Author Topic: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?  (Read 5892 times)

bortman

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3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« on: December 15, 2015, 05:13:49 PM »
Looking for advice on Moustachian things to do in NOLA. My wife and I got a great deal on flights for Dec 25 - 28. It's a short trip, but we need the break. We've yet to book the hotel, but right now we're looking at Hotel 504, near/in the French Quarter.

Any thoughts on where to stay, activities, or must-sees that won't break the bank?


crazy jane

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 05:23:57 PM »
Following.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 05:25:41 PM »
We stayed at La Pavilion (for work), walking distance from the French Quarter and free PB&J's, milk and hot cocoa every night at 10pm! pool/spa on the roof

Mother's, soooooo f* good
Preservation Hall Jazz (be prepared to stand in line for like 45 minutes, Patty O'Briens original Hurricanes next door)
Deannie's
Jackson Square (Art & Café Du Monde)
Blue Oak BBQ/Chickie Wah Wah (Live Music)
Desire Oyster Bar @ Royal Sonesta
Musical Legends Park
All the music and bars on Frenchman St & Decatur St
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 05:41:43 PM by BackyarBQ »

benjordan

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 05:49:13 PM »
Cafe Du Monde a must try
The Grill is a random diner in the French Quarter but has great food and funny servers
WW2 museum is expensive but a cool place
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is interesting - it's been around since the 1700's and is still only lit by candle light
The Garden District is a cool place, and you can walk around for free

In general, there are tons of cool bars in the French Quarter right off Bourbon. The bars on Bourbon are fun, but what you'd expect.

kittenstache

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 05:56:55 PM »
We stayed at La Pavilion (for work), walking distance from the French Quarter and free PB&J's, milk and hot cocoa every night at 10pm! pool/spa on the roof

Mother's, soooooo f* good
Preservation Hall Jazz (be prepared to stand in line for like 45 minutes, Patty O'Briens original Hurricanes next door)
Deannie's
Jackson Square (Art & Café Du Monde)
Blue Oak BBQ/Chickie Wah Wah (Live Music)
Desire Oyster Bar @ Royal Sonesta
Musical Legends Park
All the music and bars on Frenchman St & Decatur St

I've visited New Orleans many times and agree to all of the above.
I also recommend that you go to Cafe du Monde. The original one at the French Market is open 24/7. There is also one in the Riverwalk mall. Beignets to die for and the frozen cafe au lait is a great sugar-n-caffeine fix
Take a street car out to the Garden District and stroll around some historic mansions.
If you're interested in history, the WW2 Museum is world-class. It's near Lee Circle, just off the St Charles street car line, which is also the line that will take you out to the Garden District from CBD

GrOW

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 06:02:32 PM »
Yet another vote for Cafe du Monde. The beignet mix is not cheap but friends and family have loved it as a present.

Bring good walking shoes and walk a ton. Explorer explore explore.

When eating out, sit at the bar. You will sit across from your wife at meals back home. Sit at the bar and soak in the great people and personalities of the locals. Talk up your bartender am I am sure that you will get some great stories.

Visit the French quarter at different times. It can be a very different place at different times of the day.

mistershankly

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 07:13:52 PM »
If you have some transportation accessible to you, head over to City Park where they have some beautiful botanical gardens and much more scenery to take in... http://neworleanscitypark.com

Take a swamp tour (far exceeded my expectations and I would do it again)... http://www.cajunprideswamptours.com

Have some amazing charbroiled oysters at Drago's in nearby Metairie... http://www.dragosrestaurant.com

If you've got kids, the Louisiana Children's Museum is a great place to check out... http://lcm.org

Check out the Audobon Institute... http://www.auduboninstitute.org

Eat the best fried oyster, shrimp, or roast beef po'boy at Parkway Bakery... http://www.parkwaypoorboys.com

Cafe Du Monde... http://www.cafedumonde.com

Have a muffuletta at the home of the original muffuleta, Central Grocery... http://www.yelp.com/biz/central-grocery-new-orleans

Take in some French Quarter jazz heritage at Preservation Hall... https://www.preservationhall.com

Or just stroll through the French Quarter and Andrew Square where the music and people watching are interesting and free.

Enjoy your trip!!

Meowmalade

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 07:18:53 PM »
My sister and I went to New Orleans maybe ten years ago, and we stumbled across The Funky Pirate Blues Club, which was the highlight of our trip.  "Big Al Carson" was just amazing.  I even bought his CD online after the fact, but it's nothing compared to live.  And holy shit, I knew he was a big guy and would have guessed over 300 pounds, but he's almost 500!

Edit: If you see him, you gotta hear him sing "Built For Comfort"-- he had the whole place rolling on the floor in tears!  I just found the album version and it's not the same at all.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 07:29:46 PM by Meowmalade »

MakingSenseofCents

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 08:59:56 PM »
Yes, definitely go to Cafe du Monde!

I've only gone to New Orleans twice, but I did do a trip review on my blog after the first trip that may help you out - http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2013/08/new-orleans-costs.html.

aspiringnomad

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 09:05:37 PM »
Some of the best sandwiches I've ever had:

http://www.cochonbutcher.com/new-orleans


mozar

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 09:25:18 PM »
You may think its weird, but I thought I'd mention it. They have a pharmacy museum which I found fascinating. The history of illegal drugs, how they used to give lead nipples to babies etc. Also the aquarium!

bortman

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2015, 09:27:00 PM »
So, you're saying I should go to Cafe du Monde, right? ;-)

Wow, so many great suggestions! Thanks for the feedback everyone. It sounds like there's no shortage of fun stuff in New Orleans.

We plan to rent a car for a day to see stuff outside the city too.

Thanks again!

johnny847

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2015, 09:27:33 PM »
Posting to follow. I too will be in New Orleans for 3 days. 12/22-12/24.

GreenSheep

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2015, 09:30:26 PM »
Great suggestions above. I lived in New Orleans for 4 years and most recently went back to visit for Halloween.

Get a day pass ($3, I think) for the streetcars. Take the green one up St. Charles to see all the non-Mustachian (but pretty and historic) homes.

Walk along the Riverfront area, which goes right past the back of Cafe du Monde, which is a must see (eat) New Orleans sort of thing.

There's also a ferry (free or $1... can't remember) there that goes over to Algiers, which is known for its "gingerbread houses." Another area just to stroll around.

Drinks are 3 for 1 upstairs at some of the bars on Bourbon St., so make the effort to go to the upstairs bar to order.

Lafitte's is definitely worth seeing. Their signature purple drink tastes like Dimetapp, but the bar is a neat place. It's lit entirely by candlelight.

There's a steamboat "cruise" that leaves from the Riverfront. I used to laugh at all the old tourists as my daily run took me by there, but I was dragged onto it by the people I was with a couple of months ago, and it's actually not bad. It's a neat way to see a different side of New Orleans and learn a little bit along the way. I think it was in the $30-45 range, so not exactly cheap, but decent entertainment for a couple of hours.

Wandering around the Quarter, or just sitting somewhere with a drink and people watching, is always interesting. Every time I go there I still find a new and amazing restaurant I've never seen or heard of before.

Central Grocery claims to have the original muffaletta. A "half muff" is plenty for one person, which makes them relatively cheap.

If you're driving, I've heard there's free parking at Harrah's if you stay and gamble for an hour, but I don't know if that's still true.

GreenSheep

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2015, 09:34:49 PM »
Just saw that you'll have a car. The plantations outside of the city are worth seeing. I particularly like Oak Alley and Laura. You've probably seen photos or paintings of the tree-lined walkway at Oak Alley all over the country (world?). It's pretty famous. No idea what the tours cost these days... haven't been there in about 10 years.

I also lived in Lafitte for several months. If you really want to see what rural Louisiana looks like, that's the place. There's not much to do there, but the drive to/from/through is interesting. You can buy shrimp right off the shrimping boats (depending on the season, which I've forgotten), and they have some little restaurants. Used to be $2/pound. They used to run fishing expeditions out of there, but Katrina obviously interfered with that, and I'm not sure if they're back up and running yet.

katsiki

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2015, 09:47:59 PM »
Definitely go to the World War II museum!  Audubon Zoo is great as well.



Kansas Beachbum

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2015, 09:21:44 AM »
Preservation Hall is an absolute must.  I'm kind of luke warm on Café Du Monde...but when in Rome, I guess.  Check out the music venues on Frenchman Street.  It's just east of the French Quarter and is more of a locals area.  Fantastic music.  If Three Muses is still there definitely give it a try, also Spotted Cat...a disreputable joint if I've ever seen one, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Garden district is very pretty, and you can take the streetcar there for just a couple bucks.  Personally...I'd avoid Bourbon Street (other than to go to Preservation Hall), but again, when in Rome.  Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2015, 11:31:26 AM »
Get breakfast at the Clover Grill.

Mexican food and margaritas - El Gato Negro.


CheapskateWife

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2015, 11:44:07 AM »
If you go to CDM, make sure you empty your bladder offsite.  And bring wetwipes....the powdered sugar is insane and coats everything like dust.  Also has a tendency to make it look like you are having way too much fun on vacation...


Bateaux

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2015, 03:54:03 PM »
Go on Facebook and look up Nola Social Ride.  It's the largest bike friendly group.  Free group rides all wsek to great locations.   Ask any questions New Orleans and you're going to get the right answer.  I ride with them about once a week.   Rent bikes and leve the car if you have one parked.

Bateaux

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2015, 04:02:47 PM »
New Orleans museum of art is free every Wednesday.   City park right nearby as well has tons of free concerts.

CopperTex

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2015, 06:06:05 PM »
NOLA cemeteries are one of a kind and free to walk around in. Go to either St. Louis cemetery. If you want to get out of the hustle and bustle, Barataria preserve is great, as is the 2 mile walking path around Audubon park. And as everyone else mentioned, be sure to get beignets at the original Cafe Du Monde in the Quarter :) If you have children, the zoo, aquarium, insectarium, and City park storyland are all great. Enjoy your trip!

GreenSheep

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2015, 11:15:20 PM »
Bourbon Street is tacky and loud and obnoxious, but it's supposed to be that way, and you cannot go to New Orleans without at least strolling down it, both day and night.

Frenchmen Street has been overrun by tourists. It's not as insane as Bourbon St., but it's not what it was pre-Katrina. Still worth checking out, though.

MrsPete

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2015, 03:16:18 PM »
I know I'm in the minority -- maybe even by myself completely here -- but I didn't like New Orleans.  It was dirty, loud, smelly, crowded, overpriced.  It's one of the few places to which I wouldn't return, even if the trip were free. 

However, nothing's all bad:  The group speaks the truth about Cafe du Monde. 
The plantations outside of the city are worth seeing.
Yes, old plantations are fascinating. 
We plan to rent a car for a day to see stuff outside the city too.
Renting a car just for a day is a good plan because it means you won't have to pay to park.  I think our hotel charged something like $35/day to park. 

kittenstache

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2015, 05:49:02 PM »
Hit the Central Grocery for a muffaletta. Make sure you're good and hungry! The full size sandwich is a generous meal for 2. I think they are closed on Sundays.

BigEasy

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2015, 06:48:48 PM »
OK, here we go...

We live here....so I feel I must add some security advice.

NOLA is a wonderful city, but there are some areas that are very dangerous. We avoid walking the French Quarter at night. Take Uber cabs after dark, and be back in your hotel before midnight.

We take out of town guests on their obligatory Bourbon Street tour during the day only. If you head to Frenchmen St. for music, take a cab to get there and back. The music on Bourbon St. With the exception of Preservation Hall, is DJ's and cover bands.

The Uptown Area along Magazine St. Is generally safe during the day, but at night, can be dangerous. There have been some some recent armed robberies of several entire restaurants, patrons and all.

The New Orleans Police Department has a staffing crisis and is supplemented by Louisiana State Troopers. So law enforcement is highly suspect.

So, the bottom line is to enjoy the attractions others have mentioned, but to keep your head about you. We are so sad what has happened to our beautiful city...none of this was caused by Katrina.

Big Easy

SuperSecretName

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2015, 07:05:59 PM »
Frenchman street at night for great music

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2015, 11:35:07 AM »
OK, here we go...

We live here....so I feel I must add some security advice.

NOLA is a wonderful city, but there are some areas that are very dangerous. We avoid walking the French Quarter at night. Take Uber cabs after dark, and be back in your hotel before midnight.

We take out of town guests on their obligatory Bourbon Street tour during the day only. If you head to Frenchmen St. for music, take a cab to get there and back. The music on Bourbon St. With the exception of Preservation Hall, is DJ's and cover bands.

The Uptown Area along Magazine St. Is generally safe during the day, but at night, can be dangerous. There have been some some recent armed robberies of several entire restaurants, patrons and all.

The New Orleans Police Department has a staffing crisis and is supplemented by Louisiana State Troopers. So law enforcement is highly suspect.

So, the bottom line is to enjoy the attractions others have mentioned, but to keep your head about you. We are so sad what has happened to our beautiful city...none of this was caused by Katrina.

Big Easy

I carried a gun while I was there and thought momentarily I was going to have to draw it one night.  One guy started trailing my wife and I.  He makes a signal to a guy across the street and ahead of us who crosses over, walks past us, joins, the other guy, and then turns and starts following so that there are two of them now following us.  They close the distance pretty quickly between us. 

I ask my wife, "Did you see?"  She nods, lets go of my arm and moves herself about three feet away.

At this point, they are almost within arms reach and speeding up.

As my wife creates distance, I slowed my walk, stopped, began to pivot around while reaching for my gun under my jacket.  To be perfectly honest, I intended at this point only to offer a loud challenge and be ready to draw.  I never got the chance to open my mouth.  They immediately turned around and fled the other direction.  I think my wife moving away from me gave them a clue.

With respect to the shortage of police officers, however, I am a little surprised you did not mention all the off duty city police officers working. They are everywhere on golf carts with blue flashing lights.  They are privately funded, a private police force made up of off duty New Orleans PD.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/magazine/who-runs-the-streets-of-new-orleans.html?_r=0

I certainly did not get the feeling that the area lacked police presence.  The city is dangerous for other reasons.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 11:39:12 AM by Malum Prohibitum »

OmahaSteph

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2015, 01:49:44 PM »
I don't think anyone specifically mentioned it, but just strolling through the French Market on Decatur is fun (as long as you keep your wallet tucked away).

I believe St. Louis Cathedral also has a candlelight ceremony in Jackson Square, and I happened to be there once during a choir rehearsal -- AH-MAZING.

Here's their schedule (cool to experience even if you're not religious): http://www.stlouiscathedral.org/calendar

domo

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Re: 3 days in New Orleans .. what to do?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2015, 02:28:08 PM »
Don't rent a car! I haven't had a car in 8 years. Everywhere you want to go has no parking, construction is rampant, and traffic is terrible. You can take a streetcar to City Park, the Zoo, the Garden District, Oak Street, anywhere you want to go. A car would be a complete waste of money. Parking is either non-existent or expensive. God help you if you get towed. The impound lot is under the interstate, and sketchy as hell.