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Baker's Dozen – 13 of the Best Places to Visit in the Big Easy

Women's Initiative Newsletter

It isn't hard to find fun and entertainment in New Orleans, whether you're checking out a great jazz band or indulging in delicious Creole or Cajun cuisine. Several of our women attorneys in our New Orleans office, located on St. Charles Avenue just minutes from the French Quarter, offer a great Baker's Dozen of places to visit and things to do in New Orleans, especially if you're visiting for the holidays. Be sure to also check out our New Orleans Restaurant Guide for a list of the best places to try while you're in town.

1. If you enjoy wine and live music, check out the super funky Bywater hideout, Bacchanal Wine. Enter the old world wine shop and buy a bottle (or two) and then venture out back onto a sprawling, lush patio complete with mismatched tables and chairs sprinkled around a stage where local jazz performers play nightly. It's perfect for getting a group of friends together and hanging out in a laid-back kind of way. Ask for a cheese plate or any of the other delicious chef-inspired dishes (served on paper plates so not to be too pretentious). Trust me, there is no place like it in the city.

2. If you happen to be here around the holidays, hop on a streetcar and ride it uptown to see the mansions decorated with holiday lights. If you are lucky, you might get on a car with gospel carolers. It is impossible to not get into the Christmas spirit after riding in a streetcar full of holiday harmony.

3. Although I don't recommend Bourbon Street, if you wind up there, be sure to dip into Fritzel's European Jazz Pub. It has live music nightly by local artists with pews along the stage so that the seating is up close and personal.

- Lacey Rochester, Associate

4. One of my favorite New Orleans holiday traditions is Caroling in Jackson Square. The event is free of charge and brings natives and tourists alike together in the heart of the French Quarter on Sunday the week before Christmas (December 17 this year). You could also attend a Réveillon meal either before or after the caroling. A New Orleans Creole dining experience that dates back to the mid-1800s, the Creoles celebrated the start of Christmas with a big family meal – a Réveillon – when they returned home from midnight mass. Today the best restaurants in town serve up decadent four-course holiday meals in the spirit of this classic tradition.

- Ashley Arnold, Associate

5. Check the concert schedules for the Saenger Theater. They offer at least a dozen performances annually, and many are family-friendly.

6. Roulaison Distilling Co has amazing rum tours and tasting events.

7. If you come with children, stop by the Louisiana Children's Museum, the Audubon Zoo, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and/or the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. For older kids and history buffs, The National World War II Museum is pretty neat.

- Katie L. Dysart, Shareholder

8. The Ritz-Carlton always dresses itself up well for the holidays! Last year, they made an amazing gingerbread house that you could walk through.

9. A fairly new tradition that started a few years ago is the lighting of Convention Center Boulevard and Fulton Street. There is fake snow on Fulton Street, and they light up the entire area with figurines. It's a great event for kids.

- Colleen C. Jarrott, Of Counsel

10. Check out Frenchmen Street for music, not to mention Maple Leaf Bar for the Rebirth Brass Band on Tuesday nights and The Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps Roule on Thursday nights. Take the street car uptown to see spectacular decorated homes, or check out the Garden District's Holiday Home Tour. I also love antiquing on Magazine Street Uptown.

11. For food and libations, Domilise's Po-boys and Bar is the best place for shrimp and oyster po-boys. The new hip sandwich place written up by Bon Appétit is Turkey and the Wolf. I also love Compère Lapin, Cava, Gautreau's and Clancy's. Quintessential New Orleans is Commander's Palace at Christmastime, especially for the jazz brunch. Galatoire's is great for lunch in the French Quarter. Have drinks in the Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone, or stop in at Domenica. Go to Napoleon House for a Pimm's Cup or Sazerac. I like Parkway Bakery and Tavern for sandwiches, and stop at Angelo Brocato for coffee and Italian pastries. Finally, don't forget the homemade peppermint ice cream sandwich at The Creole Creamery on Prytania Street.

- Danielle Trostorff, Shareholder

12. I love to attend Celebration in the Oaks at City Park. It has been around for about 30 years and has grown into a wonderful light and sound display, complete with shooting stars, manger scenes and my favorite, the Cajun Christmas! The rose garden outside the Pavilion of the Two Sisters is stunning when lit up. You might feel compelled to borrow a child to ride on the carousel, but don't let the lack of a young person keep you from enjoying the train ride throughout the park. We finish our tour with dinner at Ralph's on the Park, but other options dot Esplanade Avenue including Café Degas, Sante Fe, and Lola's. After all, who comes to New Orleans without eating!

13. My all-time favorite thing to do during the holidays in New Orleans is to walk through the Waldorf Wonderland Lobby in The Roosevelt. As a child we went to DH Holmes to see Santa Claus in our Christmas finest and then walked the block or so to The Roosevelt to wander and "ooh and ahh" at the lobby covered in (New Orleans-style) snow. It was an absolute wonderland to New Orleans children who never got to see the real stuff! Although there is no DH Holmes anymore, I still visit The Roosevelt lobby every year. Now, of course, I just stop for a drink in one of the bars. Enjoy a Sazerac in The Sazerac Bar, or try any of the specialty drinks featured on the holiday cocktails list – the cocktails are different every year! You can also take the little ones for Teddy Bear Tea.

- Jan M. Hayden, Shareholder

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