AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Top 9 Things to Do in New Orleans

Top 9 Things to Do in New Orleans

October 26, 2017     

If you’re planning to attend our Global Surgical Conference & Expo in New Orleans this March, why not build a little fun into the trip? It's not too early to start planning your itinerary for exploring the one-of-a-kind sites, sounds, and tastes found only in New Orleans.

Here are the top spots and experiences to schedule into your trip for meet-ups with colleagues and time away from the conference to make the most of your visit to the Big Easy.

1. Jackson Square

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square offers much to see, including historic architectural sites such as the Cabildo colonial building that now houses the Louisiana State Museum and location where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. Here you will also find St. Louis Cathedral—the oldest cathedral in the United States. You'll also find local art for sale around the square.

2. Warehouse District

A short cab ride from Jackson Square will take you to this neighborhood filled with New Orleans-style arts, music, food and fun. If you make a Thursday evening stop at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s Ogden After Hours you will have a chance to explore the art galleries as local musicians play and cocktails are served.

3. City Park

An afternoon outing to City Park, which spans from Bayou St. John to Lake Pontchartrain, will give you a breath of fresh air through this 1,300-acre park. The Park includes post-Katrina redesigned landscapes, sculpture gardens, and restored historic stops such as the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park built in 1906, which can be fun for children and adults.

4. Cemeteries

Built above ground to protect graves from water, cemeteries in New Orleans are examples of architecture and history, with some tombs dating back to the late 1700s. Guided tours are offered for many of the city’s most famous graveyard stops, including St. Louis Cemetery #1 and Lafayette Cemetery is another fun stop. It’s often used as a backdrop for movies filmed in NOLA.

5. Streetcars

Home of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, New Orleans offers historic travel by streetcar from downtown on three different lines (St. Charles, Canal Street, and the Riverfront) that weave through different parts of the city. Fares can be paid with exact change when you board, but passes can be purchased ahead of time. Fares can also be paid via a mobile app from the city’s regional transit authority.

6. River Cruises

For an outstanding view of the Mississippi and the city, book a riverboat tour on a paddlewheel steamboat. Historic steamboat tours are offered daily from the riverfront area.

7. Cuisine

If you ask a local what the best part of New Orleans is, they will probably say the food. Whether you are dying to sample Creole, Cajun or French-inspired cuisine, there is no shortage of culinary options. Don’t know where to find the best gumbo, po-boy or crawfish etouffe? Try a food tour to visit classic food venues and learn the gastronomic history of New Orleans along the way.

8. Jazz

For music enthusiasts who want to pay tribute to the birthplace of jazz, there are many different venues to catch local musicians and those who nod their hats to the classics. For a more laid back music experience, visit Frenchmen Street and find the two-block stretch in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood where live music can be found any night of the week.

9. Bourbon Street

Before you leave, plan a stop on the famous “Rue Bourbon” to enjoy the mile-long journey of restaurants and music. Scheduled tours are available to catch all that Bourbon Street has to offer, including a pub crawl or top music heritage sites. Don’t forget to make a breakfast stop at the Café Du Monde for café au lait with beignets.

Register for the AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2018 during the month of October and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a five-night hotel stay in New Orleans. Five winners will be selected early November.