Rebel Wanderer: New Orleans

Although we missed Mardi Gras this year, the party is always on in New Orleans! Nearly a decade after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the city is thriving like never before. This week, a 2014 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile study revealed that the city welcomed 9.52 million visitors in 2014, nearly triple the amount of visitors recorded the year after Katrina struck. In addition, the study shows record visitor spending at $6.81 billion in 2014, more than double what the city brought in during 2006. So, in the spirit in celebration, we’d like to highlight some incredible venues in the heart of New Orleans!

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 1.48.57 PMBourbon Heat

It’s only appropriate that we begin our exploration of New Orleans with a venue called Bourbon Heat, located directly on Bourbon Street. Bourbon Heat is a dynamic, versatile venue with an array of options to meet the particular needs of your event. Their lush courtyard and bar provides the quintessential French Quarter experience. The club with its AV equipment and DJ booth sets the mood for any social or corporate gathering. Finally, the 50-foot balcony over Bourbon Street allows your guests to partake in Bourbon Street’s electric atmosphere.

They are available for complete buyouts or small dinners or cocktail parties for as few as 20. Their Courtyard has served as the venue for everything from barbeques and seafood boils to buffet dinners and cocktail parties. The Club upstairs has been the venue for birthday, anniversary and graduation parties as well as corporate buffets and cocktail parties. The menu offers your guests the opportunity to experience the Creole and Cajun cuisines South Louisiana is known for. Whether it is a cocktail party or buffet dinner they create a menu that fits your individual needs. And the lack of a rental fee is key, although food and beverage minimums do apply.


Calcasieu is a great venue for a smaller corporate meeting. Your attendees will have the chance to experience James Beard Award-winning Chef Donald Link’s cuisine in a new private event facility in the Historic Warehouse District. Conveniently located just two blocks from the Convention Center, Calcasieu’s four dining rooms combine an original New Orleans warehouse feel with modern design, creating the perfect backdrop for any type of gathering.

Calcasieu and its dining rooms are located on the second floor of a late 19th century warehouse in New Orleans Historic Warehouse. The building’s masonry and heavy timber construction is typical of the warehouses of that era and Calcasieu’s dining rooms remain true to those origins. Many of the room’s design elements were built with the building’s industrial roots in mind, including wood salvages from the heart of Pine floor joists that now adorn the countertops of the bar and kitchen.

Calcasieu – named for the parish Chef Link grew up in – showcases contemporary Louisiana cuisine, great wines and excellent service. Calcasieu accommodates events for up to 275 guests.

flashSteamboat Natchez

If you’re looking for a really unique meeting space or event venue, the Steamboat Natchez is definitely where you want to be. New Orleans’ only steamboat is the perfect setting for any special event. Your group will enjoy a jazz cruise down the Mississippi and delicious New Orleans food! Whatever your group size and whatever the occasion, this well equipped vessel offers a diversity of meeting space and services that can provide a comfortable setting for an unforgettable event.

True to tradition in every detail, boarding the Natchez makes you feel as if you have entered another era. The captain barks his orders through an old-time hand-held megaphone. The calliope trills a melody into the air while the great wheel, 25 tons of white oak, churns the heavy waters of the Mississippi. You soon find yourself slipping into a sense of the old, vast and timeless river.

As the Natchez glides past the French Quarter and through one of the world’s most active ports, you begin to understand the magic of the experience. For all its history and romance, the excitement of riding a steamboat is as real and rich and genuine now as it was a century ago.

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