LA Travel Guide

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A Cocktail Expert's Guide to Drinking in New Orleans

June 19, 2015 at 7:52 PM | by | ()

Written by Mark Ellwood for Conde Nast Traveler

Every July, drinks aficionados descend on New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, a boozy bash dedicated to the history of craft cocktails. Curious? Keep reading to find out what the event is all about and where to drink in the Crescent City right now.

For five days each July, New Orleans is awash in tipples—even more so than the rest of the year—during Tales of the Cocktail (July 15–19), a drinks-focused event that combines the brainpower of Davos with Olympic-level mixology skills. Bartenders, industry insiders, and drinkers descend on the Crescent City to sample new products, attend seminars, or participate in dozens of tastings. And despite its prestigious guest list, anyone who buys a ticket can attend.

This remarkable celebration of mixology is the brainchild of New Orleans native Ann Tuennerman, who launched the event in 2002 after realizing that her hometown lacked a walking tour touting its credentials in cocktailing. The city is widely acknowledged as the cocktail's birthplace; the Sazerac, made from rye whisky, absinthe, bitters, and a sugar cube, was first recorded here in 1838, and is the drink from which martinis, margaritas, and everything in between first sprung.

"There was nothing that told that story—of Sazeracs, how we were the first to use citrus in cocktails, the invention of Peychauds bitters," explains Tuennerman. So she created one.

A year later, keen to boost its profile, she planned a small one-year anniversary celebration to highlight other aspects of cocktailing history. Hosted by industry legend Dale DeGroff of The Museum of the American Cocktail, that first bash featured just two events but immediately captured the cocktail world's imagination.

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Short on Time (and Stomach Space?) Here are 4 Must-Eat Places in New Orleans

January 20, 2015 at 4:36 PM | by | ()

There are so many good places to eat in New Orleans. So, so, so many. That we are only telling you just four places to eat is almost laughable. Except that if you've got just two days in New Orleans--whether it be for a short work trip, a bachelor or bachelorette party or just a weekend getaway--you can't possibly eat everywhere. Please, don't even. We'd like to leave New Orleans with our stomach intact, if not our dignity.

So pack your best stretchy pants, here are 4 MUST-EAT Places:

1. Cochon Butcher: Located in the Warehouse District, this is the casual sandwich shop adjacent to Chef Donald Link's Cochon restaurant, a tour de pork in Cajun cooking. At Butcher, the pork-heavy sandwiches, like the Pastrami with Sauerkraut on Rye ($11) are the perfect hang-over cures. You can eat in or order take-out, which is what we did, taking our sandwich with us to the airport, making all the other travelers jealous. Don't forget to grab a bag of house-made chips too. ($2.)
930 Tchoupitoulas Street

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How to Get Tickets to the Final Season of 'The House of Shock' in New Orleans

October 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM | by | ()

Most cities across the U.S. have some type of haunted attraction that pops up this time of year, but some stand out above the rest. Sadly, one of the best over-the-top, scare your pants off haunted houses is closing for good next month.

Co-founder Ross Karpelman has confirmed this will be the last season for The House of Shock in New Orleans. "We were trendsetters without trying to be," Karpelman said. "We made our mark. Now I'm seeing others doing the same thing. We invented the idea of the interactive haunted house. It's time to call it quits."

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How to Get Tickets to New Orleans' Voodoo Music and Arts Experience

June 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | ()

The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience doesn't kick off until October 31st in New Orleans but you get pre-sale tickets right now.

The three-day festival will feature preferences by The Foo Fighters, Skrillex, 30 Seconds to Mars, Zedd, Slayer, Rise Against, Death From Above 1979, Fedde Le Grand, Flux Pavilion, Gogol Bordello, Action Bronson, Claude VonStroke, Twenty One Pilots, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, the Melvins, Bleachers, Griz, Fishbone, Big Freedia, Givers, Sturgill Simpson, Manchester Orchestra, Congorock and more.

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Louisiana Throws Tourism Funds at Making Mardi Gras Major

February 14, 2014 at 8:50 AM | by | ()

Floats, beads, king cakes, and plenty of adult beverages are all part of the Mardi Gras experience in New Orleans. However, one thing that has not been part of the fun and festivities is a tourism campaign. That’s all changing this year, as the state of Louisiana is throwing out some cash in hopes of getting a few more visitors to check thing out.

For those who are interested we’re a little more than two weeks away, as the festivities reach their finale on Tuesday, March 4. So even if you don’t have plans to attend—there’s still time to change things.

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How To Get Tickets To The 2014 BUKU Music + Art Project In NOLA

January 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM | by | ()

The third annual Buku Fest is bringing more art, electronic, and experimental music to The Big Easy this year with an extended lineup, a new fourth stage, and a VIP hangout on a 3-level riverboat.

The 2014 BUKU Music + Art Project, taking place at New Orleans' Mardi Gras World on March 21st & 22nd, will feature performances by The Flaming Lips, Chromeo, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown, Pusha T, Phantogram, ScHoolboy Q, Thundercat, Big Freedia, Ellie Goulding, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Zeds Dead, among others.

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How To Get Tickets To the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

January 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM | by | ()

Today the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival announced its 2014 music lineup, including Eric Clapton, Robin Thicke, Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Arcade Fire, which prompted music fans around the world to start making plans.

Once again hundreds of musicians and fans will descend on NOLA's Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for the festivities on April 25-27 and May 1-4.

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Volunteer During the Day, Party During the Night for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

January 8, 2014 at 3:51 PM | by | ()

If you're going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans next month, why not balance out all of that debauchery with some more meaningful volunteer work?

Hands Up Holidays is offering an 8-day volunteer trip to New Orleans that includes refurbishing homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina, sorting out clothing donations at a homeless shelter, or teaching computer skills to the unemployed.

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Trace the Steps of 'American Horror Story' in New Orleans

November 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM | by | ()

By now, your Halloween costume should be packed away for another year. If you don't want to let go of the spooky holiday just yet, however, the hot television show American Horror Story - Coven is just gearing up for another adventure of the supernatural kind. This time all of the witchcraft action is set in one of America's eeriest cities, New Orleans.

While some of the buildings are re-purposed as sets of the show, a few actually have stories behind them. For example, Madame Lalaurie's House of Horrors is actually known as the Lalaurie Mansion, named after its original owner with a similarly sordid history. Thus, the tour company Roadtrippers has put together a self-guided tour for American Horror Story fans heading for Nola. The AHS tour is fully mapped out with details of each stop already pinned. If you're not that creative to workout your own roadtrip, you can browse the list of recommendations.

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Even Celebrities Get Puked On by Drunk Airplane Passengers

October 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM | by | ()

On a recent Delta flight Ryan Reynolds learned that even celebrities aren't immune to the bad behavior of their fellow passengers.

According to the Daily Mail, on October 13 Reynolds was flying with his wife, Blake Lively, from New York City to New Orleans, where he is filming the movie Selfless. It was on that flight he was hit with a not-so-pleasant surprise.

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New Airline Alert: Elite Airways Will Hit The Skies This Summer

May 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM | by | ()

It’s been some time since we got to talk about a new airline, and that’s probably because they just never seem to start flying—we’re looking at you PEOPLExpress. Anyway, there’s a new carrier coming to town, as Elite Airways, a charter carrier based up in Maine, looks set to expand within the next few months, offering service to and from Louisiana.

Obviously there’s still a lot to be decided and plenty of cash to be raised, but it seems that airline officials have a general idea of how to get this new venture up into the air.

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What New Orleans is Planning to Do with $650 Million

April 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM | by | ()

Plenty of travelers head and to and through Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport each and every year, and that’s especially the case when events like the Super Bowl and Final Four take place in town. Airport officials realize that the place could use even more upgrades and improvements, so they’re thinking about throwing down $650 million to spruce things up.

The plans aren’t just for new restaurants and shops—the airport just got those—as this new plan calls from an entirely new terminal built on the north side of the existing airport.

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