Looking to escape for a weekend of fun with your girls? The Big Easy has you covered. Discover stellar nightlife, an award-winning culinary scene and seemingly endless shopping in one of the most walkable cities in the nation.
Once you've arrived in the Big Easy, get out and explore the city with your girls. A cocktail walking tour of the French Quarter is a fun alternative to the typical tour. For a more active experience and a glimpse of other neighborhoods, a biking tour might be more your style.
For some picturesque views, take a walk through the Garden District. The neighborhood is home to some of the city's most impressive historic homes with styles ranging from Greek Revival to Creole cottages. If you're looking to explore a neighborhood with bohemian style and vibrant homes, stroll through the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods near the French Quarter. The area is filled with hip shops, restaurants and bars, and Crescent Park has stunning views of the Mississippi River and downtown New Orleans.
If you and your girls like to shop ‘til you drop, head over to Magazine Street, which features six miles of shopping, dining, galleries and more. Begin near Felicity and Magazine Street for some fun vintage shops as well as local boutiques. Dense retail picks up again near Washington and Magazine, and you can stop nearby at Sucre to get a sweet treat and refuel with coffee. If you still haven't had enough, explore more options further down near Jefferson and Magazine.
If you and the gals prefer antiquing, Royal Street is the place to be. Royal is one of the oldest streets in the city and features blocks of art galleries, fine antique shops, street musicians and more. Antique shops like M.S. Rau Antiques contain items from some of the finest estates of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging from Samurai swords to papal jewelry.
For some designer duds, there's no better place than the Shops at Canal Place. With a Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue along with favorites like Anthropologie and J. Crew, the shops offer a wide range of goods. To make a day of it, catch a movie at the luxe Theatres at Canal Place.
If you'd rather be scoring deals on designer goods, check out the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. As the only outlet mall in a downtown area in the country, the Riverwalk offers a Neiman Marcus Last Call, Kenneth Cole, Coach and much more.
When it comes to hip cocktail bars and innovative mixology, New Orleans can't be beat. SoBou in the French Quarter is a great stop for stellar cocktails and small plates. If you're interested in New Orleans' burgeoning Tiki renaissance, head over to Cane & Table for a taste of the tropical. Venture beyond the Vieux Carré and stop in at Cure- this swanky bar is credited with kickstarting the modern mixology movement in New Orleans. For an intimate setting and unpretentious cocktails in the Warehouse District, stop in at Cellar Door located in a converted historic home.
To dance the night away, look no further than Frenchmen Street. Known as the "local's Bourbon Street," Frenchmen offers two blocks of live music venues with performances seven nights a week. Music ranges from live jazz to blues and reggae, and the area is just minutes from the French Quarter.
There's no better way to recover after a night out than with a hearty brunch, and New Orleans is nothing if not a brunch town. Head over to Brennan's for a classic Creole brunch. The restaurant is credited with turning breakfast into an event (in addition to its flaming culinary contribution of Bananas Foster). Other hot brunch spots include The Ruby Slipper Café, Arnaud's, Court of Two Sisters and Palace Café.
Beyond brunch, New Orleans offers no shortage of culinary talent. James Beard Award-winning restaurant Peche serves up local seafood with a fresh take. La Petite Grocery puts a new spin on local favorites with dishes like Blue Crab Beignets. Carrollton Market is a market-driven restaurant and utilizes local produce, seafood and meats for Southern-inspired dishes.
When it comes to relaxation, the Big Easy doesn't disappoint. For a truly luxurious experience, the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans offers massages, facials, nail services and even reiki energy sessions. The Spa at Windsor Court offers traditional spa experiences alongside innovative L.E.D light treatments and oxygen facials. Check out Spa Aria at the Hotel Monteleone for an experience that blends traditional spa experiences with the forces of Chinese Yin and Yang. The Waldorf Astoria Spa at the Roosevelt New Orleans offers hydrotherapy alongside its unique spa experiences, including "Beauty Diamond Facial" and "Sculpting Gold Perfection Facial."
If you're looking for a weekend of pampering, parties and more, head down to New Orleans for the annual FestiGals women's getaway weekend. FestiGals will bring empowering seminars, networking opportunities, presentations, private home tours and much more to New Orleans June 11-14, 2015. Be sure to catch the Stiletto Stroll, the ladies-only second-line, as well as the Saints and Sinners Brunch (preceded by a Hangover Hospital to get your juices flowing). But FestiGals is more than just a weekend of fun to celebrate with your girls - net proceeds from FestiGals will benefit under- or un-insured women battling cancer. So don your most fabulous heels and pack your bags - FestiGals is waiting!