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What to do When Visiting New Orleans This Fall

New Orleans may be a bit quieter these days due to COVID-19, but the city is still open and brimming with unique cultural experiences.

Bourbon Street

If you are a teetotaler, then Bourbon Street is probably not the place for you. It’s a bawdy, loud, booze-soaked nirvana. The perfect place for a rowdy night on the town. But before you get partying, it’s important to know where you’re going.

The Mississippi River runs parallel to Bourbon Street, but the bulk of the nightlife runs the 13 blocks from Canal Street through Esplanade Avenue. The landscape shifts to a more residential setting when you draw downriver of St. Phillip Street.

If you’re single looking to mingle, then you have come to the right place. All are welcome regardless of where you go, but the straight bars are at the beginning while the gay bars can be found between St. Ann and St. Phillip Streets. The tourists generally hang between Orleans and Bienville Streets with a sea of taverns vying for every dollar.

If you’re looking to shake your moneymaker while cocktailing, then a few of the dance clubs not to be missed are Funky 544 and The Beach on Bourbon. Those who are seeking something more upscale will enjoy Bourbon O, an establishment that uses fresh-squeezed citrus and home ingredients to perfect their cocktails. However, Bourbon O does not have the market cornered on high-end boozing in the French Quarter, as French 75 is also a chi-chi, must-see, gin joint. And if you’re jonesing for a shot and a beer with nothing fancy, then you should get on over to the Bourbon Cowboy, replete with a mechanical bull!

With New Orleans entering a new phase of reopening, all of the bars listed here are open and ready to serve you. The only difference from before is they are legally required to shut down at 11 p.m., they operate at 75 percent capacity and a mask must be worn while outdoors or indoors.

Mercedes Benz Superdome

If the spirit moves you to take in a Saints football game, then you need to ask your uber or taxi driver to take you to 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr. However, due to the global pandemic, only a handful of fans are being allowed entrance into the 75,000-person stadium. But the good news is that there is no shortage of bars in which to watch the game and if you’re inclined to put a wager down, then you should know the Saints are +1600 to win the Super Bowl.

The Superdome is currently in talks with the NFL and CDC to safely host Saints games, without endangering fans. Airflow within the Superdome has increased due to a new filtration system the officials have implemented.

New Orleans Museum of Art

Those who enjoy the arts will move mountains to get to 1 Collins Diboll Circle in City Park. French and American art populates the ornate Greco-Roman building, while a five-acre garden, replete with sculptures from all over the world, invite those with a curious mind to witness the wonders of world-renowned artists and sculptors.

Wally Gobetz from Flickr Creative Commons

NOMA runs the gamut from fashion to paintings and even digital media. It is worthy of a lovely and leisurely afternoon with over 40,000 objects vying for your attention. After hours of walking, talking and taking in all of the magnificent artwork, there is Café NOMA to recharge your battery when your stomach starts grumbling.

The museum remains open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with face coverings required.

Orpheum Theater

The Theater District has made a comeback in New Orleans and much of that has to do with the restoration of the Orpheum Theater located at 129 Roosevelt Way in the CBD. This is the charming home of the Louisiana Philharmonic and also features touring bands, comedians, burlesque reviews and even classical movies backed by a live orchestra.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the Orpheum Theater is closed until December 30.

The Spotted Cat Music Club

How can anyone suggest the best of New Orleans without including at least one jazz club? If it is live music with a ‘Nawlins soul that you are looking for, then make sure to venture over to Frenchman Street where jazz comes alive. And there is no place better to hear it than at the Spotted Cat. The brass horns blare while the big bass’s boom and maybe you will get lucky watching the Cotton Mouth Kings working the room.

Unfortunately, The Spotted Cat Music Club is closed until further notice, but you can check out New Orleans’ live music calendar here.

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