Hotel at a Glance: Q&C Hotel
Fresh from a $10.2-million renovation completed in August, the Q&C Hotel offers a contemporary getaway on prime New Orleans real estate. Its guest rooms balance vintage and modern; some expose the building’s original brick walls, and each is dressed up with funky wallpaper, tufted leather headboards, Keurig coffeemakers, and 47-inch televisions. Downstairs, you can grab breakfast or a handcrafted cocktail in the lobby bar. Just steps from the front door you’ll find the famous French Quarter and the Warehouse/Arts District, which is rife with museums, galleries, and restaurants.
- Explore the French Quarter: This historic district is home to some of the city’s most well-known hot spots and jazz clubs. Barhop your way down Bourbon Street, or stop by Cafe Du Monde for beignets.
- Ride a streetcar: The Canal line stops a few blocks from the hotel; it’ll take you to the New Orleans Museum of Art.
- Grab a bite: There are plenty of dining options right at your doorstep—for a taste of creole and Cajun cuisines, try crayfish étouffée or shrimp-and-crab gumbo at Bon Ton Café.
- Harrah’s Casino: Play the slots—there are 1,800 machines here—or local favorite mini baccarat at this riverfront casino.
New Orleans’s French Quarter: Let the Good Times Roll
“Stop thinking of New Orleans as the worst-organized city in the United States,” writes author Dan Baum in Nine Lives, his post-Katrina book. “Start thinking of it as the best-organized city in the Caribbean.” Some folks think there is something distinctly foreign about New Orleans, a place where people’s priorities seem inclined toward enjoying life and relishing the moment at hand. Nothing says it better than the town’s unofficial Cajun creed: “Laissez les bons temp rouler,” or “Let the good times roll.”
Historical buildings with intricate wrought-iron balconies line the narrow streets of New Orleans’s French Quarter. Here, street musicians often fill the air with jazz music, their trombones and tubas swinging back and forth. Just off the Jackson Square park and near the towering St. Louis Cathedral, the legendary Café Du Monde serves beignets under heaping piles of powdered sugar, as well as cups of iced or steaming café au lait.
And then there’s Bourbon Street, where neon lights advertise frozen cocktails and gaudy strip clubs and crowds gather along 13 city blocks. The nearby Frenchmen Street, just north of the Quarter, provides a slightly less touristy taste of New Orleans nightlife. Some of the city’s most popular live jazz and blues bars dominate this historic two-block district, with each venue hosting world-class musicians nearly every night of the week. Jazz fills the air at the Spotted Cat Music Club, where a sign warns that both drinks and drunks are barred from the piano—but like all rules in New Orleans, it’s one that’s bound to get bent from time to time.