Head back to camp without ever leaving New Orleans. This August, Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery is hosting a monthlong series of themed weekend packages sans sleeping bags and chaperones.
Camp Nola allows campers from near and far to get up-close and personal with industry favorites through uniquely New Orleans experiences. From meeting Kalindah Laveaux, an authentic New Orleans Voodoo Queen, to participating in an intimate cooking demo with Compere Lapin's Chef Nina Compton, the activities are culturally fitting.
“Camp Nola allows guests to choose their own adventure and experience New Orleans in ways they might not have have known about or otherwise have access to," says John Price, the hotel's general manager. "The opportunity to be exposed to our culture in this intimate way, led by people who are passionate about this city and their crafts, makes this travel experience even more exciting.”
Instead of skimming the surface, campers will experience the art, culinary, bar, and Voodoo scene authentically. Laveaux said Camp Nola piqued her interest as it gave guests the opportunity to have an intimate experience with Voodoo, in context with the rest of the city's culture.
"In order to truly understand culture, everything must be experienced holistically," she told Adore. "To understand the spiritual beliefs and practices of those who created the culture will inform those who come to experience our music, our food, and our celebrations. This leads to a sense of respect, gratitude, and reverence for our city and the people who infuse it with life."
And while the heat might scare off some potential campers, Libby Bollino of Lucky Bean Tours (who will be leading the cemetery tour during the Voodoo weekend) believes it is the best time to visit. "If you want to get at the soul of New Orleans, you’ve got to experience our summer. So much of our culture is because of the heat and humidity: our architecture, our cuisine, our music, our relaxed pace and attitude, our unique ability to make the best we can with whatever life blesses or curses us with. We wouldn’t be the city we are without the heat."
Bollino added that Camp Nola is the perfect way for campers to feel the heartbeat of the city by strolling White Linen Night, making headdresses at Where Y'Art on Royal Street, or cooling off with a cocktail. Plus, camp is fun and brings back plenty of nostalgia.
"My favorite memories of summer were spent at camp, meeting new people and discovering something new," says Cat Todd, the co-founder and creative director of Where Y'Art. "What adult doesn’t want to feel like a kid every now and then!”
Packages start at $374 for double occupancy and the third night is free. Reservations can be made here.