“Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour, but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands – and who knows what to do with it?”
For those of you attending the NASPP Conference in New Orleans we know you’re looking forward to four days of networking, education, and finding the latest solutions to overcome the professional challenges that you face.
However, the dangers of all work and no play is something that we are all aware of, so we have put together this guide to “The Big Easy.”
There are three categories of things to do – “eating, drinking and the making of merriment.” Whilst it’s impossible to boil down a list of what you must see, this is our suggested short list that should vest some local knowledge, and help you enjoy your own little piece of eternity.
Cochon – Cajun cuisine
Chef Donald Link has reconnected with his culinary roots where he serves traditional Cajun dishes he grew-up with.
Cochon works with locally sourced pork, fresh produce and seafood and it has gained a global reputation for refocusing on the traditional Southern cooking methods. Set within a rustic, though compelling contemporary New Orleans warehouse, it is a must visit dining experience. Read more
Antoine’s – culinary tradition
Antoine’s is the birthplace of culinary classics that are, in part, responsible for New Orleans’ legacy as the best place to eat in America. It is the home of Oysters Rockefeller, Eggs Sardou and Pommes de Terre Souffles.
Antoine’s Restaurant is still owned and operated by fifth generation relatives of the original founder, Antoine Alciatore. The world-renowned French-Creole cuisine, impeccable service, and unique atmosphere have combined to create an unmatched dining experience in New Orleans since 1840. Read more
Stanley’s for brunch – right on Jackson Square
Stanley overlooks iconic Jackson Square, so come here for the quintessential NOLA brunch experience. Plus, the restaurant serves breakfast and brunch all day, so no need to worry about making it to breakfast on time – you can sleep in.
The menu includes Creole classics that never disappoint, and the boozy drinks here include the specialty Stanley milkshakes like a White Russian Milkshake, an Irish Coffee Milkshake, and a Brandy Milk Punch Milkshake. Sip on a boozy shake, or grab one to-go and stroll by St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Read more
Brennan’s – Old World Elegance
A New Orleans Original Since 1946, Brennan’s Restaurant has developed a reputation as a must visit restaurant. Their innovative Creole menu borrows influences from French and Spanish ancestry with modern updates and distinct seasonal offerings. Old-world elegance leads to an unforgettable experience. Read more
Willie Mae’s Scotch House – American Classic
Willie Mae’s Scotch House was established in 1957 as a bar in New Orleans’ Historic Treme neighborhood. After a year, the bar was moved to its current location, which consisted of a bar, a barbershop and beauty salon in the front. In the early 1970s, the beauty salon closed, which brought on the demand for a restaurant from Willie Mae’s bar customers.
The aromas of Mississippi and Louisiana cuisine emanating from the kitchen filled the air and brought on constant demand for delicious food. Their demand was met and the rest is history. In 2005, Ms. Willie Mae Seaton was honored with the prestigious James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” Read more
New Orleans Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire Tour
Delve into the darker side of New Orleans on an evening walking tour of the city’s most eerie sites. Wind through the dark corridors of the French Quarter and hear spooky tales of vampires, voodoo, witchcraft, and famous hauntings from your local guide. Pass by infamous locations with grisly histories such as New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and LaLaurie House. Read more
Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge
This is different. Looking from the outside, you may wonder if the building is structurally sound. Inside isn’t much better as it’s a dark room illuminated only by Christmas lights. However, it has a reputation as an excellent dive bar that has been sought out and graced by both George Clooney and Anthony Bourdain, and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. Read more
…and the making of merriment:
New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Peek behind the curtain at the marvel of Mardi Gras with this tour of Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. See the behind-the-scenes work and incredible artistry that goes into preparing for the annual celebration. With a guide, learn the history of the event, and see fantastic floats and props. Get a picture in front of your favorite float, dress up in costumes, and sample some classic King Cake. Read more
Maison Bourbon, New Orleans Live Jazz Club
Jazz and the Big Easy are inextricably linked. One of Bourbon Street’s oldest live Jazz clubs is dedicated to the preservation of “America’s classical music.”
This legendary spot is where many of the most notable Jazz musicians (Harry Connick, Jr) served their apprenticeships. It is one of only two Jazz clubs still existing on Bourbon Street. Tourists and locals flock to this famous club expecting to be entertained by nonstop authentic jazz…and are never disappointed. Read more
Mississippi Steamboat Dinner Cruise
Experience the dazzle of New Orleans at night with a dinner cruise. Journey through time on a paddle-wheel boat ride along the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck and delight in the sparkle of the urban shoreline at dusk. Excursions vary, including options of Creole‐inspired dinners, casual buffet dinners and live jazz music performed by the Grammy-nominated Dukes of Dixieland Take in incredible views of the city skyline. Read more
Other great attractions:
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
The city’s oldest fine arts institution opened in 1911 with only 9 works of art. Today, the museum hosts an impressive permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects.
The collection, noted for its extraordinary strengths in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, continues to expand and grow, making NOMA one of the top art museums in the South. Read more
Finally, if it all gets to be too much, and you just need some less stereotypically New Orleans activity, there’s always something to do in City Park.
Set on a 1,300-acre site, why not play a round of golf, hit some tennis balls on one of the 26 lighted tennis courts, or take a ride on the 1906 carousel that features hand-carved steeds with real horse-hair tails. Read more
“If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom.”
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