Welcome to NOLA | A Guide for first time New Orleans NAR Visitors

Over the years, I’ve come to meet an untold number of agents and brokers across the country via social media. So, I’m excited that this year the National Association of REALTORS® is once again holding the annual conference right here in New Orleans.

New Orleans Warehouse District

As the conference draws near, I’m beginning to hear from industry friends.

  • Where should I stay?
  • Where should I eat?
  • What sights should I see?

Here’s a quickie guide for first time New Orleans visitors

Where should you stay?

If you haven’t already booked a hotel room through NAR and are having trouble finding something, I recommend a local bed and breakfast as an alternative.

Where should you eat?

Everywhere. In a city that’s known for our cuisine, it’s hard to go wrong. Unless you play it safe and duck into the nearest Subway or Taco Bell. Don’t do that.

Close to the convention center, my favorite places are Cochon and La Boca, but here’s a list of other restaurants in the Warehouse District.

In the French Quarter, you’ll find me at Galvez Restaurant for their Spanish inspired menu and gorgeous view of the Mississippi River, Galatoire’s 33 Steak and Bar for white linen dining on Bourbon Street or Irene’s for Italian fare. More French Quarter restaurants

leidenheimer 2731

What sights should you see?

I highly recommend that you explore more of the city than the Quarter. There’s so much more to this city than beer, Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street. Heck, there’s more to the French Quarter than those things.

After the obligatory Bourbon St. visit, hop over one block and stroll down Royal Street for antiques, art and jewelry or visit Frenchmen Street for some local, live music.

Take the streetcar (any line) for a visual of the different corners of the city that you can’t get from just taking a walk.

Visit Magazine Street, one of the most charming mixes of retail and residential in the country. Stretching from downtown all the way to Audubon Park and Zoo, if you go far enough Uptown, you’ll even come across the Crescent City Living office!

Spend an afternoon at the WWII Museum and hang around for happy hour and a bite to eat at the American Sector restaurant.

Howling Wolf, New Orleans LA

How to speak NOLA

First of all, we don’t have a southern accent, despite what you may have seen on TV or in the movies. What we do have is our own little language that might need some translation for first time visitors.

Dressed – if someone asks if you want your po-boy or sandwich dressed, they are asking if you want mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and pickles on it. I strongly recommend you try a roast beef dressed with extra gravy.

Who Dat – to a Saints fan, the only proper responses are Who Dat or a hearty Yeah You Right

Beignets – they are not donuts, they are beignets (ben-yays). They are little pillows of heaven covered with powdered sugar and are de riguer as a snack at some point during your visit.

Lagniappe (lan-yap) – a little something extra

Streetcar – This is not San Francisco. We don’t have trolleys, we have streetcars. Get a one day Jazzy Pass from any driver for only $3 and hop on and off as you explore the city on the different lines.

Crawfish – just like it’s spelled, not crayfish, not mudbugs, just crawfish.

Pass by – instead of asking someone to come over, you’ll often hear a New Orleanian say they are going to “pass by my mama’s”.

Directions – Rather than north, south, east and west, in NOLA we travel uptown, downtown, lake bound and river bound.

N’Awlins – No. Just no. Every native pronounces the name of our city a bit differently, but there’s not a person born and raised here that actually says “N’Awlins”

street musician in new orleans

How not to look like a tourist

No beads unless it’s Mardi Gras – I don’t care WHO is throwing them off of a balcony. Unless it’s Drew Brees, in which case all the rules go out of the window.

No conference badges once you’ve left the convention center

Tip the street musicians – if you’re taking photos or video, tip the folks entertaining you. For some, your tips are their only source of income.

No over drinking – I know it’s tempting to taste test your way through every bar, but I’ve seen way too many tourists out of control because they can walk down the street with their adult beverage. Pace yourself. NOLA is a marathon, not a sprint.

No drinking and driving – even if you’ve rented a car, don’t be afraid to hail a cab or pedicab to get back to your hotel.

Have a question about your first NOLA visit? Ask us here!


7 Responses to “Welcome to NOLA | A Guide for first time New Orleans NAR Visitors”

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  1. Great Blog! Thanks for sharing such fantastic info! Hope to run into at the convention.

  2. LOVE this!! So sad I won’t get to meet you in person this year — have a great time at the conference! 🙂

  3. Debe Maxwell says:

    Lisa, this is fabulous! I can attest to the fact that if anyone is moving to the NOLA area, you ARE the one to call!

    • Lisa says:

      Aw, thanks Debe! I wish you were going to be here for the conference.

      • Debe Maxwell says:

        Oh, so do I Lisa! This is one conference that Ray would have definitely signed up to go with me! Next time it’s there, we’ll be there with bells on but, hopefully we’ll make it down again sooner than that. Have fun – I know you’ll be the best ambassador NOLA’s ever seen – again!

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