The 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!
What: 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!Color and light delights at every turn while walking through the Celebration In The Oaks event.What: 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!What: 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.With 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?!As 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!Clearly, all of this festive cheer made me smile!What: 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.What: 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!What: 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. // Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Visit New Orleans; all views my own