Top 10 Things to Do in New Orleans for SHRM 2017

Jackson Square in New Orleans (Photo: iStock/Getty)

Jackson Square in New Orleans (Photo: iStock/Getty)

From delicious eateries to live entertainment, New Orleans has a long list of reasons to visit. This historic city is full of unique tastes, sounds and sights including the vibrant French Quarter and the intimate jazz clubs of Frenchmen Street. After a day at SHRM, head out to explore this famous music town. Here are 10 of our favorite things to do.

1. Ride a Historic Streetcar
Since 1835, streetcars have steamed along the St. Charles Line. Climb aboard to go for a ride along the 13-mile loop, a 90-minute journey that travels down St. Charles Avenue and offers easy access to the World War II Museum, Audubon Park, and the Garden District (home to beautiful historic mansions).

2. Wander through the French Quarter
The oldest neighborhood in New Orleans is the French Quarter, dating back to 1718. Explore this district on foot to see its popular landmarks including Jackson Square, Preservation Hall (a music venue known for jazz), and bustling Bourbon Street. The quarter is famous for its architecture, including wrought-iron balconies covered in flowers.

3. Eat Beignets at Café Du Monde
Hot beignets and chicory coffee have been drawing crowds to Café Du Monde since 1862. Covered in powdered sugar, these puffy doughnuts are served three to an order. Be sure to eat this New Orleans staple while it’s hot (and if you want to try making these dreamy doughnuts at home, beignet mix is for sale).

4. Listen to Live Music
New Orleans is a prime live music destination, with performances in intimate venues every night of the week. Stop into the Blue Nile, the Apple Barrel, or the Spotted Cat to listen to jazz along Frenchmen Street, or check out One-Eyed Jacks for burlesque, rock, and funk music or Hi-Ho Lounge for bluegrass and brass bands.

5. Taste the City’s Classic Cocktail: a Sazerac
One of the city’s most elegant places to raise a glass is the Sazerac Bar in the historic Roosevelt Hotel. Here you can taste an expertly made Sazerac, a cocktail first created in New Orleans in the 1830s. Made with rye whiskey and Peychaud’s Bitters, this cocktail has been kicking off evenings in New Orleans for almost 200 years.

6. Join a Tour of the St. Louis Cemetery
New Orleans is unique for its cemeteries, where instead of being dug into the ground, graves are above ground vaults. Built in the 18th and 19th centuries, the St. Louis Cemetery is a maze of beautifully crumbling tombs. Explore on your own or sign up for a tour and a local guide will detail the cemetery’s fascinating history.

7. Visit Central Grocery for a Muffuletta Sandwich
Italian sandwiches might not be what you’d expect to eat during a trip to New Orleans, but the muffuletta is one of the city’s most legendary bites. Taste the famous sandwich at Central Grocery, a small Italian market. Round, sesame-studded bread is filled with cured meats, thick slices of cheese, marinated olives, and pickled vegetables.

8. Explore the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
One of the city’s quirkier attractions is the Voodoo Museum, located in the French Quarter. Voodoo culture has been a part of the city’s history dating back to the 1700s, and this museum introduces curious visitors to its traditions, rituals, and folklore.

9. Visit the Audubon Aquarium
Experience the beauty of an underwater world at the Audubon Aquarium, home to a wide range of sea life from sharks to rays to sea turtles. In addition to seeing penguins and sea otters, adventurous visitors can choose between several hands-on experiences including touching a sting ray or feeding a parakeet.

10. Explore the Galleries of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Get your art fix at this museum located in the Warehouse Arts District, home to the largest collection of art created in the south. Wander through the galleries to see a mix of contemporary art including photography, painting, drawing, and more. The museum also hosts film screenings and concerts.

By: Jeff Hyatt

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