Friday, February 10, 2012

Things To Do In NOLA

by MeKoi Scott
Southern Region Student Representative, 2011-2012
Auburn University, Montogomery

With all that New Orleans has to offer, convention attendees may appreciate a starter list of activities to enjoy while in the city. Granted, you could walk around the French Quarter and the immediate area beyond and discover spots and attractions, but given the limited free time attendees have at the convention, this list can help point you in the right direction. Or at the very least, it may help you form your own list.

Below, points of interest are divided into three categories: Food; Music; Tours, Trips, and Museums.

Restaurants in this category have either been patronized by me personally, or New Orleans locals or a notable chef have recommended them to me. All are relatively inexpensive and none require dressy attire.

Cafe du Monde
800 Decatur St.
-Located in the French Quarter
-French-style doughnuts topped with powdered sugar
-Open 24-7

Mother’s Restaurant
401 Podrays St.
-Located in the Central Business District
-Po-boys, ettouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, and more
-Expect a line, but it moves quickly

333 St Charles Ave.
-Located in the Central Business District
-Combines Franco-German cuisine
-A little pricey, but if you are in a mood to treat, you may want to consider Lüke’s

Port of Call
838 Esplanade Ave.
-Located in the French Quarter
-Steaks, hamburgers, baked potatoes, and salads; despite the lack of variety, if you enjoy a well-made burger, then you might want to give them a try.

Coop’s Place
1109 Decatur St.
-Located in the French Quarter

Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon St.
-Located in the French Quarter
-Seafood; decadent double chocolate bread pudding
-May be a little pricey

All of these music venues are located on Frenchmen Street, which is just outside the French Quarter, past Esplanade Ave. Within the French Quarter live music can be found at various locations, but the venues on Frenchmen Street offer notable and renowned artists and bands. Not all admit persons from 18-20, but a few do.

The Spotted Cat
623 Frenchmen St.
-Music ranging from blues to jazz to Latin to various fusions
-Two bands nightly: first starts at 6pm, the second at 9:30pm
-Small area, mostly standing room only

Snug Harbor
626 Frenchmen St.
-Jazz music
-Two bands nightly: first starts at 9pm, the second at 11pm
-Restaurant also on premise

618 Frenchmen St.
-Jazz and Blues
-Sometimes a $5 cover

The Maison
508 Frenchmen St.
-Jazz, Blues, Electronic, Hip Hop, Rock
-Comedy Showcase Fridays 8-10:30pm; Latin Dance Party Fridays at 11pm; Dance Party Saturdays 10pm
-Restaurant on premises

The Apple Barrel
609 Frenchmen St.
-Jazz and Blues

Blue Nile
532 Frenchmen St.
-Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk
-Sometimes a $10 cover

The Three Muses
536 Frenchmen St.
-Jazz and Blues
-Gastro Pub, more of a restaurant with live music

These activities offer a taste of New Orleans’ charm and culture, past and present.

Spirit Tours New Orleans
601 Royal St.
-Starts every night at 8:15pm
-Two-hour walking tour to the “dark edges” of the historic French Quarter
-$16 per person

Steamboat Natchez
1 Toulouse St.
-Mississippi Riverboat with dinner and live jazz music
-Sails daily, three time a day: 11:30am, 2:30pm; 7pm; boarding begins 30min. prior
-Day Cruises: $25 w/o lunch, $36 w/ lunch; Evening Cruise: $41 w/o dinner, $68 with dinner
-Two-hour cruise

St. Charles Streetcar
-Runs through the Central Business District to Uptown
-See antebellum mansions, historic monuments, the Audubon Zoological Garden
-One-way fares: $1.25 (exact change)

Voodoo Museum
724 Dumaine St.
-Experience the curios, relics, and artifacts of one of New Orleans’ religions
-Open 10am-6pm daily
-$7 General; $5.50 Students

The Presbytere
751 Chartes St., Jackson Square
-Houses a collection of Mardi Gras artifacts and memorabilia
-Open 9am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday
-$5 General, $4 Students

The Backstreet Cultural Museum
1116 St. Claude Ave.
-Houses an assortment of memorabilia indigenous to Mardi Gras, jazz funerals, and other New Orleans’ traditions
-Open 10am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday
-$5 admission


  1. Do you know how/where to find second line parades? I would really love to see one while I'm in NOLA.



    1. There will be a second line parade Saturday, April 1, the Bayou Steppers. I have yet to discover the location, but once I do, I will let you know.


  2. Great thanks a bunch.


  3. If you enjoy performance poetry, Chuck Perkins has the Cafe Istanbul. His performance at LSUA was excellent. =)