JET SET EXPERIENCES: “Laissez le bon temps rouler.”

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I’ve been making an annual visit to New Orleans for a decade and just recently discovered the best way to see this miraculous city: on two wheels! The folks at FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours certainly know how to bike the Big Easy.

We pedaled out of the French Quarter to the beautiful tree lined Esplanade Ave – the dividing point between the Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. Magnificent antebellum homes adorn the thoroughfare, each one a historical treasure. Our “Creole & Crescent” tour then rolled past the Edgar Degas house, the Fair Grounds Race Course (home to the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival), and City Park – an inspiring outdoor oasis that I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t previously know existed.

City Park is one of the oldest urban parks in the country. Made up of 1300 acres, the park houses a wonderful sculpture garden, the New Orleans Museum of Art, a botanical garden, and “Morning Call” cafe. This is Morning Call’s second outpost and a local favorite serving classic café au lait and beignets 24 hours a day since 1870 (nearly as old as Café Du Monde but with half the powdered sugar). We rode by 800-year-old oak trees, beautiful ponds with paddleboats, and even gondolas! City Park felt hundreds of miles away from the Bourbon Street brawl that many associate with the city.

We continued our tour through the Treme and past the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church, which features the moving memorial “Tomb of the unknown Slave.” Though the Treme was devastated during hurricane Katrina, ten years later there seemed to be a resurgence, which was an uplifting end to our afternoon bike ride.

As we made our way back to the Quarter it seemed premature to say farewell to my new mode of transport, so I extended my rental for the remainder of my visit. “Gumbo, beignets, and po-boy’s be gone!” I was a peddling machine from Tulane to Algiers, exploring all that New Orleans has to offer.

“Laissez le bon temps rouler.”

To plan your very own Crescent City adventure, please contact your favorite Jet Set World Travel advisor.

Blog submission by Jet Set World Travel Operations Manager, Julia Cunningham


There is nothing more Americana than a visit to the “Federal City” and a trip back through colonial times to discover beautiful and historically rich Virginia.  Only about an hour outside of the Capital, you will find world-class wineries (Pippen Hill, Bluemont Vineyard and King Family Vineyards to name a few) offering tasty wine, excellent farm to table cuisine, stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an afternoon of polo matches (at King Family Vineyards).  Downtown Charlottesville is filled with upscale restaurants, charming boutiques, and live music on the main square each Friday evening.  Stay at The Clifton Inn for an Old World meets New World experience. The white clapboard Federal Style home in the heart of Jefferson County, feels as if you have stepped back in time and will shortly be joined by our Founding Fathers in the cozy bar.  Venture further into the Shenandoah Valley, into Natural Chimneys Park for rigorous hiking, mountain biking, and notable fly-fishing, along with the newly created Red Wing Roots Music Festival each July (this year July 11-13, 2014) for some downhome Bluegrass tunes.  On your return to Washington, leave plenty of time for a stop to explore George Washington’s Mount Vernon, enjoying their fireworks display over the Potomac River and a taste their newly finished bourbon from the renovated Distillery.

Back in DC, wander of the beaten path to discover Ethiopian food in the U Street neighborhood, sunrise paddle boarding on the river from Jack’s Boat House, and pretend you are a spy for day at the International Spy Museum.  If the children are with you, they will enjoy the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian (and of course the Air and Space Museum). The place to stay is The Jefferson Hotel.  Located just four blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but off the tourist route, this 99 guest room property evokes a European flair, drawn from Thomas Jefferson’s love for Paris. Extraordinary attention to detail (in the design and service to guests) creates a feeling of being a houseguest in a private home.

For more information please contact Lauren Maggard:

Map your trip with help from Lauren’s Guide: