The Boot is in the middle of college row and offers daily specials including double drinks during Tulane's football games and triple shot mixed drinks on Wednesdays. Pizzas, burgersand wings are served from The Boot Pizza & Grill next door. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-close Wed., 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri.
Where Decatur Street meets Esplanade Avenue is where the music starts. Before the Frenchmen Street main course, this music hall houses everything from brass bands to salsa ensembles to rock 'n' roll on its main stage and patio every night of the week. Opens 6 p.m. daily. Smoking: yes. 504 Esplanade Ave., 522-2940
Presiding over Frenchmen Street like a cool uncle, Blue Nile (a decade-plus residing at the former Dream Palace) brings in top touring talent from all genres in addition to standing weekly gigs with local favorites such as Little Maker (Thursdays). Upstairs has a spacious balcony and music genres from emerging experimental acts to roots-reggae DJs booming deep into the night. Open Mon.-Sat. No food.
Behind an unremarkable facade on the edge of the French Quarter is this lounge with a large U-shaped bar, some banquette seating and an extensive menu of classic and original cocktails. The bar uses house-made tonic water, juices and syrups in its drinks, and there is a wide selection of premium spirits and beers. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour noon-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Children can see (and sometimes touch) animals indigenous to Louisiana as well as exotic breeds from all over the world. The zoo has a miniature railroad that runs through the property, a splash park (admission is extra), innovative natural habitats for the animals, special education programs, the Monkey Hill play area, a dinosaur exhibit and more. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
This state-of-the-art attraction on the Mississippi River includes a walk-through arch aquarium and houses a host of exhibits featuring about 600 species of sea creatures, including sharks, fish, penguins, alligators and frogs. There's also a parakeet exhibit, an interactive Gulf Coast fish exhibit, a petting tank, demonstrations, hands-on activities and play spaces. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
This longtime Frenchmen Street staple upgraded its intimate interior with an elevated viewing area to watch (for no cover charge) some of the best unsung local talent in funk, blues and rock. The intimate club's lack of pretense also extends to its drink prices. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.