with the Krewe of Cork and take in the live music, wine offerings in the art galleries, and the beautiful French Quarter architecture.
  • The Big Pastry Competition with burlesque ballroom hosts features pastries paired with champagne and spirits.

So, “Come to Your Senses” and stay with a local who will help you get the most out of your days of eating and drinking good wine at our peaceful Garden District bed and breakfast.

Photo credits: Chris Granger

Girlfriend Getaway in New Orleans

mother daughter getaway New Orleans

Mothers Daughters Sisters and Aunts gather at the Grand Victorian for memorable fun!

Mother’s Day, FestiGals, spring break and college visits are all great reasons for a girls only getaway to New Orleans with great food, toe-tapping music, and a little bit of pampering.  The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast has some suggestions for a memorable visit to the Garden District and the city that surrounds it.

Anytime of the year, take the streetcar to one of the country’s best zoos, Audubon Zoo.  There are many festivals throughout the year,  free with zoo admission.  Camp out under the Oak trees to enjoy the music or wander around to explore the Jaguar Jungle, the Louisiana Swamp or swim in the new lazy river!

Audobon Zoo

Mother’s Day Concert at Audubon Zoo (photo by nola.com)

Enjoy a delicious brunch before your zoo visit at one of these restaurants on the way to Audubon Park; reservations are recommended. (More brunch suggestions here.)

  • Apolline – an American Bistro amid the Magazine Street boutique shopping mecca
  • Atchafalaya – the make your own Bloody Mary bar is a favorite
  • Patois – you can walk to the zoo from this local hot spot (featured in the HBO series “Treme”)

For a quieter day, pack a picnic lunch and take it to City Park, one of the lushest and largest urban parks in the country.  Home to the New Orleans Museum of Art,  sculpture garden, botanical garden, a plethora of ducks, geese and swans,  and hundreds of live oak trees which make for a memorable afternoon.

You don’t have to walk far from the Grand Victorian to create wonderful new memories.  Take a walking tour of the Garden District’s many historical homes, gardens and cemetery. Afterwards, treat mom to a facial, a massage, or even a pedicure at one of New Orleans many relaxing spas.

Garden District New Orleans

Our Girlfriend Getaway package includes:

A 3-night stay in a deluxe guestroom with period decor

A Guided walking tour for two of the Garden District to include Lafayette Cemetery #1, spectacular architecture, celebrities’ homes, movie set locations, cultural insights and history preservation.

Two 3-day RTA passes for unlimited rides on public transportation (streetcars & buses) to the French Quarter and all other venues in New Orleans.

Two passes to the Audubon Zoo, accessible by streetcar

All enjoyed in luxurious Grand Victorian style with: private & modern bathroom, individual temperature control, cable TV, ceiling fan, robes & slippers to use, iron & ironing board, hair dryer, and modern room amenities. There is an extended continental breakfast served daily, which can also be enjoyed outside on the balcony. Free snacks and bottled water 24/7, parking, and Wi-Fi throughout the house.

The rate for the Girlfriend Getaway package is $800 + tax, based on double occupancy.

** Upgrade this package from a deluxe room to a suite for $975 per  tax, based on double occupancy.**

We would be glad to help you make your stay even more luxurious; ask about arranging a gift certificate to the local Belladonna Day Spa or a picnic basket for your day the park.  The Grand Victorian is your place to relax and make some memorable moments to last a lifetime.

New Orleans Side Trip :: Manchac Swamp

Your New Orleans stay can include so many different types of experiences; some of the best are off the beaten path.  For a good afternoon side trip that ends in a delicious meal; head 40 miles northwest of New Orleans to the historically rich strip of land between Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  Most locals refer to it as Manchac Swamp.

Lake Ponchartrain

Swamp Walk – photo by New Orleans Outdoor Companion

Home to several wildlife management areas, one features a little known boardwalk trail that takes you right out into the swamp where you might catch site of an alligator’s snout, a nutria’s orange choppers or other swamp inhabitants.  For more about what you might see or how to get there click here.

It’s a 5 minute drive from the boardwalk to Middendorf’s, the iconic seafood restaurant that’s been an institution in the local fishing community for over 75 years,   Located right on the water, you can eat on the deck or in one of the two buildings.  It is very family friendly, with a large sandy beach for the kids to play in while you watch the sun go down over the waterfront.

Middendorf's Deck

Middendorf’s Deck – photo by Times Picayune

It’s a nice ride back through the cypress trees and over the lakes to the comfort and ease of the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast in the Garden District of New Orleans.  Start planning your New Orleans adventure today!

New Orleans Day Trip – Whitney Plantation Museum of Slavery

New Orleans Museum

Whitney Plantation Museum of Slavery

If historic plantation visits are on your New Orleans side trip agenda, there is something new and different for you to experience in plantation country.  Grand Victorian Innkeeper Bonnie Rabe recently toured the newly opened plantation home that is America’s first and only slavery museum.

 I am always interested when a new historic site gets restored and opens to the public. I had met the owner at a Louisiana tourism meeting  and I was especially interested in the focus of this one because it was more than just an historic house tour. To my knowledge, there has never been such a museum dedicated to slavery.

Whitney Plantation is located about 45 minutes west of New Orleans along the Mississippi River.  Originally built by German Ambroise Heidel, it produced indigo briefly, then primarily sugarcane.  Named for the  grandson of a later owner, the Whitney Plantation used over 100 slaves at any given time.

One of the finest lasting examples of Spanish Creole architecture, the plantation house was deemed one of the most important properties on the Mississippi River.  In 1999 the Cummings Family saved it from demolition by purchasing it from a nearby chemical company.

You can view the home and its very unique distinction of having original decorative wall paintings on both exterior and  interior walls.

Spanish Creole Architecture

Rare exterior painting

However, most of the tour is focused on bringing to life the experiences of the enslaved people of Louisiana through authentic oral histories of over 4,000 slaves taken in 1930s.

Antioch Church

Statues of enslaved children in the Antioch church

Exhibits and memorials about slavery were created with artists, scholars and researchers over the past 10+ years and include

  • A Wall of Honor inspired by the Vietnam Veterans memorial that lists thousands of slave names and quotes.
  • The Field of Angels is a quiet courtyard that lists the names of enslaved infants who died in St. John Parish, predominantly before the age of 3.
  • A small chapel and authentic slave cabins, including two original to the property can also give you a glimpse into the everyday lives of slaves.

The property itself was beautiful. But when I left the museum, I had a whole new perspective of this part of our nation’s history. We all learned about slavery, but I never had the opportunity to read actual quotes about their everyday life on an average plantation in the South. Nor had I any idea as to the scope of the numbers of people involved in one small area of Louisiana over those years. Everything here is very well documented and well done. A must-see attraction along the Louisiana River Road!

Tours are offered hourly from 10:00am to 3:00pm, daily except for Tuesdays.

Drive back along the winding Mississippi River and stay with us at the Grand Victorian.  You’ll enjoy the comfort of the modern conveniences after a day of drifting around the past.


Mardi Gras: A World Away

Mardi Gras season is here and the parades are about to roll!  If you didn’t make it this year,  put in on your calendar to reserve your spot early for the best show on earth.  We’ll be watching the parades from our doorstep and balcony at the Grand Victorian and some of the best sights are of the parade floats themselves.

Made locally here in New Orleans, you can take a behind the scenes tour at Mardi Gras World and view the artists at work making these beautiful floats year round.

Here are photos Innkeeper Bonnie Rabe took on a recent visit to Mardi Gras World for a first hand look at what you’ll find at one of our top recommended, unique and naturally New Orleans local tours.

Mardi Gras Floats




Mardi Gras Parade












Mardi Gras Parade


Get your crocodile smile on at Mardi Gras World; we’ll be posting more from the floats along the route.  Look forward to seeing you here soon!



Bicentennial Battle of New Orleans in January

Bicentennial New Orleans Battle

At dawn on the morning of January 8, 1815, a diverse force of soldiers, sailors, and militia, including Indians and African Americans, defeated Britain’s finest white and black troops drawn from Europe and the West Indies in a battle that determined the course of Louisiana and American history.

For all the history buffs, you can experience this once in a lifetime series of living history events and relax at the Grand Victorian after your day of battles.

More than 1,000 re-enactors are expected to commemorate America’s victory over the British in this final major battle of the War of 1812. One of the most amazing things about the Battle of New Orleans is the amount of different people and military groups from different races, social classes, languages, and backgrounds who came together to protect their country and their way of life.

President Andrew JacksonSome of the events of the Bicentennial Battle of New Orleans include:

  • General Pakenham’s Final Supper at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel… ” run after the fashion of a British Mess with period entertainments. Join us in raising a glass to the King and St. George!”
  • Jordan Bankston Noble Memorial Service,  an African American enlisted soldier and drummer of the 7th US Infantry who stayed in New Orleans and is a legend in the Treme neighborhood in which he lived.
  • Re-enactment of the historic address by General Andrew Jackson’s aide-de-camp, Edward Livingston, to rally the troops in defense of New Orleans.” in Jackson Square
  • The Chalmette Living History Park (requires a paid ticket for non-costumed participants).  Activities include: workshop on apparel in New Orleans 1807-1820; historic dance demonstrations; crafts; games and cards at the American Camp and afternoon tea at the British Camp.

Join us in the our Garden District bed and breakfast, a short drive from the battles of 200 years ago.  Rooms are still available for your exciting, informative and completely unique stay in New Orleans.

Battle of 1812