Everyone has felt the relief a Friday can bring, and even if you’re a weekend worker, there’s something about the energy of the weekend that helps let off the steam of the week. As October helps usher in cooler temperatures, fall weekends can be some of the most rewarding times of the year. Whether you like to spend your weekends checking out the hottest new restaurants or working on the home or yard, there are countless ways to both unwind and be productive Friday through Sunday. Taking informative and entertaining tours, checking in to luxury hotels, traveling to regional festivals, and visiting one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques are just a few of the ways you can take advantage of weekends in fall across Louisiana and beyond. Prefer a little home improvement? There are also plenty of ways to spruce up the indoors or your outdoor living space for other weekends spent relaxing with friends and family.
Travel & Entertainment
These are the tours you’ve heard about—of all the companies offering tours in the city, Haunted History is the company chosen by the Travel Channel as “New Orleans #1 Tour Company…a must do!”
According to owner Sidney Smith, New Orleans is considered to be the most haunted city in North America. On the daily and nightly excursions with Haunted History, you’ll find out why. Haunted History is the company that literally wrote the book on this subject; New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, & Vampires has been a local best seller for over 20 years and details many of the stories featured on Haunted History tours.
Haunted History offers eight unique tour options, including a twice-nightly bus tour that takes participants outside the French Quarter to hear ghost stories and visit cemeteries in other parts of the city. For complete information, visit HauntedHistoryTours.com or call 504-861-2727.
Fall is the perfect time to head to the beach for Harvest Wine & Food Festival. Produced by Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, this lavish event provides attendees the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s finest wine and culinary selections while enjoying the beautiful beach town of WaterColor, Florida during the last weekend in October.
Each event during the three-day, premier festival is tailored to fit the different tastes and preferences of wine and food aficionados, kicking off with four intimate Celebrity Winemaker Dinners on Thursday, October 24. Friday’s Al Fresco Reserve Tasting provides patrons a selection of library wines featuring rare vintages not easily accessible to the average consumer, while Saturday’s Grand Tasting main event highlights harvest season at the beach. Large seafood, barbecue, and provisional stations manned by award-winning celebrity chefs from across the southeast and supplemented by some of the South Walton’s most iconic restaurants are combined with tasting stations featuring over 250 wines, beer, and spirits.
Visit HarvestWineandFood.com for information on the 2019 line-up and to purchase tickets.
At Henderson Park Inn, an adults-only, gulf-front boutique hotel in Destin, Florida, privacy seekers will find the ultimate sanctuary for rest, relaxation, and romance. With serenity and style, the Inn boasts intimate rooms, luxury amenities, and gulf-front terraces, as well as its newest Serenity Suite, perfect for weddings and honeymoons. Enjoy complimentary beach chairs/umbrellas, bicycles, chef’s gourmet breakfast, picnic-style boxed lunches, happy hour drinks at the “Tiki” bar, as well as wine, chocolates, and roses upon arrival.
Dine on property in the evening at Beach Walk Café, Destin’s only fine dining located directly on the Gulf with romantic, outdoor dining available. Now featuring Executive Chef Daniel Peters, Beach Walk Café will announce special events and tastings this fall.
Looking for more activities than relaxing at the beach? The Inn’s guests have access to all the amenities next door at the Inn’s sister property, The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort. Amenities include a full-service spa, fitness center, and two beautiful pools.
Visit HendersonParkInn.com or call 866-398-4432 for more information.
It’s fall, y’all—and football season! Visit the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort to experience “The New Way to Bet.” Voted Best Sportsbook by Casino Player Magazine, DraftKings at Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook offers the best sports betting on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Place a bet on your favorite teams on one of several self-service kiosks. They are available 24/7 and accept wagers for as little as $2.00. The kiosks also offer in-play betting. Catch every NFL game on 23 HD screens surrounding an astounding 144-squarefoot entertainment screen all while playing your favorite video poker game and enjoying a bite to eat.
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.
There’s nothing like the feeling of jumping in the car and embarking on a long-awaited road trip. If there’s one thing that could ruin your journey, it’s unexpected car trouble. Fortunately, 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 $50 and get a second household member free (promo code 175502). Current AAA members can add one new household member free (promo code 175504). For more details, see AAA’s ad in this issue, visit your local AAA branch, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/ValueOffer. Join AAA today.
From October 1 through November 3, historic St. Joseph Plantation 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.
Every weekend through November 3, St. Joseph Plantation features live actors portraying some of St. Joseph’s long-ago residents and the mourning customs they followed. Both educational and entertaining, these live re-enactments include portrayals of Dr. Cazemir Bernard Mericq and Josephine Aime Ferry who lived at St. Joseph on separate occasions.
Regular tours are now offered seven days a week, and the guided mansion tour is one hour followed by a self-guided grounds tour. Photography of the interior is welcomed. The ground floor and gift shop are handicap accessible. For more information on St. Joseph Plantation, tours, and private events, visit StJosephPlantation.com or call 225-265-4078.
Fall in love on Alabama’s beaches—with 32 miles of sugar-white sand beaches, turquoise waters as far as the eyes can see, and the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever witnessed, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer the ideal backdrop for a romantic getaway. Whether you’re a low-key couple looking for long walks on the beach, spa outings, and glasses of wine as the sun goes down or active adventurers wanting to spend your day biking, ziplining or deep-sea fishing, this destination offers all that and more.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also offer a plethora of accommodations to choose from, including cozy, colorful beach houses, hi-rise condos with countless amenities, and beachfront full-service resorts. From young couples to those young at heart, Alabama’s beaches provide a multitude of ways for you to reconnect and rekindle the flame with the one you love. To learn more about the destination, visit GulfShores.com or call 877-341-2400.
New Orleans Opera Association is celebrating its 77th season this year and is proud to continue the legacy of producing opera in America’s First City of Opera. The tradition began when Andre Getry’s Sylvain premiered in New Orleans on April 22, 1796.
The 2019-2020 New Orleans Opera season includes Carmen, a story of desire, power and obsession; The Falling and The Rising, a story of service, sacrifice, and connection inside uncertainty; Joan of Arc, beautiful music with the story of New Orleans’ beloved Saint; Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, an exploration of the tormented jazz great and bebop innovator, and The Magic Flute, a popular fairy-tale for the entire family.
The NOOA Education wing features many fun events throughout the year for both children and adults with Students Night Out, Opera Nouvelle, in-school performances and programming, Opera on Tap and The Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition.
For more information, contact 504-529-3000 or go to NewOrleansOpera.org.
Natchitoches, Louisiana, established in 1714 and the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase, is a premiere holiday destination for families and friends. Beginning November 23, 2019, Natchitoches will light up the downtown historic district with thousands of twinkling lights, more than 100 lighted displays along Cane River Lake, and fireworks every Saturday. The lights will remain lit through January 6, 2020.
During the more than six weeks of the Christmas Festival season, visitors will find home tours, live entertainment, theatrical performances, and more. On Saturday, December 7, Natchitoches will celebrate its 93rd Annual Christmas Festival with the Festival of Lights Parade, music on the Riverbank Stage, and, of course, fireworks over Cane River Lake. New to this season’s calendar is the Light the Way 5K and the return of the Lighted Boat Parade, both the weekend of December 13-14, 2019.
For more information, call 1-800-259-1714 or visit natchitoches.com.
Fall is all about enjoying life on the Mississippi in Vicksburg. With special events on the Old Mississippi River Bridge like the Over the River Run, Bricks and Spokes Bike Ride, and Supper on the Sip, Vicksburg has one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t soon forget.
If you are in search of the elusive sound of the Mississippi Delta Blues, you will find it in Vicksburg. Learn American history by visiting the site of the defining battle of America’s defining war at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Enjoy the southern charm of Vicksburg by strolling the brick-paved streets of its historic downtown. Visit eclectic boutiques, art galleries, and various eateries featuring Southern specialties. Enjoy sweeping views of the mighty Mississippi River and some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable.
Relax—it all runs on river time! For more to see and do in Vicksburg, go to VisitVicksburg.com or call 1-800-221-3536.
An iconic French Quarter location for theater and entertainment, Le Petit Theatre was established just over a century ago in 1916. Today, its legacy continues with exciting productions running year-round just steps from Jackson Square.
The 2019-2020 season premiers October 4 with Noises Off, a joyfully out-of-control British play-within-a-play. Following A Christmas Carol, presented throughout the holiday season, January brings Something Rotten!, a play New York Magazine called “The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon. Squared!” Spring kicks off with August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, an intimate story about a brother and sister struggling over how to claim their family’s legacy and also free themselves of the past. April brings Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, the first part of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Gay Fantasia on National Themes, considered one of the best plays of the 20th century. From June 5-21, experience A Night With Janis Joplin, a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences—icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith.
For tickets and information, visit LePetitTheatre.com or call the box office at 504-522-2081 ext. 1.
Located in the heart of Champions Square, club XLIV is the perfect venue to host your next event. Non-profit fundraising events receive a rental discount and other special offerings.
“In addition to being a beautiful event space in an ideal location, we’ve always had a positive experience with the event staff at SMG,” says Caroline Bonaventure with the Camp Tiger Benefit. “They’re very accommodating with any requests we have and have numerous personnel on site the day of to help with anything we need.”
Put a modern twist on classic New Orleans just steps away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. From high-end furnishings and New Orleans-inspired décor to illuminated bars and audio/video technology, club XLIV has everything to make your next event extraordinary.
Let SMG and club XLIV put the “fun” in your next fundraiser. For booking information, please contact clubXLIVsales@smgneworleans.com or call 504-587-3663.
This All Saints Day and All Souls Day (November 1st and 2nd), many across New Orleans and the world will celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” a time to honor ancestors and show gratitude for the protection and guidance they offer throughout the year. On those two days (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), Spirit of Avant-Garde welcomes the general public for a free, at-your-leisure event to honor your ancestors in a special way. Alters will be available for visitors who wish to light a candle or leave a gift for loved ones who have crossed over. Additionally, a free sugar skull decorating station will be available for those wanting to personalize a gift for the alter or a memento to take home. Complimentary “Bread for the Dead,” a fresh-baked anise and citrus treat, will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
Throughout the year, Spirit of Avant-Garde offers tarot, palm, tealeaf readings, washes, and more. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 504-319-3071. Spirit of Avante-Garde is located at 533 Saint Louis Street. Visit @avantegardespiritof on Instagram and Facebook.
At Love Swimming Swim School, students of all ages are taught by a team of expert adult instructors who are passionate about teaching. Through safe, fun, and small classes, Love Swimming strives to provide swimmers with a strong foundation of love and respect for the water. Love Swimming’s teachers motivate individuals to explore their abilities beyond their fears and expectations.
With an indoor facility, Love Swimming Swim School never gets rained out, and their heated pools create a comfortable learning environment where swimmers can get right to swimming. This comfort is key to accelerating the learning process and developing strong safety skills that will last a lifetime.
The organization believes swimming is the best exercise for babies, kids, and adults and offers classes for ages six months to adult. Begin your swimming adventures for both fun and exercise by starting lessons now. Call 504-891-4662 or visit LoveSwimming.com.
The Alder Hotel Uptown is a true neighborhood gem accommodating visiting family and friends of Uptown residents, Tulane and Loyola Universities, and Ochsner Baptist Hospital. Located off of Napoleon Avenue between St. Charles and Claiborne Avenues, this mid-century style hotel features 90 spacious guest rooms with balconies and modern amenities, a serene courtyard with swimming pool, complimentary continental breakfast, and parking onsite.
Once a sleepy neighborhood thoroughfare, nearby Freret Street has undergone a massive revival, becoming a food and entertainment destination. Just two blocks from the Alder Hotel, this lively area provides much to see and do. Enjoy the Deep South cuisine of High Hat Café or true Neapolitan-style pizza at Ancora. Listen to music at the hip music venue, Gasa Gasa, or relax with a cocktail at James Beard award-winning bar, Cure.
Formerly known as the Bristow Tower, this historic building was once home to doctors and nurses of the Southern Baptist Hospital. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places and graciously restored in 2017, the Alder Hotel provides the style and convenience sought by modern travelers. Visit AlderHotel.com or call 504-207-4600 for more information.
The historic Royal Frenchmen Hotel enjoys the distinction of being the sole, luxury boutique hotel in the midst of all of the action and entertainment of Frenchmen Street. But behind its historic walls, the hotel offers much more than its luxury accommodations.
The bar at Royal Frenchmen Hotel has recently been named the #3 hotel bar in New Orleans in the Where Y’at Best of the Big Easy Awards behind only the storied French Quarter Carousel and Sazerac bars. The Royal Frenchmen Hotel bar offers live music daily. Happy hour brings daily $3 martinis from 4 – 8 p.m., a perfect way to relax in the afternoon as music begins to fill the streets and the hotel’s relaxing courtyard.
The hotel’s beautiful and spacious courtyard can accommodate up to 150 guests for weddings and other special events, placing guests right in the heart of New Orleans’ musical and cultural epicenter. Learn more about the Royal Frenchmen Hotel and book your stay or event by visiting RoyalFrenchmenHotel.com or by calling 504-619-9660.
Home Improvement & Real Estate
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.
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.
Based in New Orleans and licensed by Louisiana, Mississippi, and the International Society of Arboriculture to care for your trees, Benton Tree Service covers both residential and commercial work in Greater New Orleans. Owner Tim Benton, a New Orleans native, has over 20 years of experience in arboriculture and has been operating Benton Tree Service for over 12 years.
Benton Tree Service can help you with fine pruning of trees and large hedges, removal of hazardous or declining trees, root pruning and root barrier installation, and protection of your trees from construction or other possible stresses. The company does not apply any harmful or petroleum-based chemicals. All of its remediation techniques are natural and organic-based, and Benton Tree Service enjoys great success with these practices.
Benton Tree Service invites you to compare its Google rating with your current tree care provider. For more information or to schedule a free estimate, visit BentonTreeService.com or call 504-896-0820.
At Nola Rugs, Owner Sharon Schenck and staff strive to bring you the most beautiful rugs in the world with over 2,000 examples in stock, acquired with close attention to both quality and affordability from all international weaving areas. With over 46 years of experience as a direct importer, Schenck’s goal is to provide clients with options ranging from century-old antiques, European-inspired and classic Orientals, to the cutting edge in contemporary and modern rugs. Each is handmade, exhibiting both the skill and magic of the human hand.
“At NOLA Rugs, we offer our extensive experience, integrity, and service,” says Schenck. “Finding the correct rug can sometimes be confusing and our goal is to make your experience as easy and fun as possible,” she says. “Having a store like ours with such a broad selection in New Orleans and being able to see our collection in person is a huge advantage.”
If you need a rug and wish to learn more, please visit Nola Rugs’ new location at 300 Jefferson Highway, Suite #401 in New Orleans.
Remember this fall that hot fashion will keep you warm, and A. Renee Boutique has plenty of hot fashion for women who “dress to kill.” From gorgeous holiday dresses and separates to designers not found anywhere else in New Orleans, you can feel confident that your new dress or outfit will be unique to you. Fun dancing and date dresses, sophisticated work attire, beautiful couture skirts and tops, and fun reversible skirts also fill the boutique. Kent Stetson bags and locally made jewelry are available for finishing the look. Whether you want to hide behind your fashion or stand out it in, A. Renee Boutique has the fall fashion for you.
A. Renee Boutique stocks Misses/Women’s sizing from XS-XL. Shop online from the comfort of home at AReneeBoutique.com. Follow the fashion boutique on Facebook and Instagram at @AReneeBoutiqueNOLA. For more information, text or call 504-418-1448 or email AReneeBoutique@gmail.com.
Open now in New Orleans City Park is a restaurant with the best view in town—Acorn welcomes diners and coffee enthusiasts every day for breakfast and lunch, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Connected to the brand new Louisiana Children’s Museum, the restaurant features its own separate entrance and a wall of windows overlooking City Park’s little lake.
Acorn focuses on sustainability and features fresh, local food as well as coffee from local roaster, French Truck. The menu features breakfast items such as Avocado Toast in a Hole, Loaded Grits, and a Breakfast Burrito along with “Grab and Go” items such as croissants, biscuits, and assorted muffins. For lunch, dip into a Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu Bowl, or enjoy a variety of fresh salads, oven-baked pizzas, and sandwiches such as the Fried Chicken, Open Faced Seasonal Vegetable, or Thin Pattie Double Burger. The menu features a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Acorn is a Dickie Brennan & Co. café. Find out more and view the menus at AcornNOLA.com. The café is located at the Louisiana Children’s Museum at 15 Henry Thomas Dr. in City Park.
At Commander’s Palace, Executive Chef Tory McPhail, along with his experienced kitchen team, serves haute Creole dishes that continue to delight the discerning locals and visitors of New Orleans. The restaurant is known as a place where memories are made. Commander’s Palace recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and was named Restaurant of the Year 2018 by Nola.com/The Times-Picayune and Best Restaurant in New Orleans by The Gambit.
This December, during the holiday season, enjoy an intimate lunch with your closest friends and family in Commander’s private wine room. Executive Chef Tory McPhail will create a Haute Creole menu that you will never forget, paired with wines by Wine Guy Dan Davis. Commander’s Palace’s wine program has earned the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award eight years in a row.
Planning a dinner party for fall or the holidays? Commander’s Palace makes entertaining easy. The restaurant’s experienced party planner will work with you to tailor every aspect of the event to your liking. Enjoy dinner seven days a week, lunch Monday through Friday, and jazz brunch on the weekends. For reservations and more, visit commanderspalace.com.
This fall, make your way over to happy hour at Palace Café, home to New Orleans’ premier rum destination, the Black Duck Bar. The bar’s new $7 ‘til 7 p.m. Happy Hour features all small plates, sandwiches, salads, flatbread, cocktail flights, and select specialty cocktails at only $7 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m, Monday through Friday. Additionally, half-price tap wine and draft beer are available. From the rum and adobo-glazed Baby Back Ribs to the Boudin Spring Rolls, Alligator Sandwich, and Black Duck Bar’s exquisite salads and flatbread, a vast number of menu items are all reduced to a mere $7 during happy hour. Cocktail connoisseurs will want to try the $7 Cocktail Flights, which include the P’Tit Punch or Tour the Daiquiri, each with three demi cocktails.
Named after the most notorious rum-running vessel during Prohibition, the rum-centric Black Duck Bar honors Louisiana’s sugarcane industry and the distilled molasses product it helps produce. The Black Duck Bar is located on the second level of Dickie Brennan’s Palace Café at 605 Canal Street. For reservations and information, visit PalaceCafe.com.