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Ideas for an afternoon alone in New Orleans

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I'm meeting relatives in New Orleans next Friday but they don't arrive until 5:00pm and I arrive at 1:00pm. So after checking into the hotel, Hotel Monaco in the Central Business District, I'm wondering what I could do on my own from there. Would it be easy enough to walk to the French Quarter and browse around? Would I have time maybe to take the St. Charles Streetcar? I love browsing in cities - maybe a museum, a bookstore. Any suggestions for a couple of hours in this neighbourhood or beyond? Would I feel safe out walking by myself? Thanks for your suggestions and ideas, Lily

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