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New Orleans!
« on: July 26, 2014, 02:09:40 PM »
So, I have the opportunity to go to New Orleans for three days next month. I need recommendations! Things to see, places to eat, what to avoid. It's supposed to be somewhat of a romantic getaway, so it doesn't have to be kid-friendly.

Also, I think I have the hotel I want, but any recommendations for that would be helpful, too.


Library Dragon

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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 03:14:55 PM »
A very nice place to eat is John Besh's August.  They do a very good price fixed lunch. Supper is awesome. I would go there rather than Emeril's.

There is a John Besh Italian restaurant attached to the Hotel Roosevelt, where the Sazerach Bar is
located.  Excellent food.  The Catholic church across the street is very interesting as it has a very Indian (sub continent) decor. 

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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 03:39:21 PM »
Swizzle Stick, Carousel Bar, Bellocq, Galatoires, Luke's, Parkway Tavern for PoBoys. When I take people to the FQ during the day, I usually take them through stopping at Cafe duMonde for breakfast, Pat OBriens for a drink, and then a daiquiri to go is always fun as you wander and shop.

I'd go on a ghost tour at night, I went twice when I lived there and it was good fun to hear the stories. If you are going outside the FQ, there are some nice plantations you can visit and lots fun shops/restaurants uptown near magazine and St Charles also


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 11:55:38 PM »
Go on a cemetery tour, but do not visit the cemeteries like St. Louis #1 or 2 on your own (dangerous neighborhood).
The French Quarter is generally safe but don't wander alone and stick to crowded areas.  Neighborhoods can change quickly.
Consider a carriage ride to get your bearings.  Our driver took us past a high school where both Richard Simmons and Lee Harvey Oswald went to school.
I think we stayed at the Fairmont, which was very close to the Superdome. 
There used to be an aquarium right on the river, but that was pre-Katrina.  I don't know what happened after that.


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 12:47:49 AM »
I am so jealous!
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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2014, 01:22:22 PM »
The aquarium is still there.

The French Market is a must-see, and it's near Cafe DuMonde.

Bourbon Street is insane for several blocks, but the upper part is quite peaceful.

Snug Harbor jazz club and Preservation Hall are definitely worth seeing.

I got a Fodors guidebook from the library and used it to plan what I wanted to see in advance. Having a paper map of the French Quarter helped a lot.

The FQ really isn't that big, and it's very walkable. That said, watch your footing at night. The sidewalks can get a little gross. Also, you will see people wandering all over with huge containers of mixed drinks. Try them with caution. 
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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2014, 07:09:39 PM »
Yes, go to the visitors center on basin street and get a map of the city.  Cemetery tours are often early in the day because it's so hot right now.  St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square are pretty, lots of funky shops near their too. 


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 01:57:19 PM »
Preservation Hall. Bring your drinks in from somewhere else, and realize that you will have to leave to go to the bathroom during the intermission. (In case you aren't aware, drinking beverages of any sort is legal on the street as long as they are not in glass containers, and bars have "go cups" so you can get anything you like to take out).

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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 02:23:38 PM »
Just got back on Sunday. We go about 2-3 times a year.

Things to do
We love the WWII museum and the Audobon zoo is really pretty.
Galleries and shops along Royal street - most close around 5 or 6
Galleries in warehouse district
Preservation hall
Coffee and beignets at Cafe Dumond is fun once. Across from Jackson Square There's better places for future visits
Guided or self guided FQ walking tour
Did the horse carriage tour with my MIL who has a hard time walking. Our driver was knowledgeable so it was good

Dining in FQ
Mr Bs for lunch or dinner
Arnaulds for very high end old New Orleans dining
Felix for oysters (Acme has gone down hill iIMHO.)
Palace cafe or Muriel's

Other dining
Breakfast at Mothers, ruby slipper or Elzabeths
Poboys at Johnnies or Parkway
Dinner or lunch at Cochon or Emerils in the Wharehouse district. Cochon is my current fave in NO.
Brunch at Commanders Palace in the Garden District

Places we avoid
Pat Os
Carousel Bar (always too crowded)

We usually stay at the St James on Magazine. Between CBD and FQ. Service good and not overly expensive


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 02:44:03 PM »
I am personally not a fan of Bourbon Street - too touristy, crowded, and too many sloppy drunks behaving badly. Frenchmen Street is not that far from Bourbon and has lots of restaurants and music venues, and we found the crowds to be spirited but less rowdy and unpredictable than on Bourbon.


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 03:16:11 PM »
The Presbytere, next to St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, is part of the Louisiana State Museum.  It currently houses two long-term exhibits:  Mardi Gras (upstairs) and  Katrina - Living with Hurricanes (downstairs).  They are both very well done and very informative about parts of NOLA life that most visitors don't experience. 

I really liked the St. Lawrence Bar/Restaurant on North Peters.  Good food and a fantastic Pimms daiquiri.   


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 10:30:45 PM »
I don't love Bourbon St, but hand grenades are my fav, so I'll go to the Tropical Isle when I can.  I forgot to mention the WWII Museum, very well done.  As for condemning Harrah's, I mainly go there to park and then leave


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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2014, 06:08:21 AM »
My absolute favorite restaurant is Jacques Imo's.  It's uptown, so it may be a little bit of a ride depending on where you are staying, but the trip and the wait is worth it!

ETA: just went to their website.  They will be closed August 4-19.  So it may not work for your trip.
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Re: New Orleans!
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2014, 10:49:32 PM »
Thank you all! We're staying in the Garden District, right on the streetcar the streetcar worth it?

I also found a hop-on, hop-off bus tour that includes two guided walking tours...has anyone done that?