New Orleans is decidedly one of the funkiest, liveliest, and loveliest places we've ever encountered. Because our magazine's purview is the South--its literature, culture, music, and art--New Orleans serves as an important touchstone, and we're there often. The Quarter has been home to a bohemian artistic community for nearly a century, though it also boasts plenty of high-end businesses and institutions, as well as the abrasively over stimulating tourists traps on Bourbon Street.
The Quarter contains international chain hotels, condo timeshares, and local hotels and B&Bs, but nothing compares to the Audubon Cottages. Tucked away amidst the rollicking and bustle of the Quarter, the cottages allow you to reset and relax (if you wish) in a beautifully secluded area just a stone's throw away from the action. It's honestly eerie how you'll feel transported miles away from the Quarter--how does it suddenly smell nice? where's all the noise? the people?
Besides the fantastic location, the accommodations are fantastic in general. The rooms are charming and the history's intoxicating (Elizabeth Taylor frequented our cottage; Tennessee Williams stayed in the hotel and undoubtedly penned parts of A Streetcar Named Desire there). There's a heated pool that allowed us to take a dip in December (granted, it's New Orleans, so the outside temperature hovered around the 70s).
—The Oxford American crew