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New Orleans hosts the Essence Festival, with cheap flights from San Diego

While New Orleans is known year-round as a melting pot of music, food and culture, the Crescent City raises the bar each Fourth of July weekend with the annual Essence Festival, the "party with a purpose."

Spread over a main stage and four "superlounges," the Essence Festival is the largest celebration of African American culture and music in the United States. Marking its 25th anniversary this year, the festival features a conversation with former first lady Michelle Obama, and headline music acts including Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas and Pharrell Williams.

Events are scattered across the city, so the Essence Festival also offers a chance to take in the sights and sounds of New Orleans. The festival runs July 4-7.

Whether you’re ready to book your trip now or just interested in what's available, take a look at these forthcoming flights between San Diego and New Orleans, which we pulled from travel site Skyscanner.

We've also included popular hotels, restaurants and attractions in New Orleans to highlight the city's best for visitors headed there soon. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

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Cheapest New Orleans flights

Currently, the cheapest flights between San Diego and New Orleans are if you leave on July 4 and return from Louisiana on July 8. Spirit Airlines currently has tickets for $336, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had later in July. If you fly out of San Diego on July 5 and return from New Orleans on July 7, Spirit Airlines can get you there and back for $338 roundtrip.

Top New Orleans hotels

Regarding where to stay, here are some of New Orleans’ top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.

The Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, consider The Hotel Monteleone. The hotel has a 4.7-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $179.

The Hotel Monteleone stands in the French Quarter within four blocks of Jackson Square, the Canal Street Shops, Harrah's New Orleans Casino, Cafe du Monde and lively Bourbon Street. 

The Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for an inexpensive place to stay, try The Columns Hotel, which has rooms for $100/night. It overlooks St. Charles Avenue, and you can watch the famous streetcar go by ⁠— or ride it to the French Quarter.

The Hampton Inn & Suites Convention Center (1201 Convention Center Blvd.)

A third option is The Hampton Inn & Suites Convention Center. The 4.6-star hotel has rooms for $99/night. It's just across from the Ernest Morial Convention Center, the site of many Essence Festival events.

Local restaurant picks

New Orleans has plenty of top-notch dining options. Here are a few of the most popular, according to Skyscanner.

Cafe Du Monde (800 Decatur St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Let's start with the essentials: where to get beignets. For a popular option, check out Cafe Du Monde, which has an average of 4.6 stars out of 408 reviews on Skyscanner.

This 24/7 French cafe (only closed on Christmas and during hurricanes) serves its patrons a mean cup of dark roasted chicory coffee. Complement your cup of Joe with one of the famous beignets, topped with powdered sugar and occasionally filled with fruit.

Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a local favorite restaurant pick, head to the Commander's Palace, with 4.8 stars from 93 reviews.  

"Jazz brunches are a tradition here in the garden room overlooking the courtyard," wrote reviewer Michelle. "The traditional place in New Orleans to celebrate a special occasion and the staff goes over the top to make you feel like a king or queen for the event."

Jacques-Imo's Cafe (8324 Oak St.)

Also worth considering is Jacques-Imo's Cafe, with 4.8 stars from 69 reviews. 

Not your typical New Orleans restaurant, Jacques-Imo's Cafe has become one of the hottest food tickets in town, known for its eclectic mix of Creole and Cajun specialties at reasonable prices.

Featured local attractions

New Orleans is also full of sites to visit and explore. Here are two popular attractions to round out your trip, again from Skyscanner's listings.

The French Quarter (501 Basin St., New Orleans)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is The French Quarter, the heart of New Orleans as far as tourist attractions go.

The iconic Bourbon and Royal Streets run parallel here, offering a rambunctious nightlife at the former and unique boutiques at the latter. Countless restaurants and bars reside here, and finding jazz is as easy as catching multi-colored beads.

"The French Quarter is always full of life and good vibes. Make sure to stop here when you are in town," wrote Kay.

Jackson Square (700 Decatur St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Jackson Square is another popular destination, with 4.7 stars from 193 reviews. 

The pleasant green square located near the waterfront of New Orleans serves as the home of the statue of Andrew Jackson. Bars and restaurants border the park, and the legendary Cafe Du Monde is just across the street. 


This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.