Things to Do In New Orleans
New Orleans Travel Guide
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Haunted New Orleans
by Tripfilms member TravelBugRobert
Get Your Bearings in New Orleans
Where to Stay
One of the perks of the New Orleans hotel choice is no matter where you stay, you are a close walk or streetcar ride away from mostly everything. This allows you to focus on amenities, room size, value, etc. For party lovers, check out the options right on Bourbon Street with access to balconies and courtyard pools. A gambler? Look more towards the hotels at the Mississippi River end of Poydras, putting you next to Harrah's Casino. If you plan to do a lot of eating and shopping, the hotels in the Warehouse district should be checked in to.
Avoid: Bourbon Street hotels, if traveling with children.
Take It or Leave It: Though the downtown hotels seem pricier compared to the city fringe options, you will make up that difference in cab fare. Pony up and stay downtown.
What to Eat
In this city known for its amazing food, there are bountiful palate-pleasing options sprinkled all over. For brunch and shopping, Magazine Street offers many great options. The French Quarter has plenty of spots for freshly-shucked oysters and loaded seafood po'boys that won't break the bank. Ride the St. Charles streetcar Uptown to Oak Street for your evening meal. There, you will dine in a neighborhood that resembles vintage New Orleans, with great sushi, BBQ and Creole restaurants.
Take It or Leave It: Cooter Brown's on the Riverbend may serve the tastiest oysters in the city.
Be Sure to Sample: Crawfish boil (many restaurants will host these on certain nights of the week when the crawdad is in season).
Things to See
New Orleans is known for its adult-pleasing attractions, but also has plenty for the family as well. If you are traveling with youngsters, the city has two great parks to explore, plus the world-renowned Audubon attractions (zoo, aquarium and insectarium). Spending an afternoon in the Garden District gazing at the beautiful estates and brushing up on your local history will have you feeling like a native. Sports fans will need to keep an eye on the NFL schedule to see if the Saints are in town during their trip.
Take It or Leave It: To save some money, try one of the Garden District walking tours available through your smartphone.
Hot Tips: Want your child to remember New Orleans? Get them a "Backstage Penguin Pass" at the Audubon Aquarium.
Places to Party
You've undoubtedly heard crazy epics about Bourbon Street, and without question it needs to be visited during your stay. The endless strip of clubs, bars and restaurants will leave your head spinning. It is recommended to also experience the Frenchmen Street/Marginy neighborhood, which offers more of a local vibe. It's a great place to check out local theater, dance clubs and exotic music. The best acts in local music cycle through the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak.
Avoid: Buying beers inside Bourbon Street bars; buy them outside and bring them inside.
Take It or Leave It: Though you may be tempted to see a popular national touring act while in New Orleans, you can often find a more talented performer playing for free somewhere in the city.
Where to Shop
Boutiques, galleries and local artisan street vendors are in mass quantity in this city. For luxury shopping with a European aura, head to Royal Street. Find a local treasure in a Magazine Street shotgun style art gallery or vintage clothing boutique. The French Market is worth perusing as well; scores of tables filled with handmade crafts and trinkets (good place to find Mardi Gras masks).
Avoid: The touristy t-shirt and nostalgia shops that line Canal and Decatur; you didn't come here to buy junk you can get at the airport.
Best Local Souvenir: A toss-up between an authentic handmade voodoo doll or a Mardi Gras mask.
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New Orleans Is Known for...
Five of New Orleans's most unique features and characteristics.Festivals
It should come as no surprise that the host city of Mardi Gras is famous for its festivals. The Carnival season, which begins on January 6 and culminates on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras day), is easily the biggest draw for visitors where festivals are concerned, but the Big Easy has a host of other events throughout the year. In April, the Jazz and Heritage Festival (more commonly known as Jazz Fest) offers a great mix of big headliners and local musicians, while March's Road Food Festival features beignet-eating contests and the world's longest Po'boys.Food
The indigenous cuisine of New Orleans, made up mostly of Louisiana Creole, is comprised of some of the most diverse, unique, and easily recognizable flavors in the world. Whether you're sipping a chicory cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde while indulging in a few beignets or ordering up the original muffuletta sandwich at the world-famous Central Grocery, you're sure to understand this city's love affair with food and embark on one of your own. Other must-try dishes for a visit to New Orleans include jambalaya, red beans and rice, Creole bread pudding, Po'boy sandwiches, and anything with crawfish. It's worth noting that although New Orleans is widely...
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