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First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

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Baltimore, Maryland
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First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

My husband and I are going to NOLA in November the weekend before Thanksgiving. We will be there Sat morning to Mon night- ending with the football game at the Stadium Monday night.

Can someone please recommend the best spots to hit during the stay. We are both 30 this year and we like going/seeing/doings things that the city is known for.

I will also take recommendations for which hotels to stay at. Prefer the one that is closer to all "main spots".

Any recommendation will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Bhumi

College Station...
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1. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

I have found Omni Royal Orleans to have the most central location for the typical New Orleans visitor. However, the French Quarter and immediately adjoining areas make up a relatively small area, allowing for some flexibility in hotel location. For "closer to all main spots," my hotel location preference would be within the area bounded by Decatur St., Iberville St., Dauphine St. and St. Ann St., or fronting onto one of those boundaries.

College Station...
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2. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

Reputable hotels within the area I defined would include Dauphine Orleans, Prince Conti, Hotel St. Marie, Hotel Mazarin, Hotel Le Marais, Omni Royal Orleans, Bourbon Orleans, Hotel Monteleone, Royal Sonesta, Bienville House, Place d'Armes, French Market Inn, and W French Quarter. If you furnish us with more criteria, we can probably narrow that down some.

Moncton, Canada
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3. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

I wouldn't make to many specific plans. The FQ on the week-end is a great spot, starting 1st thing in the am. There's just a great "feeling" on Saturday and Sunday, especially during the day.

There's great music to be found on Bourbon St and on Frenchmen St, in the Marigny. The crowd is bigger on Frenchmen later on in the evening. There's also an evening art market which is not bad.

For souvenir shopping, the French Market is your best bet. Overall, it's the cheapest place to buy the "typical" souvenir" shot glasses, t.shirts, pot holders, alligator heads, etc.

As for where to stay, definitely in the Quarter.

Moncton, Canada
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4. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

Also, a carriage when you 1st arrive would give you a "lay of the land" kinda thing. As for great music on Bourbon, check out the following: Krazy Korner, Maison Bourbon, Tropical Isle, Pat O'Brien's piano bar (this is really fun, the audience really gets into it), Tropical Isle's Bayou Club.

New Orleans...
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5. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

Hey there! I am a NOLA resident (25-30y.o.) and there are definitely many thing to do around these parts. Hotel-wise my suggestions would be a larger chain such as the Sheraton, Doubletree, Hilton etc. They are all located on the same strip. The smaller boutiques do have a tendency to be less "fresh". Those hotels are all within walking distance of each other on Canal Street and that also puts you in walking distance of the famous french quarter.

In the french quarters you can enjoy the club scene, dine as well as get some NOLA history. Those options may be a starting point for you.

Specific things to do and places to go that are traditionally NOLA:

Try some charbroiled oysters at ACME Oyster House - near Bourbon St.

Get a bloody Mary from Pat O'Briens - near Bourbon St.

Get a hand grenade from Tropical Isle on Bourbon Street

Enjoy the many clubs on Bourbon Street usually free of cover

Get some Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Good Fine Dining Restaurants -

Dickie Brennan's

Galatoires

Muriels

Activities -

walking the French Quarters

cruise the steamboat Natchez

enjoy the new outlet shops at the riverwalk

the aquarium

the imax theatre

Canal Place Shopping (high end)

catch a movie at the theatres inside of canal place

Lakeside Shopping mall

enjoy a walk on the river

Harrahs casino - many restaurants inside

Tour Mardi Gras World

Cemetary Tour

New Orleans Walking Tour

These are just a few options that most people, tourists and locals, do regularly. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

To capture the true New Orleans feel you would need to experience the boutique hotels and not the type you find in any city and porelly and loopwhole made some good suggestions. Check out some trip reports and use the search feature and you will find a wealth of information.

New Orleans...
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7. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

you have tremendous advice above...book a hotel you are comfortable with, whether it be chain or boutique, wander and explore, eat and drink, experience NOLA as its like no other, have a blast!!

Birmingham, AL
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8. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

I'm a fan of the "less fresh" boutique hotels. They fit more with the feeling of New Orleans which I love. Muriels is a great suggestion for a meal or even just a drink enjoyed from their balcony overlooking Jackson Sq. M.S. Rau on Royal St. is an antique store like no other. Take the St. Charles streetcar, try the Gator on a stick from the French Market.

Keep plans to a minimum and just enjoy exploring the French Quarter; although I Do agree with Porelly that you should definitely check out Frenchmen St. one night.

I also highly recommend the Sculpture Garden in City Park. It's free and it's in a beautiful setting of live oaks and Spanish moss. Get there via the Canal/City Park streetcar.

New Orleans...
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9. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

I have lived in New Orleans my entire life, I do believe I am familiar with what the true New Orleans is about and that has nothing to do with raggedy, overpriced boutique hotels. The service is usually crappy with little to no amenities. The more modern hotels such as Hotel Mazarin are not traditional and are staged like Miami hotels rather than New Orleans. For me when traveling, cleanliness and comfort are very important, I understand these may not be important to many other people, but, this is my NATIVE opinion. Also because we are close in age unlike many of the other posters.

There are many larger chain hotels that offer world class customer service with New Orleans flair. Two in particular, the four points by sheraton which is located on bourbon street and the Courtyard Marriott, located inside the Ritz Carlton. I wish you all the best Bhumi, I agree with the poster that said read the reviews. New Orleans is like no other.

Mississippi
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10. Re: First Visit to New Orleans, LA- Please recommend "To-Do"

It's been awhile, but I loved Court of Two Sisters Restaurant, especially for brunch. Brennan's for breakfast or their bananas foster dessert. Definitely go to Pat O'Brien's for drinks.