There’s only one place you can find the majority of the Tulane student body on Friday afternoons–The Fly. This stretch of green that overlooks the Mississippi River is the go-to spot for students to relax after a long week of classes– kick back on a picnic blanket, eat food, listen to music, and enjoy the sunset. An avid Fly-goer myself, here's what I've found on how to create the perfect picnic at the Fly.

1. Head to the Right Places for Food

organic fruit, Organic, salad, cabbage, fruit aisle, Vegetables, lettuce, Green, veggies, juice, mango, watermelon, vegetable aisle, Whole Foods Market
Shelby Cohron

The first place I usually head to buy snacks is at Whole Foods. If you want places in walking distance of Tulane, Maple Street Patisserie is always stocked on fresh baguettes and cookies, and the Farmer's Market outside Devlin Field House on Friday mornings always has avocados and fresh fruit. If you're really in a time crunch, getting sandwiches from the LBC always works, or you can never go wrong with a classic box of Broadway Pizza.

2. Bring the Ultimate Chip and Dip Array

bread, sweet, vegetable, cream, hummus
Paige Twombly

If you're bringing a big group, your best bet is to get a variety of chips and dips for everyone to share. I usually go for guac, salsa, and hummus, then pair them with pita chips, tortilla chips, and pretzels. With the variety of dips, everyone can find something they like. They also allow for easy moderation– you don’t want to snack too hard.

3. Eat #Clean With Fruits and Veggies

pepper, carrot, tomato, vegetable
Christin Urso

Fresh fruits and vegetables are always key to a good Fly picnic as well. In terms of fruit, watermelon will stay cool and is always a perfect choice because of the hot NOLA weather, and grapes make a good choice because they're easy to share. As far as veggies go, get some snap peas or edamame if you feel like eating healthy.

4. Indulge in Some Finger Foods

If you want to splurge a little, I’ve found that having finger foods always goes over well. Whole Foods has a solid selection of cheeses and olives to snack on, as well as fresh bread like baguettes and focaccia. My friends and I usually go for brie because it’s easily spreadable with a plastic knife, as well as mozzarella for those who aren’t big into cheese. Pair with prosciutto or salami, and you've got a feast.

5. Stock Up on all Your Favorite Drinks

Rachel Saef

We all know it’s not a proper Fly-day without a drink in hand, whether it’s a fresh lemonade or a glass of wine. Pick some of the top rated La Croix  flavors, lemonade, or even the classic NOLA option– daiquiris. New Orlean's Original Daiquiris on Carrollton and St. Charles has tons of flavors of daiquiris to go (think, piña colada and strawberry) that make perfect choices to help you cool down in the heat. As for wine, rosé is always a good bet– just make sure you don't forget cups.

6. Plan Ahead

Grocery, Market, shopping basket, Trader Joe's, herb, Aloe vera, cereal
Caroline Ingalls

The last thing you want is for your Fly picnic to be stressful and planned last minute. Assign a friend or two to be in charge of food, one for drinks, and one for logistics (who is bringing plates, picnic blanket, cups, etc.), and you'll be good to go. While it's possible to walk to the Fly from campus, it gets hard when you have a ton of food to carry, so figure out Ubers in advance. It's also always a good move to make a group text (where you can then air drop all of the great pics you'll take).

7. Take That Perfect Insta 

Rachel Saef

Sunset Fly pictures will never disappoint your Insta feed. You can always count on seeing as many people taking pictures of their food with that beautiful sunset background than actually eating it. For a good picture of your picnic spread, stand back and take it from an angle. The shadows can be tricky if you take it directly from above.

#SpoonTip: Don't sit directly facing the Mississippi. Though the sun is pretty, it can be really bright.

After a long week, you deserve a fun picnic on the Mississippi. Relaxing with your friends, eating good food, and taking in the view is always the perfect end to any week. Hopefully, these ideas will help you plan the perfect Fly-day.