New Orleans Holiday SeasonThe day after Thanksgiving my heartmate and I flew down to New Orleans to experience the city while it was all festooned for the Holiday season. The New Orleans Holiday Season is like no other city I’ve experienced at this time of year. Of course, the likes of London and New York City are always dressed up with beautiful decorations and lights, but there was something about NOLA’s beautiful Shotgun houses, Creole cottages and American townhouses decked out with wreaths, bows and glistening white lights that felt personable, relatable and charming. Click through after the jump to see my festive finds in the city!

New Orleans Holiday SeasonWhat: Celebration In The Oaks
Where: 7 Victory Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70124
Why: New Orleans’ benefits from milder winter weather which means it’s actually comfortable to walk around and take in all of the festive cheer and Holiday lights that adorn the city. Fun for all the family waits inside the gates of the City Park at the Celebration in the Oaks. The event is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and it’s a spectacular winter spectacle that stretches throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the oak groves, moss-covered cypresses and meandering lagoons. Children will be left enchanted by the two-mile train ride through the magical light displays and New Orleans’ iconic snowman Mr. Bingle!New Orleans Holiday SeasonColor and light delights at every turn while walking through the Celebration In The Oaks event.New Orleans Holiday SeasonWhat: Ace Hotel
Where: 600 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Why: The Ace Hotel New Orleans is in the Warehouse District of NOLA. Aside from the dark, cocooning and brooding interior that has a cozy, lived-in vibe, there are also five different places on site to eat a drink. From relaxed poolside bites through to luxury seafood. A great place to treat yourself on vacation!New Orleans Holiday SeasonWhat: Stumptown Coffee
Where: 610 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Why: Each morning I started my day with a soy cappuccino from Stumptown’s coffee bar that’s located inside the Ace Hotel. Velvety espresso, super friendly staff and delicious pastries made it a no-brainer!

What: The Company Burger
Where: 611 O’Keefe Ave C7, New Orleans, LA 70113
Why: My first meal in the city was here and it didn’t disappoint. I was so hungry when I arrived in the city after my morning flight from NYC, and this build-your-own burger was just what I needed. Fresh, quick, delicious, it’s the perfect on-the-go lunch spot.New Orleans Holiday SeasonWith the city’s streetcars all festooned with garlands and bows for the Holidays, it’s impossible not to feel festive as you make your way around the various districts. I mean, these are quite simply charm personified, aren’t they?!New Orleans Holiday SeasonAs I explored the historic French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, and Garden Disticts the unique architecture of each area was alive with color and light. In the French Quarter there were lots of Creole cottages festooned with garlands, ribbon and bows, while the Townhouses in the Garden District see homes dressed in white lights, sometimes from head to toe – including the trees and their trunks in the front yard!New Orleans Holiday SeasonClearly, all of this festive cheer made me smile!New Orleans Holiday SeasonWhat: Drip Affogato Bar
Where: 703 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70113
Why: Coffee and design lovers will rejoice at finding this place. Seriously, it was the best coffee I had the entire trip. Not only was the affogato a welcome refreshment from the relative heat (temps were in the 80s one day!) but the pared back and stylish interior is a visual delight, too.New Orleans Holiday SeasonWhat: Friend
Where: 600 Carondelet St #120, New Orleans, LA 70130
Why: Friend is the a lovely independent menswear store that’s perfect for picking up Holiday gifts, or just to treat yourself or a loved one! The colorful store is stocked with unfussy, casual apparel, that often has a focus on leisure and resort-inspired styles to reflect the easy-living ethos of NOLA. You’ll also find a small edit of books and music, too. I bought a tote bag designed by Alex Crane but could have easily bought much more!New Orleans Holiday SeasonWhat: District Donut
Where: 2209 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Why: Seriously, anywhere that sells both donuts and sliders is a must! My heartmate and I tried the strawberry, Nutella, glazed and vanilla donuts. The verdict? I recommend all four!

What: Hatti Sparks
Where: 939 Girod St #140, New Orleans, LA 70113
Why: If you are looking for a last-minute Holiday gift, or would like to find something special for that hard-to-buy-for/has everything kinda person, then Hatti Sparks is the solution to your gifting woes! The store features local, southern, independent brands and artists in a curated, boutique environment that’s bright, colorful and friendly. Expect hand poured candles, natural beauty products, charming stationery and one-of-a-kind clothing.New Orleans Holiday Season // Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Visit New Orleans; all views my own


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. I’ve been to NOLA countless times during the summer for vacations but had never considered it for a Holiday trip. You got this PNW gal thinkin’! 😉 Beautiful pics!

    • Rene' Castillo Reply

      Love It!!!! Will! You are so Talented & an Amazing Designer! Thank you for Inspiring! & Sharing!!! Love your Blog! & Instagram & Facebook!

  2. Tina Deacon Reply

    The bow in the first photograph is picture perfect Will! Thanks for making a gray Monday more enjoyable! xo

  3. Great post as always. Have many special memories in this city so it was fun to see it through your eyes. Glad you discovered Drip!

  4. As my children were growing up NOLA was our go to spot for Spring Break. We have visited many times since, including a New Years trip for my hubs and I and both children and their spouses about five years ago. As you found out for yourself, the city is spectacular at Christmas. But I really wish that you had been there to see all the fireworks over the river on New Year’s Eve. AMAZING! Seventy years ago this month my late in-laws honeymooned at the old Roosevelt Hotel and it still has some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations in town. My husband and I spent the weekend there a few years ago and toasted his parents with a Sazerac in it’s bar where they were invented. Don’t forget to go back again!

    • @Libbynan – Loved reading about your history with this beautiful city, Libbynan. Thanks for the tip about the NYE fireworks – a great reason to return! Happy Holidays!

  5. Ah Will, I just love how you always know how to take such great pictures and share the best tips! It is on my bucket list, the city of New Orleans. I hope we can visit it soon, we’re only waiting a year or two (and saving more money) so our two boys can travel with us too. 🙂
    Oh and congratulations on getting your green card! I saw that passing by on Facebook today, so proud of you and Toby!! I thought it was great news to read on my birthday today. 🙂 It is stupid or strange to say but it feels like I know you two. Or maybe it is just because you’re such a great couple and very likable. 😉
    Have a great day and happy holidays to the both of you,
    Hugs, Inge x

    • @Inge – Really kind of you to say! I think a trip out there with your family would be so lovely, and I hope you are able to go soon with the little ones! Thanks for the kind congratulations on our green card, too, we are thrilled! Merry Christmas to you all! x

    • @Carrie – Yay! I’m itching to go back during the summer now. I would totally recommend it at this time of year, SUPER festive and charming!

  6. Karen Simmons Reply

    Hello Will, saw your story on the OneKingsLane Weekly Click List! Welcome to Nola, yall ! I’m not sure how much time you allowed for your first trip – I say that because once the New Orleans bug bites, you’ll finding yourself dreaming about your next trip (its how I wound up moving here !) – be sure to check out Uptown and Magazine Street, creole cottages tucked between grand homes, churches, restaurants, and bars. And don’t forget Mardi Gras ! “… do you know what it means – to miss New Orleans …”

    • @Karen – Thanks for stopping by! I had a great time in the city and loved the Magazine St area – great design places around there. Happy Holidays!

  7. Karen Simmons Reply

    Oh, and boutiques – countless shops and boutiques on Magazine, how could I forget?!

  8. Joseph Godwin Jr Reply

    pls come to Africa someday.
    we’ve got lots of amazing Amazons and diverse cultures. have you ever had a ghetto experience??

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.