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What to do in New Orleans during the 2017 OAH annual meeting

The Organization of American Historians is just around the corner, and we know you’re excited to attend your panels, debate American history with your fellow historians, and dive into some amazing new books.

We also know you would love to explore the beautiful city of New Orleans when the conference is done for the day, or in between panels and conference activities. We’re here with a few suggestions on how to spend your leisure time. From delicious food, to beautiful architecture, this location is sure to offer something for everyone.

1. Rain or shine, you can always find some good food in New Orleans. Just a 5-minute walk from the Marriott, Criollo is lauded for its Creole food. Have a bowl of crawfish bisque or a baked stuffed Creole redfish. Or, if you’re in the mood for something sweet instead, order a basket of beignets with some extra napkins.

2. The conference venue is in the heart of the French Quarter, a perfect place to stroll when you are done for the evening or taking a break between panels. Some must-see sights include the Faulkner House, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and the Cabildo. But even if you don’t have time to see these locations, it’s worth a walk around the neighborhood just to check out the architecture.

“New Orleans: Front of the Cabildo on Jackson Square” by Infrogmation of New Orleans. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

3. If you’re staying in New Orleans for longer than OAH, you need to take time to do a cemetery tour. Above ground to protect them from rising water levels, these ghostly cemeteries are replete with beautiful stonework and design. St Louis Cemeteries are among the most popular, home to the departed Marie Laveau, Dominique You, and many others. You can stroll through on your own or book a guided tour.

4. It may be on the opposite side of the city, but the Audubon Nature Institute is worth the 25-minute drive. Set in the heart of the large Audubon Park, this institute houses an aquarium, a zoo, an insectarium, a golf course, and an IMAX theater. It’s fun for the whole family.

5. Perched on the edge of the Mississippi River, Woldenberg Park is just a 10-minute walk from the conference site. The 16 acres feature sculptures, artwork, and a 90-foot linear water feature set in front of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Children can run through the water to cool off, or enjoy the light shows.

6. If you’re looking to shop, or just enjoy a scenic view along the river, check out the Riverwalk Marketplace, home to over 75 shops and restaurants. Pick up your trip souvenirs and enjoy the sparkling nighttime view.

Featured image credit: “Bourbon Street – New Orleans in the Early Morning” by Eric Gross. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

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