Super Bowl Spotlight: New Orleans

If you’re one of the lucky 76,468 people with tickets to the Super Bowl this year, chances are you’ve already got a room booked, and you’ll be spending a few days in New Orleans.  You’ve got your Sunday pretty much figured out, but how should you spend the rest of your time? I spoke to my friend Vanessa, a native of New Orleans, and she had these suggestions for me.

For the best jazz, ask the concierge at your hotel for a calendar to Snug Harbor. On any given night, a member of America’s “First Family of Jazz”, the Marsalis Family, is usually playing. Grab some food and listen to the best live jazz you’ve ever heard. It’s on Frenchman Street in a neighborhood called “The Marigny” which is close to the French Quarter.  If jazz isn’t your thing, there are many clubs along Frenchman Street where you can find any type of live music you can imagine from blues to reggae to rock-n-roll.

It’s no surprise that New Orleans inspired the invention of many adult beverages, so why not drink the drink where it was invented? At the Napoleon House (Napoleon’s old apartment) get a Pimms Cup. Have a Sazerac at the Sazerac Bar and Restaurant inside Roosevelt Hotel, and go to Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane. New Orleans has no open container law, so feel free to take that plastic or Styrofoam cup with you on the walk to your next destination.

Bourbon Street is the obvious destination if you’re looking for a party atmosphere. Bars line the streets, and at the Cat’s Meow, there are 3 for 1 drinks every day from 4-6pm and some great karaoke too. At the end of Bourbon Street is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in America. Grab a cocktail and chat in the front room, or head to the piano bar in the back room for live entertainment.

Your first stop will of course Café Du Monde  for a breakfast of their famous beignets and chicory coffee. If you’re looking for a more hearty breakfast, check out the famous brunch at Brennan’s or the fantastic jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters. Try something new at Ralph and Kacoos on Toulouse where you can get a fried alligator po-boy for lunch or crawfish bisque for dinner. Head to the Roosevelt or Cochon for a Cochon de lait main dish or sandwich. If you’re unfamiliar with dish, Cochon du lait is the French art of cooking a pig before an open hardwood fire; it’s a Cajun tradition.  If you’re looking for fried chicken, Willie May’s Scotch House has arguably the best fried chicken ever.

The National World War II Museum. The museum is housed in three separate buildings all on the same lot, and they suggest that you set aside at least three hours in order to take in all it has to offer. It tells the story of the American experience in “The War that Changed the World”.

Walk down Royal Street in the French Quarter, and visit the art galleries. The Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans houses art by New Orleans’ most famous modern painter, George Rodrique.

Stroll along Jackson Square in the French Quarter and enjoy watching artists at work. There are merchants, museums, and restaurants as well, and you’re just a short walk away from the Mississippi River.

Just outside of New Orleans is swampland. Call up Cajun Encounters. They’ll send a bus to pick you up in the city and take you out to the countryside where you can take a swamp boat tour and see alligators, and other wildlife up close.  I can personally vouch for this tour; it’s tons of fun.


This is, of course, only a small sampling of all the things to do and see in New Orleans.  New Orleans Online is actually a great resource.  If there’s something you’ve been thinking about that you didn’t find on this page, check out their website, it’s a wealth of information.


– Annette Fasone

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