Impress Your Friends with Our #FrayLife Guide to Touring New Orleans Like a Local

 

 

You, lucky duck, live in New Orleans, one of the greatest cities in the world. Maybe you’ve lived here all your life (or maybe you’ve just moved here), but no matter how long you’ve called the Big Easy home, you are the envy of all your out-of-town friends. And what do these envious amigos want to do? Visit you, of course! Beyond Bourbon Street, however, most people have no idea what our amazing city has to offer. That’s why #FrayLife is here with our suggestions for guaranteeing your visitors have an epic vacay!

For Party Animals

Odds are your party-loving friends want to walk down Bourbon Street. Once they’ve gotten their plastic Hand Grenades with all the other tourists and the novelty of nonexistent open-container laws has worn off, bring them off the beaten path over to Bywater, where the cool kids hang out. Dance the night away to live music and DJs at the Hi-Ho Lounge, Siberia Lounge, or the AllWays Lounge and Theatre. All three also host burlesque and drag shows, because that’s how we roll here in NOLA. All that moving and shaking give you the munchies? Siberia serves “Slavic soul food” until midnight, and Kebab and Pizza Delicious (a.k.a. Pizza D) are within walking distance. 

#FrayLife Tip: If the music’s kickin’ at Hi-Ho Lounge, you don’t have to leave for a snack break. You can order from the attached restaurant, Fry and Pie, inside the bar. Trust us—you can’t go wrong with any of the homemade daily fry or pie options!

 

For Foodies

New Orleanians take food VERY seriously. Some of the country’s most famous chefs call NOLA home (Emeril Lagasse ring a bell?), and great food is built into the DNA of the city. It’s a foodie’s paradise with French Quarter grandes dames like Antoine’s, Galatoire’s, and Arnaud’s, who’ve all been serving up classic Creole fare for over 100 years, as well as hot new arrivals all over the city, like  Turkey and the Wolf and Vessel. Are your friends looking for more than just a sampling of the local food? Visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, treat them to a cooking class at New Orleans School of Cooking, or take a food walking tour from Destination Kitchen or Doctor Gumbo, which includes plenty of tastings!

For History Buffs

The Crescent City just celebrated her 300th birthday, and a lady this old certainly has plenty of stories to tell. Take your friends on a tour of the city’s history by stepping into the Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo and the Presbytère on either side of Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Both historic buildings are homes to exhibits that highlight NOLA’s rich history of resilience and celebration. Just around the corner, you’ll find the 1850 House, which gives visitors “a glimpse of upper-middle-class life in antebellum New Orleans.” Flash forward about 100 years, and head to the Warehouse District to visit the National WWII Museum. It’s the city’s number one attraction, with very good reason. Dedicated to telling “the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world,” the museum takes visitors on an immersive journey full of stunning exhibits, multimedia experiences, and first-person oral histories. Plan on spending at least 3 hours here, but don’t worry—it’s well worth the time.

 

For Tree Huggers

Move over, Seattle: there’s another Emerald City down south! New Orleans’s climate is classified as humid subtropical, which makes for lots of lush greenery all year round. The best place to enjoy all this foliage is at one of the city’s beautiful public parks. In Uptown, right across from Tulane, there’s Audubon Park. Come for the allées of live oaks, a walking loop path of almost 2 miles; fly along the Mighty Mississippi; and stay for Audubon Zoo, one of the country’s best. Take the Saint Charles Avenue streetcar from downtown all the way to the park for the best views of the historic lower and upper Garden Districts for only $1.25! As lovely as Audubon Park is, City Park, in Mid-City, really is NOLA’s hidden gem. This urban oasis boasts 1,300 acres of live oaks, lagoons, and green spaces. For free, visitors can walk the path around Big Lake, stroll through the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, hike the trails in Couturie Forest, and play the par-3 disc golf course. Bring your friends on a Wednesday, and Louisiana residents can also visit the New Orleans Botanical Garden and New Orleans Museum of Art for free, thanks to the Helis Foundation.

#FrayLife Tip: Hop on a Blue Bike downtown, and take the Lafitte Greenway trail up to Mid-City. You’ll be glad you have a bike for exploring all of City Park’s ins and outs, plus you can use it to grab a po’boy at Parkway Bakery, which is right off the greenway.

 

For Music Lovers

What better place for a music lover to visit than the birthplace of jazz? Walk down any street in the quarter, and you’ll hear live music wafting (or blasting) out of pretty much every bar and lounge. The quintessential spot is Preservation Hall. Open since the 1960s, this venue hosts five classic New Orleans–style jazz shows every night. Don’t want to commit to one show? Take a walk down Frenchmen Street, and see (hear?) which band catches your ear. Venues like Snug Harbor, the Spotted Cat, and Bamboula’s host live jazz bands most nights. Looking for something a little wilder? Get your dancing shoes on and head over to Lyve Nite Club or Republic NOLA to hear authentic New Orleans bounce, energetic hip-hop music that birthed modern-day twerking.

What are your can’t-miss spots when friends come to town? Share with us in the comments, and tag #FrayLife and #NOLAFray on social media when you’re playing tour guide!

 

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