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Best Summer Events in New Orleans – July & August

Top Things to do in New Orelans This Summer

Even when it’s warm, the fun never stops in New Orleans! Check out these events for July and August and plan your visit now. Stay at our New Orleans bed and breakfast and catch the streetcar, which passes directly in front of the B&B.

hot summer events in New Orleans

July 2017

San Fermin en Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls) San Fermin en Nueva Orleans

July 7-9, 2017

Though this event commemorates the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, our “bulls” will never be called “bulls”. They are the Big Easy Rollergirls, who are joined by participants from other roller derby leagues across the country in the annual run.

Bastille Day Fete

July 14-15, 2017

Bastille Day Fête celebrates the French National Day in New Orleans. Immerse yourself in the French culture of New Orleans at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which is the main location for the festival. There will be live music, food and drinks for this family-friendly event, with activities for the kids.

Tales of the CocktailTales of the Cocktail NO

July 18-23, 2017

This is the festival which caused cocktails to take their rightful place in the world of beverages. The international spirits industry is welcomed each year to New Orleans for a week of tastings, seminars, networking events, and more.

August 2017

Satchmo SummerFest Satchmo SummerFest New Orleans

August 3-6, 2017

This 3-day local music showcase will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint at 400 Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. It focuses on contemporary and traditional jazz and brass band music. It features “Red Bean Alley” with food booths operated by some of New Orleans finest restaurants.

Whitney White Linen NightWhitney White Linen Night

August 5, 2017

The Warehouse District of New Orleans, also known as the Arts District, is the location for this festival. Four blocks of Julia Street will be closed to traffic for a three-hour New Orleans-style block party. Art galleries nearby will open their doors and music stages will be set up. Attendees are encouraged to wear as much white attire as possible.

Red Dress Run red dress run new orleans

August 12, 2017

Get your red dress ready and join in this 5k(ish) event. The run is sponsored by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers, who proclaim themselves as the “drinking club with a running problem”. But it’s not just about the alcohol. It doubles as a fundraiser with the proceeds going to charity. The event also features live music.
Dirty Linen Night

August 13, 2017

Dirty Linen Night promotes the art galleries and antique shops on Royal Street. Dirty martinis and dirty rice are given away by many of the merchants. Attendees are encouraged to wear the white linens they may have soiled during the White Linen Night held a week before on Julia Street in the Warehouse District.

NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival

End of summer – date to be announced

This end of the summer street party is held in the Downtown Warehouse District and features music, food and art.

Southern Decadence New OrelansSouthern Decadence

August 30 to September 4, 2017

Nicknamed “Gay Mardi Gras” this festival celebrates the LGBT culture. Participants wear elaborate costumes and high fashion. The walking parade takes place Sunday afternoon during the festival.

Celebrate June in NOLA!

New Orleans! There is no place in the world like it. If you have been here, you understand. If you have never been here, you just have to come and experience the city to appreciate it. New Orleans has more to do in any one day than you can possibly get to, but hopefully this list will give you a few suggestions on what might interest you. Though New Orleans offers 365 days of fun, here are ways to celebrate June in NOLA near our New Orleans Garden District bed and breakfast.

New Orleans getaway

  • New Orleans Pride Festival (http://www.neworleanspridefestival.com/)

This celebration promotes the history and future prosperity of the LGBT communites in the New Orleans and the Gulf Coast areas. Held in the French Quarter, it includes many fun activities.

  • Creole Tomato Fest (https://www.frenchmarket.org/event/30th-annual-creole-tomato-festival/)

It is said that New Orleans celebrates everything, so why not Creole Tomatoes! This festival is held in the French Quarter for the purpose of recognizing the importance of tomatoes in many of New Orleans’ most famous dishes. The festival includes cooking demonstrations, live music, a parade and more!

  • Father’s Day

Don’t forget Father’s Day! New Orleans is the perfect place to bring dad. There’s so much going on in New Orleans that he can choose whatever way he wants to enjoy the day and feel special. The National WWII Museum (http://www.nationalww2museum.org/?referrer=https://www.google.com/) would be our recommendation. Book a room now at Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast (https://www.gvbb.com) and dad will be able to catch the streetcar to head out to wherever he desires to go.

  • Summer Soltice

Summer Soltice is the longest day of the year. Watch a sunset from the banks of the Mississippi River or City Park.

  • Festigals (http://www.festigals.org/)

Created by women for women and nicknamed “The Ultimate Girlfriend’s Getaway”, this festival includes professional development conferences, speakers, food, drink and, of course, shopping. The proceeds are donated 100% to women’s causes.

summer in New Orleans

  • Louis (https://www.jazzandheritage.org/cajun-zydeco) iana Cajun-Zydeco Festival (https://www.jazzandheritage.org/cajun-zydeco)

This free festival is the only New Orleans event that celebrates exclusively Cajun and Zydeco music with an awesome lineup of musicians. Food, an arts market and activities for the kids are also included.

  • NOLA Caribbean Fest (http://www.nolacaribbeanfestival.com/)

Enjoy Caribbean music, a queen’s contest, take drum lessons and more!

  • Annual Essence Fest (http://www.essence.com/festival-2017)

festivals in New Orleans

New Orleans has been chosen for this annual 3-day event which showcases contemporary African American music and culture and features hip-hop, jazz, blues, and R&B. Includes speakers, arts and crafts and more.

5 Tips for the Ultimate New Orleans Honeymoon

New Orleans at night, traffic in Jackson Square

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 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

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

20150109_153908

 

 

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!

 

 

Follow your joy to New Orleans this holiday season

Join us for Christmas New Orleans Style this December! We may not have snow but many things twinkle land delight in the Crescent City for the holidays, and special Papa Noel New Orleans rates at our Garden District bed and breakfast all month long!

New this year, LUNA Fête 2014 will feature the city’s architecture as the canvas for large-scale, awe-inspiring outdoor light installations across the city.  Starting November 30 downtown at the historic Greek Revival Gallier Hall.

Catch even more holiday lights at the Roosevelt Hotel on Canal Street, and our annual favorite: Celebration in the Oaks in City Park.  Traditionally opening the day after Thanksgiving, you’ll enjoy walking and driving through the light displays in the botanical gardens, the train garden as well as the musical events and entertainment for kids.

New Orleans Holiday activities

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

After catching a free concert at St. Louis Cathedral, you may run into General Andrew Jackson, the Baroness Pontalba, Captain Jean Lafitte and other historical characters every weekend in December in the French Quarter.  Get your pipes in tune for Caroling in Jackson Square (songsheets and candles provided) on December 21.

christmas new orleans

Interact with people from New Orleans’ colorful history each weekend.

Reveillon Dinners are a Creole tradition from the 1800’s to “wake up” with a dinner following midnight mass.   Today’s Reveillon is served in restaurants featuring sumptuous holiday feasts at incredible rates.  Some of our neighborhood restaurants are offering 4 course meals at a deal include: Commander’s Palace, Upperline, Brigtsen’s and Martinque Bistro.

Christmas New Orleans Style can also help you find a restaurant open on Christmas and New Years.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a New Orleans twist: watch the Fleur de Lis drop in Jackson Square with your new legion of French Quarter friends. Then watch your favorite college football team in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

New Orleans holiday dining

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

There are so many more events including holiday home tours, bonfires along the levee, chef demonstrations, and special Reveillon cocktail creations. Many of these are free to attend.  You can learn more about them here.

Make your Papa Noel New Orleans reservation at the Grand Victorian B&B today and relax under our 14 foot tree with nightly holiday treats and a mug of hot chocolate.  We’ll pop a Christmas New Orleans Style guide in the mail to help you design your perfect New Orleans holiday vacation with us.

 Book Now – Papa Noel Rates starting at $185 per night 

Spend All Hallow’s Eve in Historically Ghostly New Orleans!

Halloween is on a Friday night this year; that means all the ghouls and goblins and silly witches will be thronging the streets of New Orleans looking for a spooky home.  Stay in the historically ghostly Garden District this year; the Grand Victorian is the perfect place to rest after experiencing Halloween in New Orleans!

New Orleans Witches Ball masquerade

Witches Ball masquerade

Within walking distance of our Garden District bed and breakfast is the New Orleans Witches Ball presents La Grand Danse Macabre.  Put on your best witchy costume and spend the evening enjoying food, drink, music, contests and prizes, ritual, and revelry!

The Voodoo Music Experience in City Park is just a streetcar ride away and features headliners  Foo Fighters, Krillex, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Big Freedia, Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, the Soul Rebels and more.

Take haunted tours of the French Quarter at night or a haunting and hilarious ghost tour by Friends of the Cabildo with ghost “sightings” in building and courtyards.  Or if that’s too scary,  daytime tours of one of the world-famous above ground cemeteries are a few blocks walk from the Grand Victorian.  There is also a tour geared to kids,  French Quartour Kids will explore why this All Hallow’s Eve became popular and how it has evolved over the years.

Also for young or young at heart, the annual Boo Carre Halloween & Harvest Festival on October 19 in the French Market District will include miniature golf, a photo booth, Halloween crafts, a costume contest, pumpkin painting and much more.

halloween in new orleans

St. Alphonsus Church hosts the Vampire Lestat Fan Club
photo by Enigma Arts

Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat Fan Club holds its annual Undead Conference with four days of events including  Supernatural Author Panels, book signings, and The Lestat Ball.

Jazz in the Park concert series presents Rebirth Brass Band along with Kermit Ruffins to Armstrong Park. Along with providing great music, Jazz in the Park also features a second line parade, a kids play area and food and crafts from local vendors.

New Orleans Museum of Art will host an outdoor screening of Rosemary’s Baby on October 18 at 7 p.m. in NOMA’s Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

There is something spooky for everyone.  Enjoy the feasts and the shows and then rest up with us for the next day’s activities.  Book now to reserve your spot in America’s best city for Halloween – New Orleans!

 

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!

When is the Best Time to Visit New Orleans?

French Quarter

Spring in the New Orleans French Quarter

You are thinking about that long-awaited journey to New Orleans, but can’t decide on when to come.  Do you like crowds or quiet balconies? Parades or garden tours?  Festivals or concert halls?  Here are a few tips from the Grand Victorian staff to help you decide.

SUMMER for the amazing deals

Summer is hot and so are the special deals you can find to design that economical vacation or stay-cation to enjoy all that the city has to offer.  COOLinary menus allow you to try 2 and 3 course lunches and dinners for low prices.  The festivals continue with Creole Tomato, Cajun-Zydeco, Essence, Satchmo and weekly free summer music offerings in our incredible parks.  The Grand Victorian also offers great summer rates for a cool respite after your sizzling summer days.

MARDI GRAS for the bucket list

You have to experience it at least one time in your life, and we can help you make it the experience you will enjoy.  There are many ways to experience Mardi Gras – parades, costumes, family picnics and ribald entertainment from the masses.  We do Mardi Gras family style in the Garden District, where our home is right on the parade route for over 50 parades during the two-week season.  When you’re tired of the crowd, just jaunt over to the porch to enjoy the pageantry from afar.  It is usually during February or March, check the calendar as the date changes every year.

Mardi-Gras

SPRING for the music festivals

If you love the live local music like we do, then April is for you!  French Quarter Festival and Jazz Festival are the weekends we enjoy most in the city.  An abundance of musical talent on 10 or more stages plus an over-abundance of restaurant food tasting choices can tempt even the most solitary traveler.  Make the festival one of your own design by choosing which musical acts to enjoy or which food booth to park your chair near.  Great spring weather added onto these elements make spring the easy choice for your next New Orleans vacation.

 

The Grand Victorian tends to book early for Mardi Gras and the spring festivals, but we always have good deals in the summertime!  Make this historic New Orleans bed and breakfast your home away from home this year!