Chapter 4: What to See in the City
It’s almost time for NADA100, and that means we’re all about to get a little taste of New Orleans! It’s a city that’s rich in history, fun, food, and nightlife, so it’s tough to know where to start. To help you out, I did a little digging, talked to some friends in the know—and, of course, vetted some places via social media—and now it’s time to reveal the Ultimate Not-to-Be-Missed List of Things to Do in New Orleans:
- 1. Party with AutoAlert at AutoBash. We’ll be bringing down the house as the Spin Doctors perform for our guests at Republic Nola from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the historic Warehouse District. Pick up your pass to this exclusive event when you visit AutoAlert Booth #1455 at NADA. Join us for top-shelf drinks and hors d’oeuvres and mingle with top industry pros in in one of the most beautiful venues in the city.
- 2. Eat at Mother’s Cajun restaurant. Seriously, if you have $15 in your pocket, you’ll have the best dining experience this side of the Bayou. Pro tip: Try the crawfish étouffée. You won’t be sorry.
- 3. Explore one of the famous New Orleans cemeteries. Known as “cities of the dead,” they boast ornately decorated above-ground tombs and are rumored to be haunted. Cemetery No. 1 is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is the final resting place of the infamous Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.
- 4. Take in some live music. You’re heading to the birthplace of jazz, so get ready to sit back, relax, and take in the music of the city. Just about any night of the week, you can find live entertainment, so consider Preservation Hall if you’re looking for traditional New Orleans jazz. Or for a less touristy, out-of-the-way spot, check out the Palm Court Jazz Café. It’s on the downriver end of Decatur Street, and you’ll be treated to mellow jazz with plenty of piano.
- 5. Stroll down Bourbon Street. A New Orleans classic, Bourbon Street is loaded with opportunities to have fun and absorb a little bit of history at the same time. 13 blocks long and in the heart of the French Quarter, this street dates all the way back to 1798. It’s full of famous bars, jazz venues, restaurants, and shops—so no matter when you go, there’ll be something going on.
- 6. Grab a bite at Coop’s Place. It’s for adults only, but just because of the video poker machines. Dubbed by Zagat as the place “where the not-so-elite meet to eat” and situated in the bustling French Quarter, you’ll get a good dose of New Orleans here. Cajun fried chicken, rabbit sausage, and gumbo are just a few of the local favorites you can try.
- 7. Take a Royal Carriage ride. The oldest sightseeing carriage company in the country, Royal Carriages has been a New Orleans tradition for over 75 years. Early-birds can take the morning ride and save $10, or choose the ghostly History & Haunts tour, available nightly. Depart from Jackson Square and see the French Quarter on a 30-minute mule-drawn tour.
- 8. Breeze through the bayou. If you’re going to be around for an extra morning—either before or after NADA—take an airboat tour and get up-close and personal with Louisiana’s gators, turtles, and more.
- 9. Do a little souvenir shopping. Take home a Carnival mask from the famous Maskarade shop. Or drop by The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk to find all your favorite stores at outlet prices, with a few local favorites thrown in, too.
- 10. Don’t leave without eating a beignet. Morning or night, it’s always a good time for one of these tasty treats, and New Orleans is one of the best places to get them. Try New Orleans Famous Beignets & Coffee on Decatur Street or grab some chocolatey goodness at New Orleans Coffee & Beignet Co. You know what? Convention travel is hard work…you should try out BOTH places.
It’s going to be a lot of hustle and bustle at NADA100, but even though you’ll be going non-stop, there’s always time for a little fun! Grab some colleagues and mix it up with some new connections, too, while you check out a few New Orleans highlights. Network at the convention…and then network some more at the local hotspots, too.