Photo: Courtesy of Nina Kokotas Hahn
Perfect weather in New Orleans is peaking right now—before summer cloaks the city in a wet wool sweater—and there are two great reasons to go. This weekend (June 8 and 9), catch the annual free Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, at which musicians from across the Bayou State—including Rosie Ledet, Sean Ardoin, BeauSoleil, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, and the Lost Bayou Ramblers—take to three stages in the French Quarter from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. over the two days.
Afterward, head to Frenchman Street in the Marigny, known for its live music clubs and more recently for its free, year-round Frenchmen Art Market. New in 2012 and open Thursday through Saturday nights from 7 p.m .to 1 a.m. (6 p.m. to midnight on Sundays), this late night market showcases locally made art under strings of lights. Bring your “go cup”—the local term for an adult beverage sipped, legally, from a disposable cup—and wander the night away. Sandwich lovers should compare the muffulettas at Central Grocery, where you can order the city’s original, with the melted spin on the classic at Cochon.
Before you go, find more things to do with Chicago magazine’s June 2013 story about fast summer escapes, which includes a weekend itinerary for New Orleans.
Download This Gamified City Tour for Your Next Trip
Smartphone apps that cross travel with a game play are the hot trend right now. One of these apps, Stray Boots, offers self-guided tours married with challenges, fun facts, and prizes; the app costs $2 to $12 each for dozens of cities such as Las Vegas, Chicago, and Philadelphia. “As we answered questions correctly, we were high-fiving in the middle of the street,” says traveler Makeda Peters of her experience using Stray Boots in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. Read more at the New York Times.
Here’s What You Can Expect to Pay for Summer Flights
This season’s fares are among the most expensive seen since 2003. But there are money-saving rules of thumb. For example, no matter the season, the cheapest fares are typically made available on Tuesday afternoons. Also, budget-conscious travelers should have a target prices in mind. A guideline for this summer? Don’t pay more than $200 per roundtrip for flights lasting an hour or less and $400 for coast-to-coast journeys. Get more strategies at FareCompare.
The Most Important Thing to Consider on a Guided Trip?
According to National Geographic Traveler Executive Editor Norie Quintos, it’s your guide. “Travelers typically pore over the tour itinerary, counting up the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites . . . and generally obsessing over minute details,” says Quintos, who instead recommends focusing on finding a great guide. Get more tips on picking a guided trip at National Geographic Traveler.
A Timely Heads-Up on TripAdvisor Hotel Reviews
A PR executive for Accor, the global hotel operator, recently admitted to posting 100 anonymous reviews on TripAdvisor, the well known hotel reviews site. The reviews from the exec were posted over the course of years and, not surprisingly, positive for Accor properties and critical of the competition. Read more at TravelMole.