Best spots to visit within walking distance of your New Orleans convention
Top activities near the Ernest Morial Convention Center.
by Jeffrey Chitek
The warehouse district of New Orleans is one of the cities hidden gems. I mean it’s not actually hidden but overlooked as an attraction with most of the tourism traffic focused to the French Quarter. During your next New Orleans convention, change it up a bit and explore some sites, sounds and tastes in the locality of the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center. Below is a short list of some of my favorite places to visit in the area.
Fulton street is a strolling thoroughfare parallel to the Great Mississippi. It is lined with restaurants, pubs and galleries as well as one of New Orleans only bowling alleys. “Fulton Alley is a charming and luxurious gaming parlor and prohibition-style cocktail lounge located in the heart of New Orleans’ warehouse district. With a passion and appreciation for play, we thrive on the camaraderie of gaming. At Fulton, we are your hosts, your confident purveyors of quality and timeless traditions. A place where social gatherings and group entertainment are our specialty. After all, we’re in New Orleans where just about any reason is a good reason to party.” On top of that, the street becomes a winter wonderland over the month of December complete with a 40 foot holiday tree, Santa, live music and even fake snow. Theres something about snow falling when it’s 60 degrees that just brings tears of magic to your eyes.
This is one of my favorite lunch spots in the city. The sandwiches are inventive and delicious, the ingredients are carefully curated and prepared, and the atmosphere is interesting and relaxed. The program here is perfect.. Craft beers, craft cocktails, fresh house-made meat sandwiches and sides. It’s named the “the butcher” because, well, it’s a butcher shop. All the meat is butchered, aged and smoked in the back. So definitely grab a sandwich here between presentations and grab a pound of smoked duck pastrami to go stink out the convention center (:
The National World War 2 Museum
Honesty, this is the best museum I have ever visited. I have been through every exhibit four times and each time I find something new and amazing. They have recently added a “road to Tokyo” exhibit that I am very excited to explore. It is the most thorough historical recount on the planet, and beautifully and thoughtfully displayed. They have AIRPLANES suspended from the ceiling! The road to Berlin exhibit follows the American involvement in the war from Pearl Harbor to the raids on Berlin. The exhibits are interactive and fascinating, really bringing you back in time as if you were alive and living through the events in fast forward. I spent nearly four hours at the museum during my first visit and had to go back to finish.
Dubbed as “gallery row,” Julia Street extending from the convention center towards Loyola is home to over a dozen galleries featuring a mix of local and world renowned artists. The architecture of the area is a wonderful confluence of its history as grain storage and warehouse brick buildings and new posh upscale condos, galleries and restaurants. Most of the galleries are open to the public daily. Even if the gallery’s doors are closed, the large bay window fronts allow passerby’s to look in at the art displays. While most of us can not actually afford the high end art of the Julia street calibur, it’s always fun to see world class work up close and personal. Julia Street is one of the cities classiest modernesque streets with a constant rotation of world class art and food.