Whether it’s your family, best friends, or prospective students, someone is always begging to come visit us Tulanians in our beautiful city of New Orleans. I find that it can appear as though our friends and family are more excited to come experience the New Orleans culture then to visit us. Despite this, as experts on the city, we must show them the best aspects of the Big Easy and our favorite things to do as Tulane students. Below are my go-to spots and tips for New Orleans virgins!

Plan Your Visit Around a Festival.

The number one thing I tell all my friends and family to do before planning a visit is to research any interesting festivals happening around that time. New Orleans arguably has the most diverse and exciting set of festivals, as they have more festivals than days of the year, so it is something that you and your guests cannot miss.  On the top of my list are Jazz Fest, Voodoo, French Quarter Fest, and Strawberry Fest.

The Fly.

Imbedded into our Tulane culture, The Fly and Audubon Park are our little slivers of tranquility in this hectic city. Take your visitor on a cool afternoon to watch the amazing sunset and bring a picnic from one of your favorite spots in town. My favorites are cheese and meats from St. James Cheese Company, baked goods or sandwiches from Maple Street Patisserie, or spring rolls from Ba-Chi. Make sure you give yourself some time beforehand to walk through Audubon from campus and show them the beauty of the park!

Camellia Grill.

Whether it’s a long night at the Boot or a long study-day ahead, Camellia Grill will cure any and all of your headaches. Open from 8am-12am Sunday-Thursday and 8am-2am Friday and Saturday, you and your guest are bound to find yourselves at the counter-seating only restaurant at any hour of the day. Try their enormous omelets, double-scoop freezes, or delicious burgers for a true experience at this iconic location.

St. Roch Market.

Although this place isn’t one of the classic restaurants of New Orleans, I think St. Roch Market is a great place to bring a visitor, especially ones not here for a long time.  The historically-rich building holds over thirteen vendors from the best restaurants, bars, and shops in New Orleans. This gives your guest the perfect opportunity to try a little of each cuisine and culture that we adore in our city.

The French Quarter.

When explaining New Orleans to my friends and family, I always try to explain that this city is a lot more than just Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. However, the French Quarter appears to be a large draw of New Orleans to the outside world since it’s so rich in culture and fun. Because of this, I do think it’s important to share this landmark of the city with any first-timer. Whether you grab a beignet or walk around Jackson Square, your guest will get a great idea of what this city has to offer.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with where you take your eager visitors. There are hundreds of amazing restaurants to eat at and even more things to see and do. You’re guaranteed to show your visitors the best of times and they will be sure to be itching to come back again soon!

COVER PHOTO: Justin Haber

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