New Orleans is deservedly famous for the craziness of the weeklong citywide party that is Mardi Gras. Folks who are in need of some rest and recovery after all the fun can find solace in these five relaxing New Orleans spots:
1. Audubon Park Walk
Take a leisurely stroll along the 1.8 mile path that winds through historic Audubon Park. Visitors to the park love the historic giant oak trees lining the park’s paths, and watching the wide variety of birds who call the park home. Joggers, couples, and families can be found enjoying the park’s sprawling grounds, and the park’s lawns and shelters are perfect for a picnic if the weather is fair. Put out a blanket and soak up some restorative sun in this urban oasis.
2. Psychic Reading on Saint Claude
After a week of nonstop revelry, some quiet introspection and healing might be in order. Stop by the charming Island of Salvation Botanica at 2372 Saint Claude Avenue to see what the future holds in a glass ball psychic reading. The owner Sallie Ann Glassman is an initiated Vodou priestess who is available for readings by appointment only, but other psychic readers have walk-in hours at the store. Sallie Ann also performs Vodou healing, cleansing, and treatment ceremonies. Healing bath salts, herbs, and candles are also available to purchase.
3. Pho in Gretna
Get out of the hectic streets of the French Quarter and head to Gretna for some of New Orleans’ best pho. Along with a good night sleep, a rejuvenating bowl of rich, deep broth and noodles will cure a hangover and the laid back atmosphere of Gretna will be a relief after the Mardi Gras crowds. Try Tan Dinh restaurant at 1705 Lafayette Street in Gretna for a friendly atmosphere and a wide ranging selection of pho and other Vietnamese treats.
4. Backstreet Cultural Museum
If you were lucky you may have caught a glimpse of New Orleans’ famed Mardi Gras Indians out battling in the streets. Take an hour or two to learn more about the fascinating history of the Mardi Gras Indian community at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in Treme at 1116 Henriette Delille Street. This small cultural treasure houses costumes, artifacts, memorabilia, photographs and films. After absorbing the exhibits at the museum, put your legs up for a relaxing hair of the dog drink at nearby historic watering hole Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar at 1931 Orleans Ave.
5. Spa Treatment at Earthsavers
Spend an afternoon popping in and out of the shops along Magazine Street and then schedule an appointment for a soothing massage or facial at Earthsavers at 5501 Magazine Street, a holistic spa that offers a wide range of services. The spa is famed for using natural products and featuring highly skilled therapists in a light filled, tranquil environment. Splurge on a spa package like the “Stress Reliever” which includes therapeutic body massage, foot reflexology, and scalp massage — just the ticket to set you straight and get your body back on track.