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Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

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Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Flying into NO 9/22 for a college football game a few hours drive away. Will have from about noon-3 pm in NO on 9/22 and all day on Sunday 9/23. This is our first visit and there are so many wonderful things to do and so little time! I'd love to do a cemetary tour or something similar, walk around the French Quarter, and try some awesome food. Husband wants to go to the Saints game, so we might even part ways for the afternoon. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. From what I've read, Sunday brunch buffets are not held in high regard down there, but any suggestions for a good one are welcome.

Seattle, WA
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1. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Boy that's tough. But here's my picks (no particular order) :

Metairie Cemetery--will blow your mind.

Napoleon House for a Pimms Cup

Jazz-- Snug Harbor on Frenchmen and Irvin Mayfield at Royal Senesta

Cabildo--TONS of history. LA Purchase signed upstairs

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop--Awesome Bloody Marys; Voodoo Dacquiri

Jackson Square / Cathedral

Confederate Civil War Museum

Cafe Du Monde for breakfast

Central Grocery Muffaletta--good but overrated imho

Bombay Club--fabulous drinks

Coops Place--for jambalaya

Cochon--wood fired oysters

Clancy's--softshell crab


That should get you started :-)

Moncton, Canada
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2. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

French Quarter, no doubt.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Frenchmen Saturday evening, TONS of great things to eat drink and listen to. Wander the Garden District in the morning Sunday, then St. Chuck street car to wander the Quarter in the evening. So much to see and do that to be more specific would just be a tease. Enjoy your time here!

Blenheim, Canada
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4. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

I'm with porelly on this one coz there are a lot of unanswered questions. Your arrival time. You're flying in but going to a game so you have to rent a car and check into a hotel. Which hotel? Noon to 3 pm gives you little time to do much of anything without looking at your watch.

All of Sunday...up at 6am? 9 am? What time do you leave? How much do you want to "pack in" to your time. Seriously, just enjoy the Quarter, let it lead you where IT wants you to go (yes, it has it's own personality that will do that to you!) and if you fall in love like the rest of us have, you'll be back for a longer well-planned trip!

Blenheim, Canada
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5. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

And if you want to see a cemetary St Louis #1 is almost right across the street from the Quarter. See that one instead and just wander the Quarter for the day that you are there. There is tons to see, tons to do, and tons to drink! Have fun!

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6. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

I'm not sure where you got the idea that Sunday brunch was not worth your while in New Orleans. Put "Sunday brunch" into the New Orleans "Search" box above and you will get lots of options. There are also "second lines" on most Sundays that are fun to watch and even participate in. You may need to start another thread for details or put "second line" into "Search".

Sundays are great in the French Quarter. There are normally lots of street musicians and other street performers. I will follow on with some more info about what to do in the FQ, plan on spending the day there and go slow and enjoy it.

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7. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Here are SOME of the "must dos" in the French Quarter alone:

-Visit Jackson Square and peruse the offerings of the artists and craftsmen there.

-Stop often and listen to the street musicians and observe the street performers.  BE SURE TO TIP THEM IF YOU LIKE THEIR PERFORMANCE. ( For that reason, be sure to bring a bunch of dollar bills, and fives too.)

-Go into the beautiful old St Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square. Again, BE SURE TO LEAVE AN OFFERING to show your appreciation.

-Visit the French Market to peruse the Flea Market and theFarmer's Market and the associated restaurants and shops.

-Take a buggy ride from Jackson Square around the Quarter to get narrated history lesson.

-Eat a beignet at Cafe Du Monde.

-Eat a po'boy sandwich or some crawfish or alligator on a stick.

-Drink a Hurricane in the courtyard at Pat O'Briens.

-Take a walk along the Mississippi levee.

-Take a FREE ride on the Algiers Ferry to get a great view of tje Quarter from the river.

-Peruse the art galleries on Royal Street.

-At nite, either watch or particpate in the spirit of bacchanalia onBourbon Street.

-As an alternative at nite, walk over to Frenchman Street to the jazz clubs.

-EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT at many of the dozens of superb dining establishments in the Quarter.

And this list has only touched on SOME of the highlights.  Others will, I'm sure, add to this list.

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8. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Here's a list of 50 free things to do to get you started. Enjoy your visit.



College Station...
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for New Orleans
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9. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Although Sunday brunch BUFFETS, and buffets in general, are not held in particularly high regard in NOLA, Sunday brunches are very popular, see:


However, the Sunday brunch buffet at Begue’s in the Royal Sonesta does have its followers, see:


And although the food is not given particulaly high marks, the atmosphere for the buffet brunch at Court of Two Sisters does score well.

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10. Re: Only 1 full day - what MUST I do?

Since time is so limited, I would concentrate on the Garden District and FrQtr, but don't try to do everything this trip. More than anything else, the real charm of New Orleans is a feeling that comes over you, and captivates-- so don't worry, you will be back!

Go first to Jackson Square, peek into the Cathedral, and then have lunch on Decatur St, at one of the open air places (not the best food in town, but still good local favorite dishes, and daily music and patio dining-- perfect for people-watching, which is key here). Then breeze through the French Market but, on such a tight schedule, I wouldn't bother with the Flea Market part which is in the back, and mostly full of junky, imported souvenir-type stuff. (Exception: The Candle Lady.)

Grab an Ice Cream Daquiri at "The Gazebo," and take it up to the Moonwalk promenade for a stroll along the Mississippi River, where you can watch the boats go by. By now it should be close to 3pm, your cutoff time for Saturday.

On Sunday, I strongly recommend you spring for the brunch at the "Court of Two Sisters". Their beautiful courtyard oozes NOLA charm, which can't be overdone in just 2 days. Food is good (again, maybe not the best in town, but certainly tasty, and a bit of everything you might want to sample without running all over town to do it-- sweet potato salad out of this world!). Cost is about what you would expect for such a feast-- and you won't need to eat again until dinner time after such bounty.

Next, look in on the nearby Presbytere, to the right of the Cathedral as you face it, and check out the Mardi Gras and Katrina exhibits. The former is light-hearted, but informative-- especially the section on rural celebrations; and a good intro to the "greatest free show on earth." The latter is more sobering, but helpful in understanding how NOLA has changed, and what current challenges remain. Personally, I wouldn't bother with the Cabildo at this point because there is a tremendous amount of history there (at least 2 hrs visit), and I wouldn't want to spend my only whole day in a museum.

In the afternoon, I would take the St Charles Ave Streetcar to Washington Ave, get off and head for Lafayette Cemetary. They may or may not be open; if so, stop in and look around. You can check with one of the tours in advance to see if they have a group scheduled, but I really don't think it's unsafe if you happen to be on your own by this time.

Afterwards walk down Washington Ave towards the river, checking out any of the interesting Garden District homes that grab your eye, as you go along. Turn right (NOT LEFT), when you come to Magazine St. There are shops, restaurants and bars all along here, and a nice little park at Napolean Ave. Magazine St is very popular with locals, and you can spend hours here, maybe stopping mid-afternoon for a drink and light snack (you won't be very hungry) at one of the sidewalk cafes.

If interested, you can also hop on the Magazine St bus outbound to Audobon Park and the Zoo, both of which are well worthwhile. The bus runs frequently, and when you have seen enough, you can catch it back inbound to Canal St on the edge of the FrQtr.

At the foot of Canal St, board the FREE Ferry to Algiers Pt, where you can stroll along the riverfront in the Jazz Legends Park (bike and fitness trail), taking in a view of the City from the West Bank. If you have time, the area immediately adjacent to the Ferry Station is an historic district of tree-lined streets and amazing buildings. Don't wander past Atlantic or Opelousas Aves here, and get back on the Ferry before dark.

In the evening, take the obligatory walk down Bourbon St, to Pat O'Brien's Courtyard for dinner and a Hurricane near their Fire and Water fountain. (I'm mad about their crawfish etoufee and the cajun shepherd's pie!) Get another "Hurricane to Geaux," and head down to Jackson Sq where you can hitch a ride on a Mule Cart to Frenchman St (should only charge about $8.00 for the lift-- not the whole tour).

Walk along Frenchman St until you hear music that appeals to you. If not too crowded-- frequently they are, but not so much on Sunday night-- duck inside; otherwise, just hang around on the street. Lots of people do that. Cabs run frequently to this area, so when you've heard enough, grab one back to Cafe du Monde, and for dessert chow down on beignets with cafe au lait. It should be about bedtime by then, but if you're determined to go on, either return to Bourbon St (Fritzel's or Maison Bourbon), or stop in the (more sedate) Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone for more music.

Have a great first visit to NOLA!