Fabulous Festivals in New Orleans Beyond Mardi Gras

Posted on

New Orleans has a long-standing reputation for knowing how to have a good time.Perhaps this is why New Orleans festivals are considered some of the best in the country.Beyond the most famous New Orleans festival – Mardi Gras which attracts over 10 million people to the city each year, The Big Easy boasts more than 130 festivals throughout the year.If it's music, food, art, literature or even a tasty tipple that tickles your festival fancy, there are enough New Orlean's signature style festivals to ensure you never miss a good time in NOLA. No matter when you visit the Big Easy, you're guaranteed a festival vibe somewhere in town.Accommodation in New Orleans is as diverse as the city itself. Many visitors are automatically drawn to the French Quarter when looking for accommodation.And why not? it is the historic heart of New Orleans and has a host of great accommodation options for all budgets.However, don't be scared to expand your search. There are so many delightful, interesting, and even quirky places to stay beyond Bourbon Street. Look to the Garden District for a more residential vibe. An area renown for its historic mansions, you can also find some modern, yet tasteful art hotels - a nice reprieve from the clutter of the centre. Head to Bywater for a typically New Orleans bohemian vibe with a hip new outlook. You'll find charming artisan boutiques, street art and the renown St Roch Market, an 1875 market place repurposed into a chef centric food hall – one of the coolest eating spots in New Orleans. An extension of Bywater and also rated as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in New Orleans is Marigny. The two areas are considered locally as one continuous neighbourhood. Expect a local "those in the know" atmosphere where converted historic homes and brightly painted Creole cottages now house hip cafe's, casual dining and bars.Art galleries, record stores and community gardens are the norm and a good night out can be found almost anywhere, especially in the centre on Frenchmen Street.Where ever you decide to stay in New Orleans, make sure you book in advance if your stay coincides with any of the bigger festivals.Originating in 1984 as part of an initiative to bring locals back to the area after the World’s Fair, the French Quarter Festival is now the largest free music festivals in America.A celebration of New Orleans music food and culture, the festival has more than 20 stages throughout the French Quarter, over 1,700 musicians and attracts more than 700,000 people for the four days in April.The festival also promises an exceptional New Orleans culinary experience. You’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the best New Orleans cuisines dished up by the cities top chefs, typical New Orleans cocktails and join the world’s biggest jazz brunch in Jackson Square and Riverfront Park.If you’re looking for a good New Orleans music festival, the French Quarter Festival is an excellent choice.Drawing from traditional African and European roots, New Orleans gave birth to “Jazz” in the late 19th century. So, it is only fitting the birthplace of jazz should have a huge Jazz & Heritage Festival.While people still have the chicken and egg debate on whether jazz gave way to blues or vice versa, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to grow into one of the most exciting Jazz festivals in the world.Attracting some of the biggest names in the music industry; the festival has become so big it is now held over two weekends in late April and early May.Over 100 artists will grace several stages covering everything from jazz, blues, gospel, rap, bluegrass, and much more. Food also features heavily at the festival with a Food Heritage stage and a big emphasis on the culinary culture of New Orleans. A “No Carnival Food” policy means you won’t be stuck eating second rate fairground food. You’ll find lots of fabulous New Orleans classic like jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, and New Orleans’ best Po’ boys.