opening gala, arriving via second line parade from the historic Orpheum Theatre.
Established by the French in 1718 and
under both French and Spanish rule for
nearly a century before incorporation into
the U.S. in 1803, New Orleans, the original
melting pot, invites endless exploration.
Covering 150 city miles by car and 21
miles by foot over five days, here are some
group-capable highlights of “America’s
Most Interesting City.”
In 1816, Louis J. Dufilho Jr. became
America’s first licensed pharmacist. His
French Quarter store, today the New
Orleans Pharmacy Museum, hosts private
events amid fascinating exhibits such as
voodoo dolls and numbered love po-
tions, inspiration for the 1959 hit Love
Potion No. 9.
Covering 1,300 acres, City Park (1854) is
a true wonderland. Amid the world’s larg-
est stand of mature moss-draped live oaks,
group venues include the preeminent New
Orleans Museum of Art (1910) and its stun-
ning Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture
Garden. Currently undergoing a six-acre
expansion, this free-admission outdoor
gallery features 64 absorbing works. Park
rentals include the Botanical Garden;
whimsical Storyland, featuring 25 larg-
er-than-life sculptures of classic fairytale
characters; and 26,500-seat Tad Gormley
Stadium, where the Beatles played in 1964.
Bordering the park, Bayou St. John is a
must for kayaking.
Often called “Cities of the Dead,” New
Orleans’ cemeteries and their above-
ground tombs are marvels to behold. Guid-
ed tours are required at St. Louis Cemetery
No. 1, home of famed mid-1800s voodoo
queen Marie Laveau and infamously ap-
pearing in the 1969 film classic Easy Rider.
Self-guided options include Lafayette
Cemetery No. 1 (1833), across from the
legendary Commander’s Palace restaurant
in the Garden District.
Nearby, the 1869 Van Benthusyn-Elms
Mansion, which hosted the PRSA closing
reception, is the only historic St. Charles
mansion available for events.
Adventurous delegates heading into the
Bywater neighborhood will find rewards
ranging from the combined wine store,
restaurant and live music venue Bacchanal
Wine and neighborhood bar Vaughan’s
Lounge to the eclectic studio of celebrated
local folk artist Dr. Bob. Unique event spaces include Music Box Village, an outdoor
art installation of musical shanties, tree-houses and other structures surrounded by
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NEW ORLEANS PHARMACY MUSEUM
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