My first query on MRI was about our recent trip to Vancouver. The community delivered beyond expectations. Our next couple's trip is to New Orleans. It will be my wife's first trip while I've been three times strictly on business, so I have some of my own first thoughts. Nonetheless and once more, what do you wonderful folks recommend? We will be staying at the Marriott. TIA as ever!
Hey Tex... When are you going to be there? My wife and I are staying at the CY Iberville the weekend after Labor Day. This is her first time as well and I've only been a couple times, once for a day and the other for business.
I'll let you know, but we have reservations at NOLA and Court of Two Sisters. Then we will wing it for a couple other restaurants. I'm so looking forward to beingets and chicory on Saturday morning! The of course a couple of Hurricanes at Pat O's....
DEFINITELY doing a carriage ride... Pick up a trolley pass at Wallgreens...
Hi texasvoyager...a must do for us when in New Orleans is Brennan's Restaurant. It has the greatest local ambience - we especially like it for coffee and breakfast. It is the origin for Bananas Foster, too. You can't beat a flaming beauty of bananas, rum, butter, cinnamon and ice cream!!
It almost goes without saying, but walking through the French Quarter at night is a must. I was there on a rainy Monday evening in March a few years back. Not that anyone paid much heed to weather. I'm not a glitz and neon kind of traveler, but wandering down Bourbon Street (even in the rain) was fun. I got more of a kick out of the architecture than anything else. I don't recall where I ate, but even on Monday night, almost every place seemed to have a live band.
I probably should have gone back during the morning hours to get a better appreciation for the history of the place, but business took me elsewhere. I didn't make the same mistake upon visiting Charleston and Savannah.
I'm sure your trip in NO will be as great as the one to Vancouver. I'm glad you took the ferry to Victoria. In my mind, that's a no-brainer.
Keep us posted on what you end up seeing.
Thanks, Jacob! Yes, the dining and music on Bourbon Street top the list for our plans. (I did learn on one occasion years back to keep closer to the Canal end of the French Quarter.) Our next trip to the Pacific Northwest will cover more territory and a night or two in Victoria, not just a day trip.
New Orleans has lots to do. One relatively new adventure is the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. We haven't ridden it yet, but the ones we saw recently were full. According to their Spring 2013 brochure, they stop at 12 locations. A 1 day ticket was $29 and a 7 day ticket was $39 (including 2 walking tours and a self-guided cemetery tour). Children were $10 for any tour. I recently got an email from Travel Zoo with a good discount offer. You might want to check that out.
In addition to what others have suggested, we like to ride the streetcars, take the Canal Street Ferry, walk through the Riverwalk and Jax Brewery (unfortunately stores and restaurants change constantly), visit the Aquarium, sit on the river and watch the ships pass, visit the National World War II Museum, visit the market, and visit Jackson Square. It is always difficult to decide where to eat because restaurants don't stay in business long if they are not good. The tourist magazines which are available in the hotels usually have a list of all the restaurants, what they serve, where they are, and when they are open.
Have a great time!
Here are some restaurants I've enjoyed:
Bon Ton Cafe had terrific crawfish etoufee and a dessert Bread Pudding w/whiskey sauce that probably causes those under 30 to be carded - fantastic.
Acme and Felix's for raw oysters, Drago's for grilled (although at $2 a pop, a bit of a splurge). Oceana Grill had in my opinion the best red beans and rice. Crescent City Brewhouse for a good gallery (as opposed to balcony) view of Decatur and some very nice freshly brew suds (and a delicious vanilla ice cream with praline, caramel, pecan sauce). Mulate's served up good enough dishes to relax and enjoy the zydeco which began at the very pleasing hour of 7 pm. Avoiding the line at K-Pauls, went to Emeril's Nola where every dish was delicious, especially the gumbo and the banana pudding layer cake with hot fudge (gee, I'm noticing a trend here in my highlights) was fantastic. And wrapping up, without a Saturday breakfast, ventured down deep into the Quarter before it got too steamy (Brennan's patio wasn't open for breakfast) and bypassed Cafe DuMonde's already huge waiting line, filled with us tourists (like I needed a beignet anyway) and went instead one block further to the French Market Cafe, more than adequate $9 buffet, excellent coffee and a nice breezy outdoor patio to people watch. Believe it or not, there were other places I stopped in at and dined, but nothing special (but nothing bad enough to warn against).
Here's a discount (plus other activities if you click thru) for a tour
Once again, thank you all here in the MRI community for your valued advice about our trip to New Orleans. We had a wonderful stay. We listened to live jazz at the Maison Bourbon; indulged in beignets at Cafe du Monde (twice!); dined at the Red Fish Grill, Pierre Maspero's, Cafe Fleur de Lis; savored a sazarac after dinner at the Crescent City Brewhouse; drank hurricanes over lunch at Pat O'Brien's (their 80th anniversary is next month); visited the beautiful Audubon Zoo; took a streetcar to City Park; and toured the Oak Alley Plantation (mint juleps here). Yes, Brennan's was closed. However, the Brennan family is apparently quite extended and they own several other restaurants around town. We dined at Dickey Brennan's Steakhouse instead. There was only one failing. We could not find a bad place to eat. (Ok, to be fair, we skipped the Arby's next door to the Marriott, but we've been there / done that so we knew what would be in store for us there.)
I had the good fortune to grow up outside Washington, D.C., where I visited the National Zoo more times than I can count. Many years later, I started my career as an engineer in San Diego, where both the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal park are found. While these are each worthy of their own acclaim, I was simply wowed by my first visit to the Audubon Zoo of New Orleans back in '88. Every trip since, I have made it a point to visit as it really is an unequaled experience. It doesn't feel like a zoo, but rather like you are immersed in the habitat of each exhibit you visit. It should definitely make the itinerary for anyone's visit to the Crescent City.