Getting Around the Arts District
Located in the heart of New Orleans’ historic Arts District, the Lafayette Hotel is a delightful embarkation point for exploring New Orleans. It overlooks the St. Charles streetcar line, which takes guests to the Quarter or uptown to the Garden District, and art lovers can feast their eyes just a block from the hotel on Julia Street.
Home to the city’s famous “gallery row,” Julia Street houses more than a dozen fine galleries, which showcase top local and nationally known contemporary artists in fashionably refurbished warehouses. Also within easy walking distance: the Contemporary Arts Center and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Every month on First Saturday, Julia Street galleries and the museums premiere their latest exhibits by opening their doors to the public with lively wine receptions. And things really start rockin’ on three gala nights: White Linen Night (first Sunday in August); Jammin’ on Julia (first Sunday in May); and Art for Art’s Sake (first Saturday in October).
History buffs make a beeline for the nearby National World War II Museum, which also houses the American Sector restaurant and bar. And foodies have a moveable feast of fine restaurants throughout the Warehouse District, beginning with Desi Vega’s Steak House in the Lafayette.
Everybody knows Emeril’s, which is justly world-famous. Beloved by locals, Donald Link’s bistro-trattoria Herbsaint is a perpetual Top 10 winner, while Link’s nearby Cochon pays homage to his Cajun roots. Adventurous diners should also try Nina Compton’s Compere Lapin, which puts an inventive Caribbean spin on Creole cuisine.