New Orleans Tourist Tips?

Old May 8th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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New Orleans Tourist Tips?

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are from Canada and we're traveling to New Orleans around May 20th. We've never been there so can anyone recommend things to do, places to see, restaurants and Jazz clubs to go to? I know that it's a lot to ask but any information would be greatly appreciately.

Actually, a simpler question would be... is there anything that is not worth seeing or any area that should be avoided?

Thanks.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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New Orleans was our most recent weekend away for four of us. We loved the New Orleans School of Cooking. It's a good meal as well as entertaining, even a non-cook would enjoy it. I don't really care for casinos but I thought the one in NO was really a waste of time. Their slot machines give out paper tickets so there's no exciting clink of quarters. We enjoyed Cafe du Monde and the beignets but a quick visit was enough. I loved the French market and wished I had bought more unusual food items. New Orleans has a liveliness to it that I didn't expect. The street performers, the late night crowds on Bourbon Street, the food, etc. We took a bus tour to a plantation which was fine but I think we would have enjoyed it better if we had rented a car and gone on our own. We loved the New Orleans Ghost Tour. I've seen other posters say the food at Court of Two Sisters isn't that great but we enjoyed a brunch on our last day and the buffet variety gave us a chance to try some things we might have missed otherwise on a short visit.
I think you'll have a great time. I hope to go back.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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To me, most everything is worth seeing, except for the swamp tours. For jazz, depending on what kind, you might want to simply ask your hotel desk to tell you where the best hot spots are.

You'll find lots of info on this forum about places to go and things to do. My favorite things are:
-Visit to New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park.
-See St Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo.
-Go to the River Walk area and the aquarium.
-Drive or stroll around the Garden District.
-See the great antique stores on Royal St and Magazine St.
-Take a streetcar ride to the D-Day Museum.
-Visit Audubon Park.
-Stroll around the FQ, see the local artists, have coffee and beignets, and shop through the markets along the levee.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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We were there last September after many, many years and enjoyed our visit as much as we had in the past. I agree with Wayne's excellent suggestions, except we took a swamp tour for the first time and thought it was fun. I felt it was overpriced and a little long, but we enjoyed seeing the swamp and some alligators "up close and personal."

We are jazz lovers (not necessarily Dixieland) and really enjoyed an evening at Snug Harbor.

Highly recommend the D-Day Museum. We were contributors early on and they have done a fabulous job. They are currently in the process of expanding.

Another thing we enjoyed was a Sunday morning Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues. The food was much better than I expected the the music was great.

You must also have a muffaleta (spelling) at the Central Grocery, where they supposedly started. Quite close to Cafe du Monde. Walk off your cafe au lait and beignets in the shops and flea market, and then enjoy your muffaleta.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 04:25 AM
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Great tips above.

As far as areas to avoid, as long as you pay attention to your surroundings, you'll quickly know when you are out of your element and need to head another direction. Things get racier as you walk along Bourbon Street, and it really depends on your own taste as to how much you can handle or how safe you want to feel.

Also one tip to remember regarding stret performers: sometimes they will approach you and ask you questions, like "I bet you $5 I can guess where you got your shoes." Don't fall for the trap...just keep walking. The "answers" to the questions are usually very obvious (Like, "from your closet," for example...). They can heckle you pretty good, so just keep walking if you don't want to aggravate the problem. This doesn't happen often, but it's occurred to me at least once every trip I have been.

 
Old May 9th, 2005, 11:31 AM
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look into the Steamboat Natchez lunch or dinner two hour jazz cruise. I just became familiar with it because I am involved with a ship's reunion in Baton Rouge next year and am looking for something else to after the bus trip to the D-Day museum. It looks like we will do the lunch cruise.

For info, go to www.neworleansstaemship.com. Menus are available for lunch and dinner, or you can do the cruise without the meals.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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I forgot to add that the suggestions above are great ideas and most should be considered. Do go to the Central Grocery tho.

If anything were to be skipped, I would eliminate the bayou tour. I was recently on one in the Baton Rouge area and was not impressed.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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oops, that's www.neworleanssteamshipline.com
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Old May 9th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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I like just wandering up and down bourbon...some sort of drink in hand. Most of the clubs have their doors open, pick one with music that you like and enter. It really is that easy.

There is a definite line where the gay bars begin if that is of concern to you. If you start seeing lots of pink and/or rainbow flags, you are there. there are, of course, other less subtle indications as well.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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The food on the Natchez is just awful, in my opinion. Very bland and tasteless. Cruise on the ship but eat elsewhere!
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Old May 9th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34559620

This was a good thread on this subject
 
Old May 9th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for all the info, I really appreciate it and will look into each suggestion.

I do have another quick question... does anyone know how late the restaurants, bars, and clubs are open?
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Old May 9th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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F7- by now you've probably seen the answers to your other post re: hours.

JohnNO-- thanks for the tip on the food. I will have to consider that.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 12:09 AM
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I too would warn you off the dinner cruise on the Natchez. Cafeteria style done very badly. Be sure to save time during one of your days in NO to stroll Royal Street from Iberville down, great window shopping. And Donna's on Rampart street is the absolutely best place in the city to hear genuine brass band jazz. Have a great visit.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 05:26 AM
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Can I add to the chorus about the low quality of the Natchez food? Just really average at best and bad at worst.

Do remember that the Mississippi at New Orleans isn't all the scenic once you're out on the river. You're viewing either the industrial Port of N.O. or the concrete levees built to protect the city. Neither is pretty!
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Old May 10th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the further input about the food, I'll have the CVB work out somewhere else. Considering that tnere will be about seventy of us, would the Riverwalk Marketplace be better. 90% of us are WWII and Korean War vets, and several are becoming somewhat fragile so walking and getting around is an issue.

That's the main reason I planned on the cruise. After walking around the museum for a couple of hours I thought a relaxing ride would be appreciated. We did a two hour cruise of San Diego Bay last year, and that went over well.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 07:09 AM
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ronkala: Thanks to you and your vet friends for your service! My dad was a WWII vet and my husband and I went to DC last year for the dedication of the WWII Memorial. Wish he could have been with us. My husband served in the Air Force during the Korean war.

The D-Day Museum is very well done and so interesting. There are wheelchairs available, but probably not enough to accommodate your group.

I think the cruise would be fine. It's true the scenery is not the best, but it's fun to be aboard a paddle wheeler. Don't know what to suggest for your meal, but I'm sure someone will come up with something.

Hope you have a great time in New Orleans.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Given the age/mobility restrictions, I do think the cruise may be appropriate for your group. They will enjoy it.

As for the food, I can't recommend the regular jambalaya/bread pudding items but maybe they can do some special menus just for your group?
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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The package offered from one bus company, we are coming from Baton Rouge, includes lunch with a note that it is not a buffet style meal.

Thankyou for the additional information.

Fricky7, sorry, I didn't intend to take up so much of your post. I hope you enjoy NO as much as my wife and I plan to enjoy the Canadian Rockies in July.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Hi ronkala,

Don't worry about taking space in my post, I'm just glad that you received a lot of great advice.

Hope you enjoy the Canadian Rockies trip.
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