New Orleans- travel advice?

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4/16/2018 2:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/16/2018 2:37 PM

My family is thinking about a summer vacation trip with a stop in N'Orlins this year since my daughter is a music major and wants to go somewhere with a serious jazz scene.

There's five of us, the youngest being 14.

We'll likely have about 3-4 days there. Not really interested in doing regular touristy stuff like carriage rides and bus tours through the french quarter. But would like to see some of the more interesting local sites and take in some of the culture.

Any advice from those who know?

Finally, will Aaron Plessinger be there?

Thanks.

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4/20/2018 8:49 PM

I've been in or around New Orleans the last 8 months working at the NASA Michoud facility. The French Quarter and immediate surrounding communities are the only "touristy" parts. Stray too far and you'll end up in the 9th Ward or equally unwelcoming area. Most of New Orleans is poor and it's not an amazing idea to go around on foot beyond the obvious spots. Directly north of NO is Metairie where the money lives. That's a nice around to drive around, huge new mall called Lakeside.

Things to see that aren't on the normal tours.. umm New Orleans East is like a time capsule from 2006 and Katrina. Run down, still half flooded. The abandon 6 Flags is a sight. Traveling up 90 around the edge of NO East is cool. Tons of houses on stilts and travel through the bayou. Really gives you a sense of rich versus the poor because you have some amazing weekend getaways put 30 feet in the air on stilts surrounded by people who live in tents on their lots.

If you head in the opposite direction (west out of NO on 10) you go over the spillway. It's wild because the area isn't always flooded. It's like they released a mass of water into open fields with trees and fences still standing. Continuing that way it's worth your time to see the Houmas House plantation and surrounding area. It's a big spot for Shell and chemical processing. Take 44 off I-10 and to at least 70. Tons of money in the area and heavy industry. It's a massive coal export area. The only half ass moto track is in this area too. If you bring the bike look up Z-Mans MX.

If you're into space at all 30 minutes from NO is the NASA Infinity center just across the state line in MS. Another 30 minutes east of that is the Bay of St Louis, which is an awesome beach front drive. Not quite Coco Beach in Florida but it's as nice as the Gulf can offer.

Beyond that just take in the local sites, thats what they're for. Have some beignets from either Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet, eat breakfast at Brennen's, take the steam boat buffet trip, visit the WWII museum, of course the above ground cemeteries are cool. But don't breath too deep, that rank smell is piss on the sidewalks.

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4/23/2018 8:37 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/23/2018 8:41 AM

Civil war museum at Lee circle is pretty darn impressive too... commander's palace for good food (pricey) Harbor seafood/oysterbar in kenner(not far from airport and very reasonable)...the French Market is a must see also, close to Cafe dumond. .take the boat ferry from the casino down to the zoo, it's a cool trip and cheap.
And....as mentioned above....don't stray too far off main roads....it can get SUPER SKETCHY AND DANGEROUS....no lie..

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4/23/2018 9:36 AM

Thanks for that. Not much feedback happening from those who've read the original post.

As far as a music scene goes, we've visited towns like Memphis/Nashville, where there's music everywhere- cafes, street performers, formal venues, etc. Can we expect to catch similar in the French Quarter?

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4/23/2018 10:22 AM

If you have 3 or 4 days, go somewhere else. That's the best advice you will get.

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4/23/2018 1:50 PM

Hman144 wrote:

Thanks for that. Not much feedback happening from those who've read the original post.

As far as a music scene goes, we've visited towns like Memphis/Nashville, where there's music everywhere- cafes, street performers, formal venues, etc. Can we expect to catch similar in the French Quarter?

Lots of zydeco music in the Quarter, but for sure there are bands in a lot of the bars at night...be prepared for a minimum 5 buck charge to get into anybar, and to use bathrooms. Beers and drinks are pricey, seems like 5-8 bucks for beer down there.. Louis Armstrong park may have some music going on, and there will be artists and tarot readers down by St. Louis Cathedral. Maries La Veaux has a voodoo store in the quarter. I also recommend Pat Obriens, for a Hurricane and alligator tail bites and oysters.. felix's oyster bar is on a corner, across the street from acme oyster house and is way cheaper. And...of course you will have the street performers/acrobats. I lived there 3 years, it is a tourist trap for sure, but fun if u are just visiting

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4/23/2018 1:53 PM

TXDirt wrote:

If you have 3 or 4 days, go somewhere else. That's the best advice you will get.

I agree.... but I'm jaded after 3 years there..pinch

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4/23/2018 1:59 PM

Razoo's seemed to be a good place for live music and they have a cool fire/water fountain in the courtyard. Keep u r eyes open and wallet in front pocket, lots of shady folks down there....but can be lots of fun....if you see rainbow flags, you have gone too far down bourban street, that is the LGBLT section...just a heads up....

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4/23/2018 2:10 PM

Ride the streetcar down st. Charles ave...it's cheap and there are lots of restaurants and Tulane and loyola law is along the route. Camilla grill is a great stop for brekkie along the route, it usually has a line out the door tho... port of call in Faubourg Marigny is a good place to eat also...u can Google all the places I've mentioned and maybe find some good stuff....the aquarium is on the river too...

Hope you have a great time! cool

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4/23/2018 8:49 PM

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4/23/2018 8:51 PM

Do NOT venture a single block off the beaten path. Personally I'd drive to Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi area just an hour east.

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4/23/2018 9:09 PM

Go to Mothers restaurant for some real Nawlins food. Authentic New Orleans cuisine. Popular place , you may wait in line for a few during peak hours. No biggie, moves along quickly. We had a rental car, but turned it in. Cheaper / easier to uber to get around. Wife and I walked most places mentioned above. Never had any issues.

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4/24/2018 10:28 AM

Save money and time by revisiting the Nashville area, especially Franklin/Leiper's Fork. Fun, beautiful, and safe. Maybe check out Belmont? Plus their street corner musicians lay waste to those in NOLA.

If your craving Cajun, look no further than Papa Boudreaux's, south of Leiper's Fork and near The Trace. (http://www.papaboudreauxscajun.com/). It's better than 99% of what you will find in N'awlins.

As noted above, New Orleans has two zones: tourist, and criminal. While both elements have existed for many years, Katrina's aftershocks still reverberate, and it's reflected in the crime rates.

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"You can't resist the louder pull..."

4/24/2018 12:20 PM

There was only one time in my life when I actually thought I may die before I get back to our room, and that was in New Orleans.

Stayed at a nice B&B in rye Garden District and listened to the owner say we can walk to catch the trolley/bus and go downtown to Bourbon Street, French Quarter etc.
On our way home that night we encountered some scary individuals and could not get to our residence fast enough.

Bourbon street smelled like a mix of liquor and vomit. Highly suggest steering clear of that shithole. French Quarter was worth seeing but very touristy. We did not know our way around and really feel like we missed out on the good places for music. Seems like the only places we were directed was where they wanted us tourist to go to.

Saw some interesting areas where you could see the flood line above well our heads that were still there a few years ago....creepy.

I do want to go back someday with better guidance on what to see. It is a interesting place but I would not want to be there more than a couple days/nights. Seemed pretty trashy from my first impression

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4/24/2018 4:48 PM

Listen to these folks. NO is a dirty nasty place. Even the "tourist" areas are trashy and piss filled. No place to take the family and just "roam" around. Too bad the cool stuff is floating in a toilet.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

4/25/2018 11:20 AM

I have been in NOLA for last year and you learn to make the best of it. Food is fantastic from Fancy places like Commanders Palace to cheap by the pound Cajun food (Such as Salvo's). Magazine Street on the Tulane end is probably the one of safe areas to travel. It's a mix of money and college kids. For music, check out French Men Street. The cover is usually a drink. After around 5pm do not, i repeat, do not venture down bourbon with children. The "crazies" are out. Jackson Square is pretty cool and family friendly. If your family is into War history, the WWII museum is fantastic and there are some fantastic eateries around it. Use uber or spot hero. Parking is $$$ on the tourist lots.

Oh and steer clear of the Pat O' Brian's and their pure sugar/premix Hurricanes. It's a novelty drink that tastes like shit. The smaller local bars on Frenchmen St. make real hurricanes with good liquor, but if you can handle real drinks, check out the carousel bar in Hotel Montelone for some true New Orleans cocktails such as the Sazerac or Vieux Carre.

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