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Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

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San Jose, CA
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Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

Hi,

My friend has picked New Orleans for her birthday Girl's Trip early April 2014. My friends and I always pick a place for our birthdays (we went to Cabo for mine and Las Vegas for anothers, etc.). There will be 4 of us on this trip and none of us have been to New Orleans before. We are looking for help on best place to stay, best food places (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Any fun "not-to-miss" tours, clubs, etc. We are four 40 somethings who are spontaneous and fun. All ideas welcome! Thanks so much!!

AR
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1. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

A good start would be to read the Top Questions About New Orleans at the top right side of this page. Then I would go to neworleansonline.com for lists of hotels, restaurants, things to do, maps, tours, museums, coupons, etc. You can download/order a Visitor's Guide from that site. It is an excellent guide to get acquainted with New Orleans.

First time visitor's often stay in the French Quarter for convenience sake. It is very small, historic, fun, and has many of the "to do" things either there or within walking distance. If you decide to venture out, the tour companies with pick you up at your hotel, or you can take a streetcar, bus ($1.25 each way) or a pedicab or taxi (inexpensive). There are lots of music clubs on Bourbon and other places in the Quarter with excellent music, as well as, Frenchmen St. which is just a short distance away. Many of the nicer restaurants have lunch specials and drink specials for @$20 for a very nice 2-3 course meal. with drink specials, also....and there are always casual dinersfor burgers, po-boys, muffalettas, etc. Many of the clubs on Bourbon have a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 Happy Hour while the first band is playing. Unless you are partial to a particular kind of music, you can walk down the street and stop in the door/window, hear the band and decide if you want to go in or not. Many clubs will allow you to bring in your drink and finish it before buying another. Some will not. They will let you know when you enter. There are several outdoor cafes that have music as well...the Quarter is an 8 block X 12 block marvel! Ya'll will have a fine time.

Check the top questions, check the website and then post some specific questions for us . There will be one or two folks who will post lists of things you might want to do, as well. Plan on a great time.

San Jose, CA
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304 posts
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2. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

thank you SO much! This is very helpful. I will take a look at the Top Questions list. (hopefully those are answered by travelers and not owners :-)

I was looking at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, looked like it was in a good spot? We have heard that walking around can be quite dangerous so we want to stay in the French Quarter. If you had to pick one, which order would you put these hotels in (in order of preference):

Royal Sonesta, W Hotel, Roosevelt, Ritz Carlton? Any other good choices near French Quarter you would recommend?

Thanks, Sue

New Orleans...
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3. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

The city and especially the French Quarter are not nearly as dangerous as most people make them out to be, although you do want to be cautious as you would in any city. I think staying in the French Quarter is definitely best for your group, although I haven't stayed in any of the hotels you're considering. I've heard good things about the Monteleone.

As for tours, I would definitely pick up a carriage ($15 per person) in front of Jackson Square and do a tour that way. A ghost tour would also be a lot of fun in the Quarter--lots of good spooky stories there and fun after a few drinks :) I've done 3 cemeteries on my own but several tour companies do tours through them as well. I love them, they're very funky and very New Orleans.

I would check out Magazine St in the Garden District and Royal St in the French Quarter for shopping if any of you are big shoppers.

For a birthday meal Commander's Palace is supposed to be great and is very famous. Our favorite restaurants in the city are Katie's, Stanley (for breakfast) and Red Gravy but we also really like Desire Oyster Bar for lunch or dinner. We like Vacherie and Ruby Slipper Cafe for breakfast as well, and had a great lunch at Red Fish Grill.

Definitely check out music and clubs on Frenchmen St--we're hoping to try the restaurant Three Muses and clubs The Spotted Cat and Apple Barrel while we're there next trip.

Definitely drink at Pat O'Brien's and Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop. I also really enjoy Molly's at the Market (they have a bar cat named Mr. Wu) and the Carousel Bar inside the Monteleone looks great.

AR
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4. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

Of the hotels you mentioned, I would choose the Royal Sonesta...it is beautiful, very well located in the Quarter and has a great lounge with Jazz. Nothing wrong with the others you mentioned either...the Roosevelt is slightly out of the Quarter, the Ritz is on one corner of the Quarter, and the W on Chartres has a newish restaurant that is great...small plates and 25 cent martinis at lunchtime. When you go to neworleansonline.com, look at the Monteleone, the OMNI Royal, the Bourbon Orleans, as well as the Valentino Hotels...all in the Quarter and well located. Just FYI, if you do decide to do a birthday lunch at Commander's, they have specials from $15 up and 25 cent martinis, M-F.

Cajun and Zydeco Music: VoDoo Vibe, Krazy Korner, Bayou Club

Blues: Funky Pirate, Chris Owens, Gazebo Cafe, Balcony Music Club, Sing Sing

Jazz: Preservation Hall, Fritzel's, Cafe Beignet at Legends Park, Maision Bourbon, Irwin Mayfield's at Royal Sonesta, Davenport Lounge at Ritz, Palm Court Cafe

Rock: Club 544 (house band is great), Fatz Cats for Kevin and the Connection, Famous Door, the Beach,

Karoke: Razoo, Cats Meow....and there are many more clubs...these are just some of my favorite...all of them are in the Quarter and most of them are on Bourbon St.

San Jose, CA
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5. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

Thanks! What great information! I can't believe how many Clubs there are in the French Quarter! Are there really 25 cent martinis?? Wow!

My friend is looking into the Royal Sonesta. Hopefully the weather is nice in April so we could enjoy the pool as well. Looks like the Royal Sonesta has some nice suites that could fit 4 of us.

Starting my list and I will definitely include your list of Clubs and 25 cent martinis!

Sue

AR
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6. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

Yes, Commander's has 25 cent martinis for lunch M-F...SoBou on Chartres St. in the Quarter has small plates and 25 cent martinis at lunch, M-F (that's the restaurant in the W Hotel) . Cafe Adelaide's (just out of the Quarter, but within easy walking distance has lunch specials (@$16 and 25 cent martinis, M-F...Antoine's on St. Louis in the Quarter has a $20.13... 3 course lunch with 25 cent martinis, M-Sat. These are all VERY GOOD restaurants...3 limit on the martinis...unless you know the bartender well. Another good deal, just out of the Quarter, but within easy walking distance is the Happy Hour at Domenica...3:00-6:00 every day...1/2 price drinks, certain small plates and wonderful pizza. And you might also like Mr.B's at lunchtime...lunch specials and drink specials for @$1.50-3:00... Regarding clubs...all but 4 of the ones I mentioned are on Bourbon St. and there are several more that I don't visit for one reason or another... Not all of the good bands play every night, so you will have to pick and choose....You will not lack drink, food, music or fun. Keep us posted !

ILLINOIS
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7. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

Thank you skt for breaking it down for us and giving great information

8. Re: Celebrating friend's birthday. Where to stay, go, eat, etc?

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