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Travel from Nashville to New Orleans for the Essence Festival

Travel from Nashville to New Orleans for the Essence Festival
Photo: iStock
By Hoodline - Published on June 11, 2019.

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.

Thankfully, there are plenty of regular, relatively inexpensive flights between Nashville and New Orleans. We pulled from travel site Skyscanner to provide you with a short list of flights and hotels handpicked for the occasion. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions.

Flight deals to New Orleans

Currently, the cheapest flights between Nashville and New Orleans are if you leave on July 5 and return from Louisiana on July 7. Southwest Airlines currently has roundtrip, nonstop tickets for $369.

Top New Orleans hotels

To plan your 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 treat yourself, 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, there's The Columns Hotel. Rooms are currently set at $100/night. It has 4.6 stars and 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.

Featured New Orleans restaurants

If you're looking to snag a bite at one of New Orleans' many quality eateries, here are a few popular culinary destinations from Skyscanner's listings that will help keep you satiated.

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 visitor Michelle. "Cannot recommend this famous restaurant enough."

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.

"One of the busiest and smallest cafes in town because the food is wonderful and plentiful," wrote Cindee. "This is a neighborhood restaurant that is warm and friendly."

Lilette (3637 Magazine St.)

Finally, there's Lilette. It has five stars from 16 reviews.

Born out of chef and owner John Harris' desire to create an intimate dining environment, Lilette enjoys both a loyal local following and a steady stream of visitors from around the country. Cheerful and sunny at lunchtime, at night the dining room takes a turn toward the romantic, awash in wine-colored walls and soft lighting. 

Featured New Orleans attractions

Not sure what to do in New Orleans, besides eat and drink? Here are two top recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

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

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is The French Quarter, with 4.7 stars from 280 reviews.

Known also as the Vieux Carré, the French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans as far as tourist attractions go. The iconic Bourbon and Royal streets run parallel here, offering a rambunctious nightlife on the former and unique boutiques on the latter. 

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 (1427 Washington Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Lastly, consider checking out Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

"Interesting place to get a glimpse of the macabre side of New Orleans," wrote visitor Morgan. "It's free and there is no tour guide needed."


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.