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First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

Toronto, Canada
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First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

My second post - the lower lights of our visit to NOLA. Not to be disparaging - just wanted to share some opinions in case one has to prioritise their activities for a first visit!

Food:

- I had high expectations for the Praline Connection restaurant on Frenchman. The description was great, the reviews were fantastic - I didn't think it was so hot. Well, the food was not hot at least - very cold and dried out. We were there at 8pm on a Sunday so maybe that was the problem, but everything tasted like it should have been served hours before. I would try it again tho to see if it was just bad timing.

Sights:

- Was SO disappointed in the Oak Alley Plantation. For the hour long drive out there, I expected more bang for the buck - but don't go there expecting to learn a darn thing about what went on on a plantation, what life was like, or a remote understanding of slavery. It's a canned presentation by what seemed to be a drama major from the college with little to no relevant information outside the house's lineage. Give it a miss. (Altho the grounds and house are lovely).

Nightlife:

- Oh to be a 21 year old amateur imbiber! As others have said, Bourbon St gets tired quickly and no one likes to play "dodge the vomit pile" for long periods of time. Having said that, if you walk down Bourbon long enough, you will find some greats spots (see highlight thread). And Pat O'Briens - while completely mad Fri-Sat - is awesome when you're not getting elbowed by greasy collegiates with hand grenade drinks!

Safety:

- This is in the lowlight section because it ruined my trip in some ways. There is so much bad publicity about safety in NOLA and not ONCE did I feel unsafe. As a tall plastic blonde, I tend to attract the icky element on occasion and not once did I feel threatened or in danger. Had I not been forewarned against it, I even would have gone to the cemetaries without a guide, or wandered out of the quarter alone. There is not an aura of danger. I will always take the advice on locals on how to be smart, but truly, not once did I worry.

So - not many lower lights - had a phenomenal time and can't wait to go back again in a couple of months.

Thanks for all the great advice I received on here and for everyone I met in NOLA - thank you for your generous spirit, your friendship, and sharing your beautiful city with us.

Gainesville, Georgia
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1. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

great trip report, now let me read the highlights, but i agree with you for the most part so far. nice beat, easy to dance to , i'll give it a 7.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

Sounds like you have fun! I have to agree with you about Oak Alley too, and I'm surprised they don't put in more history. Next time you're in town, you have to check out Nottoway Plantation. It's a little further out, but it's a fantastic plantation, and the tour definitely gives a good background and history.

And completely agree with your Bourbon comments - I'm glad you liked Pat O's!

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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3. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

I think that Oak Alley is beautiful, but you get a much better understanding of plantation life by visiting Laura Plantation. I agree, I have never felt unsafe at all in New Orleans. My husband and I have been to the cemetaries many times on our own (always in the day time of course).

Franklin...
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4. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

i don't get why safety is a low light if it wasn't a problem?

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

Thanks for the advice on the other plantations. I truly want to learn more about these places and am definitely going to check out the others when we go back. Probably will rent a car so we can hit them all. Would you believe we're already planning to go back in a few months!

I put safety as a low-light but it could also be a highlight. The negative was that everyone was saying how dangerous it was (actually even the concierge was telling us to cab it everywhere) and so that anxiety sat in the back of my head and was always there. The highlight is that it was unwarranted, so it goes in both columns.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

My last two meals at The Praline Connection were deeply disappointing. Hate saying that, because I used to love the place. I'm rooting for them, and hope they make a comeback.

Did you get to Napoleon House? Can't think of a more soothing antidote to Bourbon Street.

On your next visit, you'll have to venture Uptown! You'll find great bars and restaurants, beautiful neighborhoods, and a totally different vibe from the Quarter.

Oak Alley's setting is beautiful, but I second the vote for Laura Plantation if you want to learn something about plantation life.

Thank you so much for visiting, and for these great trip reports. Hurry back!

pensacola
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7. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

Visited NO three times last year and was most impressed. I am hooked with the city. Being a "boomer", I am not really interest in nightlife or fancy restaurants...been there and done that in an earlier times. NO has much to offer everyone.

Have found that the simple and relatively cheap things are quite rewarding...zoo, Art Museum, Magazine street shops, WWII museum, trolley ride to view city life, hidden shops in FQ.

Read and study history of area behorehand to give real fulfillment. You will probably know more than the quides! Education is a wonderful thing.

San Jose, California
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8. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

I had the same feelings about Oak Alley. We went on a tour of Oak Alley and Laura - we loved Laura plantation. We learned a lot there - about the family, the social system, slavery, and so forth.

Last year we went to San Francisco plantation, which was neat - not nearly as polished as Oak Alley, that is for sure. The guides were nice and chatty - they had a script, but were more than happy to answer all sorts of questions. They also have a couple slave homes behind the house, one that you can go into. And on the wall is an inventory list of slaves that had been on that plantation.

We also went to Houma House last year, which is very polished and well put-together, but not the superficial polish we saw at Oak Alley. The guides we talk to really seem to know their stuff.

Williamsport...
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9. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

We went to Praline Connection on our first visit to NO in Jan. ....I believe it was a Wed or Thurs lunch time. If I knew how to post a picture I would as my daughter took a picture of our 1/2 sampler platter of which we left a huge portion behind because the three of us were stuffed!!!

It was HOT, plentiful, and delicious......

AND she has made arrangements for her bridal guests to eat there when we return for their wedding in MAY...

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10. Re: First trip to NOLA - The Low-ish-lights

Gee, I really enjoyed Oak Alley, but then I really also enjoyed the extremely good Mint Julips on the front porch on a hot day. We loved it and found it just plain wonderful, but then everyone's different.