Karen Dalton Beninato

Correspondent

  • New Orleans, LA, USA

Karen Dalton Beninato is a correspondent who lives in New Orleans and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide.com. A former newspaper features editor, she has written for publications including The New Republic, Times Picayune and The Lens and she blogs at The Huffington Post. She and her husband founded the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund after Hurricane Katrina to help musicians replace their instruments and return home. Karen enjoys food, music and the arts — so she lives in the right place.

  • On December 20, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What restaurants does Beau Rivage Resort & Casino have?

    Beau Rivage Resort & Casino offers a multitude of dining options from poolside to golf course-adjacent. BR Prime is the resort's signature steak and seafood restaurant. Jia offers contemporary Asian cuisine with soup, noodles and regional specialties inspired by dishes from Thailand to Hong Kong. Stalla serves Italian dishes such as lobster ravioli and lasagna. The Memphis Q Smokehouse and Barbeque serves everything from Delta catfish to house-smoked chicken. Coast Restaurant is the site for casual dining, and it transitions into a nightclub as the lights go down. The Terrace Café is casual, as is The Buffet. If you want something quick, The Roasted Bean serves coffee and light dining, and Snacks offers sandwiches and salads just off the casino floor. Scoops serves housemade gelato, and nightclub options include Breeze Bar and Eight75.
  • On December 20, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the rooms like at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino?

    The 1,740 guest rooms and suites in Beau Rivage Resort & Casino are decorated in a sumptuous classic style. The luxury resort underwent a $550 million renovation in 2006. Original artwork adorns the walls, and guest rooms offer views of the Gulf of Mexico. Amenities include pillow-top mattresses and triple sheeting in rooms decorated with hand-finished wood and marble vanities and flat-screen televisions. Suites include soaking tubs as well as stand-alone showers, lavish window treatments and canopies. Rooms are outfitted in warm gold and cream tones, and each room offers a data port, and electronic safe to store guest valuables.
  • On December 20, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    Where is Beau Rivage Resort & Casino located?

    Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is an MGM Resorts International waterfront property located at 875 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, Mississippi. The resort is located along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, with a gulf-front swimming pool, cabanas and luxury spa. Beau Rivage's Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course is located a short drive from the resort. At the entrance of Beau Rivage, a floral sign with seasonal flowers welcomes guests, and live oak trees provide a canopy along the entryway. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is located 84 miles from New Orleans, Louisiana, and 20 minutes from the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best antique shops in New Orleans?

    M.S. Rau is an antique shop which could double as a fine art gallery where all the items on display are for sale. The shop, at 630 Royal Street, hosts steampunk style rarities, art from world-renowned masters, exquisite jewelry and now and then a wild-card like a stuffed wooly mammoth.

    Royal Antiques has been offering fine art finds since 1899 at 309 Royal Street. Featuring more than 20,000 square feet of showrooms, Royal Antiques was founded by Hermina Keil, whose customers included Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

    Wander down Royal for even more hidden treasures, and you'll find more charming antique shops than on any other promenade in the United States.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best places to see a play in New Orleans?

    The best place to see a play in New Orleans is the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts. Its Broadway in New Orleans series has brought Wicked and other hit plays to the city's arts scene. 

    The Marigny Opera House most recently housed a celebrity wedding as a non-denominational, neighborhood church of the arts. It hosts the Nineth Ward Opera Company in late July.

    Le Petit Theatre is one of the oldest theaters in America. Its upcoming season includes classic theater offerings from “Hair” to “Death of a Salesman.”

    The historic Saenger Theater reopening is hotly anticipated and is slated for fall of 2013 as an additional home for the performing arts in New Orleans.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in New Orleans?

    The two hottest tickets for upcoming concerts in New Orleans are thanks to a festival and a rescheduling. Beyonce Knowles is headlining Essence Festival Fourth of July weekend, along with the empowerment seminars that Essence brings to New Orleans every year. Friday, July 5, includes Maxwell, Jill Scott, LL Cool J and Brandy. On Saturday, July 6, New Edition, Trey Songz, and Solange will entertain. And on Sunday, July 7, Beyonce and Janelle Monae headline at the festival's final night.

    Mumford and Sons, for fans of the Grammy-winning folkies will appear September 16 at Mardi Gras World, a rescheduled date after the band's bass player Ted Dwane's illness earlier in the year.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best family hotels in New Orleans?

    The most family-friendly hotels in New Orleans are desirable as much for their comfort as for their proximity to family activities. The Hilton Riverfront is centrally located near the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Insectarium, Parakeet Point, and an Imax Theater to keep the kids entertained no matter how high their energy level.

    For families that want to soak in culture as well as soak in the rooftop pool, the cozy and historic Hotel Monteleone is located in the heart of the French Quarter. Head out on foot and the family can enjoy cafes, toy shops, street music and more depending on where the day takes you.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best boutique hotels in New Orleans?

    Two of the best boutique hotels in New Orleans are both Forbes Travel Four-Star rated for good reason. Windsor Court offers old-world charm with completely renovated rooms and upgraded spa facilities at 300 Gravier Street. The $22 million renovation made Windsor Court more than ever the location of choice for luminaries passing through the Hollywood of the South.

    The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, 921 Canal Street, earned its Four-Star designation with special touches from entertainment at the Davenport Lounge where musician Jeremy Davenport holds court, to amenities in the Ritz' 25,000-square-foot spa complete with 22 treatment rooms.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What new hotels are in New Orleans?

    Hotel Mazarin, formerly the Saint Louis Hotel, opened after a complete renovation including high-end appointments in each suite. Facing a courtyard which is very popular for weddings and special celebrations, The Mazarin boasts lavish European style fixtures. Its lounge, Patrick's Bar Vin, is an upscale Irish pub with one of the most stunning wine lists in all of New Orleans.

    The Saint boutique hotel on Canal Street opened to much fanfare for its artistic lobby with its oversized art chair, whimsical blue pool table and a Louis Armstrong print that reaches to the ceiling of its bordello-themed watering hole, The Burgundy Bar.

    The new W French Quarter boasts rooms with either a voodoo or a music theme. With the hip fixtures you would expect from a W, the hotel offers SoBou Restaurant with liquor-themed surprises from taps in the table to a high end wine-by-the-glass dispenser.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best free museums in New Orleans?

    The Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street is one of the best collections of New Orleans historical lore open to the public, and gallery exhibits are free at all times. “Pipe Dreams: Louisiana under the French Company of the Indies, 1717–1731,” exhibit is on display through September 15, 2013.

    Check out the Bestoff Sculpture Garden in Mid-City's City Park, located behind the New Orleans Museum of Art, free of charge. It's a perfect afternoon stroll with sculptures from widely diverse regions and eras represented in the collection.

    Attendence at the New Orleans Museum of Art is free on Wednesdays; and enjoy the Ogden Museum of Southern Art at no charge on Thursdays, as well as the Contemporary Art Center which is also in the Central Business District. Plan ahead and you can fill a week in New Orleans with art exhibits that won't lighten your wallet.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best free museums in New Orleans?

    The Historic New Orleans Collection Tours at 533 Royal Street is one of the best collections of New Orleans historical lore, and gallery exhibits are free at all times. “Pipe Dreams: Louisiana under the French Company of the Indies, 1717–1731,” exhibit is on display through September 15, 2013.

    Check out the Bestoff Sculpture Garden in Mid-City's City Park, located behind the New Orleans Museum of Art, free of charge. It's a perfect afternoon stroll with sculptures from widely diverse regions and eras represented in the collection.

    Attendence at the New Orleans Museum of Art is free on Wednesdays; and enjoy the Ogden Museum of Southern Art at no charge on Thursdays, as well as the Contemporary Art Center which is also in the Central Business District. Plan ahead and you can fill a week in New Orleans with art exhibits that won't lighten your wallet.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What should I pack for a trip to New Orleans?

    For a trip to New Orleans, pack for the seasons. It's Not the Heat it's the Stupidity is an old New Orleans saying meaning keep the weather in mind at all times. May through August pack loose, light colored clothing in linen or cotton. Go from Point A to Point B in a leisurely manner and pack a water bottle to stay hydrated througout your travels.

    Pack your camera and phone chargers, because New Orleans is an Instagrammer's dream. A travel charger with rechargable batteries can save you from the end-of-the-day crisis of a dying camera just as dusk descends on a plantation or swamp tour.

    Comfortable shoes are key, as stylish as you can manage. New Orleans' French Quarter is best traveled by foot from window shopping to concert-hopping. Save those feet and remember that properly taking in the Crescent City is not a sprint, it's a marathon.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What is public transportation like in New Orleans?

    Public transportation in New Orleans is historic, with one of the finest working streetcar systems in the United States. No one takes the streetcar if they're in a rush, but from the rumble of the tracks to the clanging of the bell upon stopping it's a sensory experience. Enjoy a ride through the historic Garden District and bring along a guidebook for mansion-spotting.

    The New Orleans bus system is back on track post-Katrina. It's one of the better ways to attend the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival if you're staying in the French Quarter and need to make it to Mid-City without breaking the bank.

    Pedicabs, horse and carriage tours, double decker tour busses, taxis and hotel shuttles round out your NOLA transporation options.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best summer events in New Orleans?

    The heat doesn't slow down the option of summer activities in New Orleans. In 2013 alone, check out Go Fourth on the River – the Independence Day Fireworks at the Mississippi Riverfront on July 4. The event is one of the most widely attended Independence Day celebrations in the United States. Essence Music Festival in early July includes top R & B acts (Beyonce for 2013), and empowerment seminars.

    July winds down with Tales of the Cocktail, a huge summer economic driver taking over the New Orleans food and music scene. For 2013, Tales runs from July 17 to 21 based at Hotel Monteleone.

    August stays cool with Satchmo Summerfest the first weekend of the month at the Old U.S. Mint. Food, music and Louis Armstrong-themed exhibits make the weekend a must-attend for lovers of all things jazz.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Karen Dalton Beninato answered the question: Karen Dalton Beninato

    What are the best summer activities in New Orleans?

    The best summer activities in New Orleans all involve creatively beating the heat. The Cool Zoo at the Audubon Institute is the only waterpark-like site in the city where temperatures hover in the upper 90's.  It's a family-friendly locale as most of the park's activities are kid-centric, but who doesn't like a mid-summer splash? Applaud back at the sea lion exhibit on your way out.

    The Audubon collection of museums also includes the Aquarium of the Americas in the French Quarter. Cool off at the penguin feedings, watch the sharks circle in accurately recreated Gulf of Mexico exhibits, and expand your mind as you beat the heat.