Things to See and Do in NOLA during Higher Ed Summit
By: Amjad Ayoubi, Tulane University
As co-host of the Higher Ed Summit, I want to extend a warm welcome to New Orleans and Tulane University, the home of the Green Wave. At the Summit, you’ll experience inspirational keynotes, informative breakouts and hands-on workshops among an incredible community of higher ed innovators. And all that goodness is just during the day.
Round out your visit to the Crescent City with tours of world-class museums, strolls through historic neighborhoods, dining at world-class restaurants and visits to famous (and infamous) establishments that will absolutely ensure your trip will be a memorable one.
Here are five “must” things to see and do while you’re in NOLA:
Sample the cuisine
Famous chefs and distinctive dishes make New Orleans one of the top foodie destinations in the world, so be sure to try signature offerings like po-boys, gumbo, jambalaya, muffuletta, beignets, red beans and rice, and crawfish etoufee. Start your morning Café du Monde with fresh beignets dipped in powdered sugar. Head over to Dooky Chase for dinner. If you’re coming early or staying the weekend, don’t miss the Court of Two Sisters for the Jazz Brunch.
Tap your toes
Speaking of jazz, the music scene in New Orleans is unrivaled. On Bourbon Street, stop by Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub for traditional Dixieland jazz, or Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for something a little more swanky. If you want to get a little further from the beaten path, wander down to Frenchmen Street to hear jazz, blues, and more at clubs like the Spotted Cat, Blue Nile, and d.b.a.
Sip a tradition
Get a taste of local history by sampling one of New Orleans’ signature cocktails. Try a Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House, or head over to the Roosevelt Hotel’s famous Sazerac Bar, for a Sazerac, a pre-civil war cocktail invented in New Orleans, or a Ramos Gin Fizz, which is what Governor Huey P. Long regularly ordered there. I suggest skipping the Hand Grenades, but if you must indulge in something tall, strong, and brightly-colored, try a Hurricane in the courtyard at Pat O’Brien’s.
Tour the sights
For a unique glimpse of the Crescent City’s culture, take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar to explore the Garden District and Uptown and admire the unique architecture that marks the area. Even though Mardi Gras is over this year, you’ll likely see beads hanging from the trees that line this historic area. And, don’t miss our own famous “bead tree” at Tulane, which is festooned with beads all year long!
Check off Bourbon Street from your bucket list, then head over one block to Royal Street
Yes, everyone will ask whether you saw Bourbon Street, so you must take a moment (and, probably, only a moment to see it). Fortunately, it’s located close to the Sheraton, where we are holding the Summit, so you can get there easily. One quick trip down the street will expose you to the party atmosphere it’s so famous for, and obviously, it’s not necessarily kid friendly.
A block over on Royal Street, you’ll find a number of unique shops and restaurants, including antiques and art galleries. During the day, the street is blocked off for pedestrians to take a stroll and enjoy a variety of street performers, musicians, and artists.
Re-live the history
If you want to explore some of the city’s rich history, check out the Cabildo museum in Jackson Square, right next door to the St. Louis Cathedral. Across the square is The 1850 House, a historic residence that preserves the elegance of antebellum New Orleans. Other museums of interest include the National WWII Museum and, just across the street, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
About the Author
Amjad Ayoubi, Ph.D., serves as Senior Associate Dean for undergraduate education at Tulane University. He oversees Academic and Career Advising, Success Coaching, Academic Support Services such as Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction and Academic Services for Student Athletes. Amjad joined to Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina and helped rebuild Career Services operations and later helped reorganize and grow Academic Advising and develop a new Success Coaching department. Amjad is a change agent, creative thinker, effective problem solver and a futurist. He supports a team of dedicated staff who helped increase the retention rate at Tulane from 87% to 92% and the graduation rate from 78% to 83% in the past six years. Amjad used Salesforce 13 years ago in a career services function and helped increase the number of employers recruiting students from 400 to 2500.
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