• My 6 Favorite Things to Do in NOLA


    AAO 2017 Tour Program

    Explore local culture, historic neighborhoods, jazz and blues, and New Orleans’ vibrant history.

    Full tour schedule

    I am so excited that my hometown of New Orleans is hosting AAO 2017 in November. Here are some of the events and attractions I love most about the city.

    1. The New Orleans Zoo, Aquarium, and Insectarium
      While the zoo and aquarium has animals, reptiles and fish from around the world, it also includes the swamps of Louisiana. The insectarium will give you the “creepy crawlies”! It has insects and butterflies of all sizes, as well as some insects to eat. Your best deal to view all three places is to buy tickets to the “Audubon Experience.” This package includes admission to all with a savings of up to $30 per person.
    2. Mardi Gras World
      People from around the world talk of coming to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but never make it. Mardi Gras World gives you a glimpse of the beauty and talent of the floats that parade during that time.
    3. Museums
      The Cabildo and The Presbytere are in Jackson Square near the St. Louis Cathedral, a very popular place near the Mississippi River. New Orleans also has the Memorial Hall Confederate Civil War Museum and the Children’s Museum. My favorite museum is the National WWII Museum.
    4. Scenic tours
      Since you are near the Mississippi River, you must take a cruise down the river on the Steamboat Natchez or the Creole Queen. These cruises provide a narrated ride regarding the history of New Orleans and a different view of the city skyline. I also enjoy the Royal Carriage ride around the city. This ride takes you around the city past many landmarks, while the guide tells you many stories of the past.
    5. Ghost tours
      Many people believe New Orleans is one of the most haunted places. Take a haunted ghost tour to learn more. You can choose from many different tours available, including cemetery tours and French Quarter tours. Wear comfortable supportive shoes, since you will be walking on uneven ground.
    6. Wine of the River New Orleans
      This special event takes place on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Audubon Aquarium Plaza. Ticket sales end Nov. 10, which means no tickets at the gate. I highly recommend you buy tickets in advance for most of the attractions.

    Many attraction websites offer individual deals. Always wear comfortable, supportive shoes when touring the city, due to the uneven roads and sidewalks.

    Natalie Loyacano, COMT, OSA, OCS, ROUB is a member of the AAOE Board and practice administrator for The VitreoRetinal Eye Center in Biloxi, MS.