Things To Do Around The Hotel
The Marriott Hotel at 555 Canal Street is in the New Orleans Central Business District on the western edge of the world-famous French Quarter. There are many interesting and entertaining things to do within walking distance of the hotel.
The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium: Located at 423 Canal Place in the historic U.S. Custom House, which is a still functioning Federal building. Since its opening in June 2008, the Insectarium has grown into a world class attraction. It is the largest free-standing American museum dedicated to insects. Although it may sound creepy, it is really a lot of fun and very educational. And if you are feeling especially brave, you may wish to try an exotic bug dish or two at their café.
The Aquarium of the Americas: Located at 1 Canal Place in the heart of the Central Business District, the world-renown Audubon Aquarium offers an abundance of visual and educational treats. It is home to over 15,000 sea creatures, along with snakes, birds and frogs, living in authentic recreated environments. You may want to see the rare white alligator or pet a shark or visit the perky little penguins that returned home to the Aquarium months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to a celebrity homecoming, off a jet plane on a red carpet!
Woldenberg Riverfront Park in the French Quarter: Starting at 1 Canal Place, here you will get one of the best views of the Mississippi River as you stroll along beautiful brick-paved walkways, on one side enjoying the ships going by on the river and on the other side enjoying the trees, benches, green spaces and interesting sculptures. At any time, you are likely to hear a solo musician or a group making music.
The Streetcars: Depending on which one you take, you can go along the riverfront, take a tour of famous St. Charles Avenue, or go to the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden. The bright red streetcars of the Riverfront line go along the river from the Morial Convention Center through the Warehouse District, the Central Business District to the end of the French Quarter at the foot of Esplanade Avenue. It is a great way to visit the French Quarter, as it has lots of stops. The St Charles streetcar line uses the historic green cars, which are not air conditioned, letting warm gentle breezes into the car as it gently sways up toward the riverbend in the Carrollton area. The St. Charles line is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world. It has been in operation since 1835.
The Shops at Canal Place: Located at 333 Canal Street, this high-end shopping center is located in the center of the four-star Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel. Among the shops are, Michael Kors, Mignon Faget, Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani Collezioni, and Tiffany & Co. If nothing else, be sure to visit the beautiful atrium entrance.
The Riverwalk Shopping Center (The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk): Located at 500 Port of New Orleans, between the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel and the Ferry, this is said to be the nation’s first downtown outlet center. The center has almost 75 stores and an extensive and diverse food court with ample seating that looks out over the Mississippi River. It’s a fun place to take a stroll on a hot summer day to cool off.
Spanish Plaza: Located on the eastern edge of the Riverwalk Shopping Center, the Plaza was dedicated by Spain in 1976 to the City of New Orleans in remembrance of their common historical past and as a pledge of fraternity in the future. The focal point is a large fountain surrounded by ceramic plaques representing the seals of the Spanish provinces.
The Algiers Ferry: Located at the foot of Canal Street, next to the Aquarium, the ferry, which has been in operation since 1827, takes riders from the East Bank of the River (New Orleans side) to historic Algiers Point on the West Bank. It is for pedestrians only and costs $2.00. Hours are from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. This is the best way to experience the mighty Mississippi. As the ferry chugs across the river, you will note its strong currents, the busy river traffic, river breezes, hear the many sounds of the river, and see the skyline of the city of New Orleans. You will also get a sense of why New Orleans is called the Crescent City, as the ferry navigates the grand sweep of the bend in the river. When you get to Algiers Point, you may get off or stay on the ferry for the return trip. Algiers Point is New Orleans’ second oldest neighborhood and still retains the feel of a small 19th Century town. It has a wonderful collection of 19th Century houses.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art: Located at 925 Camp Street, this museum is home to the largest collection of Southern Art in the world, and it all began with the gift of one painting by a young man (Roger H. Ogden, the founder) to his mother. The collection contains more than 4,000 works, including paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, wood works and crafts from artists from the 15 southern states and the District of Colombia.
The National World War II Museum: Located at 945 Magazine Street, the museum focuses on the contributions the United States made to the Allied victory in World War II. New Orleans was chosen as the site because the Higgins Boats, vital to D-Day operations, were designed and built in New Orleans by Higgins Industries. The museum exhibits offer an immersive journey through the war. The exhibits are housed in several buildings, and the museum continues to grow. Of particular interest is the John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion whose glass exterior walls allow the public a behind-the-scenes view of the restoration and preservation of World War II artifacts. Visitors are able to see first-hand the techniques that conservators use to repair and restore boats, vehicles, weapons, military equipment and other artifacts. Besides the vast exhibition spaces, the museum also has BB’s Stage Door Canteen, a dining and entertainment venue that offers plays and dances modeled after a 1940s style; as well at The American Sector, a casual lunch and dinner restaurant.