Fronting the mighty Mississippi River in the southernmost section of Uptown New Orleans, the photogenic West Riverside/Upperline neighborhood is noteworthy for its uniquely designed shotgun and camelback houses, which stand alongside stunning Greek-Revival homes. Also seated in this part of New Orleans are two world-class universities and the impressive Audubon Zoo. "Les bon temps rouler" sets the tone in an area that is home to several well-known restaurants and Upperline event venues.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) offers 11 carriers and flights worldwide. A flat $33 cab fare can transport guests from the airport to New Orleans proper. New Orleans' streetcars are not only charming they're also a practical way to get around, and the St. Charles Streetcar line links West Riverside to the CBD.
The largest New Orleans event venues are located in the downtown area. The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has over 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, including 140 meeting rooms, 12 contiguous exhibit halls, two ballrooms and a 4,000-seat theater. Another large event venue near Carrollton, the Louisiana Superdome, offers 166,000 square feet of event space and can seat 70,000; the adjacent New Orleans Arena seats 18,000.
Upperline event venues include the Audubon Zoo, which is the largest and can host up to 3,0000 delegates. With 50,000 square feet of space and 11 venues, the Audubon Zoo is many spaces in one; its Picnic Pavilion is ideal for corporate lunches, while the 10,000-square-foot Audubon Tea Room offers a more formal setting with a cathedral ceiling, French doors and hardwood floors.
Due to the residential nature of West Riverside, hotels with meeting space are limited, but a few gems offer intimate yet upscale Upperline event venues. A West Riverside landmark with space for 300, the 19-room Columns Hotel boasts six venues including Albertine's Tea Room, a ballroom and a beautiful outdoor terrace. The 17-room Avenue Inn, an 1891 home, can accommodate 40 guests in its private event room, and the cozy Lounge at the 40-room Best Western Plus St. Charles Inn can host a meeting for 35.
On the western fringe of the Garden District, Tulane University offers three large venues, including 1,800-seat McAlister Auditorium, and 12 smaller rooms totaling 36,000 square feet. The Dana Student Center at Loyola University has nine versatile meeting venues available for up to 500. The Audubon Clubhouse features beautiful outdoor verandas overlooking the pristine golf course, and can accommodate 150.
Among West Riverside restaurant event venues, the legendary Upperline Restaurant serves Creole delicacies in an intimate private room. Achafalaya, a creative Cajun restaurant is a neighborhood tradition featuring an upstairs room for 30. Named one of the top 20 restaurants in New Orleans, The Flaming Torch serves French cuisine and can host banquets for 45 or cocktail receptions for 70.