Once home to writers such as Tennessee Williams, Anne Rice, and Truman Capote, New Orleans has produced its fair share of literature. Take a dip into bohemia and visit the sultry bars and historic hotels that inspired it all. Here’s where to go.
The Hotel Monteleone
The Monteleone’s famous Carousel Bar was once a favorite haunt for writers, serving as a setting for Eudora Welty’s novel The Purple Hat and Ernest Hemingway’s short story Night Before Battle. Visit this landmark site on a guided literary tour, and sip on signature New Orleans cocktails while you explore.
This French Quarter bar was (and still is) a watering hole for the city’s creative population. The peeled-paint walls and staring portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte evoke quintessential New Orleans charm. Visit on a private walking tour and toast to the ghosts of writers past.
This Louisiana Creole-style restaurant inspired Frances Keyes’ famed murder mystery novel Dinner at Antoine’s. Visit on a New Orleans food walking tour, and taste Creole delicacies in the restaurant’s themed dining rooms—one of which is a “mystery room” that served alcohol in coffee cups during prohibition.
Tujague’s was founded in 1856 by two French immigrants, and contains the first stand-up bar in America. Legend has it that a young riverboat pilot named Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) would post up here and regale fellow patrons with tales of life on the Mississippi River. Visit on a literary ghost tour of the French Quarter, and raise a glass of Sazerac to the man who penned Huckleberry Finn.
Faulkner House Books
William Faulkner wrote his first novel in this French Quarter residence, which is now a popular bookstore. It’s also the headquarters of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, which hosts the annual Words and Music literary festival each winter.