Parkway is proud to be a destination for locals and visitors from around the world. Because we serve such an interesting mix of folks every day, we’ve become an ambassador of sorts for the city. It’s a regular thing for people to ask us, “where should I go while I’m in New Orleans?” We heard you, so here it is: Parkway’s Guide to New Orleans!
Whether you’ve lived in New Orleans since birth or you’re planning your first trip to the Big Easy, we know you’ll enjoy these cultural gems that are close to our heart. Some of them are on many a “must-see” list, while others are just beautiful New Orleans locales that we’ve grown up appreciating along the way.
Parkway’s Guide to New Orleans
If you stop by any of these places, tell them Parkway sent you! Thanks, friends.
Take advantage of your time in the Crescent City to explore one of the oldest urban parks in the United States. Established in 1854, it’s as magical and unique as the city of New Orleans, with over 1,300 acres of lush greenery–and plenty for folks of all ages to see and do.
Visit the NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Modern Art), Botanical Garden, Besthoff Sculpture Garden, hit up one of the 20+ tennis courts and the 18-hole golf course, or take a ride on the hand-carved “flying horses” at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Find the grand oak that dates back nearly 800 years and take a breather under the beautiful chime tree.
And of course, do like locals do: take your Parkway meal and go-cups and have your own grand picnic at City Park.
As a proud sponsor, we’re excited to include this new addition to the City of New Orleans in our list of local favorites. Opened in November of 2015, the Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and green corridor that connects neighborhoods from Armstrong Park to City Park.
Originally a canal between Bayou St. John and the edge of the French Quarter, and later a railroad right-of-way that sat vacant since the mid-twentieth century, the Lafitte Greenway is now a linear park that serves the community in many ways. It features recreation fields and green space, LED energy-efficient trail lighting, accessible ramps at sidewalk corners, and more.
A nice walk, bike ride, or picnic on the Lafitte Greenway is a wonderful way to experience New Orleans–with new eyes, or for the very first time.
— Lafitte Greenway (@lafittegreenway) August 30, 2016
Every Spring in New Orleans, over 400,000 visitors from all over the world come to delight in Jazz Fest: a 10-day cultural buffet of performance, food, art, and more. Although it’s understandably associated with jazz, the festival also celebrates every style associated with the city and the state of Louisiana: blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, bluegrass, and everything in between.
The Festival is extremely popular, so if you’re out of town, it’s a good idea to settle your housing arrangements as soon as possible. Some hotels take reservations as early as a year in advance.
The next Jazz Fest is April 28 – May 7, 2017.
— New Orleans JazzFest (@jazzfest) May 2, 2016
Experience the last authentic Steamboat on the Mighty Mississippi River! You can take advantage of the Dinner Jazz and Daytime Jazz cruises, which run daily and year round in the style of authentic steamboats.
Enjoy live jazz, knowledgeable narrators who explain a lot of the scenery and other ships you’ll see, and real New Orleans hospitality.
— Visit New Orleans (@VisitNewOrleans) August 29, 2016
One of the top three museums in the U.S. according to TripAdvisor, the National WWII Museum was founded in 2000 and features incredible and interactive exhibits that share the story of the war that changed the world.
Designed by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, this cultural institution sits on a six-acre campus in downtown New Orleans that also houses a period dinner theatre. The museum is free for all WWII Veterans.
Today, we were fortunate to host WWII veteran Lawrence Brooks, who celebrated his 107th birthday with us at the Museum. Mr. Brooks served in New Guinea and the Philippines with the predominantly African American 91st Engineer Battalion and reached the rank of Private 1st Class. Officials from the US Army Corps of Engineers, City Council, and Veterans Affairs were all on hand to wish Mr. Brooks, a “living legend,” a happy birthday.
Algiers Point is the second oldest neighborhood in New Orleans and a beautiful, walkable area with many things to do. If you make time to visit the French Quarter, do yourself a favor and fit in exploring this historic place located directly across the Mississippi River. Algiers Point is just a short ferry ride from the Riverfront.
Once you get there, enjoy a full day of activities ranging from guided and independent tours, live music at local bars, plenty of shopping, the Old Algiers Harvest Fresh Market, and more. At Tout de Suite on 347 Verret Street, you can even find delicious gluten-free baked goods! If you feel like staying overnight, there are several charming Bed and Breakfasts to choose from that are just steps away from all the entertainment.
There’s a reason why Gambit Weekly readers have picked the the Po-Boy Festival as the best food festival in New Orleans for seven years in a row. Taking place each fall, it transforms the Oak Street business corridor in the neighborhood of Carrollton into an all day po-boy party of epic proportions.
Enjoy some of the finest restaurants, artists, and musicians in the Crescent City as they celebrate New Orleans’ icon sandwich. The Where Y’Arts Market is a recent component that as music and art to the already heady mix. There are plenty of craft brews to enjoy, as well as over 40 food vendors serving up their takes on the tasty classic–including Parkway!
The festival is free and open to the public. It’s also pup friendly, which means you just might see dogs in po-boy themed costumes!
Tag your instagram photos #ComeDressed and #poboysandpints to join the fun online.
The 2016 Po-Boy Festival is October 23 from 10AM-8PM.
— Oak St PoBoy Fest (@PoBoyFest) October 5, 2016
Because Parkway is located just a stone’s throw away from the bayou, we’re partial to both our MidCity location and everything Bayou St. John has to offer. Get your order to go and walk on over, where you can enjoy greenery as far as the eye can see, ride your bike, watch paddle boarders and folks tubing or fishing, and just drink up the relaxed lifestyle of the bayou.
Beyond the call of the gorgeous setting itself, the banks of Bayou St. John are home to Bayou Boogaloo, a free annual community music festival.
Here are some other lists of things to do in New Orleans:
- 20 Black-Owned Restaurants and Bars in New Orleans
- New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Picks
- AutoStraddle’s Queer Girl City Guide: There’s No Place Like NOLA
We’ll update our list of picks over time. If you have suggestions, share in the comments or tell us on Facebook!