Road Trip: New Orleans, The Lively Louisianan

New Orleans evokes images of Mardi Gras parades, Cajun cuisine, jazz music, French architecture, Café du Monde beignets and Sazeracs. From the iron balconies of the French Quarter to the streetcars and mansions of St. Charles Avenue, the Big Easy is an invigorating city where the joie de vivre never fades.

Louisiana - New Orleans Road Trip

Miles from Naples: 815


Why go: Sure, there’s a “will do anything for beads” side to New Orleans, but there’s also an upscale locals scene rife with creative cuisine, mixology and riveting culture.

Windsor Court Hotel - New Orleans - weekend getaway

Where to sleep: Inspired by England’s Windsor Castle, the European high-style Windsor Court Hotel (above) recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with a $22 million facelift. The top four floors of this regal high-rise enjoy access to the Club Lounge, which offers several food presentations daily, a dedicated concierge and panoramic views.

Cajun and Creole Cuisine from Upperline Restaurant - New Orleans dining - Luxury Road Trip in the South

For foodies: Tucked in a residential lane off St. Charles Avenue, Upperline Restaurant has arguably the best Creole cuisine in New Orleans (above). Also try Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, which recreates classic French Creole cuisine for today’s foodie culture. The city’s “It” bar circa 1938, the Fountain Lounge has been restored to its original grandeur, serving authentic Sazeracs and Bayou Swizzles.

Sazeracs from the Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

Top Attractions: Head for the block of Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, which is lined with live music clubs and lounges. Then peruse the antique shops and art galleries—especially Gallery Burguieres (below)—on the picturesque Royal Street.

Gallery Burguieres - Royal Street in New Orleans - Luxury Road Trip in the South

New Orleans jazz scene

Life in the Big Easy - Bourbon Street - New Orleans Road Trip musts

Scene from Bourbon Street.

The Roosevelt New Orleans - Road Trip in the US South

The Roosevelt

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