Cindy Hartner, CSEP
Senior Director of Global Sales, West & Western Canada | DMC Network
T: +1 214.552.0528
Normally, the DMC Network leaves the destination discovery work to our DMC partners. They’re the ones who know their cities, states, and countries best — and bring their unsurpassed knowledge and local expertise to craft outstanding events and unsurpassed special experiences.
While we’re still (almost always!) advocates for “walking the talk” and trusting the experienced professionals within our Network, we’ve also decided to flip the script a bit this time: with our HQ team trying their hand at exploring the ins and outs of a new city.
Senior Director of Global Sales Cindy Hartner visited New Orleans recently for a very special event of her own — and shared a few insights with both her DMC hat on, and her “client take” on what’s not to be missed in the Big Easy.
I hadn’t been to New Orleans in a number of years, but had an incredible time rediscovering what I love about the city. I’ve always loved the destination, but business and personal travels hadn’t taken me there in a long time.
This summer though, the Hartner family ventured cross-coast for my son’s wedding. My son is in the Marine Corps and my now-daughter-in-law is in the Coast Guard. They’re both stationed in New Orleans and wanted to have their wedding there as well.
We stayed at the beautifully restored Hotel St. Vincent. The hotel had been an orphanage (or “Infant Asylum”) founded in 1861.
The Lower Garden District was a charming hodgepodge of 19th-century architecture featuring Greek Revival and Italianate-style mansions, cozy bungalows and iconic porches, balconies and widows’ walks. There are also lots of parks and green spaces for walking, jogging or catching a trolley into town.
(Also, if anyone needs some fitness inspiration: both my son and daughter-in-law are massive workout fanatics and every day of the wedding weekend, they still rose at 5am for their 1.5 hour workouts. Can’t say I joined in!).
Part of what makes New Orleans so unique is how cultural and historic traditions can be interwoven into celebrations. After the wedding, we participated in a “second-line.” This tradition originated within New Orleans’ African American communities, which began second-lines as a way to mark neighborhood celebrations and aid and honor their neighbors.
Still a hallmark of thousands of special events to this day — including weddings — all of the neighbors in the area came out onto their porches after my son’s wedding, clapping and whistling as a way to contribute to our celebration.
Of course, New Orleans is also known to be an incredible food & drink destination. Its reputation held, and every restaurant we visited was exceptional! Carmo and Sidecar Patio & Oyster Bar were two of our favorites.
Finally, you can’t miss a trip to the French Quarter. Some give it a bad rap, but we thought it was a lot of fun. The Mule Tour was a hit with our family.
New Orleans did not disappoint. Every person we met was friendly and genuinely interested in making sure we had a great experience in their town.
If Cindy’s New Orleans jaunt has inspired you to give your next event some Crescent City flair, reach out to connect with our DMC partner, ACCENT New Orleans. Their team will work with you to design the perfect down-south destination experience!