December 13, 2019

New Orleans, Loiusiana

Historic building in the French Quarter
Historic building in the French Quarter

Laissez les bon temps rouler!* Thanks to New Orleans’ multicultural heritage and history, this amazing city offers fascinating things to do and see between workshop sessions.

Our workshop hotel is a 15-minute drive from the French Quarter, the heart of old New Orleans, where historic buildings reflect the city’s French, Spanish and British influences. Drop into one of the dozens of museums or unique shops in the area, or just the stroll the streets, admire the architecture, and glimpse beautiful courtyards behind iron gates.

We don’t think a bad cup of coffee actually exists in New Orleans, but we do recommend you make a pilgrimage to the world-famous Café du Monde for café-au-lait and beignets. Beignets are like doughnuts, only square, lighter, and drenched with powdered sugar. Café du Monde is open 24/7, every day of the year except Christmas.

Café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde
Café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde

Near the café is the French Market, a huge open-air market featuring shopping, dining, music, a farmer’s market, and a flea market. The market began in 1791 as a Native American trading post next to the Mississippi River and just kept evolving as a commercial hub for the city’s French and Spanish colonists and, eventually, immigrants from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. It’s a wonderful place to catch the flavor of the city and grab lunch—try crawfish bisque or a fried shrimp po’ boy sandwich.

Second line at Jazz in the Park
Second line at Jazz in the Park

If you’re walking on a Sunday afternoon in the French Quarter or adjacent Tremé neighborhood, you might run across a second line: a distinctly New Orleans tradition featured in hundreds of weddings, funerals, neighborhood celebrations and festivals every year. (Or check on the internet; some second line celebrations are publicized in advance.) There are two parts: a first line, made up of a parade leader, musicians, and whoever is being honored; and a second line, to which you and anyone else standing around are welcome to fall in and walk, strut and dance along. Flamboyant costumes, proud stepping, and that distinctive New Orleans brass sound give the second line a hint of the Mardi Gras parade.

We haven’t even started on the ghost, voodoo and cemetery tours, bayou and swamp tours, streetcar rides, or the Backstreet Cultural Museum, with the city’s largest collection of brilliantly beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian costumes.

There are so many great restaurants to choose from, you might want to try a trick some friends of ours swear by when visiting NOLA: go to one restaurant for appetizers (say, Antoine’s for Oysters Rockefeller), another for your entrée (try a Cajun or Creole place) and a third for dessert (the seven-layer Doberge cake at the Bakery Bar is the stuff of legends).

D.B.A. on Frenchmen Street
D.B.A. on Frenchmen Street

Lastly, try out New Orleans’ famous night life. The French Quarter offers an abundance of night spots, from old-timey jazz at Preservation Hall to the many clubs along Bourbon Street, famous for its raucous, pulsing energy and roving crowds. But there’s entertainment throughout the city. Frenchmen Street, about 20 minutes by car from the workshop hotel, is famous for its clubs featuring some of the best live music available anywhere, from jazz to blues to reggae, rock and rap, plus late-night dining. And Mid-City Lanes Rock & Bowl is a NOLA institution: go bowling, drink beer, and dance to music ranging from funk to blues to zydeco.

Call 800-922-7747 for availability and register today! Note: SutureStar Workshops fill up fast (specialty workshops, such as CV and OB, are even more limited).
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*That’s Cajun for “Let the good times roll.”

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