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.



Where to Go In NOLA


Spending Christmas in New Orleans? Sure, why not? I was a little concerned when I started looking for info about this holiday: would there be enough action to warrant an entire 600-word blog? Not to worry. I found more than enough!


To start, make sure you check back and see what we’ve already written about this spirited holiday time. CLICK HERE for more special events in December.



Tea at Le Salon in the Windsor Court


This hotel offers an English high tea at 2:00 pm that you will love and remember. (We went to Bergdorf’s in Manhattan for afternoon tea back a bit and enjoyed every minute of it.)


To start, the Windsor Court at 300 Gravier Street, offers sherry, sparkling or chardonnay wines and specialty cocktails – even nonalcoholic ones. This is followed by a pot of brewed English tea (from a selection of 26 of the world’s finest) and delicious tea sandwiches of: cucumber, smoked salmon, egg salad, in addition to turkey, chicken and lobster salad. There are delicious sweets at the end.



Christmas lights in The Oaks


Here’s more about “Celebration in The Oaks.” The oaks are strung with 558,350 LED lights while the fiberglass Mr. Bingle goes back to 1948. The Maison Blanche store created him as a special character for their holiday advertising. The owner wanted his initials to be the same as the store – hence Mister Bingle was born. CLICK HERE for more about The Oaks.




The Roosevelt Hotel lobby lighting


Step inside this winter wonderland of 112,980 twinkling white lights on 78 birch and 46 Christmas trees. This has been a New Orleans tradition since the 1930s. Be prepared to be stunned. And plan to make a stop at the Sazerac Bar. The hotel is at 130 Roosevelt Way in the heart of the Central Business District which is steps away from the French Quarter. 



Concerts at St. Louis Cathedral


For many, the December concert series at the St. Louis Cathedral (in the French Quarter) is a beloved tradition. Every year, music lovers enjoy performances ranging from blues, folk and jazz to gospel and country. All the performers are locals, or have NOLA roots. The concerts (from 12/3 to 12/16) begin at 8:00 pm and are free. Seating is first come, first serve, so be sure to arrive early.


Caroling in Jackson Square.jpg

Caroling in Jackson Square

You and your friends or family can head for the French Quarter for a caroling event that gets very crowded. Everything is free so show up early to get your candle and song sheet. Happens on December 16th.


Reveillon DInner.jpg

The festive Reveillon Dinner


This is a citywide tradition that goes on all through December. It is a Catholic tradition (like Mardi Gras). In the 19th century it was typically served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve, then followed by a day of fasting. Today you don’t have to fast. The Reveillon is offered at older New Orleans restaurants such as Arnaud’s, Antoine’s and Tujaque’s that was founded in 1856 and is located at 823 Decatur Street. If you go you’ll flip over their white chocolate bread pudding with Bourbon caramel sauce.


xmas in new york.jpg

Christmas in New York City


The holiday season in The Big Apple is just as festive as New Orleans. Visitors from far and wide pour into the city. I remember walking down Fifth Avenue one year and hearing no one speaking English for a good three blocks. It was a wonderful experience knowing that people from all over the world love to visit here. This year, we decided to make a trip up to the Metropolitan Museum on Tuesday, December 11th to see their Christmas tree – and, as usual, it was simply spectacular.


Shaun Nelson-Henrick