As if New Orleans needed to give visitors another reason to party, the city celebrates its 300th birthday this year.
That means non-stop tricentennial events, parades, exhibits and more on top of the Big Easy’s already packed calendar. America’s most unique city draws tourists for its culture, food, cocktails and festivals — and keeps them coming back by embracing its rich history while continuing to evolve.
Perhaps no Nola neighborhood is changing more than Bywater, home to pretty pastel-painted Creole cottages and a thriving arts scene. It’s known for quirky spots like The Country Club (634 Louisa St., thecountryclubneworleans.com), a pool clubhouse and restaurant famous for its Saturday “Drag Brunch.”
Bywater started exploding in the years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, when the floodwaters that devastated other parts of New Orleans did not reach the slightly elevated nabe. Locals have mixed feelings about the influx of newbies and businesses, since it’s led to exciting new restaurants and projects, but has also changed the feel of of the area and priced out some long-time residents. For now, charming Bywater still maintains its edge.