Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum: They're all common faces in the Crescent City. Over the past decade New Orleans has taken on the nickname "Hollywood South," a nod to the large number of movies now shot and produced here. But visitors can spot famous faces (and notable places) at any time of the year, whether there's a big-screen blockbuster filming or not. Grab a pair of dark sunglasses and go incognito.
9 am: Morning Becomes Eclectic
Linger over the panini waffle melts, “crois-dogs” and fresh-squeezed juices at Petite Amelie, housed in the former residence of the former Princess of Monaco, and watch the Royal Street art scene gradually come to life.
10 am: En Plein Air Art
Amble around Jackson Square, where area artisans have been gathering to show their works since the 1950s. Then galley-hop around the French Quarter.
11 am: The Frame Game
Swing by Rodgrigue Studio to pay homage to the late great Blue Dog master and the showroom of artist James Michalopoulos, known worldwide for his unique slant on the city's one-of-kind architecture. Chris Roberts-Antieau’s offbeat appliqué works are found in the White House, as well at her Royal Street gallery, while Alex Beard counts the late Princess Margaret among his collectors.
1 pm: The Missing Link
James Beard Award-winning chef Donald Link’s Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants are award-winners themselves. Lunch at Links' latest, Pêche, which topped 2013 “best-of” lists … along with the must-have grilled whole fish.
2:30 pm: Museum Quality
Explore the Ogden Museum, home to the world's largest collection of Southern art, and the adjacent Confederate Museum, which dates to 1891. Battlefield buffs will want to hunker down at the National World War II Museum, then knock back a throwback cocktail or two (Moscow Mules, Singapore Slings) at award-winning chef John Besh's in-house American Sector.
7 pm: Hotel Haute
Following dinner at Restaurant R’evolution, helmed by celebrated chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, duck into Grammy winner Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, both located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Or beef up in Harrah’s Hotel at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the internationally acclaimed chain that got its start in New Orleans during the 1960s. Then work off that filet at nearby Fulton Alley, an upscale bowling venue that Yahoo Travel recently named among the best new bars in the nation.
10 pm: Living Legends
More music? Settle in at the feet of the greats at Preservation Hall, whose famed Jazz Band has played Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, among other prestigious venues. Or cut loose at Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum’s naughty-but-nice Saints & Sinners, "where the red light is always on."