Everyone likes to go at their own pace over the weekends, some jumping into home improvement projects, others looking to unwind with a couple days off of work. There are countless ways to spend your summer weekends, and the culturally rich Gulf Coast region provides something for everyone. A weekend beach trip can be accomplished with as little as an hour’s drive.
Playing tourist in your own town is another option, with historic neighborhoods, thrilling entertainment, fascinating museums, and exceptional restaurants all a stone’s throw away. Find the fun that suits you, your friends and family among the following destinations, activities, and resources. Whether you’re looking to get started on that kitchen and bath remodel or would rather hit a bar for a cocktail and live music, you’ll find a number of fun and exciting adventures awaiting you this summer.
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 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.
Exterior Designs, Inc., a comprehensive landscape design and build company, is known locally for helping homeowners increase the value of their homes with landscaping. Beverly Katz, owner/designer, creates New Orleans inspired landscapes by blending timeless Spanish and French influences of the city’s architecture with functional solutions for the modern homeowner. Exterior Designs has an exceptional ability to transform even the largest landscapes into intimate spaces perfect for entertaining and relaxing.
An interior designer before realizing her talent for landscape architecture, Beverly has a keen eye for detail combined with an affinity for problem solving, drainage, material selection and spatial composition. Because of her background, her creations are an extension of her clients’ homes. When Beverly visits for the initial consultation, she takes note of the client’s design aesthetic and continues it to the outdoors.
Exterior Designs offers design, construction, installation, and project management for residential or commercial landscapes. Visit ExteriorDesignsBev.com for design inspiration or call 504-866-0276 for a consultation.
Claudia Croazzo is a bespoke international fashion house founded in 2016 in the UK by designer Claudia Croazzo. The fashion house specializes in affordable couture collections as well as bespoke made-to-measure gowns for that red-carpet look. Claudia Croazzo’s unique, sleek, and sophisticated style takes inspiration from Claudia’s Italian heritage, and each collection tells a story. From ready to wear and black label dresses and jumpsuits to beachwear, the elegant and playful designs of Claudia Croazzo are now available at the company’s exclusive United States store on Magazine Street in New Orleans.
Claudia’s designs have showcased twice at official LFW closing events, been published in numerous fashion editorials, including UK Elle and Vogue, and been worn at many red carpet events. All items are carefully and thoughtfully designed, and all fabric is sourced by Claudia Croazzo herself, with all designs tailored to her personal taste.
For more information or to shop online, visit ClaudiaCroazzo.com. Visit the Uptown New Orleans location at 4214 Magazine Street.
Dining & Imbibing
Justine is a 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 most lively district. Featuring dishes like Poisson Amandine, Fois Gras Torchon, and Moules Frites, the menu honors the technique and simplicity of French classics, while evoking the senses with exciting, grand presentation.
True to the heart of French brasserie culture, the multi-roomed restaurant offers a versatile space to be enjoyed by all, whether it’s for a weekday lunch, afternoon glass of wine, celebratory dinner, or late-night revelry. The café side opens to the Chartres Street sidewalk, emulating the quintessential Parisian-street experience. The kitchen room is anchored by two large communal tables overlooking the kitchen led by James Beard Award Winning-Chef Justin Devillier, and in the smoked-mirror-embellished bar room, Bar Director Jesse Carr embraces French spirits and the drinking culture that surrounds them.
For reservations and information about private dining, visit JustineNOLA.com.
Spend summer outdoors with a glass of wine in the serene courtyard at Effervescence Bubbles & Bites. Enjoy the peaceful fountain, relax on the outdoor couch, or grab a sidewalk table on North Rampart and treat yourself to bubbles. The impressive wine list spans the globe, including over 80 Champagnes by the bottle and 30 sparklers by the glass.
Every Wednesday, Effervescence pops open a magnum of Champagne to pour by the glass—double the excuse to celebrate midweek! Flights are the perfect way to explore the list, available by the full or half glass. Try their summer sparkling rosé flight for a fun, crisp and fruity sparkling adventure. The full bar also serves bubbly cocktails, beer, and spirits.
Effervescence’s bites menu features fresh and local ingredients prepared by the Michelin-trained chef couple. Highlights include a Caviar Service, Dry-Aged Louisiana Wagyu, Pommes Frites and their signature Gulf Seafood Plateau, featuring five local, refreshing, and thoughtful seafood preparations.
Effervescence is open Wednesday-Sunday; for hours, menus, and event bookings, visit NolaBubbles.com. Look for upcoming events including wine classes and outdoor movie screenings. Limited reservations available on OpenTable.
Voted Tops of the Town #1 Brunch by New Orleans Magazine for the third year in a row, Red Gravy welcomes summer with a number of new dishes and specials by Owner Roseann Melisi Rostoker.
“As always, for the past nine years, our menu changes and evolves according to the seasons and our travels,” says Roseann. While keeping all the menu favorites—especially anything with a meatball—the restaurant has recently added new items, including the hugely popular fried chicken and biscuits served with a white sausage gravy. The mac and cheese turnover is a close second, served with eggs and red gravy.
Roseann has also been busy baking, adding croissants, danishes, turnovers, and muffins in addition to the restaurant’s popular raspberry zeppoles and homemade cannoli. Look for specials all summer long inspired by Roseann’s upcoming travels to New Jersey, Cape May, and Italy.
Since seating is limited, reservations are recommended. View the menu and make reservations online at RedGravyCafe.com, or call 504-561-8844.
Mr. Ed’s has been a local favorite since 1989 and is still regarded as among the best eateries in New Orleans today. Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar serves your choice of chargrilled, fried, or raw oysters as well as longtime favorites such as Oyster Rockefeller and Bienville. Offering both a stand-up oyster bar and cocktail bar, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy.
With five unique locations across Greater New Orleans, including the newest, second French Quarter location at 821 Iberville St., Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House brings its fresh seafood, poboys, platters, and specialties to Metairie, the French Quarter, Mid-City, and St. Charles Avenue.
“Mr. Ed” McIntyre also oversees Mr. Ed’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant of Metairie and Kenner, Austin’s Seafood & Steakhouse of Metairie, and The Pearl Room of Harahan. Explore each savory menu at MrEdsRestaurants.com.
Located on Magazine Street, Tito’s Ceviche & Pisco brings exceptional, authentic Peruvian cuisine to Uptown New Orleans. Helmed by Executive Chef and Owner Juan Lock, Tito’s features seafood favorites such as Ceviche Criollo (gulf fish) and Ceviche Nikkei (yellowfin tuna) in addition to Arroz con Mariscos, a popular Peruvian style paella. The menu also features a number of well-spiced beef, duck, and lamb dishes, including Anticuchos de Res (hangar steak) and the Lomo Saltado (tenderloin tips).
The restaurant takes great pride in freshness, offering the highest quality ingredients in its dishes and handcrafted cocktails. The bar at Tito’s is famous for its selection of Piscos, a Peruvian-made brandy. Sip a Lychee Cocktail or Cucumber Mule, or indulge in the variety of selections of Pisco cocktails with a fruity blend of tropical juices. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., and features a variety of drinks and small plates perfect for satisfying late afternoon cravings.
For more information, and reservations, visit TitosCevichePisco.com or call the restaurant at 504-267-7612. Tito’s Ceviche & Pisco is located Uptown at 5015 Magazine Street.
Taste the rich history of New Orleans this season by going to Pascal’s Manale, home of the original BBQ Shrimp. Founded in 1913, this New Orleans tradition is now in its 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation of family involvement and still serves the classic dishes for which it’s been famous for decades. A blend of Italian and Creole, Pascal’s Manale’s menu includes New Orleans and Italian favorites, steaks, and seafood dishes.
Start your night with raw oysters from the oyster bar before indulging in the succulent BBQ shrimp. The Veal Gambero and Fish Pascal specials have flavors all their own while also incorporating the richness of the BBQ Shrimp and its sauce. Other Pascal’s Manale favorites include the Oysters Bienville, baked oysters topped with a mushroom, shrimp, and bacon dressing, or the Combination Pan Roast, oysters, crabmeat, and shrimp chopped in a blend of parsley, green onions, and seasonings baked with a topping of breadcrumbs and butter.
Monday-Friday, from 3 – 6 p.m., enjoy half-priced raw oysters at the oyster bar as well as half-priced beer, wine, and select cocktails at the bar. For reservations, call 504-895-4877 or visit them at PascalsManale.com.
Find all of “Nawlins’” favorites at New Orleans Cajun Cookery, located just outside the French Quarter at 719 S. Peters Street in the CBD. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Cajun Cookery is perfect for visitors and downtown professionals alike. Highlights of the menu include Chicken & Waffles, Shrimp & Grits, seafood platters, and poboys.
The Cookery’s full bar features hand-crafted cocktails and a vast selection of craft beers from Louisiana’s growing list of breweries. Pony up to the bar between 3 – 6 p.m. and enjoy $5 drinks and appetizers. Outdoor seating is available and perfect for those breezy summer mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
For more information on the restaurant and its offerings, call 504-407-0653.
Celebrate summer in the heart of the French Quarter with family and friends at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Stop in and relax from a day of shopping or exploring with authentic Creole fare and the time-honored tastes of classic favorites such as Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Crawfish Etouffee, and Snapper Pontchartrain. Looking to cool off? Come in for a cold beverage and fresh oysters at the oyster bar.
New Orleans Creole Cookery is everything you love about New Orleans in a setting to fit every occasion. Enjoy casual fine dining at its very best in your choice of the charming Toulouse Lautrec dining room, romantic courtyard, or lively oyster bar. Each offers a Creole-inspired menu complemented by tempting handcrafted cocktails. Located at 510 Toulouse Street in one of New Orleans’ oldest and most storied locations, New Orleans Creole Cookery is just steps from French Quarter excitement.
New Orleans Creole Cookery is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. for lunch and dinner, and a jazz brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Learn more at NewOrleansCreoleCookery.com. Call 504-524-9632 for reservations.
This summer, visit the Warehouse District’s recent addition, Briquette, the new restaurant at 701 S. Peters Street by Anna Tusa, Owner of New Orleans Creole Cookery. Helmed by Chef Guy Sockrider, Briquette 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 small plates for sharing the variety of fish and seafood, including whole grilled fish. Other flavorful menu items include aged beef, pastas, and more. The bar at Briquette features a curated wine list to accompany the menu along with specialty, hand-crafted cocktails.
Start a new tradition this summer with delicious food shared with friends and family together at Briquette. For more information and reservations, visit Briquette online at Briquette-Nola.com or on Facebook. Lunch is available Monday through Friday beginning at 11 a.m.
Travel & Accommodations
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 and features a Friday night residence by the Treme Prince, Glen David Andrews. Happy hour brings daily $3 martinis from 4 – 7 p.m., a perfect way to relax in the afternoon as music begins to fill the streets.
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.
Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort is “The New Way to Stay & Play” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Start your summer off right with a family weekend getaway.
Play an exciting round of mini-golf on Scarlet Pearl’s multi-million dollar course, Lava Links Golf Club. These two, 18-hole golf courses feature lush gardens, waterfalls, footbridges, great music, and a live erupting volcano, promising fun for the entire family.
Need to relax? Take a break from the action in the luxurious shade of the Garden Oasis, Scarlet Pearl’s breathtaking swimming pool. Whether you’re taking a slow float or stretching out under the palms with a boat drink, there’s no better place to rejuvenate than this tropical paradise.
Feast with the family and dive into All-You-Can-Eat Dungeness and Snow Crab at Scarlet Pearl’s Waterfront Buffet every weekend. Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort—your home away from home. Book your next ultimate getaway at ScarletPearlCasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC.
Big Bay Lake is a one-of-a-kind planned community on Mississippi’s largest private recreational lake. Located just outside of Hattiesburg, Big Bay Lake blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Homesites are available on the water starting at $100,000. 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. 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!”
Big Bay Lake is only 90 minutes from New Orleans. Call for a boat tour today at 877-4BIG-BAY or visit BigBayLake.com.
Don’t wait to make a splash in one of the many beautiful Texas lakes perfect for family memory-making activities such as fishing, boating, tubing, and waterskiing. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® has a number of Texas properties to suit your family’s penchant for fun.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Villages Resort is located on Lake Palestine and just a short drive from the Tyler Rose Garden and many other attractions. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Piney Shores Resort sits on the Lake Conroe shore and is only about an hour from Houston. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Hill Country Resort overlooks Canyon Lake and is about an hour away from both San Antonio and Austin.
There are also beachfront resorts—sink your toes in the sands of the Gulf Coast at one of two beautiful Galveston Island resorts. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Galveston Beach Resort is located directly on the beach and is great for kids and adults alike with numerous activities, while Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Galveston Seaside Resort offers both standard and luxurious Signature Collection villas in a relaxing escape farther down the island.
Book your stay today at HolidayInnClubVacations.com.
Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery is excited to announce Three Hundred More, a compelling promotional offer designed by Old No. 77 to continue the enthusiasm generated by the city’s tricentennial celebration while further deepening the property’s connection to the community.
Three Hundred More illustrates Old No. 77’s commitment to seeing New Orleans thrive for another three centuries. Speaking to the growing need for meaningful, authentic, and contributive travel shared by many Old No. 77 guests, Three Hundred More will expand Old No. 77’s creative partnerships with organizations such as Where Y’Art, Goods that Matter, and others. In partnership with Where Y’Art, Old No. 77’s latest gallery exhibition, 300 More celebrates South Louisiana’s Coastal Regions with heavy florals, wetlands, and swamps.
As part of Three Hundred More, Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery is offering 20 percent off with a five percent donation to a coastal restoration non-profit, Restore the Mississippi Delta. The 167-room hotel is located in the Warehouse Arts District, three blocks from the French Quarter and a short stroll from the Convention Center. Book online at Old77Hotel.com.
Car windows rolled down, the feeling of wind and sun on your skin—summertime and a long-awaited road trip are here. Don’t let unexpected car trouble ruin your journey. Fortunately, you can make sure your vacation stays on track with the peace of mind from AAA’s 24/7 Roadside Assistance. AAA covers you in any car, SUV, or pick-up truck, even if you’re not the driver. AAA provides 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 175490). Current AAA members can add one new household member free (promo code 175492). For more details, see the AAA ad in this issue, visit your local AAA branch, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/SaveOffer. Join AAA Today.
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) offers degrees in more than 100 programs, including architecture, animation, immersive reality, fashion, film and television. This year, SCAD celebrates its 40th anniversary with SCADstory, a new immersive experience bringing the university’s 40 creative years to life. SCADstory is open to the public to experience and is located in SCAD’s historic Poetter Hall on Bull Street.
A global university, SCAD enrolls nearly 15,000 students at locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; Hong Kong; and Lacoste, France. SCAD facilitates travel for its students to study across these locations, helping define their SCAD experience on an international scale.
Visitors to Savannah enjoy both shopSCAD(featuring artwork created by students and alumni) and the world-renowned SCAD Museum of Art.
SCAD’s 99 percent alumni employment rate is testament to the creative careers of the more than 40,000 SCAD graduates working at the world’s most prestigious companies. Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university.
For more information on SCADstory, visit SCADstory.com. For SCAD Museum of Art, visit SCADmoa.org.
Entertainment & Events
The weather’s perfect for catching a wave and relaxing on the sugar-white sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.It’s never too early to start planning your summer getaway to Alabama’s beaches, just a short a drive from New Orleans. Explore 32 miles of beaches warmed by sunshine and unspoiled natural beauty. When your toes aren’t in the sand, discover the history, culture, attractions, events, and award-winning restaurants that make this area a truly special summer vacation destination. Southern hospitality is at its finest in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, where there’s something for everyone—from amusement and water parks to fantastic shopping, beachside restaurants, concerts, and more.
Splash into summer and soak up the sun on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. With lodging options, things to see and do, amazing places to eat, and area maps, the area’s 2019 Vacation Guide makes planning your trip a breeze. Visit GulfShores.com or call 877-341-2400 for more information and to get your copy.
Haunted History Tours offers a variety of thrilling tours across New Orleans largely focused on the paranormal. Recommended by The Travel Channel as “a must do,” Haunted History’s French Quarter Ghost & Legends Tour takes participants to numerous locations known for actual, documented hauntings. Be sure to take lots of pictures! Ninety percent of tour participants will capture paranormal activity in their photos. Experts in haunted history, the company compiled the mildly theatrical, hugely historical, and thoroughly entertaining book, New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo, & Vampires.
Other popular tours include the Cemetery, Voodoo, Vampire, Pub Crawl, Five In One Tour, and Garden District Tours. The company offers walking tours as well as the nightly Dead of Night Graveyard and Ghost Tour by bus. Tour-seekers should purchase their tickets in advance through Haunted History’s website, HauntedHistoryTours.com.
Haunted History Tours serve as perfect outings for bachelor and bachelorette parties and wedding groups in addition to school, church, and convention groups. The company often books private tours for groups, which allows the customer their choice of pick-up time and location. Customers interested in arranging private tours should call 504-861-2727.
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.
This summer, soak in a bit of Louisiana history with a visit to beautiful St. Joseph Plantation, where you can walk through time and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of the fascinating people who have called it home. Thanks to the plantation’s historic allure, 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 at St. Joseph Plantation. Additionally, the plantation plays host to a number of weddings and private events throughout the year.
Tour the grounds and learn about the Priestly family and grandson H. H. Richardson, who was born at St. Joseph and became one of America’s most important architects of the 19th century. Explore the story of Valcour Aime, known as “The Louis XIV of Louisiana,” and his two daughters, and learn about the slaves that lived and worked here. A thriving sugarcane plantation, St. Joseph also offers insight into the region’s significant sugarcane industry.
Visit StJosephPlantation.com or call 225-265-4078 for information on tours and private events.
In 1999, Harrah’s brought 24/7 gambling action back to New Orleans with the opening of Harrah’s New Orleans Casino. Take a shot at more than 1,500 of the hottest slots and more than 130 table games including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and three-card poker. The fun extends outdoors to three outdoor smoking and gaming courtyards.
When you’re ready to dine, indulge in a 30-day, dry-aged New York Strip at The Steakhouse at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, or enjoy never-ending favorites at The Buffet. Options for a quick bite about as well, including the award-winning burgers and wings served up at Manning’s Sports Bar and Grill located on Fulton Street. When ready for a cocktail, try a specialty “potion” at Hoodoo Lounge, and dance the night away in Masquerade Nightclub. For a memorable souvenir or piece of jewelry, shop at Essentials, Uniquely NOLA, Swarovski and Crislu. Relax and stay as close as possible to the action at Harrah’s Hotel, an award-winning AAA Four Diamond hotel.
For more information, visit HarrahsNewOrleans.com.
Combining historic restoration and new construction, The Historic New Orleans Collection’s (THNOC) brand new exhibition center at 520 Royal St. houses a continuing exhibition on the history of the French Quarter, changing exhibitions, dynamic interactive displays, an immersive film, an educational space, café, and shop. Like THNOC’s other locations, admission is free.
Events this summer include “Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina,” presented by The Helis Foundation, running through October 6. Painters, sculptors, photographers, and mixed-media artists all explore the city’s colorful patchwork of neighborhoods, its resilience in the wake of tragedy, and its larger-than-life characters.
Through August 4, explore “New Orleans Medley: Sounds of the City,” which leads visitors on a procession through three centuries of music in the Crescent City, from Chitimacha rhythms to Mexican military bands to Big Freedia Bounce.
In advance of Juneteenth, THNOC will host an event on June 18 with Voices in the Dark Repertory Theatre Company that will commemorate 300 years since the first ship of enslaved African Americans arrived in Louisiana.
For more details and other events, visit HNOC.org.