New Orleans

Old Nov 19th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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New Orleans

My mom and I will be visiting New Orleans in January. She likes to gamble "O'Harrahs" and I like to eat great food. So it should be a great trip. Although 5 days without a car, does anyone have suggestions of what else to do/ are the plantations I hear about close? And are the River Boats worth the trip? I like the real deal and am not into touristy type of things. i would appreciate any suggestions of the "Real " New Orleans. Thank you
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 01:03 AM
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RE plantations:

We made a daytrip with a rental car to some plantations. We selected two plantations which are close to New Orleans and which are very different in character: Laura Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation. Laura is one of the oldest plantations, with a rather modest creole house, lots of antique furniture and interesting stories. Oak Alley is probably the best-known plantation at all, with spectacular sights, lots to see and to do. The drive from New Orleans takes about an hour one way.

I am certain that there are also bus tours from New Orleans, but we prefer to be on our own.

RE "Real New Orleans":

The French Quarter is of course, real New Orleans. An extensive walking tour gives you a good impression. I like most the are northeast of Jackson Square (around the old Ursuline Convent), which is more residential in character, quieter and not so touristy. It is nice just strolling through the streets, looking at the architecture, peering into frontyards and chatting with the residents.

Another "real" experience is a concert in Preservation Hall. The place is VERY authentic and quite different from concert halls as you know them...
http://www.preservationhall.com/

For a real New Orleans dining experience, I recommend Tujague's. They cook a six-course menu according to recipes from 1856. The place is very atmospheric, also the bar.
http://www.tujaguesrestaurant.com/

For a bit of fun, you might also visit the Voodoo Museum. The place is pretty weird. If it's "real", judge for yourself..
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 04:11 AM
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The Steamboat Natchez is interesting, but not that much if the weather is nasty since I'm thinking it could be pretty cool on the water in January. Also, don't go for the dinner cruise, it's really not that good and there are too many other places to eat in New Orleans.

We took a guided tour to Oak Alley and Laura Plantation a few years ago and had a very nice time. Lots of history and information to be had.

You and your Mom might like a streetcar ride through the Garden District to see some of the wonderful houses in that neighborhood.

Hope you have a good time!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 07:59 AM
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We are recently returned from NOLA. I can't imagine anyone wasting time at Harrahs but we did have a wonderful buffet there. As for what to do/see...what a choice in French Quarter and beyond. Don't hink much of steamboat but do recommend the many eateries and jazz performances. Might note that National Park service has a jazz museum near Jackson Square that we enjoyed...also Preservation Hall at night. Yes, do ride the St. Charles streetcar to the end of the line for a relaxing day (btw show your Medicare card for cheaper fare, 40 cents). This will pass through the Garden District but the showcase houses are a block or more away. And yes, a day trip to some plantation might be good.

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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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We (2 ladies) went to NO over MLK weekend a couple of years ago . . . had a great time. Don't miss the WWII museum, it's recently been expanded and it was one of the highlights of our trip then. And also don't miss the 25¢ martinis at lunch at Commander's Palace!

I typed up our (detailed) report and would be happy to send it to you . . . email me at [email protected] if interested.

Have fun,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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Lots of good advice so far.

When we were there last time, we took a culinary walking tour of the FQ - that was loads of fun. We've also taken a couple other walking tours with Historic New Orleans Walking Tour Co. They do a really good job.

There are some historic homes in the FQ that you can tour - we went to Gallier House and the Bauregard-Keyes house.

I didn't see Mardi Gras World mentioned - we went there last time and found it really interesting to see the workshop where some of the floats are built and to see floats and figures from past Mardi Gras. You take the ferry over to Algiers, which gives a nice view of NO from the water, and then a shuttle to Mardi Gras World itself.

We haven't been to the WWII museum, but it is probably on our list for next time.

If the weather is good, you might go out to Audubon Park on the street car.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:20 AM
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Andrew Jackson's house was neat. Took mini-bus tour to a couple of nice plantations as well. This has been some years ago so do check with your hotel or online.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 08:43 AM
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Just got back after 4 days in New Orleans. See my comments by searching Going to New Orleans to EAT.
The French Quarter and immediate surrounding area is very walkable. To go further out I strongly recommend a streetcar and bus pass. $5 all day or $12 for 3 consecutive days. Well worth it. Just hop on and off as much as you want. Go to the Garden District on Streetcar on St Louis and return on bus on Magazine St. If you really want to get out of the city, just go on a tour or rent a car for 1 day. A car is not needed in New Orleans. I too would strongly recommend the National WW II museum. Now they have a 4-D theatre that really helps to explain the war if you're not a history buff. Also be aware that many recommended restaurants are not open on Sunday or for lunch. It really helps to narrown down your must dos so you know when and where to go.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 10:23 AM
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Thank you everybody so much. I got wonderful advice and can't wait to get started on my trip!
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