Considered a top destination among tourists from the U.S. and abroad, New Orleans is all about festivals, food and fun — and a rich history and bayou background that inspires creativity and cultural exploration. Affectionately known as The Big Easy, this city’s unique mix of African, Native American, Spanish and French cultures is consistently reflected through its people, music, art and food, and makes for a destination filled with energy and inspiration.

The IRDC 2017 program provides several hours on Wednesday, September 6th, to explore this fascinating city. Venture out on your own or with a group of friends, and explore one of three districts that are conveniently located near The Ritz-Carlton:

    • The French Quarter – just steps from the hotel, the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carre in French, is more than just the Bourbon Street bars and Mardi Gras beads that we all know. This very walkable district is filled with antique shops, quirky boutiques, lush gardens, culinary delights and jazz, blues and zydeco, not to mention a fascinating history.  Watch for details on all of the intriguing locations to be included in this self-guided tour.
    • The Warehouse District – also called the Arts District, this area has seen a metamorphosis that has transformed dilapidated buildings into trendy homes for some of the city’s most notable art galleries, museums, nightclubs and eating establishments.  Especially noteworthy is Julia Street, filled with art galleries that represent both emerging and established artists.  Also be sure to discover serene parks and glorious churches that will fill you with awe.
    • The Garden District — a streetcar ride away from The Ritz-Carlton, this exquisite neighborhood is an architectural lover’s dream, filled with spectacular Greek Revival and Italianate mansions, oak-lined streets and magnificent gardens. If some of the buildings look familiar, it may that you saw them in movies such as Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire or the Brad Pitt-Cate Blanchett film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. From unique boutiques and quaint gift stores to the renowned Garden District Book Shop, known for its large selection of autographed books, a stroll through NOLA’s Garden District will transport you back in time.
    • Magazine Street — the only question regarding NOLA’s Magazine Street—a six-mile stretch of indie retailers, restaurants, pubs and art galleries spanning multiple neighborhoods—is where to begin. From the Central Business District to the Garden District and Uptown, you’ll find concentrations of inspiring spaces as well as classic New Orleans architecture. We’ve identified some of the coolest places for you to explore while at IRDC.

Watch for additional details on these self-guided NOLA tours, and register for IRDC today!