A Very New Orleans Thanksgiving

Are you planning a visit to New Orleans this fall? Halloween and weekends with home football games are extremely popular time frames, and rightfully so. While many people decide to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in the comfort of their home, taking a vacation to New Orleans over the holiday should be a consideration for you and your family. Below are some activities to plan for and other recommendations.

Crowds of people walking down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter at night

It’s fall and that means it’s football season in New Orleans. For the second consecutive year, the Black and Gold are playing their rival on Thanksgiving night. This year the game is in Atlanta, but the party, as always, will be in New Orleans. Make plans to watch the game at one of the many watering holes across town and see how local fans party during a game. If you’re looking to make your way further away from the French Quarter, Cooter Brown’s, Tracey’s, and Bayou Beer Garden are popular destinations for fans of all ages and each has a great selection of food to choose from. Cooter Brown’s may possibly have the most TVs in one bar in the city, but it also tends to fill up the fastest. For a prime time game against a bitter rival, you may want to arrive an hour and a half before the game, no matter your choice of location.

The exterior of the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans

Bayou Classic
New Orleans is a city with many annual events that bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area to celebrate. The annual Bayou Classic is one of the longest-running staple events of the city. Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Superdome plays host to the match-up between Grambling State and Southern University’s football teams. For tourists who don’t plan to attend the game, there are still plenty of ways to join in on the fun. There’s a Thanksgiving parade from the Superdome to the French Market, while Friday’s key event is the legendary Battle of the Bands, which is known to be as competitive as the football game itself.

The decorated lobby of The Roosevelt in New Orleans

From Thanksgiving to Christmas
Every year it seems Christmas and other holiday celebrations start earlier and earlier. When traveling, that potential sigh should become a cause for excitement. New Orleans holiday celebrations last throughout the entire month of December, and some even begin as soon as Thanksgiving. The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel decks out its block-long lobby with hundreds of thousands of lights across dozens of Christmas trees. Here’s a local’s secret: The holiday lobby display is actually in place the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (November 27th), even though the official lighting ceremony is the next Tuesday.  The city’s legendary Celebration in the Oaks begins on Black Friday (November 29) and features amusement park rides, eggnog, and other holiday-themed drinks, as well as an immaculate light show featuring the ever-endearing 12 Yats of Christmas.

A ballroom at The Roosevelt in New Orleans filled with decorated tables set for a meal

Brunches Galore
Any trip to New Orleans is not complete without eating some of the many different cuisine options in the city. On Thanksgiving, you have the choice of prix fixe options including Tableau, SoBou, or Tommy’s, where you’ll be treated to a delicious Cajun-style Thanksgiving, including my favorite side, dressing with oyster dressing. Alternatively, you and your family may choose to attend a brunch buffet at hotels such as The Roosevelt. Spaces fill up quickly around town, so reservations are highly recommended. In addition to a larger assortment of choices, the brunch buffets usually include live entertainment and are held in some of the most immaculate ballrooms in the city. Once you’re done eating, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to walk around Downtown New Orleans and do any exploring that you haven’t been able to at that point in your trip.

Know Before You Go

  • New Orleans is known as “The Big Easy.”
  • The National WWII Museum is one of the top-rated museums in the country. Don’t miss checking it out!
  • The famous Café Du Monde is open 24 hours a day to get your beignet fix.
  • If you plan to go during Mardi Gras, pack comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Man wearing a blue striped shirt

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Ryan E. Are you interested in traveling to New Orleans? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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