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Top 5 Things To Do in the Garden District

Garden District

Grand Victorian looks extra grand at night

Tradition, opulence and beauty.  We have it all here in New Orleans’ historic Garden District.  The Grand Victorian sits among the best of 18th century mansions, delightful gardens and an abundance of old world charm in one of the country’s most lovely neighborhoods.

The Garden District was created after the Louisiana Purchase as a neighborhood for new American residents eager to display their wealth by building lavish homes on generous plots of land.  Get a peaceful break from the more touristy areas of New Orleans in this neighborhood that is in bloom 12 months a year.

From the staff at the Grand Victorian, here is our Top 5 list of things to do in the Garden District:

1.  Dine at Commander’s Palace

Always on our list and everyone else’s list is the classy upscale restaurant less than 2 blocks walk from the Grand Victorian.  The secret is to go for lunch and 25 cent martinis or Jazz brunch on the weekends.  Be sure to make your reservation early.

Lafayette Cemetery

Lafayette Cemetery

2.  Tour the Historic Cemetery

Lafayette Cemetery #1 is one of the most well kept of the cemeteries open for tours in the city.  It is across the street from Commander’s Palace.  You can walk around on your own or take one of the free or paid tours from the local certified tour guides.

3.  View the Neighborhood Architecture

Take a slow walking tour of the architecture and gardens of the beautiful and majestic homes.  You can pick up a tour without a reservation mid-morning or early afternoon at the Garden District Bookshop or ask our staff to print the self-guided tour for you to go at your own pace.

Magazine Street Shopping

Magazine Street Shopping

4.  Shop and Eat on Magazine Street

Featuring casual restaurants of every variety, antiques, dessert shops,  jewelry stores, funky gifts shops, and anything you might want, Magazine Street is a six block walk from the Grand Victorian.  This neighborhood shopping mecca runs for a few miles, so you may want to get a bus pass to hit everything on your list.

5.  Take an Anne Rice-inspired walk

If you’re a fan of our native Gothic fiction writer, many of the places that inspired Anne Rice like the Keyhole Door at 1239 First Street as well as some of her previous homes can be found in the Garden District.

 

Don’t forget to sleep in the Garden District with your favorite New Orleans B&B, the Grand Victorian.  A short streetcar ride away from the French Quarter, you’ll never want to stay anywhere else when you come to New Orleans.  Check out our end of summer special deals today!

Insider Tips for the First Time B&B Guest

Ezekial Sawin

You are thinking about trying a bed and breakfast (B&B) instead of a large hotel, but are not sure what is expected when you are a guest in someone’s personal home.  Here are some insider etiquette tips for making the most of your first B&B experience!

  • Most B&B’s have web sites that will tell you about how to make your reservation.   They will likely have items like irons and hair dryers, but check the website for an amenities list or FAQ page to be sure.
  • You can set your own arrival time at a bed and breakfast.  The B&B staff will ask you ahead of time when your plane gets in and wait for you to arrive.   If your flight is delayed, just give the Innkeeper a call, as you would a friend.
  • A B&B is an inn as well as a personal home; is it all right to invite friends over for drinks or breakfast?  Sure, it is usually not a problem, just let the Innkeeper know to plan ahead.

Lactose Free

  • Innkeepers want to provide just the right item for you!  If you are lactose-intolerant or eat gluten-free or sugar-free, be sure to let them know before you come.
  • No one knows the city you are visiting better than a member of the local tourism industry. The innkeeper will be happy to share his/her knowledge of local hot spots and will often send you to places “off the beaten path” that you might not have discovered on your own.
  • Have an afternoon or evening departure? No problem. You can store your luggage and enjoy your last day out if your departure is after the designated check out time.

Antique Furniture

  • Your B&B may be furnished with antiques related to the period of the home.  They help transport you to a bygone era and may require a gentle touch when in use.
  • If you had a great time at the B&B, let others know about it.  Reviews on internet sites are increasingly the best marketing available to small businesses to get the word out.

 

Try the Grand Victorian for your first B&B visit!  We’ll give you all the insider information for having a great time in our Garden District neighborhood, our city of New Orleans, and in our home!

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.