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Best Summer Events in New Orleans – July & August

Top Things to do in New Orleans 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 communities 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.

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.

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!

 

 

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!

Cocktail Festival in New Orelans: July 15-19, 2015

Bartenders and spirits professionals are celebrated in New Orleans for the Cocktail Festival.

 

The world’s premier cocktail festival happens right here in New Orleans July 15-19, 2015 and features a “spirited” array of activities for the professional mixologist as well as the enthusiastic imbiber. Most of the events take place in hotels in the French Quarter, a quick streetcar ride from our Garden District Bed and Breakfast. Some of the spectacular events include  “Spirited Lunches and Dinners” which pair cocktails with meal courses, A Royal High Tea – Prohibition Style, cocktail tours, a Texas Tiki Throwdown, aWorld Cup Cocktail event, a Taming the Hurricane competition and many many more.

Cocktail Festival in New Orleans

The Sazerac started it all!

Save the date and make sure to get your tickets to this intoxicating festival early. While you’re at it make reservations to stay at our historic Garden District B&B.  Book early because we fill up fast. We’ve got a great summer deal for weeknight rates; mention Tales of the Cocktail when you book four or more nights and we’ll extend it through the weekend!

Top 5 Jazz Fest Foods 2014

Cochon de lait po boy

Cochon de lait po boy

There are over 65 food booths at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; it can make it hard to decide what to eat. As the staff of our New Orleans Bed and Breakfast attend and sample the food booths every year, we are sharing our Top 5 Jazz Fest Food selections with photos taken from last weekend’s feasting.

1.    Cochon de Lait Po-Boy from Love at First Bite Caterers. (See photo above) A must have item at least once per weekend!! While the main ingredient of this po-boy is the pork (cochon is roasted suckling pig), this Cajun treat’s highlight is its extras. It is dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. The combo of tastes are wonderful. Make sure you pick up lots of napkins before you walk away with this one!

2.   Crawfish Strudel from Coffee Cottage.  There are many crawfish dishes on the grounds, but the the light and flaky pastry shell that makes this one my all time favorite crawfish dish in the world.  It’s savory, not sweet, but they also have the white chocolate bread pudding at this booth.

Crawfish streudel and white chocolate bread pudding

Crawfish streudel and white chocolate bread pudding

3.   Spinach Artichoke Casserole, Seafood Au Gratin, Sweet Potato Pone from Ten Talents Catering. This plate has veggies, a rarity in the Jazz Fest diet, plus a slightly sweet dessert. It also has the additional factor of being easy to eat while traveling between stages.

4.   Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets from Patton’s Caterers. The sacks are thin crepes filled with a wonderful crawfish etouffee, tied at the top w/ a green onion & the entire thing gets quick fried until the outside is crispy. The crawfish beignets are a non-sweet adaptation for the traditional delicacy deep fried, bite-sized crawfish bread balls served with a tasty but light remoulade sauce; fabulous.

Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets

5.   Guil’s Gators from Sharon and Guilherme Wegner. If you want to try an alligator dish, my friends Sharon and Guil don’t run a restaurant anymore, but every year they make these fried alligator bits with jalapenos and onions. They are great tasting and not too spicy or gamey. 

Don’t forget to get seek out the Rosemint herbal iced tea  or strawberry lemonade at Congo Square to wash it all down.

It’s not too late!  There is one more weekend of Jazz Fest, and we have a last minute availability for any 3 nights between April 30 and May 4.  Check our reservations page for your last minute getaway to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival!

Holiday Home Tours, Concerts and More make New Orleans Your Place of Joy

The holiday events near our New Orleans bed and breakfast just keep rolling with 85 events listed, 50 of which are free, and many great specials still available to make your holiday a festive one.

Take a peek into quiet courtyards in the French Quarter, conveniently located near our bed and breakfast in the Garden District, and private homes in the Garden District with these holiday home tours:  The Preservation Resource Center hosts its eagerly awaited 38th annual Garden District Tours, December 14 and 15.  The Grand Victorian is proud to welcome the tour fans to our neighborhood each year.  The residents of the French Quarter open their garden gates on December 22 with the Patio Planters self-guided walking tour.

new orleans bed and breakfast holiday events

Cathedral Concerts Holiday Series

St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States, hosts free concerts until Christmas Eve, featuring New Orleans’ best in jazz, gospel and classical holiday music.  Just outside St. Louis Cathedral you’ll find a decades old tradition of Caroling in Jackson Square.  It is a truly moving holiday tradition beloved by locals and visitors held by candlelight on the Sunday before Christmas.  December 22, 7pm.

Also moving, but in a slightly different way is the annual festival and pub crawl, Running of the Santas.  An anticipated 4,000 costumed revelers will jingle their way around the business district on December 14.

new orleans bed and breakfast events

Running of the Santas pub crawl on Dec 14

Finally, add a new tradition to your holiday experience.  On Christmas Eve, take a drive along the Mississippi River west of the city to view the bonfires that light the way for Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa Claus.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Papa Noel special at our New Orleans bed and breakfast for your last minute getaway to the city that helps you “Follow Your Joy” this holiday season!

Great music and food on Wednesdays at the Square!

Amanda Shaw

Amanda Shaw

Go for the music or go for the food, but get yourself downtown on Wednesday evenings for the annual free concert series, Wednesdays at the Square.

Lafayette Square on a lovely Wednesday Evening

Lafayette Square on a lovely Wednesday Evening

 

Sponsored by the Young Leadership Council, concerts are held at Lafayette Square on St. Charles Avenue every Wednesday from March 6 to May 22, 2013 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, rain or shine.

Coming Up:  Marcia Ball, Irvin Mayfield, the Meters Experience, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and more.

Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit

No pets or outside food; concession sales keep it free!

No need to look for parking downtown, the streetcar that passes in front of the Grand Victorian B&B will put you right in the heart of everything!  Mid-week rooms available so you can hear your favorite artist, or meet a new one.

All photos courtsey of YLC’s Wednesday  at the Square.

 

October Festivals in New Orleans

Grave at St. Louis Cemetery

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival
October 12-14
Downtown New Orleans, Central Business District
Lafayette Square (St. Charles Avenue at Poydras Street) is the home for this free blues festival.  Two stages plus food and craft booths, including some of the best barbecue in the South. Get your blues on with these performers: Keb Mo, Otis Clay, Latimore, Lil Buck Sinegal, Luther Kent and more.  Take the historic streetcar from our front door to Lafayette Square for the full New Orleans experience.

New Orleans Film Festival
October 11-18
Various venues

Voodoo Music Experience
October 26-28
City Park
You can also take the streetcar to City Park for the Voodoo Music Experience with headliners that include Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Green Day, Green Day, Marcia Ball, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Irma Thomas, Grand Victorian favorite Paul Sanchez (formerly of Cowboy Mouth), and the burlesque dancers from Fleur de Tease

Halloween in New Orleans
October 2012
Haunted Tours and Spiritual Shops

You might want to start with one of the many haunted tours through the French Quarter or some other spooky part of the city. There are haunted houses Uptown, in the Garden District and elsewhere, if you know where to go or are with someone who does. And then, of course, there are the world-famous cemeteries where the dearly departed are buried in tombs aboveground. Hundreds of stories abound in which the ghosts of these “Cities of the Dead” make their presence known, some of which have actually been documented and visually captured.

While prowling around the French Quarter there are a number of Voodoo shops you can check out to learn a little more about the history behind these centuries-old spiritual practices. You might even learn a few spells and mystical incantations. There are even shops catering specifically to vampires, believe it or not. Some of the shops plan special events for Halloween, so make sure you stop by and get in on the action. You can read about them online byclicking here.