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Clean Show Travel Guide: Let the Good Times Roll! (Conclusion)

Organized tour could be most efficient way to take in New Orleans sights

NEW ORLEANS — The Clean Show—officially the World Educational Congress for Laundering and Dry Cleaning—returns to the Crescent City this summer for the sixth time in the show’s 42-year history.

More than 400 companies from the laundry and drycleaning industry are registered to exhibit their products and services June 20-23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

While there’ll be plenty to keep attendees busy on and around the show floor, the Big Easy offers a world of culture where convention visitors can laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll.

With thanks to NewOrleans.com, the official website for the city’s tourism industry, and Clean Show manager Riddle & Associates, we share just a bit about what The Birthplace of Jazz has to offer.

SEE THE SIGHTS

With your time in New Orleans limited, embarking on some sort of tour might be the most efficient way to take in the sights. And, boy, does this city have plenty of options for you. There are French Quarter tours, history/heritage tours, plantation tours, swamp tours, culinary tours, garden tours, cocktail tours, night tours, and, yes, even haunted tours.

And while sightseeing, be sure to consider taking in these top area attractions:

  • National WWII Museum — A must-see for history lovers and all patriots, powerful images and extraordinary artifacts bring to life the American Spirit, the courage, teamwork and sacrifice of the young men and women who won the war and changed the world. From the 1930s prelude to war, to the Normandy Invasion and the battles of the Pacific Islands, visitors trace America’s role in the war and on the Home Front.
  • Steamboat Natchez — Harbor jazz brunch and dinner jazz cruises are available on the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Enjoy a unique visit to the engine room to see the workings of 100-year-old steam engines.
  • New Orleans Museum of Art — The museum hosts a permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects, noted for strengths in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works.
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas — Become immersed in an underwater world. The colors of the Great Maya Reef come alive in the walk-through tunnel, while penguins and Southern Sea otters will delight. Touch a sting ray, feed a parakeet, and marvel at gigantic sharks and rays in the 400,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit.
  • Audubon Zoo — The zoo offers an exotic mix of animals from around the globe, engaging educational programs, hands-on animal encounters and lush gardens. Unique natural habitat exhibits such as the award-winning Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle showcase the relationship between people and nature.

GRAB A BITE

From sophisticated Creole to stick-to-your-ribs Cajun, the New Orleans cuisine is unrivaled and takes advantage of the plentiful seafood of the region: shrimp, redfish, crawfish, catfish and oysters. No visit is complete without a sampling of such local staples as red beans and rice, the various gumbos and etouffees, jambalaya, sausages, shrimp remoulade, and, of course, sugary-sweet pralines.

Dinner at Antoine’s, established in 1840, is a tradition. Equally famous are Arnaud’s, Court of Two Sisters, Galatoire’s, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, and Mr. B’s Bistro, to name just a few.

Breakfast at Brennan’s, where Bananas Foster was made famous, is another tradition, but be ready to savor it over two hours or more. For lighter morning fare, a “must” is café au lait (Cajun coffee with milk) and beignets (square sugary doughnuts) at the original Café du Monde in the French Market. Mother’s is the place to find locals having their power breakfast.

For a quick and hearty meal, try an original muffuletta sandwich where it was invented, at the Central Grocery on Decatur Street. Mulate’s, across the street from the Convention Center, offers fine Cajun food, music and dancing. And be sure to stand at the raw bar at Felix’s or Acme Oyster House to sample plump and delicious oysters.

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

The warm welcome extended by New Orleans likely will be matched by the weather. It will be balmy during the Clean Show (daytime highs in mid- to late June average 89 F), though evening breezes may moderate temperatures somewhat.

Dress comfortably in light clothing and avoid overexertion. Air-conditioned havens, in the form of cafés, bars and coffee shops, will offer respite. And by all means, wear comfortable shoes — both for sightseeing and for the exhibit floor.

Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.