This year the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is celebrating its 45th anniversary with an all-star lineup. One of the longest running festivals, it is also one of the most diverse in terms of music (despite the moniker). This year the festival is being held over two long weekends, from April 25 to May 4.
The festival is held about 10 minutes north(ish) of the French Quarter in a residential area and next to one of the iconic New Orleans cemeteries. There really aren’t any options (other than one B&B) within walking distance, so the festival partners with Gray Line Tours for continuous shuttle service between three different stops near downtown and the French Quarter. The shuttle gets preferential access to the site (meaning less traffic lineups), and is really a good deal.
Jazz Fest attendees are really lucky this year because there are still a few good hotels left on award nights within walking distance of the shuttle stops, and right smack in the middle of the French Quarter action.
Weekend 1 & 2 Availability
Availability for the first weekend is pretty slim by now. But there are a couple of options.
Country Inn & Suites New Orleans (315 Magazine Street) – 44,000 points/night
This hotel is closer to the convention center than the heart of the French Quarter, but not horribly far from a shuttle stop. Not super close though for those that can’t walk 10 or 15 minutes. For those that have a Club Carlson credit card, read up on award nights as you can save lots of points and a get an extra night free.
Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans (701 Convention Center Blvd) – 30,000 points/night
The Wyndham Riverfront, as the address suggests, is also right by the convention center. At 30,000 points/night, this is a good deal consider you would have to pay about $350/night to stay during the festival.
Weekend 2 Availability
IHG has a few more hotels available for the second weekend, in great locations.
Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter (739 Canal Street) – 40,000 points/night
You can’t beat this location for fun, fun, fun in the French Quarter, and it’s just a few blocks to the shuttle stop in front of the Sheraton.
Intercontinental Hotel New Orleans (444 St. Charles Ave) – 50,000 points/night
The Intercontinental is a ritzy place also in the heart of the action, and also just a few blocks walk to the Sheraton shuttle stop. It’s a bit more spendy, but this is a lovely hotel and a good deal for the points as well.
Have fun jazzing it up with these free stays in the Big Easy!