Rathbone Mansions
Historic New Orleans Hotel, Steps From the French Quarter

Insiders Guide of things to do, eats and drinks in New Orleans

Rathbone Mansions Insiders Guide

With its unique, vibrant history, award winning chefs, craft cocktail bars, and party atmosphere, there's no wonder NOLA is consistently ranked one of the best cities to visit. We've got you covered with insiders' tips on the best places to visit, eat and drink during your stay. Click through our blog for suggestions, current events and truly experience New Orleans like a local.

New Orleans has a unique, vibrant history, award winning chefs, craft cocktails galore, and a low-key, Southern fun atmosphere. There's no wonder NOLA is consistently ranked one of the best US cities to visit.  We've got you covered with tips on locals' favorite spots to check out during your stay. Scroll through our blog for suggestions, current events and truly experience New Orleans like a local.



"The Devil Was Beating His Wife"

On a road trip down from Tennessee to the Gulf Coast, travel writer Kevin West spins a tale of discovery in his April 2019 article for Travel & Leisure magazine. He begins with six very provocative words: “The devil was beating his wife as I crossed the Alabama state line. I was driving from Nashville, in a hurry to reach Muscle Shoals, and I had gotten to the point where I-65 snakes down from middle Tennessee’s Highland Rim. When the highway levels out again and runs straight, you’re in the cotton-growing Heart of Dixie, as Alabama has been known since the 1950s.”

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From Bourbon St. to Pirate's Alley PART TWO

Here are five more easy-to-find spots for drinking and fun in the famous Old Quarter of New Orleans.

1.     CHART ROOM Come and enjoy yourself at a great bar. The Chart Room is located at 300 Chartres Street. It’s open from 11:00 am to 4:00 am. It has a historical patina on the walls, creaky furniture inside and outdoor seating for people watching. More directly, it’s a low-key, cash-only French Quarter bar that sports an old-school jukebox.

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From Bourbon St. to Pirate’s Alley PART ONE

Here are five easy-to-find spots for drinking and more in the famous Old Quarter of New Orleans.

1.     TONIQUE located at 820 N. Rampart Street, is open from noon to 2:00 am. This spot is described as “a bartender’s bar” because rumor has it that – on a Sunday night – bartenders go there to unwind.  One patron says, “My favorite bar in New Orleans – it’s a “hipster” fancy cocktail bar. They have a Happy Hour every day that features a specific drink for $5.00. I always have a Pimm’s Cup or a Moscow Mule when I visit New Orleans and both are the best I’ve ever tasted anywhere. It’s right across from the Louis Armstrong Park.

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It's Tea Time in Tennessee

Is anything more civilized than afternoon tea? Here are four tea spots in Tennessee that you may want to look into at some point. Why am I writing about Tennessee? Well, I found there were 16 states in the U.S. that are considered “Southern” so I want to write about each one – in addition to New Orleans.

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What's Happening in September?

I’ve always loved the month of September because there’s lots of action. The weather is usually perfect and the kids are really excited about going back to school and seeing all their friends again. It’s also a great time to travel to New Orleans. My husband Peter and I visited late in the month of September and it was still hot – but not stultifying – so we had a marvelous time and made great use of New Orleans famous go-cups (nothing like that in stuffy old NYC).

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The Glory Days and Beyond

Very often I find myself using words that are familiar but, if questioned as to their meaning, I really don’t have a tried-and-true answer. This applies to the adjective, “antebellum” – so here goes: Officially, the word antebellum can describe the time just before any war, but it’s usually used in reference to America’s “Civil War” – and comes from the Latin phrase “ante bellum, literally “before the war.”

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Summer in the South

Can you believe it? Another summer is here and this means the Essence Music Festival is revving up again. It has been held in New Orleans since 1994. That is, except for 2006, when it was held in Houston, Texas due to Hurricane Katrina – an event that none of us will ever forget. 

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Whoopee! It's July 4th

We want you to pay attention and read this blog carefully. Why? This is a fun holiday that everyone can enjoy so we’ve gone out on a limb and found lots of things for you to see, do and eat – plus where to go in NOLA to watch a great fireworks display – but first, let’s have a short history lesson.

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The French Market District

This is a must-see for you, your family and your friends. We’ll explore this historical site, but first let’s ask: What is it? Basically, it’s a series of commercial buildings that span six blocks in the French Quarter. That tells you right away it will be easy to find.


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The Satchmo Summer Fest

Have you ever wondered where the name “Satchmo” came from? Well, here’s your answer. When Louis Armstrong was a boy he sang on the street corners of New Orleans to earn money. Many youngsters earned spare change this way. In those days, no one had phonographs and radios had yet to be invented, so folks enjoyed the music.

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Southern Hospitality

Back in the day, the states known as “Southern” referred to territory below the Mason-Dixon line – a boundary beginning in southern New Jersey and extending west.


That changed during the Civil War when “The South” referred to states that seceded or withdrew from the Union and formed the Confederacy. Later on the U.S. Census Bureau defined the U.S. Southern region as these 16 states: THE SOUTH ATLANTIC: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia; THE EAST SOUTH CENTRAL: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee; THE WEST SOUTH CENTRAL: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

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The Kentucky Derby

 I watch this famous race every year in May and have no logical reason why I do because: (1) I usually don’t know what horses are running (2) I don’t place bets on the outcome and (3) I pick my favorites based on their names. In other words, I pick horse winners the same way I choose paint colors – if it sounds great, it must be. Yeah, right. I once repainted a mirror frame four times. Obviously, this theory of mine doesn’t work – so let’s move on.


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Louisiana Loves Its Gumbo

One of the best decisions I’ve made in recent months was to sign up for a subscription to the magazine Southern Living. I think it’s absolutely terrific. Why? Well, for one thing they love food and every issue has stories about Southern specialties plus mouth-watering recipes. For example, in the January 2019 issue they had a great article by Jennifer Justus titled The Super Bowl of Gumbo. Here are the highlights:

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Jazz Fest Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

I’d like to say, “Kudos” to the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on this remarkable milestone that they plan to celebrate in style. For starters, the Festival is giving itself a special birthday present: an extra day added to each weekend. The 2019 Jazz Fest will expand to eight days at the Fair Grounds – starting with Thursday, April 25th. Both weekends of the festival will now run Thursday through Sunday: April 25-28 and May 2-5.

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Traveling Down the Mississippi

At the end of last year, I came across a fascinating piece in a copy of Lonely Planet dated “Winter 2018” (this was a magazine – I didn’t even know that such a thing existed). At any rate, it had an article in it with the title “Born by the River” by Kevin Perry. He recounts the road trip he took – on land – that FOLLOWED the Mississippi River.

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