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.
There's no shortage of festivals in and around our beloved city! In fact, you can probably find a festival happening on any given weekend in New Orleans. There's the "biggies" of course: Mardi Gras, Jazz & Heritage Fest, French Quarter Fest, CrawFest, Essence & Voodoo—but there are some true hidden treasures out there such as Super Sunday, which features many of the Mardi Gras Indians tribes masking in their vibrant traditional feathered suits that they have handmade throughout the entire year, or Bayou Boogaloo—a great music and art festival right on beautiful Bayou St. John in Mid-City. Get out there and explore! I recommend the Louisiana Festival Calendar to keep track of what's happening (sold at local bookstores & groceries). My favorite festival featured in last year's calendar was the "Celebration of the Giant Omelette" in Abbeville, Louisiana. It's true what they say—we do find a reason to celebrate anything here in New Orleans!
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!
One of the best ways to explore a city is by running or walking, and the area around Tulane's Uptown campus provides some ideal settings. Take a lap around Audubon Park to see the birds and turtles or head all the way down to The Fly to watch giant boats roll up and down the Mississippi River. If you've got a bike and are feeling adventurous, hop on the levee down at The Fly and head west. There are some great views of the river, especially as the sun is setting. To check out beautiful homes around campus, snag a coffee at PJ's on Willow then walk down to the intersection of Willow Street and Audubon Boulevard. Turn right on Audubon Boulevard and make your way down to South Claiborne Avenue. In short, get outside and get moving! You're bound to find a new hidden gem each time.
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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