When the carousing dies down at the Fair Grounds Race Course, site of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 25-May 4), the majority of revelers will swarm the French Quarter. But those craving the Big Easy's more serene and quirky charms know to head straight to nearby but less-trafficked neighborhoods located just to the east. Faubourg Marigny, where jazz-filled Frenchmen Street is the main drag, and the colorful and edgier Bywater, are both where a slew of live music, offbeat art and compelling food and drink await.
1. The Claiborne Mansion, 2111 Dauphine St. The circa-1850s historic inn oozes old-world grace. Spacious rooms are elegantly appointed with canopy beds and marble fireplaces and baths. Bonus: The grounds include a shady gazebo, a surrounding pool and a fresh citrus grove.
2. The Three Muses, 536 Frenchmen St. Music and food dynamically collide at this beloved venue, which attracts jazz acts like The Royal Roses and Luke Winslow King. When there isn't a musician gracing the stage, it's worth going just for the grub, like Bulgogi beef po' boys.