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.





On July 4th, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England (an event that led to the formation of the United States). The day before, John Adams, the second president of this country, was so excited by what was about to happen that he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail saying, “Tomorrow is the signing of the Declaration of Independence – it should be celebrated with pomp, parades, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations (aka fireworks) from one end of the continent to the other.”

13 colonies.jpg


That was 243 years ago. Today, July 4th is more relevant than ever – especially the fireworks – which were created by the Chinese eons ago. Exactly “when” is hard to say because many different dates are given, but it’s somewhere between the seventh and ninth centuries.



Dueling Barges Fireworks Show on the Fourth

Dueling Barges Fireworks Show on the Fourth


On Thursday, July 4th the fireworks display in NOLA will start at 9 p.m. It is not JUST ONE SHOW, BUT TWO at the same time – in the form of dueling barges on the Mississippi River. Both barges present a mind-blowing display of fireworks together. And every year, Magic 101.9 or WWLAM 870 or FM 105.3 syncs patriotic music to the fireworks, so be sure to bring a radio and tune in.


During the day, you can spend time with friends and family. Or, you can visit Riverwalk where food and drink stands will be set up.




Everyone loves to eat outdoors so here is a link to “50+ Easy Picnic Food Ideas for the Fourth of July” that was put together by Woman’s Day magazine. I fully intended to include a couple of recipes but, I couldn’t make up my mind which ones to pick – everything looked so delicious.


Their selections include: Chimichurri (often billed as “Argentine barbecue sauce”) Potato Salad; Glazed Pork and Apple Kebabs; Mediterranean Pita Pizza; Key Lime Pie (in a jar; no cutting slices); Lemony Pasta Salad; Beet and Feta Dip; Veggie Wraps With Goat Cheese and much more. CLICK HERE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF.




CRESCENT PARK: Bywater Park offers a stellar view of the fireworks. On the Fourth it is open from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with food trucks and beverages for all. The park does not allow “outside” FOOD OR DRINKS but chairs are welcome.


WOLDENBERG RIVERFRONT PARK: This is a front-and-center seat for the “Go Fourth on the River” celebration. Be sure to arrive well before 9 p.m. to get a spot.


ALGIERS POINT: This is usually a “less crowded” option than the other side of the river. Bonus: the downtown New Orleans skyline as a backdrop.


NEW ORLEANS CITY PARK: The Park hosts its “Happy 3rd of July” party with the Marine Corps Band on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn. Snoballs, wine and beer will be available for purchase or you can bring your own picnic goodies. Starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m.

Music and fireworks at City Park

Music and fireworks at City Park


THE STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ and the CREOLE QUEEN PADDLEWHEELER both offer food, drinks and a great view of the fireworks. This will cost you – but you’ll end up loving it.  


Make a reservation now at the Rathbone Mansion for a July Fourth celebration you will never forget.


Shaun Nelson-Henrick