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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.

 

 

 

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!