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Visit Historic Homes and Buildings in New Orleans

NewOrleansPLove history? When you visit New Orleans, plan your itinerary with time to visit some of the many historic homes and buildings located throughout the city. New Orleans contains some of the nation’s oldest examples of original French, Spanish, and American architecture. Some of New Orleans’ most distinguished residents lived in homes which have now become museums scattered throughout the city just waiting for you to tour. Here are just a few suggestions:

Gallier House, located on Royal Street in the French Quarter, is a historic home and museum. It was built as a family home by James and James, Jr. Gallier, a prominent father and son architectural firm in the mid-1800s. This father and son firm built a number of famous landmarks which still exist today, including Greek revival-style Gallier Hall on St. Charles Avenue, the Pontabla Apartments on Jackson Square, and the Leeds Building which houses the Preservation Resource Center. The balcony of the home, featuring wrought iron arches and ornate iron latticework, overlooks historic Royal Street. The rear of the structure features a restored slave quarter apartment. Tours are offered at this home.

The Hermann-Grima House, located on St. Louis Street in the French Quarter, offers tours of this museum and historic home. The home is thought to be one of the finest examples of American architecture in the New Orleans area. Included in the tour are the original stables, the outdoor kitchen with the open hearth for cooking, and a courtyard.

Pitot House sits on Bayou St. John, which was the key waterway leading into New Orleans in the 1700s. Though there were many built like it, this is the only home that still stands of that era. It is a classic example of 18th-century Creole Colonial architecture. It is the only Creole Colonial-style house museum in New Orleans. Guided tours are offered.

DegasHouseDegas House is located on Esplanade Avenue near City Park. For a period of time during 1872 to 1873, Edgar Dégas lived there with his maternal relatives, the Musson family, who were prominent cotton brokers in New Orleans. During the time Edgar Dégas lived at Degas House, he created 18 paintings and four drawings, some depicting his New Orleans family members. Built in 1850, the Degas mansion features two homes with a courtyard in between. Once a single structure, the house was divided into two homes in the 1920s. Daily tours are available.

The 1850 House is located on St. Ann Street in Jackson Square. This museum and historic home depicts middle-class family life during the most prosperous era In New Orleans history. These buildings are believed to be the oldest apartment homes in the United States. Tours are available.

The Old Absinthe House has existed in the Vieux Carre in the heart of the French Quarter since 1815. It is rumored that Pirate Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson planned the victory of the Battle of New Orleans on the second floor. Stop by for a drink and enjoy the history of this fine old ediface.

The US Custom House is one of the oldest and most important federal structures in the Southern United States. The construction of this monumental granite building was begun in 1848 and took over 33 years to be completed. It features a Grand Marble Hall in the center of the ediface. It is located a few blocks from the Mississippi River on Canal Street. The exterior of the US custom House retains its original design of modified Greek and Egyptian revival elements.

Street Car New OrleansThese are only a few of the vast amount of historic structures for you to visit in New Orleans. Choose the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast for your New Orleans stay. This bed and breakfast, built in 1893, offers easy access to the many historic homes and buildings since the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar runs in front of the home.

It’s Hot! You Deserve a Drink!

If there’s one place you need to drink to stay cool, it’s New Orleans (as though you really need an excuse to drink in New Orleans!) Don’t let the heat get to you – It’s Hot! You deserve a drink! Take advantage of the hot summer. Create your own beverage trail and enjoy original cocktails and craft beer; tour breweries and visit pubs and restaurants all around the city.

Hurricane, famous drink from Pat O'Briens, red drink with blurred background

Most everyone who comes to New Orleans has already heard about Pat O’Brien’s world famous “Hurricane”. No trip to New Orleans would be complete without trying this cocktail in the dueling piano bar. The fruity-red rum drink, garnished with a cherry and orange slice, was invented during WWII when whiskey was in short supply. It is served in a Pat O’Brien’s logo souvenir glass.

Beer created by NOLA Brewing in NOLA glass
If craft beer is your style, visit NOLA Brewing Company (just down the street). Its website says they make “Craft Beers by Hand ” in a warehouse on the lake side of a street tourists can’t pronounce.” That street is Tchoupitoulas. Tour the facility on Fridays from 2 -3 pm or Saturdays from 2-4 pm. It sports an upstairs patio overlooking the Mississippi River and barbecue to enjoy.

Other drinks not to be missed on this “beverage trail” are:

Sazerac: Known as New Orleans’ official cocktail, this is a variation of a Cognac or whiskey cocktail. Some claim it is the oldest-known American cocktail with its origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans, though some dispute this claim. The cocktail is associated with Peychaud, a Creole who began selling his “toddies” in the early 19th century New Orleans. He claimed that the concoction held medicinal properties. Why argue otherwise?

A local treasure, the Ramos Gin Fizz or New Orleans Fizz, is a drink that you will be hard-pressed to find outside of New Orleans. This drink was concocted back in 1888 by Henry Ramos, the great grandfather of a close college friend of the Innkeeper, Bonnie. It contains, among other ingredients, gin, cream and egg whites. It was one of Governor Huey P. Long’s favorites.

There are many more drinks to sample. Why not try to find some of the unique ones on your own? What better time than the summer to book a stay at Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast and enjoy New Orleans and the drinks that help to make it famous!

Photo credit for Sazerac: Infrogmation

15th Annual COOLinary 2019

It’s Summer and it’s HOT in New Orleans, but August is going to be a delicious month! Celebrate this time of year by dining during COOLinary (a combination of “cool” and “culinary”). This event, August 1-31, celebrates the city’s rich and unique culinary landscape all around town. Not a local? No problem. We’d love to have you visit and indulge in this exciting season.

Over 35 participating restaurants across the city feature specially curated and priced two and three-course meals – anything from brunch, dinner and lunch items. Each restaurant offers:

  • Three-course brunch menus for $39 or less
  • Two- or three-course lunch menus for $20 or less
  • Three-course dinner menus for $39 or less

Menus include everything from internationally-inspired cuisine to classic New Orleans fare, reflecting the history, fabric and culture of the city. Restaurants include those that have been in the city for generations, as well as up-and-coming eateries.

The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast recommends the following 2 restaurants which are located close to the B&B:

  • Atchafalaya (which offers creative Louisiana fare). Check out their full COOLinary menu here.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Commanders Palace (which serves refined Creole fare in a chandelier-hung space since 1880.) The restaurant will feature a dessert on the COOLinary menus, called “Lally’s Praline Parfait”. (photo courtesy of Commander’s Palace). Click here to view their COOLinary menu.

 

 

 

 

 

Why did the COOLinary event come about?

As everyone knows, New Orleans is hot in the summer. Also, with the school season beginning, there are fewer tourists. Thus, restaurants have fewer customers. Originally, this event was created to entice locals to come out and eat, However, it has grown into such a popular event that tourists come to town just to participate in one of the best events of the summer in NOLA.

Back in the bad old days, the summer months were so bad that lots of places did drop down to skeleton crews or close,” said Kristian Sonnier, Vice President for Communications and Public Relations for New Orleans & Company. “We’re no longer there. There’s an increased demand for the New Orleans experience, and the hot summer months don’t keep people away the way they used to.”

And when you’re not eating, there’s lots of other things to do in NOLA. Book your room now at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast and we’ll keep you so busy, you’ll forget the heat!

19TH Annual Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans

Join us in New Orleans August 2-4, 2019, for the Satchmo SummerFest as we celebrate the life, music and legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old US Mint. Along with featuring some of the best jazz and brass bands and a wide variety of food, the festival offers intellectual seminars from well-known jazz and music scholars. Enjoy three days of never-ending music on 3 stages, inspired by Louis Armstrong. Oprah Magazine named Satchmo SummerFest one of the most “interesting things to experience in Louisiana!”

Nicknamed “Satchmo”, “Satch” and “Pops”, Louis was born in New Orleans on August 4th, 1901. The festival is held during this time to coincide with his birthday. Remembered for his instantly-recognizable rich, gravelly voice, Armstrong was a trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor and was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned for 5 decades, from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. He was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Check out the 2019 music lineup featuring the Roots of Music Satchmo Soundoff on the Esplanade Avenue neutral ground on August 2nd at 11:15 am. Click here for the music schedule for each day.

No festival in New Orleans would be complete without the foods the city is known for, especially red beans and rice. The Satchmo SummerFest Culinary Lineup will also feature Cajun seafood eggrolls, fried seafood, Cuban cuisine, tacos, meat pies, jambalaya, burgers, ice cream, snoballs and more. A wide array of drinks will be available, from beer, wine and champagne to soft drinks.

The daily admission of $6 (children 12 and under are free) helps support our musicians and pay for this event. The admission also provides access to the Jazz Museum’s collection and exhibitions plus indoor activities like Pops’ Playhouse for Kids powered by Entergy New Orleans and the Hilton Satchmo Legacy Stage featuring presentations by renowned Armstrong scholars.

New Orleans artist Ayo Scott was selected as the 2019 French Quarter Festivals, Inc. artist, creating the artwork for both the French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest posters. “When looking at the impact of jazz on music and music on the world, Louis Armstrong may be the single most influential person to be born in New Orleans,” Scott said. “I’m humbled to be able to create a tribute to such a man. I’m excited to share ‘Reflections of King Louie’, the 2019 Satchmo SummerFest Poster.” Click here to pre-order yours.

A Kick-Off Evening of Music will be held on Thursday, August 1st from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. The party includes dinner and drinks. Purchase your tickets here.

Make your plans now to attend this fun festival. Book your room at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast.

Photo Credits:
1st Photo: https://www.nationaalarchief.nl/onderzoeken/fotocollectie/ad76c932-d0b4-102d-bcf8-003048976d84
2nd Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/louis-armstrong-jazz-trumpeter-398146/

 

Join the Celebration: The New Orleans Tricentennial

2018 will mark the 300th Anniversary of the City of New Orleans, one of the world’s most fascinating cities, and a year’s worth of celebrations of its rich history, diverse culture and distinctive traditions have been planned.

The year-long celebration will kick off with the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Official Countdown by Dick Clark Productions on December 31, 2017. A concert will begin at 9:00 pm with Mardi Gras themed fireworks on the Mississippi River at midnight. Throughout 2018, New Orleans will open its doors to locals and visitors to share in its many celebrations. New events have been planned and the existing annual events will be bigger and better than ever! To see a list of events planned so far, visit 2018nola.com/events. Make plans to come and stay with us at Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast. We are located on St. Charles Avenue where you can catch the streetcar to the French Quarter and walk to many events.

Throughout the NOLA Tricentennial year, improvements and renovations to the City have been planned to create a pathway to prosperity with a vision of making the City more successful in the next 300 years. Many improvements have already begun. Planned for improvement are Gallier Hall, Louis Armstrong International Airport, Bourbon Street, The Lafitte Greenway bicycle and pedestrian trail and park, The New Orleans Riverfront, added streetcar routes and many others.

Today the City of New Orleans owes many of its celebrations to the diverse cultures which settled the City: French, Spanish, African Americans, Cajun, Creole, and immigrants from Italy, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Vietnam and many other countries.

Please read this “Message from New Orleans” by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau announcing information relevant to New Orleans and the celebration of the Tricentennial and its new website.

If you’ve thought about visiting New Orleans, 2018 is the year to come! Come celebrate with us! Book now!

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

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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!

 

 

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!

 

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!


Fall leaves in a circle with Grand Victorian logo in the center
 

WE HAVE REOPENED!

 

Our Stay Small, Stay Safe COVID procedures are in place. Book your New Orleans Fall getaway Now!

 

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