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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.



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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The Big Easy, which was founded in 1718, (or 300 years ago) was named for the Duke of Orleans. Right from the start, New Orleans viewed itself as a city apart from, or even superior to, other New World settlements. And, it has always been proud of its French heritage even after France cut this tie and sold Louisiana to America. The bottom line: New Orleans maintains a slew of French-influenced cultural and gastronomic traditions.

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Taking a Break

You’ve been working hard all year so why not treat yourself and a loved one to a pre-Xmas break from your everyday routine. You can relax, have fun, drink and eat or just enjoy yourself before diving back into the holiday rush. We’ve got a number of suggestions for must-sees – take a look

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Shopping for Xmas in NOLA

We’re at the tail end of November so Christmas will be here before you know it. Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Of course, you haven’t! My mother is the only person I’ve ever known who shopped for Xmas gifts in a sensible way: meaning with four kids she started buying as early as September. Of course, we all knew this, so the Great Hunt started  the same month. Never found a thing. Mama was very clever.

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Bring On The Catfish

I’m taken with “catfish.” Why? Because I had never tasted any in my entire life until my husband Peter and I went on a Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise. The entrée was baked catfish in an almond crust. Initially, I was nervous about this, but I was won over in seconds. It was delicious! CLICK HERE to read more.

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An Over-the-Top Celebration in the Oaks

This year is the 32nd anniversary of CELEBRATION IN THE OAKS in City Park (or New Orleans’ take on Christmas in America). This is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country, with more than 165,000 visitors pouring into the Park to see hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and spectacular light displays scattered throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

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November’s Fringe Festival

The “fringe concept” has been around a lot longer than any of us probably realize. The original fringe event was launched in 1947 (that’s 71 years ago). It began when eight theater companies (six Scottish and two English) appeared uninvited in Edinburgh and staged their own shows alongside the new Edinburgh International Festival.

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