FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Let the Good Times Roll in New Orleans

by Patricia Vanikiotis

Sep 21, 2020

PHOTO: © LAWRENCE WESLOWSKI JR – DREAMSTIME.COM

September 2020

The question when considering options for entertainment in New Orleans after the workday wraps up is less “What can I do?” and more “How can I fit it all in?” With the unofficial motto of “Laissez les bon temps rouler” (“Let the good times roll”), The Big Easy offers a wealth of opportunities to dine, imbibe, dance, listen, learn, gamble or just hang out in several different neighborhoods. Most first-time visitors to the Crescent City zero in on its oldest district, the French Quarter.

Several tour operators offer lively and informative walking tours of the area. Subject matter ranges from voodoo, vampires and ghosts to food and drinks, history and heritage. With tours averaging two hours, you’ll have plenty of time afterwards to pursue other entertainment.

You might begin near the river, strolling Jackson Square to enjoy the street performers — magicians, jugglers, musicians — and local artists’ works before pursuing an iconic cocktail at an establishment that originated it. Pat O’Brien’s features the Hurricane along with dueling grand pianos, or stop in at Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar and channel Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams as you sip a Vieux Carre.

New Orleans attracts award-winning chefs from around the world while also boasting home-grown cooks who’ve served up traditional regional food for decades. Fuel your evening at such James Beard-recognized establishments as Galatoire’s and Justine, or watch the shuckers at work while chowing down on alligator, shrimp and — of course — oysters at Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar or Acme Oyster House, just off Bourbon Street. Enjoy a terrific rabbit and sausage jambalaya and other Creole and Cajun dishes, served with attitude, at Coop’s Place, or consider learning how to make local favorites yourself. Both the New Orleans School of Cooking and the Mardi Gras School of Cooking offer hands-on dinner classes limited to just 10 participants.

Now you’re set to listen to some jazz in the city of its birth, take in a cabaret or burlesque revue, or dance the night away at a dance club (though current COVID precautions may place limitations on some activities). Krazy Korner on Bourbon Street showcases outstanding blues, R&B and zydeco acts, and The Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta New Orleans hosts jazz greats nightly in an intimate setting. For the best of live music in the widest range of genres, Frenchmen Street (actually in neighboring Faubourg Marigny) can’t be beat, with more than a dozen clubs concentrated there. And LGBTQ+ visitors will find a warm welcome throughout the city, but the French Quarter’s so-called “Lavender Line” (where St. Ann Street crosses Bourbon Street) hosts a number of the most famous gay and gay- friendly bars, including Café Lafitte in Exile, the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the States.

Close out your evening (or welcome the dawn) by circling back to the riverside for coffee and beignets at 24/7 Café Du Monde, a revered icon in this lively, lovely city.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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