What’s a Clean Show without a little fun, especially in New Orleans? While entertainment tastes vary, it would be hard to believe that many other U.S. cities could offer such a unique variety of choices, so enjoy yourself at the show June 18-21.If you haven’t visited New Orleans in the past, putting together a game plan can pose a challenge — there’s just so much to do. Here are some things to think about as you plan your trip, along with some specific recommendations. Don’t forget that New Orleans is a walking city; a good number of restaurants and attractions may be near your hotel.RESTAURANTSClassic French, Italian and Spanish restaurants are plentiful. If you favor something with a local flavor, it’s easy to be tempted by the city’s signature Cajun and Creole dishes. If you enjoy seafood, you’ve also come to the right place. The only problem you may have is trying to decide what to select from the menu: shrimp, redfish, crawfish, catfish or oysters.New Orleans is also home to such local staples as red beans and rice, the various gumbos and etouffees, jambalaya, sausages, shrimp remoulade, and, of course, sugary-sweet pralines.Looking for more? Here are some additional dining tips:
- Antoine’s, established in 1840, is a tradition. Equally famous are Commander’s Palace, Court of Two Sisters and K-Paul’s, to name just a few.
- If you’re going to spend a good portion of your day at the Morial Convention Center and don’t plan to break for lunch, you might want to consider Brennan’s for breakfast, where bananas Foster was made famous.
- If you don’t have time for a traditional sit-down meal, grab a muffuletta sandwich, which is available at plenty of establishments. The typical muffuletta sandwich, served on a large portion of Sicilian bread, is covered with a marinated olive salad, then layers of capicola, salami, mortadella, emmantaler, and provolone.
- For lighter morning fare, or a great snack at any time, try cafe au lait (Cajun coffee with milk) and beignets (square sugary donuts) at the original Café du Monde in the French Market.
- Recent restaurant additions include Nola, Palace Café, GW Fins, and Drago.
CULTURE AND ARTNew Orleans boasts world-class museums, including Smithsonian affiliates The National World War II Museum (located in the Warehouse/Arts District) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Artist studios and galleries line the streets of the French Quarter/Marigny, Warehouse/Arts District, and Magazine Streets.Performing arts groups, their shows, and the venues that host them speckle the map. Walking through the French Quarter’s narrow streets, there often is reason to pause for impromptu entertainment by the street performers who abound in the Quarter.GOLF AND THE GREAT OUTDOORSFrom private clubs with reciprocal arrangements to many high-end public and resort tracks, golf is easy, close, affordable and accessible, the city boasts. Courses are open every day of the year.If you’re out and about, you can also check out:
- New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park
- Audubon Zoo
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
- New Orleans City Park
- New Orleans Botanical Garden
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
SHOPPINGThere are hundreds of shops and boutiques along Magazine Street and artistic offerings in Jackson Square. At Riverwalk, adjacent to the Morial Convention Center, visitors can stroll along the crescent-shaped bend in the Mississippi that gives the city its nickname, “the Crescent City.” The promenade offers broad vistas of the waterborne commerce that makes New Orleans one of the nation’s leading ports.Royal Street — just a block away from Bourbon Street — is where you will find New Orleans’ sophisticated antique shops. A leisurely stroll along Royal Street gives you access to the perfect piece of jewelry, work of art or furnishing.On the east side of the Quarter is the French Market and open-air Flea Market. Here, shoppers can browse and bargain for a mind-boggling array of goods — native and imported — for as long as your endurance and wallet will allow. Vendors often share stories about their wares, be they native gator heads, African artifacts or bounteous collections of T-shirts and Mardi Gras souvenirs.Click here to see Part 2 of this story!