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Clean Show Travel Guide: Let the Good Times Roll! (Part 1)

Getting around New Orleans, exploring neighborhoods

NEW ORLEANS — The Clean Show—officially the World Educational Congress for Laundering and Dry Cleaning—returns to the Crescent City this summer for the sixth time in the show’s 42-year history.

More than 400 companies from the laundry and drycleaning industry are registered to exhibit their products and services June 20-23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

While there’ll be plenty to keep attendees busy on and around the show floor, the Big Easy offers a world of culture where convention visitors can laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll.

With thanks to NewOrleans.com, the official website for the city’s tourism industry, and Clean Show manager Riddle & Associates, we share just a bit about what The Birthplace of Jazz has to offer.

GETTING THERE, GETTING AROUND

There are plenty of flights into New Orleans, with 13 airlines operating out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. A new $1 billion, 35-gate terminal complex is expected to open there next month.

Airport Shuttle Inc. is the official ground transportation for the airport, with service to and from New Orleans’ hotels and other designated locations. Fare is $24 per person one way, and a discounted $44 per person round trip is now available.

Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft can pick up passengers at a designated spot on the bottom level of the airport parking garage, across the street from baggage claim. Trips to and from the airport with start and end locations in Orleans Parish are a minimum of $33.

There are more than 1,200 taxis available on New Orleans’ streets and at major hotels. Taxi rates are $3.50 plus $0.30 per one-eighth mile thereafter; there is an added $1 charge per passenger after the first passenger. A fixed rate of $36 (one to two people) is charged from the airport to most areas of New Orleans. For parties of more than two, the fare is $15 per person.

The city’s Regional Transit Authority offers bus transportation, streetcars, and more. Standard one-way fares are $1.25. Thirty-three bus and streetcar lines are running daily, and bus service allows transportation throughout the city's major corridor.

During the Clean Show, complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the Morial Convention Center is provided at the event’s headquarter hotels. All other Clean 2019 hotels (except those within walking distance of the Convention Center) are within two blocks of a shuttle pickup point. Shuttle bus service is only for participants staying at one of the official hotels. Attendees with special needs staying at an official hotel not directly picked up by shuttle service can call the shuttle company for assistance.

Connections Housing is Clean 2019’s only official housing agency. Visit its website to check on hotel availability and make a reservation. May 20 is the housing reservation deadline.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

The world-famous French Quarter is New Orleans’ best-known neighborhood, but there are plenty of other areas worthy of exploration if your schedule permits.

The French Quarter — There are so many ways to see this historic area, including mule-drawn carriage and guided or self-guided tours. Bourbon Street is where all New Orleans goes to have fun. Closed to vehicles at night to accommodate non-stop partying, you can stop in at the many jazz and blues clubs for a drink, eat at one of its famous restaurants, and mingle with a crowd of partygoers. In contrast, Royal Street — just a block away — is where you will find New Orleans’ sophisticated antique shops.

On the east side of the Quarter is the French Market and open-air Flea Market. Shoppers can browse and bargain for a mind-boggling array of goods, native and imported, for as long as endurance and wallet will allow. Vendors are happy to tell stories about their wares, be they native ’gator heads, African artifacts, or bounteous collections of T-shirts and Mardi Gras souvenirs.

In the heart of the French Quarter is renowned Jackson Square, an eclectic enclave of artists and musicians, horse-drawn carriages, and visitors from around the world. Visitors gather at the fences around St. Louis Cathedral, said to be the oldest active cathedral in the U.S., and the statue of Andrew Jackson that gives the square its name. Nearby is historic Jax Brewery, now home to a multitude of shops and restaurants.

Uptown and The Garden District — From the Jazz Market to the Audubon Zoo, Uptown’s world is a New Orleans one where limestone mansions mix with modest homes on Mardi Gras parade routes. The fashion’s forward on Magazine Street but restaurants like Commander’s (locals drop the “Palace”) still celebrate classic Louisiana.

Warehouse/Arts District — This area embodies New Orleans now, a community celebrating and reimagining its culture. Residential lofts, museums, restaurants and art galleries find a perch in a neighborhood more brick than wood, more open than shut.

The Marigny and Bywater — A vibrant art scene, with local artisans’ galleries, funky live music venues, and art markets, embodies the essence of these adjacent neighborhoods. The food scene here is mixed with trendy spots and locally founded, casual digs. You can explore the St. Claude Art District, Crescent Park on the riverfront, and more.

Central Business District/Downtown — Downtown New Orleans and its Central Business District (CBD) has been reborn. Nightly now, the Mercedes Benz SuperDome dazzles in ever-changing hues while a construction surge confuses old-timers accustomed to parking lots where bistros and apartments now rise. Harrah’s Casino anchors the area.

To learn more, visit www.neworleans.com/plan/neighborhoods/.

Check back Thursday for sights to see, bites to eat and a preliminary weather report.