As a graduate of Tulane University, I realize that going to college in New Orleans and living in New Orleans after college are two completely separate things. For starters, the aspect of college being a “bubble” is no myth. As an undergrad, I rarely ventured out of the realms of the Uptown area where the campus was located. Regardless, by the end of my senior year, I was confident that I was well-seasoned in all things NOLA. I quickly discovered however that my experiences in college barely scratched the surface of what New Orleans has to offer. Post-grad life has motivated me to explore and learn about the different neighborhoods of the city and, in the process, I have stumbled upon some hidden gems that are now my go-to spots. Check out my list of the most underrated NOLA hangouts:
1. Central City – Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Whether you are a serious foodie, want to check out an underground film, or if you just in need of a good boxing match, OCH has it all. This street is one of the largest cultural epicenters of Nola with a handful of different museums and art centers.
2. Lakeview – The Lakefront
Lakeview is seriously out of the way of all other areas in the city. It is so out of the way that I never even knew Lakeview existed until two years after I moved here. Nonetheless, take a ride down Lakeshore Drive and see for yourself the up-close-and-personal views of Lake Ponchatrain that put The Fly to shame.
Mid-city – Bayou St. John and the Lafitte Greenway
My ideal Saturdays are spent on the Bayou, floating around with friends on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Even just relaxing on the grass next to this waterway is a crowd favorite. When I am ready for a change of scenery, I hop on my bike and take a ride on Lafitte Greenway, a scenic bike path that goes all the way from Midcity to downtown—sans cars.
3. Warehouse District – Julia St. Art Galleries on the first Saturday of each month
The galleries are open all the time in actuality, but on the first Saturday of each month the galleries stay open later and give out free drinks and other goodies such as candy and temporary tattoos.
4. Northshore – Fontainebleau State Park
I know, I know. The Northshore is technically not a part of New Orleans. However, when you want to get away from it all, go across the lake to Mandeville and check out Fontainebleau State Park. That fact that there is a small and secluded beach in the park gives it the thumbs up.