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Amateur night, also known as New Year’s Eve in New Orleans, will see a huge influx of people who don’t just want to watch it on TV. One must be brave to wade the perilous streams of champagne and celebratory libations. Ah, but the things we do for the people we love, those whom we look forward to being with in the coming new year!
You want to be there for that midnight kiss as the ball drops and fireworks blast the night sky in wonder and hope that the coming year will always be better than the previous. Might we suggest helpful hints for planning a perfect New Year’s Eve kiss, which is all location, location, location and not so much the smooching bits (we leave that up to you and yours). In juxtaposition to the infamous amateur night, a true professional party connoisseur makes memories, friends, and a hangover worthy of New Year’s Day brunch in The Big Easy.
5. Any French Quarter Balcony
Seriously, any balcony in the French Quarter will do. The mirth and mayhem of New Year’s Eve can often be experienced as you look down on those celebrating. The fireworks will glimmer overhead while the report of the bursts of light reverberate off the walls of the oldest part of the city. It’s something to romanticize and an experience worthy of “The Gram.”
So, who has a balcony in The French Quarter? Often, one can luck out with an available hotel room with a balcony in the Quarter. However, some Bourbon Street bars and clubs will gladly welcome you to the upstairs party. A splendid time could be guaranteed for all.
4. Mississippi River Front
Whether it be from the Moon Walk in front of Jackson Square, or at the Riverwalk area, there’s a place to take all your heartache and memories of the old year and properly give them up to the mighty Mississippi River, America’s main vein of outpouring into the Gulf of Mexico. Closer to the fireworks that will fill the sky, folks can feel connected by means of the river itself which also connects many other major cities in America as we all hurtle towards 2022 together. Let the Old Man River take your worries and stress of the uncertain times we have lived through in 2021 alone. Send it all downriver while kicking back with some champagne as we cheer for the arrival of the New Year. Best of all, it’s free, with an amazing view of the pyrotechnic spectacular and the Crescent City Connection in the distance.
3. Lafitte's Blacksmith
One of the oldest buildings in The French Quarter, on the quiet side of Bourbon Street, Lafitte’s is a place worthy of history, folklore, and celebrity sightings. World famous for their candlelight atmosphere, there is a chance that folks will be singing “Auld Lang Syne” round a piano player at midnight, as the bar is often known to transform into a piano bar around 9pm.
With very little lighting and rich in tales of the pirate Jean Lafitte, it is a classic place and a national landmark in New Orleans where you can ring in the new year with outdoor seating available. Without a doubt, this is a place that makes the meanest Hurricane cocktail as you might pre-game before champagne at midnight. Lafitte’s doesn’t use a powdery, sugary mix for their Hurricane cocktails, resulting in less hangover; Lafitte’s still make The Hurricane the old-fashioned way, the way God intended that drink to be imbibed.
2. The Omni Royal Orleans Hotel Rooftop
This rooftop is not always accessible to the public. So, we recommend a room, book reservations, and make way to the rooftop! You’ll probably save some money by not “going out”, but rather “going up.” The finest view in the city of New Orleans is atop The Omni Royal Orleans. You can party like a rock star this New Year’s Eve in a place where the likes of Led Zeppelin (this hotel was known as Royal Orleans in the 1970s and the favorite hotel of rock gods) stayed on the roof near the penthouse suite and pool. But the observation deck atop the Omni will bring you ever so closer to those New Year’s Eve fireworks. With a heated pool and a rooftop bar, new year revelers can add a bit of privacy to their celebration, one worthy of social media posts and memories to last through the new year.
1. Hot Tin Rooftop Bar
All the fireworks can be seen from this rooftop landmark. Hot Tin is a bar on top of the Pontchartrain Hotel just near the Garden District, in Central City, away from the melee and crowds of The French Quarter. The nearly 100-year-old building will bring you up by elevator with a waiting list for the elevator ride — seriously. Then, the door opens to the unique atmosphere of Hot Tin, which also boasts one of the most unique vantage points and view of the New Orleans City Skyline. They’ve been known to pass out the champagne and have plenty in stock for the midnight kiss.
One place you don’t want to be at midnight on New Year’s Eve is in the back of an Uber or taxi. So, another wonderful dynamic of The Pontchartrain Hotel/Hot Tin rooftop bar is that it is located on St. Charles Avenue, home of the oldest streetcar line in continual use in the world. We highly recommend a nighttime ride on the St. Charles streetcar, to and from, before and after, the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Experience the City Yourself
If you’re stuck in the doldrums of your hometown, or life in general, find your way to New Orleans and we will do the rest. It is a magical city that can repair something in your soul while reminding you that you, indeed, have a soul. Whether we take you by bus, limousine, swamp boat or foot, Cajun Encounters can give you the map, but you must seek your own treasure in New Orleans, and we’re confident you will find it.
After being devastated by Covid and Hurricane Ida, we never lost our belief in you, the tourist and visitor. We believe in you. We appreciate you. We thank you for another year in business.
In conclusion, we all make our way through life seeking the best reward for our efforts. Everyone wants the best for their coming new year. This list should help, and we hope it does. When making such an effort for that perfect moment, on the eve of 2022, one should strive to do the most, not because it is easily attained, but because it is a challenge. Put forth the effort for those whom you love effortlessly, and the new year will unfold a little easier for you. Happy New Year from Cajun Encounters!