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The Shops at Canal Place is New Orleans' answer to a shopaholic's paradise, with huge names like Saks Fifth Avenue, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Kenneth Cole. Lose yourself here, but make sure you have the money to do so. Located just a stones throw away from major hotels, this place is frequented by luxury travelers and the upscale folk.
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Cigar Factory is a cigar-lover's dream. Here, you can watch master cigarmakers at work. Among the specialty styles made here are the Plantation Reserve, Tres Hermanos and Vieux Carre. There are tables along the wall so you can sit and smoke or just watch the masters do their work. This is also the only cigar factory in New Orleans, boasting 100% hand-rolled cigars. Cigarmakers are available for special events.
In the days of online music, this super-sized French Quarter record store is one of only a few record stores remaining in New Orleans. Peaches Records offers patrons a wide variety of jazz, soul, gospel and blues music in addition to the large collection of rap and hip-hop albums. Those looking for local flavor will find a variety of albums by local and regional artists. DJs, collectors and music-lovers are sure to enjoy the wide array of 12-inch vinyl and cassette tapes that Peaches has to offer. - Bethany Culp
Leah's is right at the top of the list for the best candy shops. Everything is made from scratch, from the fillings to the chocolate-pecan brittle. What makes the candy the sweetest is probably the second and third generations of Laura's family who makes these sweet sensations! Try the creole praline, Creamy praline or creole candies all of which are tempting once eaten.
Don’t leave New Orleans without taking a bit of the Crescent City back to friends and family. The vast selection of New Orleans gifts and souvenirs at Gumbo File offers something for everyone. This French Quarter souvenir shop, situated on Decatur Street, is stocked with Mardi Gras beads, masks, New Orleans T-Shirts, and glassware. A variety of ingredients to aid with cooking a New Orleans meal in your own home including hot sauces, beignet mixes, seasonings, and, of course, the file finish on your homemade gumbo are also available. -Bethany Culp
New Orleans is known for fine cooking and extraordinary eats. While professional chefs spend years mastering their culinary skills, there’s no reason why every Crescent City visitor shouldn’t leave the city with an introduction to the basics of Louisiana cooking. The New Orleans School of Cooking can do just that with one of its cooking demonstrations. In each class, attendees get to enjoy a sampling of each of the three to four dishes demonstrated by knowledgeable and entertaining chefs, and take-home copies of all of the recipes. Don’t have time for a class? Stop by New Orleans School of Cooking’s Louisiana General Store to pick up regional spices, cookbooks and cookware. -Bethany Culp