Visit New Orleans
Mardi Gras beads and parades. Jazz at Preservation Hall. Hurricanes on Bourbon Street. Voodoo, vampires, cemeteries, and ghost tours to spook you at night. Beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde. Court of Two Sisters for a lazy Sunday brunch. Creole cuisine from world-renowned restaurants like Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, and Commander’s Palace. These are just a few of the countless events, attractions, and other memorable experiences that describe New Orleans.
While the French Quarter is hands-down the crown jewel, NOLA offers a plentitude of things to see and do outside of the city’s oldest neighborhood. From wedding-cake-colored mansions and bright red streetcars in the Garden District to Antebellum plantations and the Audubon Park, Zoo, and Aquarium, there’s something for everyone in the Big Easy.
New Orleans also serves up a myriad of world-class cultural art performances and productions – including theater, dance and ballet, opera, and symphony orchestra – along with a variety of museums, bookstores, and festivals to explore and enjoy.
So, come for the 2019 SAIA Annual Convention & Exposition but stay – either before or after – for an unforgettable adventure!
Getting around New Orleans is easier than in many other cities. Hop on a streetcar to explore different parts of the city. Take a romantic carriage ride through the Quarter. Grab a pedicab for short distances between venues. Rent a bike for some leisurely sightseeing (and exercise!). Ferry across the Mississippi to Algiers Point. Put on a comfy pair of sneakers and just walk wherever your spirit fancies.
You won’t have to venture far to find places to explore and French-inspired fare to feast on: the Sheraton New Orleans is right across from the French Quarter on the other side of Canal Street. While you can find much more detailed information here, below is a sampling of what you can see, do, eat, drink, and shop in the Quarter.
SEE AND DO
Take a tour of the dead, the haunted, and the notorious. Stroll through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where you’ll find the alleged tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau among the mass of above-ground graves in NOLA’s oldest boneyard. Experience the paranormal – if you dare! – and learn about the ghosts, vampires, voodoo, and restless spirits that haunt New Orleans at night. Get the inside scoop on the city’s infamous Lafitte brothers and their smuggling empire. End the night at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – the world’s oldest bar and a known hideaway for pirates back in its heyday.
On the less scary side, you can
cruise down the Mississippi on the steamboat Natchez,
visit the Old Ursuline Convent (“treasure of the archdiocese”) and take time for reflection in the peaceful courtyard,
go on a culinary journey of indulgent dishes and drinks unique to New Orleans and Louisiana, or
EATS AND DRINKS
A trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without partaking in some of its famous food and drink. From Cajun, Creole, and contemporary to French, regional, and seafood, your mouth will water and taste buds tap dance at the array of unlimited culinary choices at your beckoning.
Once you’ve cleaned your plate at dinner, bellies happy and full, head on down to Bourbon Street to bar-hop. Pop into Pat O’Brien’s for their famous Hurricane or stop by Tropical Isle to experience New Orleans’ most powerful drink, the Hand Grenade. If craft cocktails and a lounge-y atmosphere are more to your liking, hit up one of these popular bars: Sazerac, Carousel, or French 75.
SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT
What you seek, you can find in the French Quarter. Browse for clothing and jewelry – hand-crafted to haute couture – from a mix of independently owned shops to upscale boutiques. Scour galleries for local art and photography, precious antiques, rare books, and fine French furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries. And be sure to procure some voodoo trinkets, fleur de lis souvenirs, and flea market finds before leaving NOLA.
Music in the Big Easy is synonymous with jazz: check out Preservation Hall, Maison Bourbon Jazz Club, 21st Amendment Jazz Club at La Louisiane, or Fritzel’s Jazz Club for live music any night of the week. Other sounds of the city – R&B, soul, brass – can be heard wafting through the Quarter’s late-night cafés, hotel and restaurant bars, neighborhood dives, or just about any street corner.