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Jazz Fest shenanigans and Eric Clapton; Melrose Mansion; Elizabeth’s; cocktails at Cane & Table; dessert at Coquette with pastry chef, Zak Miller; next three pictures Commander’s Palace; Crescent Park in the Bywater. 

Love the Big Easy.  Especially for Jazz Fest!  This was my third time and would definitely like to make it an annual tradition– too fun.  The way to do it, is suck up the sticker shock and buy the Grand Marshall passes– these are pricey, but literally life saving as you avoid a lot of the crowd crush by being in a separate viewing area in the very front.  And you have your own fancy air conditioned restrooms at the Acura stage, which is the largest stage.  We rented bikes this year (reserve in advance) and cycled to the Fest each day which was ideal as getting taxis or parking is miserable.  I also loved, loved where we stayed: the Melrose Mansion and the fact they have a pool!  A sobering evening swim was just what the doctor ordered pre-evening out festivities.

STAY — a few favorite spots

Melrose Mansion

A perfect balance of history and modernity in a plum location on Esplanade on the edge of the Quarter.  Pool!

Soniat House

The grand dame.  The fanciest hotel with heaps of history.  Love this hotel — but not all of the rooms are awesome.

International House

Sleek, modern and minimalist rooms in an old bank.  Two blocks from the Quarter in the Business district.  Loa, the hotel bar off the lobby is fun!

EAT

Sylvain

The best spot in the French Quarter for dinner.  Casual and delicious and cool.  Our fave.

Commander’s Palace

The old classic. Uptown.  Request the Garden Room.

Cane & Table

New in the Quarter.  Delicious and they actually have a kale salad which is novel for NOLA.

Coquette

Uptown.  Dessert was out of this world.  Amazing service.

Elizabeth’s

What you picture when you conjure up an image of Southern breakfast.  In the Bywater.  Fun bike ride from the Quarter.

SHOP

Violet’s

One thing that doesn’t knock my socks off about NOLA is the shopping.  I did discover Violet’s on this trip as a Mara Hoffman dress lured me in.  Cute, cute, cute dresses!

Til next time, Big Easy. xo

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