Everyone’s looking for safe ways to leave the home and enjoy some fall sight-seeing, and whether you choose a weekend trip to a nearby town or simply meander your way to New Orleans’ downtown, the sights and sounds of the Gulf South await. This month, enjoy outdoor breezes, indoor luxuries, or adventures that connect you with the rich history of the region. There’s a weekend trip well suited to deliver a healthy dose of fun and escape for travelers of all ages and interests among the following travel destinations.

Meanwhile, some weekends are perfect for lounging at home, heading to a vacation property, or doing a little home improvement. Included also in our guide to Fall Weekends are properties and home professionals that may offer the change you seek for your living situation.

Weekends are also perfect for wining and dining, and New Orleans vibrant restaurant scene is alive and well. Whether dining in or ordering take-out, the rich flavors offered across local menus are sure to make your taste buds smile. Satisfy your appetite this fall by supporting the city’s diverse local restaurants.

Travel Destinations & Resources

AAA 24/7 Roadside Assistance

Now is the perfect time to dream about your future road trip escape. When the time is right and you’re ready to jump in the car, you can make sure your road trip stays on track with the peace of mind that accompanies AAA 24/7 Roadside Assistance. AAA covers you in any car, SUV, or pick-up truck even if you’re not the driver. AAA provides members with free towing, free tire change, free lock-out assistance, free minor mechanical first aid, free jump start, and free delivery of emergency fuel.

For a limited time, readers of New Orleans Magazine can join AAA for only $52 and get two household members free (promo code 175622). Current AAA members can add two new household members free (promo code 175624). For more details, see AAA’s ad in this issue, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/SaveOffer. Join AAA today.

Vermilion Parish

A warm welcome and affordable family fun awaits you in Louisiana’s Vermilion Parish. Here, you’ll feast on seafood straight from the Gulf waters or on Cajun favorites made just like grandma prepared. From over-stuffed poboys and raw oysters to fresh boiled seafood, there’s always a plate waiting for you.

The communities of Delcambre, Erath, Abbeville, Kaplan and Gueydan are linked by the Cajun Corridor that crosses the parish to reveal peaceful towns, cattle, rice and sugarcane farms, bayous, historical attractions, and more. Travel south along Hwy. 82 and find salt and freshwater marshes teeming with wildlife and some of the best birding
in America.

Whether it’s shrimp, ducks, flowers or eggs—just a few of Vermilion Parish’s festival focuses—these communities celebrate with great music, flavorful food, and plenty of dancing.  Vermilion Parish is located just two hours from New Orleans, so take the easy jaunt and join the fun.

Call 337-898-6600 or visit mostcajun.com to discover more ways to experience “The Most Cajun Place on Earth!”

Ritz-Carlton New Orleans

Spend a staycation in New Orleans this fall and experience “Paris without the Jetlag.”  The world-renowned French Quarter offers streets lined with art and antique galleries, patisseries, and award-winning cuisine to enjoy al fresco. Bienvenue en Nouvelle Orleans, where The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans currently offers deluxe accommodations, two specialty coffees (non-alcoholic), beignets for two, and savings on valet parking now through December 27, 2020. Now is the time to rediscover how charming and romantic the French Quarter can be.

Begin planning your stay in the luxurious accommodations of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. The hotel’s stunning third-floor courtyard will reopen after a thorough refresh at the end of September, just in time for dining and imbibing in the cool breezes of a Southern fall.

For more details, full terms and conditions of the Paris Without the Jetlag package, and to book your stay, visit ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/neworleans or call 504-524-1331. 

Ritz Carlton Hotel
Ritz Carlton Hotel

Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins

A visit to the Vidalia/Natchez area is incomplete without experiencing all facets of the Delta lifestyle: gracious town homes of the Natchez elite and the cottonfields that created the area’s wealth.  Explore Louisiana history and music with an experience unlike any classroom— take an unforgettable trip to Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins, a Rand McNally “Must-See Site.”

From now through mid-November, the cotton harvest is underway, a sight to see. Visitors view an impressive, informative video before touring the computerized gin. An interactive, guided display illustrates the products derived from cotton and cottonseed, world production, and trivia facts. Call 318-757-2453 for times and dates to verify the modern gin operation.

Additionally, the 1800-acre working plantation and computerized cotton gin offers a number of individual tours and specialty group tours involving professional videos, voices of former slaves, trials and triumphs of freedom, music originating in the cotton fields, and today’s high-tech operation. Guided tours include eight of the 19 historical buildings on site, including a National Register steam cotton gin, furnished cabins, a hand-hewn church, and an authentic plantation store. 

For information, visit FrogmorePlantation.com.

St. Joseph

Throughout October, the historic property of St. Joseph offers its annual, sought-after “Mourning Tour,” which features the grieving and funeral customs and rituals of 18th- and 19th-century Creole Louisiana. The house will be “dressed in full deep mourning,” according to the old prescribed protocol of mourning.

Take a somber walk through time and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of those who have called St.  Joseph home. Learn about the Priestly family and grandson H. H. Richardson, who became one of America’s most important 19th-century architects. Get to know Valcour Aime, known as “The Louis XIV of Louisiana,” and his two daughters, Felicite and Josephine, to whom Valcour gave St. Joseph and neighboring Felicity. Hear the stories of the enslaved that lived here and the work they did.

View the vast sugarcane farm with 1,000+ acres planted and learn about this thriving Louisiana industry. Additionally, see where scenes from films such as 12 Years a Slave, All The King’s Men, Skeleton Key, and four-time Oscar nominee Mudbound were filmed.

For information, visit StJosephPlantation.com or call 225-265-4078. CDC-advised precautions are being taken for guest safety.

Premier Island Management Group

Make the most of the fall season with an escape to Pensacola Beach, Florida, and the properties of Premier Island Management Group. Whether you’re purely on vacation or looking for a change of scenery as you work—or school—remotely, Premier Island’s Pensacola properties will provide the perfect balance of indulgence, focus, natural beauty, and adventure.

Situated just three hours outside of New Orleans along the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Island National Seashore, this collection of vacation rentals includes beach homes, condos, and the acclaimed skyhomes of Portofino Island Resort. Enjoy beach views while you work, and once you power down the lap-top, explore the Santa Rosa Sound on a kayak or paddleboard, surf the emerald green waters of the Gulf, soar through the sky under a parasail, or board Portofino I and watch curious dolphins play in the water.

Guests of all ages enjoy the properties of Premier Island. Make the most of your ability to work or learn from anywhere. Find your home away from home today at PremierIsland.com or call 866-966-1420.

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort

It’s fall, y’all—and football season! Visit the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort to experience “The New Way to Bet.” Voted Best Sportsbook two years in a row by Casino Player Magazine, the Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook offers the best sports betting on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Bet all games 24/7 at Scarlet Pearl’s self-service kiosks or at the counter with the best sportsbook team on the Gulf Coast. The kiosks also offer in-play betting, so you can wager on every play. Catch every NFL game on 23 HD screens surrounding an astounding 144-square foot entertainment screen all while playing your favorite video poker game.

Treat yourself to an ultimate getaway at Scarlet Pearl’s luxurious hotel, voted “Favorite Casino Resort to Vacation At” by Casino Player Magazine. With breathtaking views, superior service, and bathrooms that feel more like a spa, Scarlet Pearl has taken the definition of luxury into the clouds. Book your next stay at ScarletPearlCasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC.

Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens

Relax in luxury with a fall trip to beautiful Natchez, Mississippi, and the Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens. Whether a romantic getaway or a much-needed weekend escape, this renowned destination will delight the senses. A National Historic Landmark, the Inn offers guests gracious hospitality, luxury lodging, excellent cuisine, historic tours, and a colorful garden set across 26 acres. Enjoy catch-and-release fishing along with birdwatching, croquet, and strolling the grounds.

The early 19th-century mansion welcomes guests to walk into history with an ambiance reminiscent of a bygone age and period-furnished rooms and suites—with carefully integrated modern comforts—available in the main house or in any of the seven outbuildings. All guest rooms and suites have private baths, and some include a spa tub and a fireplace. In the evening, enjoy a mint julep or cocktail in the Quitman Study or Lounge with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner at the inn’s award-winning Restaurant 1818.

For a Halloween fright, visit the small onsite cemetery with the graves of the original owners who died of yellow fever. Rooms are currently available Thursday through Saturday nights. To reserve your stay, visit monmouthhistoricinn.com.

Home & Living

Big Bay Lake

Big Bay Lake is a one-of-a-kind planned community on one of Mississippi’s largest private recreational lakes. Located just outside of Hattiesburg, and only 90 minutes from New Orleans, Big Bay Lake blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Waterfront homesites are available for building custom homes and retreats starting at $70,000 and several resale homes are usually available for immediate purchase. Both the homes and homesites within this community provide unique opportunities to create the perfect home or weekend getaway.

It’s time to relax, unplug, make memories and create new traditions at Big Bay Lake. Whether you are a boating or fishing enthusiast or just a family who loves to make a big splash, Big Bay Lake is simply about the lure of the water. Come enjoy sun-kissed, fun-filled days at Big Bay Lake, where the little things make life…“Big!”  Call for a boat tour today at 877-4BIG-BAY or visit bigbaylake.com.

Lumina Apartments

Set in vibrant and stylish Mid-City and just steps away from the Lafitte Greenway, Lumina Apartments offers luxurious and spacious living spaces with sleek, modern amenities. Both one- and two-bedroom floor plans feature high ceilings and contemporary finishes, with designer touches including vinyl plank floors, spacious walk-in closets, pendant lighting and granite countertops.

Got a roommate? The Lumina offers the space you need—huge bedrooms with walk-in closets and double-hung shelves and chef-inspired kitchen with a custom designed table make Lumina your best choice for sharing costs without sacrificing space or style. Spread out even more by grabbing your laptop and heading to the posh clubroom, or work in the lounge with free Starbucks coffee. A resort-inspired pool and onsite 24-hour gym add to the luxury apartment allure.

With popular restaurants and shops just a short walk away, Lumina is nestled in the heart of a thriving and active community. For more information and to set up an in-person or virtual tour, visit LuminaMidCity.com or call 504-608-5778. Lumina is currently offering one month free with a 13-month lease.

The Delaneaux Apartments

All the luxury and amenities of Mid-City’s Lumina are now available in the Lower Garden District with The Delaneaux Apartments. This modern living community is designed to cater to your busy schedule and to ensure comfort, convenience, and relaxation when you return home.

Chef-inspired kitchens feature sleek, stainless steel appliances and custom island dining tables, and each floor plan is accented with contemporary finishes that set these spaces above all the rest. Amenities unique to The Delaneaux include a movie theater, a grand two-story clubroom and a resort-inspired pool, allowing residents to savor the rich history of their neighborhood whether inside their apartments or spending time with neighbors in communal spaces.

The elegance of these spaces combines the beauty, distinction, and originality that make New Orleans an exceptional place to live with modern comforts and exquisite touches that create an unrivaled residential experience. For more information or to sign up for the VIP waiting list, call 504-841-9900 or email delaneauxmgr@greystar.com today. The Delaneaux is currently offering one month free with a 13-month lease.

Southern Refinishing

With Southern Refinishing, you don’t get a contractor—you get a family. Southern Refinishing offers more than 40 years of experience in bathroom and kitchen reglazing projects for customers in the Gulf South. In addition to saving homeowners the cost of replacing their bathroom and kitchen fixtures, the company’s goal is to make every customer’s experience as comfortable and painless as possible. They know how stressful it can be to have a contractor disrupting your personal space, so the company works to minimize disruption throughout the remodeling process.

From tile walls, countertops, and sinks to fiberglass and acrylic tub repairs and tub/shower conversions to clawfoot tubs, Southern Refinishing has the equipment and expertise to work with any fixture. A local New Orleans company, Southern Refinishing is experienced with both small and large jobs, from residential homes to commercial projects such as hotels. Get a customized quote today by calling 504-348-1770. Visit SouthernRefinishing.com for a gallery of projects and additional information.

Wining & Dining


Located at 701 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District, Briquette is a celebrated seafood destination from restaurateur Anna Tusa, Owner of New Orleans Creole Cookery. With Briquette, Tusa puts seafood and contemporary coastal cuisine at the center of the dining experience. As the name indicates, the restaurant features a large charcoal grill to highlight the fresh coastal flavors. The menu emphasizes a variety of fresh fish and seafood, including whole grilled fish. Other flavorful menu items include aged beef, pastas, pork, and more. The bar at Briquette features a curated wine list to accompany the menu along with specialty, hand-crafted cocktails with fresh local ingredients.

Add delicious food to your summer enjoyment and spend some time with family and friends at Briquette. Following the stay-at-home orders, Briquette has been cleaned by Covid Cleaning using the PurTec System, which kills the virus up to 90 days. The restaurant is following all social distancing guidelines, and all staff are masked and gloved.

Briquette is open Thursday – Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information and reservations, visit Briquette online at Briquette-nola.com or on Facebook.

New Orleans Creole Cookery

Celebrate fall this year with a return to New Orleans’ favorite traditions: weekend brunch and daily happy hour. Join friends and family in the heart of the French Quarter at New Orleans Creole Cookery, where you can enjoy the breeze from its beautiful courtyard or settle into its traditional dining room.

The restaurant provides the perfect setting for a cold beverage and fresh oysters—happy hour makes the pairing even easier (3 to 6 p.m. daily) and features delicious, succulent char-grilled oysters accompanied by a variety of drink specials. On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch is back at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Highlights include excellent Bloody Mary selections, shrimp and grits, crispy chicken and waffles, and signature Gator Hash.

New Orleans Creole Cookery is everything you love about New Orleans in a setting to fit every occasion. Famous for its authentic Creole fare and the time-honored classics such as Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Crawfish Etouffee, and Snapper Pontchartrain,
the restaurant is also perfect for a quick snack or a leisurely weekend feast.

Learn more at NewOrleansCreoleCookery.com. Call 504-524-9632 for reservations.

Red Gravy

After nearly 10 years at its beloved, quaint downtown location, Red Gravy is settling in this fall to its new Uptown home on Magazine Street. Regulars and visitors will benefit from the larger space, which adds more seating with a 12-seat bar and 20-seat patio in addition to its indoor dining room. Along with the move comes a number of updates, including dinner service Wednesday through Saturday that highlights some of the best of Owner Roseann Melisi Rostoker’s handed-down Italian recipes: handmade pasta and gnocchi, homemade ravioli, and flavor-rich favorites like lasagna and spaghetti and meatball. Dinner will also feature new items like salumi and pretzels or mussels and bracciole. Cannoli and Roseann’s well-known zeppoles are a few go-tos on the dessert menu.

Red Gravy’s top-ranked brunch (offered Saturday and Sunday) put the restaurant on the map, and much of the brunch menu remains untouched. Roseann’s signature brunch dishes like Cannoli Pancakes and Breakfast Spaghetti pair perfectly with eye openers like mimosas and the restaurant’s popular Witch’s Brew coffee cocktail.

Red Gravy is now located at 4206 Magazine Street, between Milan and Gen. Pershing. For more information and reservations, visit redgravycafe.com or call 504-561-8844.