Who's been to New Orleans lately?

Old Jan 18th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Who's been to New Orleans lately?

Am thinking of maybe going there in Sept or Oct for 4-5 days. What are your thoughts on the area recently? Where to go and stay away from? After reading some of the older reports on the board I have mixed feelings. We don't usually stay out late or go to bars, but we do like history and this is one of the places I've wanted to go to for quite a while. Want to stay in the French Quarter and will be renting a car upon arrival as we then plan on maybe traveling to Memphis.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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We go almost every year in September except this year we're going in May for a change of pace. The history in that city will knock your socks off - it's fascinating to me and I'm not a history buff. Last year during the day I walked alone all through the Quarter and never felt threatened. Just use the same common sense you would in any large town and you should be fine. Renting a car might be a problem since parking is at a premium - I believe most hotels charge extra for that very reason. We've always stayed at the Ramada Inn on Bourbon and were able to walk everywhere or pick up a cab if we were going out of the Quarter. Enjoy yourself!
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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Here is a link to a recent trip report from poster amwosu,

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=35100026
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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I also suggest waiting to rent your car until you are ready to depart NO. As the previous poster said, parking is expensive and at a premium and a car is not necessary in the FQ. If you are going further afield in NO, taxis or the streetcars are a reasonable alternative.

I haven't been to NO at that time of year so I can't comment on the weather but I go almost every year in mid-April and I keep coming back. I'm also not much for bars and night life but there's plenty of day life to keep you entertained. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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We were there in June and had a terrific time. As others have said, there is plenty to do and see other than bars As far as where to go and where to stay away from - basically anywhere you would want to go to see the sites is fine during the day. Late night, I would stick to the busier parts of the FQ or take a cab to other areas.

We stayed at the Place D'Armes hotel on St Ann, right off Jackson Square and really liked it. The hotel is made up of several townhouses around a courtyard. We had a room with a balony overlooking St. Ann, which was great.

Here is the link to our trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=1

Oh - and I agree with the recommendation to pick up the car when you leave New Orleans. Having one there will be more trouble than it is worth.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 08:40 AM
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First let me be forthright and say that I live in New Orleans. You should definitely come visit. The city is up and running; the historic parts of the city did not flood. There is an incredible amount of excitement here in many areas: rebuilding, public education, the arts (really wonderful stuff happening), food, of course, and music. The city is not without its problems, but we seem to have turned a corner and the level of optimism is great.

Come in October, not September. In September we're still in very hot and humid mode. New Orleans is a walking city and you want to be comfortable. After mid-October is the ideal time to visit.

You absolutely do not need a car. In fact, it's more hassle than it's worth. So if you're going to drive to Memphis, it's best to rent a car when leaving New Orleans. In New Orleans, take cabs or streetcars.

New Orleans is like a living museum with a whole lot of character and characters. History surrounds us. You will not be disappointed.

You certainly don't have to go to bars to enjoy the city, but if you want to take in some of the rich music scene, that's mostly in the small clubs that dot the area.

The restaurant situation is what really floors me. There are more locally owned and operated restaurants now than before the storm. We are eating better than ever. Be patient though at the restaurants because many of the service people did not return so many restaurants are understaffed or undertrained. We move kind of slowly here anyway, so if the food takes longer to get, we just have more time to visit with each other.

So please come. You will be welcome with open arms and appreciated by all.

One more thing: you need to take a tour of the devastated areas. Its scope is unfathomable.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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We just went in Sept and had a blast. Stayed at the Hotel Monteleone which was perfect and in the heart of the FQ. I LOVED NOLA! But we did not venture outside the FQ, as the locals suggested we don't
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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The New Orleans Cooking School lunch was also a lot of fun. NOLA is lively and has a great vibe. You will love it. Don't forget to check out all the wonderful jazz bars!
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 01:34 PM
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Jenna J: Next time you're in N.O., venture out of the French Quarter. The Quarter is just one of the many neighborhoods and to see the city, you have to get out especially to the Garden District, Uptown, the Warehouse /Arts District and Faubourg Marigny (where so much of the really great music is).
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 04:12 PM
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Okay, now you guys have made me want to go to New Orleans. I've never been before and never really had the desire.
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 04:14 AM
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BKD-- I am going to New Orleans in a few days. Do you know which tour would be the best for seeing the devastated areas?


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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 12:26 PM
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jayne1973,

Try this one:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Louisiana.html
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 02:03 PM
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Thanks,bkluvsNola-- These are helpful. I think I will skip the Katrina tour since it gets such mixed reviews and will take such a chunk out of a day.

Hope the weather warms up by the time I get there, and that it doesn't rain too much!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:33 PM
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Jayne,

DON'T SKIP THE KATRINA TOUR! It's way too important. There may be a shorter tour. You can do it in about an hour or two.

I have a friend at the World War II museum (D-Day museum) who also does tours on his off days. His name is Alan Raphael. Call the museum and ask for him. He may be able to do a shorter tour for you if he's available or give you the name of someone else who can do it. (Fodorites, this is not an advertisement. Alan just happens to be one of the best tour guides in town and he's one of my good friends).

Please take the time to see what happened.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 04:11 AM
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Thanks, BKD. I will take Alan's name with me. I definitely agree that understanding the effects of Katrina is important.

I leave tomorrow --yea!
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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jayne,

Good news. The weather is supposed to warm up gradually in the next few days.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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I agree ......take the Katrina tour. And hopefully you'll experience the wonderful culture that is so enchanting about New Orleans. There is so much to do!

I highly recommend the New Orleans School of Cooking school that was mentioned. (My husband and I first went about 15 years ago with Joe Kahn and Kevin Belton and the excellent and practical recipes shared are the best!)

Our other favorites are Croissant D'Or, a French patisserie for breakfast or light lunch, Irene's or Cafe Amelie for dinner. There is always Brocato's for gelato and Italian desserts. These are just a few of our favorites that haven't been mentioned.

We live in New Orleans and never tire of the music, food, festivals, and interesting architecture. Karen
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