Here in New Orleans, indulgence is practically the norm. Between the award-winning, one-of-a-kind cuisine, numerous happy hour options, and the vibrant nightlife, staying guilt-free on your business trip to the Crescent City might seem like a challenge. Fortunately, the growing number of healthy dishes offered at many of the city’s top restaurants and its compact walkability makes eating well and staying active easier than you may think.

Justen Williams

Exercising in New Orleans

A full day of expositions, networking, and/or sessions can be taxing. But, a little activity can help, whether you’re an early bird who needs an energizing start to their day or a night owl in need of some decompression time before an evening event or activity.

Near the Convention Center, beginning at Canal Street and hugging the river shoreline all the way to the French Market is the Mississippi Riverfront and Woldenberg Park. This 1.5-mile path is perfect for an easy 5k round-trip jog or stroll. If you’re still feeling a bit indulgent, enjoy a beignet from Café du Monde or relax at Jackson Square for a halfway break.  

For an extended workout, continue past the French Market to Crescent Park. This connection will require you to run on sidewalks and along the road, so be prepared for traffic and to cross at the designated areas. A steel bridge and elevator mark the entrance to Crescent Park. This smooth, 1.4-mile urban strip takes you further along the Mississippi River into the Bywater for a great 10k roundtrip. Whether you’re on foot or biking, the city views serve as a great distraction while you push through. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Paul Broussard

Sore knees? Stop at one of the Blue Bikes docks near the Convention Center and pedal the pathways.

If you have time to spare and ground transportation, check out additional scenic spots perfect for a jog and how to navigate the city’s many trails like a local.

Prefer to get your cardio in another way? New Orleans also has exercise classes and yoga (Swan River Yoga on Canal St. in Mid-City has both yoga classes and a vegan/vegetarian cafe!) throughout the Central Business District and Downtown area. Want to work out as a group? Move Ya Brass is perfect for you and your work friends.

Healthy Eating in New Orleans

You can’t always control meal options offered as a part of your conference or meeting. Fortunately, if you have a break in between sessions or an open evening, there are plenty of health-conscious and delicious selections—including vegan and vegetarian-friendly options—nearby. Many of the city’s best restaurants offer Eat Fit NOLA-approved dishes on their menu, so you can get the great taste of New Orleans without the guilt. We also have a large number of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options. If you’re in the mood for light fare, the city’s numerous juice bars are a great choice.

If there’s one thing New Orleans loves most, it’s a good time and an even better meal—whether that means early-morning yoga in the Cabildo and weekend brunch at NOLA Caye, or Bananas Foster at Brennan’s and a night of live music at Fritzel’s Jazz Club.