Fresh honeysuckle is permeating my senses each step I take through the beautiful, serene backside of the French Quarter. I honestly don’t remember it smelling this heavenly in years past, but the past few days as I wander around the elusive streets of the Quarter I am awestruck by the bright yellow scent of spring. This may well be my absolute favorite time of year because the entire city of New Orleans is booming with great happenings and the weather is perfectly fabulous! There are, in my humble opinion, some can’t miss events/experiences occurring this and every spring. Check them out and try to incorporate some into your travel plans if you are visiting or your weekend plans if you are a local. You don’t want to miss these, I promise!
1. French Quarter Festival- Our guide is in-the-works, but in the meantime, get this event on your calendar. It is the best free festival we have to offer and it goes on throughout the entire French Quarter. My opinion is that this shows New Orleans at its finest promoting both fantastic music and local food. Want more information on how to do this fest like a champ? See our recommendations.
2. NOWFE- Each year throughout Memorial Day week/weekend, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience draws foodies and oenophiles alike with four days of varying activities. Highlights include the Vintner dinners and the Royal Street Stroll which are on Wednesday and Thursday, May 25 and 26, respectively. Note: NOWFE is not to be confused with the much less inspiring French Quarter Wine Festival which as you may recall we addressed a couple of months ago.
3. Jazz Fest- ‘nough said!!!
4. Picnic in City Park, Jackson Square, or pretty much anywhere in the city. For detailed information see our previous post on all things PICNIC.
5. Bayou Boogaloo along the bank of Bayou St. John. this festival pays tribute to all things Mid-City. There’ll be great food, great music and lots of cool, local art for purchase at this weekend long free festival. Bring a blanket, your favorite festival hat and your boogie shoes.
6. Sunset strolls through the streets of the Quarter. For God’s sake, get the hell off of Bourbon Street. Consider a walk though the back-side of the quarter, which is one of the best kept secrets New Orleans offers. Try Governor Nicholls, Ursuline, or Barracks. Don’t miss Orleans Ave. at sunset where the view toward the Cathedral and Armstrong Park alike are breathtaking.
7. Outdoor dining- the possibilities are endless. Café Amelie, Green Goddess, Dante’s, Mat and Naddie’s, Iris, Bayona, Bacchanal, or Martinique, just to name a few. Whether your vice is brunch, lunch, or dinner get outside and soak up some sun. It’s totally European and you’ll feel hipper for doing-so.
8. Sno-balls- Whether your favorite is Hansen’s, Sal’s, Plum Street or Pandora’s, one thing for sure is that you and everyone else in New Orleans will be enjoying some sno-ball goodness this spring and summer!
9. Wednesdays at the Square- the lineup starts next week! Don’t miss these free outdoor concerts in Lafayette Square on Wednesday evenings. The fun starts next Wednesday, March 30 with the Radiators and includes Trombone Shorty, Galactic, and much, much more this spring.
10. Hogs for the Cause- Watch out French Quarter and Jazz Fest, because Hogs is on your tail… The one-day event goes down this Saturday in City Park and combines an amazing music lineup with a huge pork cook off throw down. Couple that with the fact that this is to help defray costs for families of children with brain cancer and it’s a must-do event. More details here.
Honorable Mention goes to Greek Fest which occurs every year over the Memorial Day weekend. Consider an evening canoe-paddle along Bayou St. John after you sample various delicious Greek eats.
Let me know what I missed in my top 10. What are your must-haves for a beautiful New Orleans spring?