I’ve been to NOLA more than a couple of handfuls of times. It’s the kind of city that lures my family toward it with good food, interesting architecture, a colored history, and music filling the air. New Orleans has so much more to offer than “stumbling around the streets with a drink in hand.”

We tend to steer clear of Bourbon Street. Sure, on our first day in the French Quarter, we’ll walk Bourbon and grab a hand-grenade for me, a frozen drink for the kiddo and a beer for the boy. Other than that, we generally cross over Bourbon to get place to place.

More to that point, there’s other places to stay just outside the FQ, if you’re looking for a more authentic vacation experience. Added bonus, less woo-girls and frat boys!

This NOLA trip was completely impromptu. Josh had a work-cation scheduled, and when we found out the city… I was quick to find and book a hotel that very day. YES PLEASE!

Short notice, we opted to bring the Pugs, plus we wanted a more laid back experience. We wanted to stay in one of the neighborhoods outside the quarter, where it’s a bit quieter and slower paced. Also, I didn’t want to stay in the quarter, for lack of a space to take the boys to potty outside. They prefer a nice patch of grass to pee upon.

I found a gem of a place in the “Lower Garden District” which happened to be BOTH pet friendly AND budget friendly! YAY ME!

We stayed at the Creole Gardens, and selected the Prytania Cottage, bottom floor.

The Prytania Cottage is located across the street from the main house of Creole Gardens. There’s 3 different units: bottom floor, upstairs and a soon to be renovated back apt space. The upstairs guest, has use of the front porch, a little shared courtyard area is located in the backyard, with an additional covered porch seating seating for the downstairs guest. The currently in renovation status back apartment also looks to have it’s own little porch area suited for outdoor seating.

It’s super quaint, and quiet, and completely charming.

NOTE: This is not a 4 star hotel, this is an updated cottage, it’s old. That being stated, it’s pretty clean, there’s central heat and air, cable, and a full kitchen, should you feel the need to cook while vacationing (just be sure to pack pots and pans, the kitchen isn’t fully stocked at this time with those types of amenities.)

The Prytania Cottage is brightly painted, and is tastefully decorated. A decent mix of old and new. I love old bungalows with their built-ins, hard wood floors and ceiling moulding. Made me miss my bungalow back in Tampa, FL. One thing I will say about old houses, is they tend to be a bit dim. I wish each room had more than a ceiling light. The living room had a lamp, but it didn’t really brighten the space too much.

Also, with tall buildings on either side, and narrow spaces between, not much sunlight is really able to sneak in.

The kitchen was a decent size, had a full size stove and fridge. The dishwasher was out of service, but I wasn’t going to do dishes on vacation. There was a small dining room, with a circular table and 4 chairs. The living room had a small sofa, and 2 chairs, and a small tv. The bedroom had a comfy queen bed and the bathroom had a full size shower/tub and toilet.

So all the creature comforts you would expect from a small vacation home.

We traveled after Mardi-Gras, Easter and Jazz Fest, so pricing was more of their mid-off season. I like NOLA before June, because it gets pretty hot and humid there. We tend to not travel during the summer months, and since we homeschool, we can vacation in the off seasons, and not contend with summer crowds.

The Prytania Cottage is also PET FRIENDLY. They only charge a one time fee for pets to stay. No price gouging with daily pet fees!

Best part of our stay, was the breakfast at their main house. Served hot, daily, breakfast is included with the stay. Of course we threw in $5 each, whenever we went to breakfast because it was a legit breakfast, and to not at least throw a few bucks is not only bad mojo– but why be cheap? You’re on vacation, and these people are working and providing you a service of a delicious breakfast… so put a few dollars in the tip jar. (Yeah, we saw a few people eat and not tip!)

Would I book the Prytania Cottage again? Yes I would. The lower Garden District had all sorts of eateries and bars in walking distance. The St. Charles StreetCar was just a block away, so transportation was readily available to get around from the cottage to the French Quarter and to the Garden District for lot’s of additional food, fun and exploring.

Got a favorite place to stay in NOLA- feel free to comment below. I’m always looking for our next home away from home and vacation spots!

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