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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.

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.


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

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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


  • 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.


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.



Hallmark Channel Celebrates the Bed and Breakfast

Hallmark Channel Cedar Cove contest

The Grand Victorian is partnering with The Hallmark Channel in celebration of its first original series, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove.  It stars Andie MacDowell who plays a judge in a municipal court that is a social microcosm of issues the she will face in her own day-to-day life with family and friends.

The small town of Cedar Cove includes a local inn and the book represents the feeling of care, friendship and community that innkeepers give their guests on a daily basis.

From July 20 – October 20, guests who stay at the our historic Garden District bed and breakfast will receive a free voucher good at other inns participating in the Cedar Grove celebration.

So check in, put out your do not disturb sign, watch Cedar Cove on Hallmark Channel and get your free night’s stay for a lovely night at a bed and breakfast.


Sweet Deals for the New Orleans summer

The Gambit guide to “cool summer fun for small change” is out, with tips on where to go for inexpensive meals, music and festivals in the city of  New Orleans.  Here are some highlights that would go well paired with a stay at the Grand Victorian.

You can’t beat the 25 cent martinis at Commander’s Palace, a very short stumble from the Grand Victorian, this special is also available at sister restaurants SoBou and Cafe Adelaide.

Martini for lunch?

Martini for lunch?

Just a hop, skip and a streetcar ride down from the Grand Victorian, you can slurp oysters for 50 cents everyday from 4-6:30pm at Superior Seafood.

You can always find free music during the sultry summer nights:  Wednesdays on the Point is a ferry ride across the river from the French Quarter in Algiers, and kick off Friday nights uptown at Tipitinas Foundation Free Fridays.  Almost every night on Frenchman Street you can find music to tap your toes to as you stroll by or stop inside to dance.

Running of the Bulls (Brandon Robert photo)

Running of the Bulls
(Brandon Robert photo)

Take a last minute trip to New Orleans for all things Louis Armstrong at the annual Satchmo Summerfest and the Art’s District White Linen Night.  If you’re a runner (or a drinker) this weekend’s Running of the Bulls and the upcoming Red Dress Run can turn your spur of the moment getaway into a thrilling chase!

Check out the Grand Victorian summer specials to make your sweet trip to New Orleans even sweeter.