In New Orleans and surrounding areas, the conclusion of Mardi Gras marks the dawn of the spring season. While parades and celebrations of carnival come to a close, beads and king cake are exchanged for dining al fresco, beach getaways, and enjoying additional facets of New Orleans culture. As weather warms and pandemic restrictions begin to lift, options for entertainment and leisure are endless this spring. Savor seasonal ingredients as restaurants highlight springtime flavors, or take advantage of the balmy weather and upcoming holidays with a trip to a coastal destination. Cultural activities in and around the city offer excellent weekend plans for adults and children alike, providing an opportunity to understand the region’s history on a deeper level. Browse a selection of this year’s spring happenings to make of the most of the season.

Dining

Briquette
Welcome the spring season—with our Shaken Up NOLA Craft Cocktail classes with lunch & brunch—with delicious food and wine shared together at Briquette, the 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. Briquette is also known locally for its enthusiasm for high quality, often hard-to-find wines and spirits and recently won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its discerning, expansive wine list.

Add to the lunch and brunch experience by learning how Briquette’s award-winning cocktails are made with Shaken Up NOLA Craft Cocktail Classes. Enjoy the two hour experience complete with craft cocktail tutorials, a history of each drink, and recipe cards to take home. Classes available to book every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Briquette is currently open for dinner Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. until close, and for brunch on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Briquette is located at 701 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District. Book your table today by calling the restaurant at 504-302-7496 or via OpenTable.

 

New Orleans Creole Cookery
Spring has sprung, which means enjoying its weather in the beautiful French Quarter courtyard at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Owner Anna Tusa, also known for modern coastal eatery Briquette, presents diners a menu featuring classic New Orleans flavors in a fresh, reimagined space. Embodying the culture of Southern Hospitality, Tusa pairs great service with innovative food to provide guests an unforgettable experience.

Soak up the spring weather in New Orleans Creole Cookery’s courtyard and treat yourself to New Orleans classics like Jambalaya, Crawfish Étoufée, and Shrimp Creole. Located just a three minute walk from Jackson Square, head over to their weekday Oyster Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., or get a head start on the weekend with Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get a taste of the city’s world-famous food at New Orleans Creole Cookery, located at 508 Toulouse Street. For more information, reservations, or to book a private event, call the restaurant at
504-524-9632 or visit neworleanscreolecookery.com.

 

Justine
Enjoy the flavors of spring at Justine, a French brasserie in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. Opened by husband-and-wife team Justin and Mia Devillier, Justine combines the sophistication of Parisian brasseries with the playfulness of the South’s liveliest district. With dishes like Onion Soup Gratinée, Steak Frites, and Steamed Mussels, the menu honors the technique and simplicity of French classics while evoking the senses with exciting, grand presentation.

The multi-roomed restaurant offers a versatile space to be enjoyed by all, whether it’s for a Friday lunch, weekend brunch, afternoon glass of wine or celebratory dinner. The kitchen room, anchored by two large communal tables, overlooks the kitchen led by James Beard Award Winning-Chef Justin Devillier. In the smoked-mirror-embellished front room, the bar program embraces French spirits, wine, and the drinking culture that surrounds them.
For reservations and information about private dining, visit justinenola.com.

 

Total Wine & More
Wine collection in need of a refresh? Visit Total Wine & More, the country’s largest independent fine wine retailer, to discover an exceptional wine-buying experience. With the average store carrying around 8,000 wines in every price range, Total Wine’s team offers expert recommendations to guide guests through all wine-producing regions of the world. Total Wine satisfies every taste, carrying America’s most popular beer and spirits brands to craft brews and specialty liqueurs.

Total Wine’s Metairie location boasts in-store features like a wine sampling station open Thursday-Saturday, and an expansive cigar humidor. Those seeking to broaden their wine and spirit knowledge can attend several monthly tasting and educational events hosted in store and led by industry experts.

Visit New Orleans’ Total Wine & More, located at 3780 Veterans Memorial Boulevard. For more information or to browse upcoming events, visit totalwine.com or call 504-267-8866.

 

Saffron NOLA
Stemming from a lifelong passion for food and culture, the lauded Vilkhu family opened Saffron NOLA. Intertwining Indian tradition with New Orleans soul, Saffron NOLA offers approachable Indian food on a modern stage. With dishes like Curried Seafood Gumbo and Oyster Bed Roast Chef Arvinder Vilkhu maintains the menu’s core Indian flavors while expertly featuring New Orleans influence. General Manager Ashwin Vilkhu pairs his father’s food with a culinary-focused cocktail menu. Ashwin ensures a cohesive guest experience with cocktails featuring similar ingredients and flavors across both food and beverage menus. Restaurant Manager and Beverage Director Taylor Adams keeps a close eye on the day to day operation, ensuring the quality of service the guests deserve.

The menu features fresh, local ingredients reflecting the Vilkhu’s love for their home, while Indian techniques and spices highlight their heritage. Visit Saffron NOLA to experience the Vilkhu’s personal care, superior service, and unique food communicating the evolution of Indian cuisine. Located at 4128 Magazine Street, guests can book reservations at saffronnola.com for a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

Ace Hotel
Spring has arrived at the Ace Hotel New Orleans and its restaurants and lounges—Josephine Estelle, Seaworthy, and Alto—where fun and decadence combine for locals and visitors looking to celebrate the season in style. Outdoor seating is available at all outlets, and gift cards are available for purchase both in person and online.

Set in a classic Creole cottage dating back to 1832, seafood-centric Seaworthy will offer a new menu highlighting the flavors of spring. Debuting dishes like the Hokado Scallop Ceviche, with green papaya, daikon, serrano, and nuac cham, enjoy Seaworthy’s vibrant new arrivals. Half-off oyster happy hour continues with the most unique variety of oysters in the city, while crawfish boils will be held throughout the season. To reserve a table, visit seaworthynola.com.

Meanwhile, Ace Hotel’s private event spaces are available for private parties. Book your event by emailing sales.nola@acehotel.com. For more information on Ace Hotel or to book a room for a vacation or staycation, visit acehotel.com/neworleans/.

 

Destinations

Premier Island Management Group
This spring treat your family to an island getaway to Pensacola Beach, Florida, and the properties of Premier Island Management Group. Situated just a few 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 the Portofino Island Resort.

Northwest Florida’s premier beach vacation experience, Portofino Island offers families the perfect location to work, learn and play. Step away from your laptop or packed schedule to enjoy a kayak or paddleboard adventure in the sound. At recess surf the emerald green waters, or take a parasail ride. Whether you chose to leave your work behind or bring it with you, there’s a Premier Island property that will be the perfect home away from home for you and your family.

More than just another getaway, this will be the one your family remembers for a lifetime. Discover yours at premierisland.com or call 866-935-7741.

 

2022 Pirate Day in The Bay
Be sure to catch the 7th annual Pirate Day in the Bay, a weekend celebration in Old Town Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, set for May 20-21. Organized by Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse, the event starts Friday at Pirate Central, where adult pirates gather for a light-hearted pirate invasion through town, followed by a pub crawl/scavenger hunt in the local eateries and bars.

Saturday is family-friendly with cardboard boat races, a kids walking parade, a pirate costume contest for all ages, play zone, craft vendors, pirate invasion golf cart parade, live music by the “Top Cats”, and a firework finale at 9 pm. Pirate Day in the Bay was named a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society, and Mississippi Magazine’s 2021 Spring Festival “M-List” winner for Best of Travel Awards. Most activities are free! See the full schedule of events at mkotsh.com.

 

Visit Mobile
As the weather begins to warm and winter blues fall by the wayside, set your sights to Mobile, Alabama for spring and summer travel plans. A vibrant city marked by centuries of rich history and cultural fusion, this coastal destination beckons every type of traveler. Whether it be family vacationers, couples traveling, or girlfriends getting away, Mobile offers all its visitors a reason to celebrate.

Mobile’s downtown remains the energetic pulse of the city with a colorful restaurant scene, museums and art galleries, lively nightlife, unique shopping, historic tours, and much more. A genuine hub of culture, celebration, and history, Mobile, Alabama serves as a multifaceted travel destination catering to the fascinations of every traveler.
To learn more about Mobile and plan a unique itinerary, visit mobile.org.

 

St. Joseph Plantation & Felicity Plantation
Visit two homes on one property that have remained a thriving sugarcane farm for over 135 years. Learn about the sugarcane industry and its regional significance at St Joseph and Felicity Plantations. Learn about H. H. Richardson of the Priestly family, who was born at St. Joseph and became one of America’s most important 19th century architects. Explore the story of Valcour Aime, known as “The Louis XIV of Louisiana,” and his two daughters, Felicite and Josephine, to whom he gave St. Joseph Plantation and neighboring Felicity Plantation. Discover the stories of the enslaved that lived here and the work they did.

Additionally, see where scenes from All The King’s Men, Skeleton Key, 12 Years a Slave, Underground, Queen Sugar, the remake of Roots, and four-time Oscar nominee Mudbound were filmed.

Explore St. Joseph Plantation, and Felicity Plantation
(by phone appointment only). Visit stjosephplantation.com, or call 225-265-4078.

 

Culture

Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation, a project of Arts New Orleans
Take a stroll through the Arts District and view Downtown New Orleans’ signature mural collection presented by The Helis Foundation. Featuring local and international artists, Unframed is the first multi-mural exhibition of large-scale artwork in Downtown and comprises nine vibrant murals. Residents and visitors can now enjoy the latest addition, a mural by internationally renowned artist Sanford Biggers, located on the west-facing wall of the Contemporary Arts Center on Camp Street.

Unframed is part of a range of arts initiatives presented by The Helis Foundation that are free and open to the public. Learn more about Unframed (#unframednola) and other arts programming at thehelisfoundation.org.

 

Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County
Activate your imagination at Art Month Walton, an initiative of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA). Art Month Walton is a collaboration of visual, performing and literary arts events presented in diverse formats and various venues throughout Walton County, located along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Spanning the month of May, 2022 Art Month Walton presents events and programs including Under the Sea, a fundraiser for the nation’s first Underwater Museum of Art, the 34th Annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival, Digital Graffiti Festival in Alys Beach, Longleaf Writers Conference, an online Art & More Auction benefiting the CAA, Music on Main in DeFuniak Springs, performances by the Emerald Coast Theatre Company, Gallery events, and more.
Discover more details at culturalartsalliance.com.

 

Spring Happenings
Indigo Boutique

Indigo Boutique
Since 2005, Indigo Boutique has ensured every guest leaves feeling like they shopped with their own personal stylist. Offering every customer one-on-one styling, the team at Indigo Boutique expertly dresses every body type for any occasion. Carrying a variety of clothing and accessory brands aligned with the newest trends, Indigo Boutique makes true fashion attainable with accessible price points.

Owner Victoria Giglio not only knows how to fill your closet with stunning clothes, she’ll decorate it too. In addition to the boutique Victoria operates Indigo Interiors, an interior design studio creating fresh, elegant and highly liveable spaces for clients. With store locations in Houma and Old Metairie and shopping available online, Indigo Boutique carries everything from clothing, swim, shoes, and furniture.
Visit shopindigoboutique.com for a truly unique shopping experience.

New Orleans Opera
Spring into the new season by experiencing high notes onstage at The New Orleans Opera. Honoring opera’s longstanding presence in New Orleans culture, the New Orleans Opera is dedicated to enhancing lives through exceptional performances and deepening the community’s understanding of the art.

Planning and producing four showcase performances each year, the New Orleans Opera highlights the most exceptional and influential works. Audiences can experience authentic performances sung in their original language along with English translations. Using traditional and innovative educational opportunities, the New Orleans Opera offers lectures, free performances available to students, and special events aimed to increase awareness of opera and introduce new works to the region.

Enhance this spring season by discovering the beauty of the opera. To learn more about the New Orleans Opera and to access the event schedule, visit neworleansopera.org.