New Orleans is world famous for its rich culture, and we know parents and families will love experiencing the food, music, and attractions that surround Tulane University. The French Quarter and big name restaurants are great, but the academic advisors would like to let you in on a few local favorites to make your next visit special.
As a non-native I fell in love with New Orleans for a variety of reasons including the beautiful greenery, the vibrant culture and the incredible performance arts scene. One of my favorite spots in the city is City Park. It is one of the largest urban parks in the country. It has an array of attractions to enjoy including a sculpture garden, a first rate museum, jogging trails, tennis courts, wildlife and the largest collection of live oaks in the world. After enjoying an outing in City Park it is always a treat to stop by Angelo Brocato’s, an Italian ice cream and pastry shop that has been around for over 100 years. Nothing beats lemon ice gelato on a hot New Orleans day.
Looking for something fun to do on a Saturday afternoon? Check out the Freret Market on the first Saturday of each month from 12-5pm (except for July and August). Located on the corner of Napoleon and Freret, this market is in some ways is an embodiment of what it means to live in New Orleans: it’s a whole jumbled mix of live local music, good food & drinks, funky jewelry and art to buy, and you’re bound to run into about three people you know! If you’re looking for a fun activity near campus with a little something for everyone, consider checking out this market-you won’t be disappointed!
I love Praline Connection on Frenchman for real Louisiana soul food, including vegetarian options! If you’re up for a special meal, try Achafalaya on Napoleon. Their lunchtime version of shrimp and grits is stupendous. My favorite places for food fare that’s not traditional New Orleans cuisine are Nine Roses on the West Bank for Chinese and Vietnamese; Café Abyssinia on Magazine St. for Ethiopian food (followed by a huge soft-serve ice cream out front for $2); and the crab fried rice at Chill Out Café on Maple Street right near Tulane.
In the mood for some Southern soul food? Dunbar's Creole Cooking at 501 Pine Street--a short walk from campus--is the place to find it. It is finger-lickin' good; the kind that makes you wanna slap somebody. Try mustard greens, candied yams, cornbread, and the best fried chicken this side of heaven!
Step to the beat of Cajun zydeco music at our one-and-only historical Rock-n-Bowl bowling alley! On Thursday evenings from 8:30-12:00 the zydeco krewe throws down a South Louisiana experience like no other. You can see my mom and I dancing the night away in the picture. Young, old, country, city, expert dancer or novice - just go ready for something new and different and you will fit right in. And don’t be shy when the cowboys or cowgirls ask you to dance: they’ll teach you how if you let ‘em! If you can’t make it out on a Thursday, try zydeco Sundays 5:30-9:00 at Tipitina’s Uptown or any evening in the CBD at Mulate’s.
New Orleans has long been considered a literary town, and the city’s used books shops are a great way to pick up paperbacks on the cheap, browse local and regional titles, and explore different neighborhoods around town. Maple Street Books has new and used books, just steps from Tulane’s campus, and the shop was a favorite of author Walker Percy. Blue Cypress Books is in the midst of the cafes and shops on Oak Street, and McKeown's Books and Difficult Music at the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Bordeaux is right across the street from legendary sno-ball spot Hansen’s Sno-Bliz. For new books, Faulkner House Books in the French Quarter has a great selection of Southern lit, and occupies the same building where William Faulkner wrote his first novel.
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