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.



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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March Celebrates the Irish

From mid-January and all through the month of February I wrote about the parades leading up to this annual event and the colorful history of Mardi Gras both in New Orleans and elsewhere. I’ve also dug up lots of info about where to drink, eat and have fun in New Orleans during your stay in The Crescent City. Be sure to check out all these blogs. Now we’re on to the month of March and new topics for the coming of spring and summer.

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Elegant Eating in the French Quarter

Before we zero in on New Orleans, let’s take a more global view of Mardi Gras. The Big Easy was the first city in the United States to celebrate this traditional event. Currently, it’s a major holiday in many cities and countries around the world – with each celebrating in its own way.  For example, in Venice the locals celebrate by wearing traditional masks while in Rio, it’s a national holiday, with two million revelers every year.  But no matter where Mardi Gras takes place there’s lots of music, dancing, partying and feasting.


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Boost Your Energy With Coffee

New Orleans during Mardi Gras is a terrific experience: there’s lots to see and places to run to – BUT at some point you might want to take a break. Of course, this will be a pit stop. You’re not in the mood to waste time on a full-blown meal – just some strong, hot coffee with a delicious goodie that will get your energy level up and running again. We speak from experience so take a look at our list of coffee shops where you can grab a quick cuppa  joe.

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The Ins and Outs of Mardi Gras

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Mardi Gras in New Orleans. But did you know the first American Mardi Gras took place a whopping 320 years ago? French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico on March 3, 1699 and set up camp on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about 60 miles south of New Orleans. He named the site Point du Mardi Gras, in honor of the holiday that had been celebrated in Paris since the Middle Ages.

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