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Event orchestration | 3 October 2019

20 New Orleans Event Venues That Your Attendees Will Love

Jacob Thomas

Ready to host an event in the Big Easy? Here are the top 20 event venues you should add to your list immediately.

Few cities have as much character and vibrance as New Orleans. The Big Easy, as it’s affectionately known, is the largest metropolitan area in Louisiana. It’s famous for its unique music scene, mouth-watering creole eateries, and well-known celebrations (like Mardi Gras). 

Given all this, it should come as no surprise to learn that New Orleans is also an amazing city to host an event in! Keep reading to learn about the 20 best venues the city has to offer for your next gathering. 

20 Event Venues in New Orleans

1. Paddlewheeler Creole Queen

Paddlewheeler Creole Queen - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: TripAdvisor

Location: French Quarter

Capacity: 1,000

Nothing says “New Orleans” quite like creole food on the Mississippi River. And when we say “on the Mississippi,” we mean it literally. The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen is a 190×40 foot riverboat with three decks that’s been riding the river currents since 1983. Rent this beauty for your next business or personal gathering and you’ll have access to an entire team of event planning professionals who will help ensure your shindig goes off without a hitch. Plus you’ll have access to world-class caterers serving some of the finest food in the Big Easy. And a talented jazz band to keep your guests entertained long into the night. The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen is quintessential New Orleans and definitely one of the city’s top venues.

2. The New Orleans Jazz Market

The New Orleans Jazz Market - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: New Orleans

Location: Faubourg Lafayette

Capacity: 370

New Orleans and Jazz go together like Mardi Gras and plastic colored beads. So why not host your next board meeting, fundraiser gala, or musical performance at the New Orleans Jazz Market? This venue is the only stand-alone facility in the Big Easy “designed specifically for jazz”. But that doesn’t mean it can’t host a wide variety of other events too. Whatever gathering you have planned, the New Orleans Jazz Market is ready to accommodate. And, as an added bonus, all events held in this space help support the local jazz community. Win!

3. Paradigm Gardens

Paradigm Gardens - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: New Orleans

Location: Faubourg Lafayette

Capacity: 125

Paradigm Gardens is an “intimate and lush private events venue hidden in the heart of New Orleans.” The space regularly hosts musical performances, wood-fired pizza baking parties, and yoga classes (amongst the flowers, veggies, and pygmy goats in the venue’s garden area). But Paradigm Gardens is also available for private rental. Whether you plan to host a catered dinner, cocktail party, or wedding reception, the venue’s experienced events team will help make sure your gathering is unforgettable. Custom food and drink menus can also be arranged, as well as various musical entertainment options. The possibilities are endless at Paradigm Gardens!

4. The Civic Theater

The Civic Theater - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: The Advocate

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: 1,200

The Civic Theater walks the fine line between classic and cutting edge, easily making it one of the top New Orleans event venues. Formerly known as the Shubert, the space was originally built in 1906. Since then, it has hosted vaudeville, burlesque, musicals, and discos. These days the renovated theater has a state of the art A/V system and an “innovative hydraulic flooring system that allows for multiple configurations.” So bring your business meetings, product launches, rock n’ roll shows, TV filming projects, wedding receptions, and private parties to this flexible space. The Civic Theater will host every last one of them with its trademark class and professionalism — just as it has for countless other gatherings over the last century.

5. The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: GoNOLA

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: 1,000

The National WWII Museum features a stunning collection of immersive and entertaining exhibits, multimedia experiences, rare artifacts, and first-person oral histories. If you decide to host your event in this space, your guests will have access to all of it. Choose from one of the museum’s 13 unique locations. Like the US Freedom Pavilion, which features six WWII aircrafts soaring overhead (pictured above). Or the Solomon Victory Theater, which is home to the Tom Hanks-produced, 4D cinematic experience named “Beyond All Boundaries”. Whichever space you decide on, you’ll be able to treat your guests to a memorable night filled with world-class entertainment and delectable food options.

6. The Cannery

The Cannery - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: Yelp

Location: Mid-City

Capacity: N/A

Located in the heart of Mid-City, The Cannery is one of the most highly sought-after New Orleans event spaces. It’s the perfect location for corporate gatherings, wedding ceremonies, receptions, fashion shows, and educational training seminars. The venue features a large, open floor plan that can be customized to your exact standards. It’s also equipped with a state of the art sound system, 18×24 foot stage, LED lighting sequences, and flat screen TVs. Did we mention the in-house catering options? Whatever you need, The Cannery can provide.

7. NOLA Brewing Company

NOLA Brewing Company - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: OffBeat Magazine

Location: East Riverside

Capacity: 1,000

NOLA Brewing Company, in its own words, sells “craft beers made by hand in a warehouse on the lake-side of a street that tourists can’t pronounce.” When we first read that, the only word that came to mind was “Authentic.” Do you agree? Then host your next employee appreciation dinner, business brainstorming session, or personal milestone celebration party at NOLA Brewing Company. If you really want to get crazy, schedule a brewery tour and learn how all that tasty booze is made. Whatever you decide, you and your guests are bound to have a memorable evening.

8. Vintage Rock Club

Vintage Rock Club - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: Yelp

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: N/A

Are you a fan of Queen? How about Aerosmith, Def Leppard, and Led Zeppelin? Then Vintage Rock Club might be the perfect event venue for your next business or personal get-together. The unique space is a “throwback club and video music experience that brings your vintage favorites to the big screen.” You and your guests will be able to dance to your favorite classic tunes, drink cocktails, and enjoy vintage music videos or live concert footage on the venue’s many big-screen TVs. It’s an incredibly unique and entertaining way to spend an evening as well as a great venue choice for your next soiree.

9. Vessel NOLA

Vessel NOLA - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: NOLA

Location: Mid-City

Capacity: 110

Host your next event at Vessel NOLA, a spot known as the place to eat, drink, and congregate. The one-of-a-kind restaurant resides in an old church building from the early 1900s and serves delicious New Orleans cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. The venue is able to host intimate events of 110 people or less and features both indoor and outdoor spaces. The outdoor setting is especially nice in warmer months of the year. From professional business meetings to personal get-togethers, Vessel NOLA will wow your guests with beautiful architecture and delectable dishes.

10. Elms Mansion

Elms Mansion - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: PRA New Orleans

Location: Faubourg Delassize

Capacity: 800

Hold your next shindig in a venue bursting with history and southern charm! Elms Mansion was originally constructed in 1869 for Watson Van Benthuysen II, a veteran of the American Civil War and a prominent New Orleans businessman. In 1952, ownership of the mansion was transferred to John Elms Sr., who made his fortune by founding the largest coin-operated amusement company in the south. John’s family is still in possession of the property today and rents it out for events of all kinds. Whether you plan to host a corporate function, private party, or wedding, the team Elms Mansion can help bring your event strategy to fruition and assist you in coordinating catering options, entertainers, or florists. 

11. English Turn Golf and Country Club

English Turn Golf and Country Club - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: Golf Advisor

Location: New Aurora

Capacity: 450

The English Turn Golf and Country Club is an upscale event venue that used to only be available to club members. That’s all changed now and anyone can rent its facilities. Choose from a large ballroom with floor to ceiling windows, a glass-ceiling atrium with an abundance of natural light, and the main dining hall that overlooks the golf course’s 18th hole. Other club amenities include a full catering staff, technology options, and furniture rentals. From important business functions to once in a lifetime wedding ceremonies, The English Turn Golf and Country Club is available to help make your gathering a smashing success.

12. Stella Plantation

Stella Plantation - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: Here Comes the Guide

Location: Carlisle, LA

Capacity: N/A

If you don’t mind a quick drive outside the Big Easy, Stella Plantation is a beautiful location for both corporate and personal functions. The venue is a top choice for wedding ceremonies, business conferences, glamping adventures, bird-watching excursions, hunting trips, and more. As you can see, the 1,500 acres that make up the Stella Plantation property are quite diverse. But Stella is more than the land it sits on. The event space also features technology options, bedrooms for rent, and custom catering menus. Choosing the right event venue is usually difficult. Choosing Stella Plantation for your next get-together isn’t.

13. Capulet Bywater

Capulet Bywater - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: Capulet Bywater

Location: Bywater

Capacity: 250

The motto at Capulet Bywater is “Dine by day, gather by night.” When the sun is out, the restaurant serves tasty sandwiches, salads, beers, natural wines, and probiotic cocktails. But when the moon makes it nightly appearance, the space transforms into a world-class venue, perfect for any employee appreciation dinner, fundraiser meal, or private dining experience. It should be noted that Capulet Bywater features 30 foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a roof deck overlooking the city. From casual dinners to black-tie affairs, Capulet Bywater is definitely worthy of its place on this list of New Orleans event venues.

14. St James Cheese Company

St James Cheese Company - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: NOLA Eater

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: N/A

Bet you’ve never considered hosting an event in a cheese store! But then again, the St James Cheese Company isn’t your typical cheese shop. In its own words, the space is a “playground for the cheese rookie, the rind-sniffing expert, and the curd curious.” Any event hosted at St James will be altogether fun, delicious, and memorable. So book this venue today for your next corporate meetup, brainstorming get-together, or private celebration. Enjoy the store’s tall ceilings, modern design, and industrial vibe along with its tasty eats.

15. Mardi Gras World Plaza

Mardi Gras World Plaza - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: River City Venues

Location: Lower Garden District

Capacity: 500

What can we say about the Mardi Gras World Plaza? Quite a bit, actually! The outdoor venue is situated directly on the Mississippi River and offers extraordinary views to event guests. It also features two covered patios, the larger of which has a full and well-stocked bar. If you’re hoping to recreate the fun, carefree atmosphere of the legendary Mardi Gras festival, you can’t go wrong with the Mardi Gras World Plaza. After you choose this venue, all that’s left to do is invest in event management software and begin planning an event to remember. 

16. Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: NOLA Weekend

Location: Audubon

Capacity: N/A

The Audubon Nature Institute is an animal and nature lovers playground. It features a zoo, an aquarium, and insectarium, a nature center, and numerous parks — all of which can be rented for your next company picnic, fundraiser gala, birthday bash, or any other type of gathering. As an event planner, you’ll have access to the experienced Audubon event staff and excellent food menus. That, paired with the wildly entertaining and (literally) larger than life animal exhibits, means any event hosted at Audubon Nature Institute is sure to be a hit with guests. But don’t just take our word for it. Book one of the Institute’s dozen unique spaces and see for yourself.

17. The Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: New Orleans

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: 500

The Rusty Nail is a popular watering hole in the Big Easy. It’s been faithfully serving patrons since 2006 and continues to uphold its commitment to pleasant experiences served by friendly staff members. There are two main spaces for rent. The Small Patio is perfect for intimate gatherings and features its own flat-screen TV. And the Large Patio has its own bartender and private access to a covered area nicknamed the Mermaid Lounge. If you want to host larger gatherings, you can also rent the entire bar and have room for up to 500 people. From board meetings to birthday celebrations to game day viewing parties, The Rusty Nail is an excellent venue choice.

18. NOLA Motorsports Park

NOLA Motorsports Park - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: NOLA Motorsports Park

Location: Avondale

Capacity: 500

NOLA Motorsports Park offers a truly thrilling experience to event planners and their guests. The racetrack can be used to race go-karts, street cars, and motorcycles at amazingly fast speeds. But even if you’re not interested in the location’s high-octane offerings, NOLA Motorsports Park may still be the right venue for your next business meetings, fundraiser dinner, or wedding reception. The space is modern and well equipped. Catering and entertainment options are also available, as is a quality PA system, projector, and free wireless internet access. Whatever event you have planned, NOLA Motorsports Park is happy to host.

19. Loews New Orleans Hotel

Loews New Orleans Hotel - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: Loews New Orleans Hotel

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: 400

Loews Hotels operates 24 luxury locations in the United States and Canada. One of those locations is in New Orleans and it definitely lives up to the storied Loews name. The hotel excels as an event venue too. There are three banquet rooms with a view (each offers floor to ceiling windows that overlook the city) for rent. There’s an outdoor space available that’s perfect for luncheons, dinners, and themed parties. And, to top it all off, they have beautiful fountains and dramatic lighting. Plus, event planners will have access to various catering options and A/V equipment. All in all, it’s a fantastic choice for both corporate and private events in the Big Easy.

20. New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - New Orleans Event VenuesSource: New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Location: Central Business District

Capacity: 4,000+

Lastly, we have the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which just so happens to be the sixth largest convention center in the United States and one of the biggest event venues in Louisiana. So if you’re planning something big — a major sporting event, international trade show, or pop-princess concert, for example — you should definitely consider hosting it at the Convention Center. If you do, you’ll get access to an experienced event staff, world-class technology and A/V equipment, top of the line catering options and more. But major events aren’t the only shindigs going down at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Single rooms can be rented for intimate business and personal gatherings as well. Whatever your event needs, the Convention Center can meet them.

Wrapping Up: Choose the Perfect New Orleans Event Venue

When it comes to event hosting, few cities can match the Big Easy’s natural charm and venue versatility. Whether you plan to host a button-down business affair, a raging personal party, or an elegant wedding ceremony, one of the event venues listed above should work perfectly. You just have to choose the right one for your needs. Good luck!

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