Exceptional Experiences: New Orleans

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Paddle steamer on the Mississippi River.

Ultimate Big Easy

Top Chefs, Mardi Gras Clubs, Authentic Jazz

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Crawfish on ice.
Welcome to Bourbon Street.

Farmer’s Market to Famous Kitchen
One of the city’s top chefs leads you through a local farmer’s market, then back to his restaurant, which will be opened just for you. Share stories and wine—even do some prep if you like—while the chef prepares a superb lunch in his famous kitchen.
 
Old Man River
Experience the inner workings of the Port of New Orleans aboard a pilot boat on the mighty Mississippi. Dwarfed by the mammoth ships, your retired driver pilot shares amazing tales as you gain a fascinating perspective afforded to only a select few.
 
Makings of Mardi Gras
Join New Orleans’ social elite in one of its “old line” carnival krewes, or private Mardi Gras clubs. See where the floats are made and discover the tradition and pageantry of Carnival in an intriguing setting that’s rarely seen by outsiders.
 
West End Creole Feast
Chef Susan Spice of Bayona restaurant and “Top Chef” fame whips up a creole feast aboard a private houseboat as you sail the historic West End of Lake Pontchartrain. Watching the sunset, you’ll be serenaded by a leading trumpet player and vocalist.
 
All That Jazz
Skip the tourist traps and let one of the city’s top jazz singers take you inside New Orleans’ real jazz music scene. Meet club owners and local musicians as you’re welcomed behind the scenes in the birthplace of the influential musical genre.

See What Else You Can Do in New Orleans
 
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Best of the Best: 2014 Guide to the World's Best Hotel Experiences.


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A jazz player getting warmed up.