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Thread: New Orleans

  1. #1
    FORT Fogey charity's Avatar
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    New Orleans

    My husband and I are going to be visiting New Orleans for 2 nights and 3 days. We are in our mid-20's and are up for pretty much anything. If you've been to New Orleans, I need your help. . .

    (A) What are the top 5-10 things to do in New Orleans?
    (B) Where are 5 cool places to eat in New Orleans, and why?
    (C) Any other suggestions for a quick trip to New Orleans?
    Last edited by charity; 06-24-2005 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    Charity--

    I live in the craptastic town of Baton Rouge, 70 miles north of New Orelans, so I'll try to give you some advice. But, it's a matter of how much money you want to spend...I'll keep it middle of the road. Here's my little travel guide. I'm sure others will have stuff to add...you won't have any trouble keeping busy.

    First, if you are coming soon, be advised it is stupidly hot out. Be prepared to buy plenty of bottled water and carry it with you. Especially if you go drinking! Otherwise, you may drop like a rock.

    Things to do/places to go:

    Obviously, if you've never been, you've got to walk around the French Quarter. Daytime is more touristy. Watch out for street hustlers pulling their "I bet I know where you got them shoes" scams and fake charity collectors. Within the Quarter, check out the French Market and Jackson Square. If you're into historical stuff, the Cabildo museum is nice, as is the Jazz & Mardi Gras museum in the old mint. Royal street has nice antique stores to browse, but they are overpriced, in my opinion.

    Other day-time stuff I'd include is a walk around the Garden District (if you're staying in/around the Quarter, take the street car up St. Charles around 1st or Washington). At Washington & Prytania is an old cemetery (referenced in the Anne Rice vampire books) that is usually open during the day. Sometimes you can see the nutty tourists taking the haunted cemetary tour with a complete weirdo in a top hat (in the dead of summer) guiding the way. At Washington & Coliseum (the next block) is Commander's Palace, my absolute fav high-end restaurant. If you don't have about $80-$100 per person to spend for dinner, just go for dessert and get the bread pudding souffle. It's killer.

    Back downtown, there's the Riverwalk, which is a giant mall along the river downtown, but that to me is too cheesy and not anything all that unusual. (Seen one Gap, seen 'em all) However, if you're dying from the heat, it may be an option. Also, you could go the Aquarium of the Americas. There you can get a package to see the aquarium then take a boat ride up river to the Audubon Zoo. That's always fun. If at the Zoo (either with or without going to the aquarium) you can go to Audubon Park and have a picnic or play golf on the new mini course.

    The other thing I'd recommend, if you're in the shopping mode, is Magazine Street shopping. They've got cool stores and antique places that don't break the bank. There are brochures on Magazine Street shopping. Your concierge would have them.

    As for night life, there's tons. Bourbon street pretty much has any kind of bar you want to see....gay bars, stripper (male & female) bars, dance, blues, jazz, etc. The 'classic' bars in the Quarter are Pat O'Brien's (get a hurricane & bring home the glass) and Preservation Hall (jazz music!). Of course, you can check out the House of Blues schedule for your visit for live music, as well as Tipitina's (the original uptown, or the new one in the Quarter). There are also casinos, one downtown (Harrah's) and a couple out on the lake. I am not one for casinos, so I can't recommend any.

    Another area you may want to check out is the Frenchman Street area--it's about 3 blocks down river from the Quarter. The bar scene there is more music driven, and more youthful and less touristy.

    If you're in to art, check out Julia Street in the warehouse district (not too far from the quarter).

    Finally, places to eat:
    Poboys: Mothers & Magazine Street Poboys (1st & Magazine). Mother's is world-famous and Magazine St. is my absolute favorite. I've been going there for 15 years and never had anything bad.

    Medium-to-upscale cajun/creole fare: any of the Brennan family restaurants. Plenty of them in the quarter...you'll see them when you pass by.

    Upscale: Commander's Palace (as mentioned above).

    Other: If you're craving Mexican or Tex-Mex, go to Taqueria Corona either on Magazine or in the warehouse district. It's inexpensive, wonderful, and they have great margaritas and sangria. Also, Superior Grill on St. Charles.

    Diner-ish food: Cafe Angeli in the Quarter on Decatur. Camellia Grill on Carrollton or Trolley Stop on St. Charles. Personally, I like Trolley Stop better...I love a diner with a fully stocked bar...but, Camellia Grill is classic with the college crowd uptown. Both are great after a night of drinking.

    If you can narrow down your interests, maybe I can be more specific. You can also PM me if you have any questions.

  3. #3
    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    Grrr...too late to edit...I hate double posts, so please excuse this one.

    I forgot two places to eat: Cafe du Monde, a first time vistor must. It's in the Quarter so you can get a good snack (while being covered in powdered sugar) and people watch.

    And if you like Thai food, go to Cafe Siam--it's one block out of the Quarter. Downstairs is the restaurant...you can sit at tables or on pillows on the floor. Or go upstairs to the bar. Sometimes they have live music. In the 50's it used to be an opium den for the beat poets. V. cool.

  4. #4
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    There's so much to do and see in New Orleans that, like Phonegrrrl said, it all depends on what you like to do, and what your budget is.

    In addition to some of the things she mentioned, every time I go to New Orleans (which is one of my favorite places to visit in the US! I LOVE New Orleans!), I always make sure to take one of the riverboat cruises. I always come away from those feeling like I was just taken back to the antebellum days of Dixieland.

    Mother's Poor Boys has good sandwiches, but pretty high priced for a poor boy. But if you like poor boys and want to try unusual ones, this is a good place. You can also get some jambalaya and gumbo there.

    For a first time visitor, (heck, I still go there when in town), I HIGHLY recommend going to the Top of the Dome restaurant/bar at least once. The Top of the Dome is located at the top of the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Poydras St., along the waterfront. The restaurant is circular, glassed on all sides with a 360 degree view of the city and river as it revolves around constantly. So while you enjoy a meal or a drink (they have THE best Peach Daquiri's!), you get to see New Orleans from way up high with an everchanging view. The food is excellent, with some of the best steaks in New Orleans, although you'll pay $25+ for a steak dinner easily. They also have a famous chocolate buffet, which is about $10, and well worth it if you like chocolate. If you don't feel like paying a lot for dinner there, you can just go up for drinks only, or the chocolate buffet. But even if it's only for a drink or two, it's worth it for the view and feeling of elegance that surrounds you. Drink prices are average. I don't know what their reservations policy is (my secretary usually took care of that), but often I would just drop in without reservations because the mood hit me or I was with someone who'd never been there and I wanted him to see it. But if you want to check with them, their number is (504) 561-1234.

    Snug Harbor, on Frenchmen St. is another great place to eat, and you get to listen to great live music -- New Orleans jazz and blues. They're famous for their New Orleans style burgers, but they also have a great casual grilled seafood menu, and blackened tuna, barbecued shrimp, cajun foods, etc. It's a casual restaurant with a real upbeat and festive atmosphere. Last time I was there, they were open for dinner only, no breakfast or lunch, but that may be different now.

    That Aquarium of Americas and the boat-over to the Audobon Zoo is really nice, as Phonegrrrl said. I also like riding the streetcar on a loop that takes you past Millionaire's Row. Just for the New Orleans streetcar experience. My absolutely favorite hotel in New Orleans is the Riverside Hilton, bar none. I've stayed there many times and the service is unparallelled. They work hard at customer service and taking care of guests. I can't count the number of times they've gone way above and beyond in getting something for me that I happened to mention in passing. I highly recommend them. As the name implies, they're right on the riverside, next to the Aquarium of the Americas.

    I also enjoy spending a couple of hours at Margaritaville -- Jimmy Buffet's little bar and cafe in New Orleans. They always have a good live band, and Jimmy himself pops in occasionally. It's a nice place to kick back after a lot of walking around, eat something, have some drinks and listen to the band. I loved the homey atmosphere... within an hour or so, all the customers are enjoying each other, yelling across the room to other customers in appreciation of the music and exotic drinks. A really fun place. One of the few places in New Orleans where I drank enough to let someone else drive back to the hotel, lol. It's just a real margaritaville state of mind, as they say.

    But whatever you decide to do when in New Orleans, charity, have fun (no way you can not have fun in New Orleans!), be security-conscious, and just enjoy one of the great fun cities in the US. Have a great time!
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    Mmmmmm, cheese tracylee's Avatar
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    OK, my hubby and I were there in April 2004, and rather than try to re-live it all here, I have it posted at our website at http://www.thetabors.com in travelogue format, with pics. Let's just say, I'd been dying to go back for 9 years, and we spent the whole time deciding what we'd do the same, what we'd do different. There just plain isn't a bad meal at any price in NO.
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  6. #6
    clap clap clap sleepysluggo's Avatar
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    I was in NO at this time last year. I was lucky enough to stay in a French Quarter timeshare. Most of what I saw and where I ate has already been mentioned- the aquarium, zoo, streetcar ride, Mother's,Cafe du Monde and Commander's Palace. I did go to House of Blue's Sunday Gospel Brunch, which was a lot of fun (and you can't go wrong with bottomless mimosas ). I also took a couple of bus tours- one was to Oak Alley Plantation, the other was one around NO. I didn't care much for the Bourbon Street weekend night crowd.

    Have a good time!

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    FORT Fogey charity's Avatar
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    Thank you all for all of these wonderful suggestions. I noticed noone mentioned Emeril's. Maybe it's nothing special in New Orleans. I may have to cross that off my list.

    Please know that I appreciate all the posts on here. I'm going to print them out & take them with me on our trip. I'm excited about everything except the weather. I've probably picked the worst time to visit since I'm so fair skinned.

  8. #8
    Kanai Nemeses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity
    Thank you all for all of these wonderful suggestions. I noticed noone mentioned Emeril's. Maybe it's nothing special in New Orleans. I may have to cross that off my list.
    Well, the reason I didn't mention it is because I don't like the kind of food Emeril makes, or has in his restaurants, so I don't go there. So don't go by my lack of mentioning him, for that reason. Maybe someone else here who likes his type of food can tell you how his NO restaurant is
    I live in my own world. But it's ok, they know me there.
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    Mmmmmm, cheese tracylee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity
    Thank you all for all of these wonderful suggestions. I noticed noone mentioned Emeril's. Maybe it's nothing special in New Orleans. I may have to cross that off my list.
    We went to NOLA, one of his restaurants in the Quarter - loved it! I made reservations 3 months in advance - the service was absolutely amazing!
    One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity

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  10. #10
    FORT Fogey charity's Avatar
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    I just found this online at http://www.neworleans.com/cgi-bin/or...INGS%20TO%20DO. It's 101 Things to Do in New Orleans, although I only see 100. Here are some I find most interesting:

    Explore the bustling French Quarter.
    Stroll thru the famous French Market and pick up souvenirs or fresh food.
    Take a mule drawn buggy ride through Jackson Square.
    Enjoy live local music at the famous New Orleans's dive, Tipitina's.
    Ride a steam-powered riverboat on the Mighty Mississippi.
    Watch out for the sharks at the Aquarium of the Americas and check out the Imax while you're there.
    Ride the St. Charles Streetcar through downtown and historical uptown New Orleans and stop at the Audubon Zoo.
    Stumble through the Bourbon Street bars.
    Enjoy a delicious beignet and café au lait while relaxing in the French Quarter.
    Visit historic figures and famous paintings at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
    After work, listen to local artists at Wednesday at the Square.
    Spend a lazy afternoon browsing art and antiques on Royal Street
    Try the local fare. Taste test some crawfish, shrimp, and alligator.
    Have a famous New Orleans drink-a Sazerac, Absolut Pepper Ragin' Cajun, or Blue Bayou-at home or in one of the city's many bars.
    Discover the world's grandest playground-Harrah's New Orleans Casino.
    Take a walking tour of the historic Garden District.
    Tour Jackson Square and visit the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and Café du Monde.
    Visit Magazine Street's antique shops and unique stores.
    Eat one of the ten best muffuletta sandwiches in the city.
    Take a historic tour of the French Quarter.
    Boat past the swamps and alligators on a swamp tour.
    People watch on Bourbon Street at the Royal Sonesta's famed bar, Le Booze.
    Listen to live nightly performances at Preservation Hall, where jazz has been kept alive for generations.
    Check out Snug Harbor for a great meal with live Jazz music.
    Visit Chef Agnes Bellet at Louis XVI Restaurant in the French Quarter.
    Walk through history at the Mardi Gras Museum inside Arnaud's Restaurant.
    Enjoy a romantic dinner at Bella Luna, overlooking the Mississippi River.
    Give the guy painted silver in Jackson Square a buck and see if you can hold a pose as long as him.
    Browse the pushcarts and shops at the Riverwalk.

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