5 Authentic New Orleans Experiences Beyond Mardi Gras

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New Orleans, New Orleans meetings, Louisiana, French Quarter
New Orleans

New Orleans is known for its Cajun-style crawfish boils and Mardi Gras beads draping French Quarter balconies, but it has so much more to offer than the typical Mardi Gras atmosphere for which its known. Groups looking to explore the unexpected side of New Orleans should check out these five group offerings.


This pastry shop’s three locations serve up decadent French desserts alongside the popular King Cake every Mardi Gras season. Even better for groups is its French Quarter Salon Restaurant by Sucre that offers an elegant event space to host an afternoon tea for up to 120 attendees reception-style. This includes the Front Balcony space overlooking Royal Street. Attendees will nosh on tea sandwiches, scones and éclairs while sipping on a variety of teas.

The Voodoo Bone Lady Haunted Tours

Groups of 10 to 1,000 attendees can experience some of New Orleans’ best-known haunts on this tour operator’s Ghost Tour, which takes the attractions from five separate haunted tours and combines them into one. The two-hour walking tour departs from the corner of Royal and St. Peter streets and takes participants on a one-mile walk to explore the city’s history with voodoo, witchcraft and pirates.

The Maison

This live music venue features live music every day and is known for having the biggest stage on Frenchmen Street, where locals and tourists alike visit to find some of the area’s best jazz. Groups can rent out private event space for up to 100 attendees hoping to get their fill of New Orleans jazz.

Bacchanal Wine

Bacchanal Wine’s backyard-patio atmosphere offers an unexpected oasis in the city’s Ninth Ward. It’s essentially a wine-and-cheese shop for groups to come and nosh on small plates, drink wine and listen to a live band under the lit-up trees that make this space memorable. Its upstairs back room is available for a private party in the afternoons, Monday to Thursday.

The Country Club New Orleans

Definitely a more off-the-beaten-path part of New Orleans, The Country Club New Orleans offers attendees an atypical country-club experience, complete with a restaurant, bar and pool. The 19th Century Italianate Raised Center Hall Cottage can host groups of up to 100 people for a standing cocktail party, and the pool area can be rented out October through March in the city’s charming Bywater neighborhood.

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