Best art gallery

»1. Terrance Osborne Gallery

3029 Magazine St., (504) 232-7530;

Entering the Terrance Osborne Gallery is a treat for the senses. The aroma of lavender essential oils, the high pile of a plush entryway rug, the sounds of New Orleans icons such as Dr. John and Trombone Shorty on the stereo and the vibrant hues of Osborne's portraits of life in the Crescent City that adorn the gallery walls welcome shoppers to the Lower Garden District shop. The space isn't merely a hub of art, but also hosts weekly meditation classes, signings and other events, such as an open house beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 3 when Osborne will sign and give away 100 prints of his painting From Nothing.

2. Gallery B. Fos

2138 Magazine St., (504) 444-2967;

3. Arthur Roger Gallery

432 Julia St., (504) 522-1999;


Best nursery/preschool

»1. The Little Red Schoolhouse

2055 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 838-7979;

2. Little Gate

Louise S. McGehee School, 1538 Philip St., (504) 523-9911;

3. Green Trees

Isidore Newman School, 1903 Jefferson Ave., (504) 899-5641;


Best grammar school

»1. Lusher Charter School

7315 Willow St., (504) 862-5110;

2. Isidore Newman School

1903 Jefferson Ave., (504) 899-5641;

3. Holy Name of Jesus School

6325 Cromwell Place, (504) 861-1466;


Best high school

»1. Benjamin Franklin High School

2001 Leon C. Simon Drive, (504) 286-2600;

2. Jesuit High School

4133 Banks St., (504) 486-6631;

3. Mount Carmel Academy

7027 Milne Blvd., (504) 288-7626;


Best food festival

»1. Oak St. Po-boy Festival

2. New Orleans Oyster Festival

3. Louisiana Seafood Festival


Best local foot race

»1. Crescent City Classic

2. Red Dress Run

3. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans


Best local college/university

»1. Tulane University

6823 St. Charles Ave., (504) 865-5000;

2. University of New Orleans

2000 Lakeshore Drive, (504) 280-6000;

3. Loyola University New Orleans

6363 St. Charles Ave. (504) 865-3240;


Best golf course

»1. Bayou Oaks at City Park

South Course, 1040 Filmore Ave.; North Course, 1051 Filmore Ave., (504) 483-9410;

Generations of New Orleanians have worked on their handicaps at New Orleans City Park golf courses, which numbered four until the levee failures of 2005. The park reopened the North Course in the ensuing years, but the highly anticipated $26 million championship South Course just opened in April after two years of construction. The 7,300-yard, par-72 course was designed by architect Rees Jones, offering holes with multiple tee locations to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. Both courses have sand traps, water features and dozens of bunkers. The South Course opening is the latest in a number of upgrades at City Park, including expanded water activities and a miniature golf course.

2. Audubon Park Golf Course

6500 Magazine St., (504) 212-5290;

3. TPC Louisiana

11001 Lapalco Blvd., Avondale, (504) 436-8721;


Best New Orleans sports mascot

»1. Sir Saint

Step aside, Pierre. The original Jay Leno-chinned, rectangular-jawed New Orleans sports icon is the best in town, so say the fans. After making his debut in the late '60s, the steely eyed wearer of No. 1 came to life as a sideline favorite in 2008 alongside his St. Bernard pal Gumbo (see No. 2, who wears double zero). Despite his popularity and long history with the New Orleans Saints, he remains a man of mystery. Why doesn't he wear a face guard or chin strap? Who gave him knighthood? What's with the half smirk? And why is his chin so big? We may never know.

2. Gumbo

3. Baby Cakes


Best marching group

»1. 610 Stompers

2. St. Augustine High School's Marching 100

3. Pussyfooters


Best Mardi Gras parade

»1. Krewe of Endymion

2. Krewe of Muses

3. Mystic Krewe of Nyx


Best nonprofit

»1. Louisiana SPCA

1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., (504) 368-5191;

2. Second Harvest Food Bank

700 Edwards Ave., (504) 734-1322;

3. Team Gleason


Best Summer Camp

»1. JCC New Orleans Summer Day Camp

5432 St. Charles Ave., (504) 897-0143;

2. Audubon Zoo Summer Camp

6500 Magazine St., (504) 861-2537;

3. Newman Summer Day Camp

(504) 896-6297;


Best music festival

»1. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival treated fans to a parade of headliners over the course of two weekends at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. This year's event brought Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Usher (pictured) and the Roots, Snoop Dogg, Lorde, Widespread Panic, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Meters, Wilco, Irma Thomas, Los Van Van, Chucho Valdes and many others. The festival lineup is deep, whether attendees want to listen to blues and R&B legends or gospel choirs, dance a Cajun two-step, second-line with a brass band, parade to Mardi Gras Indian beats and chants or discover up-and-coming rock and country acts or singer/songwriters on the more intimate Lagniappe Stage. This year's festival also offered a taste of Cuban music and dancing, both on larger stages and in the cultural pavilion tent. It's a hard-to-beat music lineup, and that's in addition to all the local food, crafts and folk culture curated on the grounds.

2. French Quarter Festival

3. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience


Best museum

»1. New Orleans Museum of Art

1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, (504) 658-4100;

The beautiful Beaux Arts entrance to New Orleans City Park looks staid, but in the last decade it's made some interesting forays into contemporary art, hosting performances by artists like Swoon and Quintron. The museum's most recent acquisition of modern art, donated by gallerist Arthur Roger, is on display through the end of this week. There's also the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which is a perfect stop for families and little ones who would prefer climbing around a cool giant spider than looking at paintings.

2. National WWII Museum

945 Magazine St., (504) 528-1944;

3. Ogden Museum of Southern Art

925 Camp St., (504) 539-9650;


Best place for a first date

»1. New Orleans City Park

1 Palm Drive, (504) 482-4888;

As a date venue, City Park excels for its versatility. The budget-conscious dater can enjoy free and cheap options, such as strolls and picnics under its historic oaks or a shared order of beignets at Morning Call ($2.44, cash only). Whimsical types can squire dates through a few rounds of mini-golf at City Putt or go on a pedal boat adventure, and those who want a little "cultcha" can take in the free sculpture garden attached to New Orleans Museum of Art or the flora at New Orleans Botanical Garden. The park neatly sidesteps a variety of common date obstacles: in addition to being affordable, most attractions are accessible for the under-21 set, and if your prospective sweetheart abstains from alcohol, it's a place to get to know each other that isn't a bar. During the holidays, Celebration in the Oaks at the Storyland amusement park (rides, hot cocoa, romantic lights) has been a classic date for a generation of New Orleanians.

2. Bacchanal Wine

600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111;

3. Delachaise

3442 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-0858;

• Best of New Orleans 2017: food

• Best of New Orleans 2017: bars and entertainment

• Best of New Orleans 2017: politics

• Best of New Orleans 2017: local life

• Best of New Orleans 2017: media

• Best of New Orleans 2017: good and services