Going to New Orleans for a week! We leave tomorrow, tell me what not to miss.

My husband and I are taking our first trip to NOLA. We’re staying in a B&B in Marigny. We’re into architecture, outdoors-y pursuits, art, food, and booze. I’m thinking maybe a bike tour one day? Has anyone done that and can recommend an outfit? We were also thinking of renting a car one day and checking out stuff outside the city. Or are there buses for that sort of thing?

Anyway, tell me about your favorite thing in New Orleans, please. I’m super-excited. :smiley:

preservation hall
Karoke at the Cat’s Meow on Bourbon Street
Taking the Ferry across the river, just because
Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
Get out of the city to take a swamp tour
Crayfish (better and cheaper outside the city)

Magazine Street. If you’re hungry.


Almost every time I’ve been to New Orleans, I was with friends who lived there. We always avoid the ‘touristy’ spots. But I always go to Café du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait.

Have a muffuletta. Central Grocery is the place to get them, but they won’t heat them and I like mine hot; so I go to Frank’s, which is two doors down, and have a hot one there.

Cemetery Tour (take an organized one; some are in dicey neighborhoods)
Garden District (architecture, possibly horticulture depending on the season)
Ride the streetcar (be sure to exit from the rear)
Eat at a fancy place (like Commander’s Palace)
Eat at a hole in the wall (too numerous to mention)
A trip to Mardi Gras World across the river (you can take the ferry)
Just wander the streets of the French Quarter by day or by night and enjoy the revelry.
If you are fans of “Confederacy of Dunces,” you can find the statue of Ignatius Reilly at the Chateau Bourbon Hotel on Canal Street.
(and have a hot dog from a cart in his honor)
Definitely do Café du Monde for beignets. You’re tourists, right? You’re entitled.

Off topic, but I was just remembering…

Mrs. L.A. and I went to New Orleans three (?) years ago. It was getting late one night and I was someplace in the Quarter, and I was looking for someplace. There was one other person on the street, an older, thin gentleman in a suit, and he was walking in my direction. He seemed a little hesitant when I approached him, but was friendly when I asked for directions. After learning my course we went our separate ways.

As I walked away I thought, 'Hey, wait a minute… Did I just get directions from James Carville? I’ll never know. But it sure looked like him.

City Park is really nice and there is a cafe in the park called Morning Call with really good beignets (and other stuff).

I don’t think you want to do a bike tour. The French Quarter is small enough to walk and busy enough where a bike is somewhat difficult. Maybe riding a bike to uptown would be nice.

The Pharmacy Museum in the French Quarter is really cool and quite impressively curated for such a small space. Worth checking out.

Clover Grill

The first time I went to Clover Grill was 1993 or 1994. The staff were fabulous and sang and danced along with the show tunes blaring from the jukebox. It’s been lower-key since then, but the first couple of times I went it was like getting a floor show with your breakfast.

They’re open 24/7, so you never have to worry about grabbing a bite. They’re known for their breakfasts, and for burgers cooked under hubcaps. (I like a cheeseburger with a side of hashbrowns.) It was neat seeing it in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and NCIS: New Orleans. The diner is on Bourbon and Dumaine.

My favorite place for seafood outside the city has been replaced by a Walgreens. :frowning:

Charbroiled oysters at Drago’s
Anything at all at Antoine’s (pricey!)
Fried seafood and crawfish at Deanie’s
Brunch at Brennan’s
Charbroiled oysters at Drago’s
Fried oyster po-boys just about anywhere (get it dressed)
Drink at Lafitte’s on Bourbon Street (or almost anywhere in the French Quarter)
See a show at Tipatina’s
Jazz at Preservation Hall
Did I mention charbroiled oysters at Drago’s?

Eat some king cake. Eat all the king cake. Eat oysters. Have a roast beef po-boy. Start drinking in the morning with an “eye-opener” like a mimosa or Bloody Mary. The Gumbo Shop has good gumbo and killer bread pudding.

You’ve managed to pick the one weekend during Mardi Gras where there are no (official) parades. Craziness will still be happening in the French Quarter, though.

Stay in the tourist areas of the French Quarter! If you find yourself suddenly alone on the street, even in a tourist area, turn around and go back the way you came. Just be aware of your surroundings in general. I’m not trying to scare you, but tourists are easy pickings.

Try one of the Haunted History Tours. I had in a friend in from out of town and she talked me into going with her. It was a lot of fun and I learned new stuff! If you can get a voodoo tour with Bloody Mary, do it! She’s a lot of fun.

The National World War II Museum is top notch. Go to Frenchmen Street for live music. You can pretty much walk around until you hear something you like. The New Orleans Museum of Art has a really neat sculpture garden.

Welcome, and have fun!

Go to the zoo! Take the St. Charles Ave. streetcar from the French Quarter. Walk around Audubon Park and/or Tulane first. Admire the giant trees draped with Spanish moss.

Take a Mississippi riverboat/paddleboat tour.

So good, I make them at home. :slight_smile:

Was going to come and mention this, yes I was quite impressed with it too!

As Inter Alia said, Frenchmen St. for music and for less trappy bars than the Quarter proper. If you can’t get a riverboat cruise then DO go on the Algiers ferry across the Mississippi and back again just for the heck of it. If you have the time do a cemetery tour (Lafayette or St. Louis #1).

I sure hope someone shows up with outdoor/active type recommendations because you just can’t avoid a serious spike in caloric intake…

But worth it. The etouffe is amazing: http://www.antoines.com/

The above-ground mausoleum-filled cemeteries are fascinating.
Jackson Square is full of history.
I was underwhelmed by the WWII Museum, but that was awhile ago; maybe it’s better now.

There is also a pretty cool little Voodoo museum. I don’t remember exactly where, but it is in the French Quarter.
The aquarium is nice, too, but you can go to an aquarium anywhere.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Keep em coming!

I like Checkpoint Charlie on Esplanade at Decatur. Good burgers. And you can do your laundry if you need to.

Yeah… I think it’s on Rue something…

Actually, it’s on Dumaine, between Bourbon and Royal.

Don’t think it’s been mentioned, but the field of Andrew Jackson’s battle against the British in January 1815 is open to the public as a national historic site. I was there for a commemorative reenactment in 1985. Unless it’s been changed, there should be an interpretive center where a ranger can give you the real story of the battle. It’s a hoot and a holler! If it weren’t for some British officer sticking a piece of paper in his pocket without reading it, the UK might have been able to reclaim the entire Louisiana Purchase.