Top 4 Reasons to Stay in the New Orleans Arts District
1. Great Museums and Art Galleries
It’s not called the Arts District for nothing. When you stay at the Lafayette, you’re just a stone’s throw away from Julia Street’s famous “Gallery Row” and two of the city’s finest art museums, as well as the world-renowned National World War II Museum (945 Magazine St.)
The first Saturday of every month, art-loving fashionistas crowd Julia Street from Camp St. to Tchoupitoula to catch the latest openings at top-tier galleries like Arthur Roger (432 Julia St.) and Jonathan Ferrara (400A Julia St.), where spirits flow freely and conversation is lively.
Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.)
A collective of creative Louisiana artists transformed an old brick warehouse into a marvel of modern architecture. Connected by a winding circular ramp, the Contemporary Arts Center features several levels of gallery spaces overlooking a central atrium. The CAC also serves as the central hub for the annual White Linen Night, held the first Saturday of every August, when hordes of linen-clad art lovers cavort throughout the District.
Ogden Museum of Contemporary Art (925 Camp St.)
Home to the world’s largest permanent collection of Southern art, ranging from mid-1800s masterpieces to outsider folk art to cutting edge contemporary art and photography, the Ogden mounts new exhibits throughout the year. It also hosts many special events, including the lively Ogden After Hours, a weekly Thursday evening showcase of musical artists.
2. Free Concerts and Festivals in Lafayette Square
When you’re staying at the Lafayette Hotel, you’re perched right above Lafayette Square, which hosts the free Wednesday at the Square spring concert series of great Louisiana musicians from March 20 to May 22.
Other free events happening in the Square throughout the year include the three-day Crescent City Blues & Barbecue Festival in mid-October, which features local blues masters like Little Freddy King and national headliners like the Allmann Betts Band.
Come the holiday season, Lafayette Square’s LUNA Fête in mid-December bathes Gallier Hall in dazzling artist-created light shows complete with sound installations and motion graphics. View the spectacular display for free in and around the Square, or spring for $50 tickets to watch it from a heated VIP oasis that includes complementary cocktails, small bites and dedicated restrooms.
3. Easy Access to the French Quarter, Plus a Place to Retreat
It’s practically de rigeur for visitors to New Orleans to spend a lot of time exploring the nooks and crannies of the French Quarter, and for good reason. That historic 78-square-block area is the city’s crown jewel, and one of the best places in the world to eat, drink and be merry.
But even during the off-season, the crowds in and around Bourbon St. can get to be a little much, and amid the madness of Mardi Gras season you may well need a place to retreat.
When you’re staying at the Lafayette Hotel, you have the best of both worlds. You’re just a few blocks from the Quarter, within easy walking district to many of its popular attractions, from Galatoire’s and Brennan’s to the Acme Oyster House and House of Blues. And when you’re ready to retire, you don’t have to fight the crowds to make your way to your hotel. Just stroll, pedi-cab or use your favorite ride share service to get back to the Lafayette, where your comfy bed awaits.
4. The St. Charles Streetcar Whisks You to the Garden District & Beyond
Ready to rise and shine? Step outside the Lafayette, hop the historic St. Charles Streetcar and take in the views from its open air windows as you roll uptown. You’ll pass majestic live oaks and stately mansions along the way, as well as the lush greenery of Audubon Park and classic stone campus of Loyola University if you take it to the end of the line, where you might want to grab breakfast at the legendary Camelia Grill.
To jump on and off whenever you want, buy a 1-Day ($3), 3-Day ($9) or 5-Day Jazzy Pass online. Or fill your pockets with quarters and singles to pay the $1.25 one-way fare; drivers don’t make change.