Not everyone enjoys the oyster, but then they don’t need to join us at the festival. Listen up, y’all for the New Orleans Oyster Festival kicks off June 4, capping off the following night. If you haven’t booked your room yet, pick up the phone or mouse.
With the motto “Eat Oysters, Love Longer” the festival promises to be worth the trip down from stuffy old Boston or full-of-itself Philly. Located in the French Quarter by the river at Berger Parking Lot, highlights this year include the P&J Shucking Contest, oyster-eatin’ contests (watchit!), John Popper and the Dusk Ray Troubadours (among other local bands) and cooking demos by Greg Reggio.
Here are some top picks for prime Quarter hotels that won’t tax your dogs after a fishy day of NOLA fun:
1) Holiday Inn Express, French Quarter – cheap, rooftop pool, super friendly staff (on Carondolet on the Street car line) (www.hifrenchquarterhotel.com)
2) Maison Dupuy – fancy schmancy, a courtyard straight out of a Merchant Ivory film, excellent wine bar and onsite jazz (www.maisondupuy.com)
3) Omni Royal Orleans – a four-diamond award winner in the heart of the Quarter, luxury with a quirky kick (www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/NewOrleansRoyalOrleans.aspx)
4) Inn on Bourbon New Orleans – Overlooking Bourbon St. near Jackson Square with a romantic courtyard and sexy setting (www.bourbonorleans.com)
5) Hotel Monteleone – historic, dripping with the kind of luxury only an oyster lover could appreciate, exquisitely appointed (www.hotelmonteleone.com)
Other upcoming 2011 Festivals*
- New Orleans Vieux-to-Do/June 10-12
- ESSENCE Music Festival/July 1-3
- San Fermin in Nueva Orleans/July 8-10
- Tales of the Cocktail/July 20-24
- COOLinary New Orleans/Aug. 1-Sept. 30
- Satchmo SummerFest/Aug. 4-7
** Bring a pair of ear plugs when walking through the loudest parts of the Quarter, though off Bourbon the decibel level is far more palatable for the over 40s.
** Carry cash or credit cards securely and discreetly: with your money pouch or purse in a practical way, such as wrapped around your shoulder cross wise. New Orleans isn’t nearly as sketchy as a lot of cities, but in every metropolis including Paris (where this Examiner once witnessed a pickpocketing under the Eiffel Tower) there’s a garden of both good and evil – as well as the just desperate. Never carry more than $50 – $75 with you. Use your ATM card most of the time.
** Do not forget your camera. Record every moment.
** Pick up fun trinkets such as cocktail napkins, your plastic “Have Fun” glass from Pat O’Brien’s, your lover’s oyster bib …
For more information on the Oyster Festival, please click here.
For more information on the Quarter itself, please click here.
* Source: New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau