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New Orleans French Quarter mid April, not partiers. What to do?

New Orleans French Quarter mid April, not partiers. What to do?

Mar 20th, 2010, 01:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2006
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New Orleans French Quarter mid April, not partiers. What to do?

What are some of the "not to miss" sites or activities, in and around the French Quarter, that two late 40 y/o (young at heart) MWW can do. We will be there mid April, on a Mon,Tues, Wed, leave Thurs eve. We would like to take a tour and learn alot of the old history of the French Quarter. I know there is a district of large old homes, is it all within walking distance? We're not late night partiers but we would like to experience a little of the Blues and Jazz scene (would love to run across a tame, but really cool pub on jam night). Great, fresh shrimp is a must. All this on a small budget.... We would love some suggestions. We already have accomidations.
cgal is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 01:59 PM
  #2  
 
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the French Quarter Festival

http://www.fqfi.org/frenchquarterfest/
emd3 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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oops, just realized you said Mon-T?hurs
emd3 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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Did you do a board search? There are a ton of recent NOLA threads here. Here are my threads for starters:

For food:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...experience.cfm

For attractions:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...y-184065-2.cfm

Note that I'm not a party person.

The area that you're thinking of with the large old homes is the Garden District, and you'll need to take the St. Charles streetcar from the Canal Street edge of the French Quarter to go there. It's not within walking distance.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 02:56 PM
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For music, you want to go to Frenchman Street.
NWWanderer is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 03:19 AM
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This is long, but it’s full of good info (at least as far as I’m concerned *smile*). We aren’t big spenders while on vacations, so restaurants will be pretty inexpensive.

If you want a swamp or plantation tour most of them will pick you up at your hotel so that’s no problem (if you decide on a swamp tour, just go for ½ a day, that‘s plenty long enough.)
For other things to do:
Ride the Canal Street Streetcar to the Garden District to see the mansions - it’s only $1.25 each way and you get a lot of sights.
Take a walk through Jackson Square, the French Market and of course Bourbon Street - Frenchman Street is located just at the end of the Quarter and is great for jazz.
Gray Line has a city tour that has a short cemetery stop so you can see one without spending much time on it.
Along with the artists and palm readers, there is a ton of history at Jackson Square - three buildings to see are the Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Presbytère.
At the far end of Jackson Square is Café DuMonde which is a definite breakfast stop for beignets and café au lait. Use the to-go window and take them up on the Riverwalk to watch the Mississippi as you eat.
There are a couple cooking classes you can take that are fun.
A ride on the Steamboat Natchez is ok but don’t go for a dinner cruise, there are too many places in NOLA with much better food.

Which brings us to food (all located within walking distance in the Quarter):
Acme Oyster House
Oceana Grill
YoMama’s (the best burgers in the Quarter, but it’s a dive!)
Maspero’s on Decatur
Central Grocery if you want to try a muffuletta
Mango Mango for a daiquiri and/or beer (these are located all over Bourbon St)
Court of Two Sisters for brunch
Pat O’Brien’s for hurricanes (might want to stick with one, if any!)
Johnny‘s Po-Boys
If you‘re really brave try a Lucky Dog.
Razoo’s and Cat’s Meow are crazy 3-1 drink bars located right on Bourbon Street.
Lafitte’s Bar for “atmosphere”
Clover Grill for breakfast
Margaritaville (should you happen to be a Parrothead)
Déjà vu (another dive but great food)
More high class meals would be Emeril’s NOLA.

Here are some websites that can also help out. The first two are free guides you can order - the neworleansonline site has a link with a good map of the Quarter but I think most hotels have those available. The third through fifth have discount coupon links and the last explains Lucky Dogs. They’re a staple for hangover cures and, according to locals, are lethal. Personally, we love them.
The webcams are to get you in the mood - I love to watch the people and with Mardi Gras right around the corner it’ll get more and more crowded and fun.

http://www.louisianatravel.com/guide-order
http://www.neworleansonline.com/
http://www.neworleansschoolofcooking.com/
http://www.mangodaiquiris.com/
http://www.experienceneworleans.com/...ons/index.html
http://www.luckydogs.us/

Webcams
http://www.nola.com/jacksonsquarecam/
http://www.earthcam.com/usa/louisian...bourbonstreet/
ccolor is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:46 AM
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If you are at all interested . . the D Day museum is worth a visit

http://www.ddaymuseum.org/
Rich is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 12:08 PM
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If you want to experience Jazz the way it is supposed to be experienced, go to Preservation Hall. No drinks, just great Jazz music performed by the greats. The line may be long and the building is old, but it's worth it.

The Garden District is the district you're talking about. You can take the St. Charles Streetcar to get there.

For a shrimp fix, go to Pascal's Manales Uptown off the St. Charles Streetcar. Exit at Napoleon and go North 3 blocks. They have the biggest and best BBQ shrimp I've ever tasted.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Some very good info from ccolor.

Note well however that any tours, especially plantation tours including anything other than Laura and Oak Alley, are very touch-and-go as to whether they'll actually happen or not. Most such tours require a minimum number of people before they'll actually occur, and it's not unusual for such minimums not to be met. Plus you won't get a definite yes or no on any tour until the last minute, which makes planning ahead a serious problem.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 03:08 PM
  #10  
BKD
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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My suggestions:

1. Check with the National Park Service for tours of the French Quarter and the Garden District. I believe they still have free tours and the accuracy of info is much better than the paid tours.
2. Must go to the National WWII museum. Go see the "4-D" exhibit. Very moving. Also, in the same block are the Contemporary Arts Center and the Odgen Museum of Southern Art. Both highly recommended. You can walk to these museums from the French Quarter, if that's where you're staying.
3. For music, definitely get in a cab and go to Frenchmen St. There are numerous clubs with the best music in the city.
4. On Wednesdays in the Spring, there are free concerts in Lafayette Square starting at 5pm that are very popular with food and drinks. That, too, is within walking distance of the Quarter. Great acts at no charge!
5. For shrimp, I guess I would second the Pascal's Manale BBQ shrimp recommendation. I would take a cab though as the neighborhood can get a little sketchy if you don't know your way around.
6. Magazine St. is great for eclectic shopping. There's a web site for the merchants association. If you google it, I'm sure you'll find it.
7. Streetcar ride down St. Charles, get off at Carrollton and get a late breakfast at the Camellia Grill. In April, it's a beautiful time to take the non-air conditioned streetcar.

There's lots to do in New Orleans if you don't drink. Bourbon St. is only one street in the whole town and no locals go there (except to eat at Galatoire's), if that tells you anything.
BKD is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 03:47 PM
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We rented a car for the day last May when we visited Laura and Oak Alley. We were easily able to see both places and we returned the car by the end of the rental day. The rental car agency shuttled us back to our French Quarter hotel. It was a great day and the rental only cost $35.00. Money well spent.
Bowsprit is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 04:22 PM
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cgal, there is lots of good advice here and also in the archives if you search as suggested. If it is still open, I always loved the acquariumn. You will find more than enough to do and see in NOLA! Some of your best experiences should be the local food and music. Enjoy your visit!
saige is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Our favorite place for jazz in New Orleans is Snug Harbor, which is located on Frenchman St. Great jazz, and a more laid-back crowd - they're there to listen to the music.

In addition to walking tours of the Quarter, several old homes are located within the French Quarter, and are interesting to visit. I don't remember the names of any of them, but I do recall that one is right on Jackson Square.
Lexma90 is offline  
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