“Beignets,” Jazz, and Mardi Gras: What Makes NOLA Great?

"Beignets," Jazz, and Mardi Gras: What Makes NOLA Great?

Cover image via Flickr by Jeff Turner

Vibrant and culturally rich are some of the adjectives used to describe New Orleans, Louisiana (affectionately known as NOLA). With a history that goes back more than 400 years, Louisiana’s capital city is surprising and alluring. You’ll find the city on many lists of must-see places in the United States.

You don’t want to miss the top sites during your stay at a hotel in the Crescent City, but you also want to bring back a piece of NOLA with you that most people wouldn’t explore. So how do you have memories of your own New Orleans? In honor of the city’s multiplicity, mix and match the different influences in cuisine, music, and festivals.

Southern Comfort Food

Beignets and coffee in new orleans

Image via Flickr by Phil Roeder 

With a cuisine seasoned with Cajun, Creole, and French influences, NOLA’s food experiences go beyond a joyride for your gourmet taste buds. You can almost taste the world on your plate. Enjoy hearty Italian muffulettas and the puffy French-influenced pastries called beignets as well as red beans and rice with a home-cooked meal feel.

For an under-the-skin experience of the city, stay in the heart of the French Quarter and delight yourself with the city-influenced menu at the Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter hotel.

Jazz, Much More Than a Music Genre

jazz musicians in new orleans

Image via Flickr by Infrogmation 

The city is known as the birthplace of jazz, but to call it a music genre is an understatement. This musical style is born mostly from improvisation. Jazz doesn’t evolve but builds upon layers of influences with musicians contributing their own twists.

Jazz is the down-to-earth kind of music appreciated both by casual listeners and virtuosos. Jazz is New Orleans at its core.

Immerse yourself in the local culture at the Holiday Inn French Quarter-Chateau LeMoyne. You’ll have the soul of the city at your feet, ready for you to explore it on foot where jazz bars are abundant.

Events Pinning NOLA on the Map

Image via Flickr by Lars Plougmann 

Of course, Mardi Gras is the calling-card festival of the city. Who wouldn’t want to be in the middle of the action during this most famous festival of the year? Although in New Orleans you can expect the unexpected, the cultural events calendar fills with activity throughout the year.

The city’s rich culture shines through in a series of year-round festivals and food and culture events. Choose your favorite event or go with the flow.

The Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District is a great hotel choice to build up your festival mood, and it’s not too far from most of the venues where these events take place. In one of the most beautiful historic quarters of New Orleans, the hotel is a four-minute walk away from the iconic Coven House of the TV show “American Horror Story.”

Don’t Leave NOLA Without …

… leaving your heart in NOLA and bringing a piece of the city’s soul with you. It’s as simple as skipping the typical mass-made fridge magnets and investing in local products. Tour the French Market or the supermarkets for items to help you replicate the flavors of the cuisine and browse around the city to find local artists and craftspeople.     

This is a post written in collaboration with the IHG campaign.

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