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New Orleans - any last minute suggestions?

DaveNW

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It's getting close to crunch time. We're leaving in a few days for New Orleans, and our stay at Avenue Plaza. We're deliberately not overplanning things, and will be taking it slow, seeking out on-the-day activities, depending on time of day, weather, and our energy level.

The only 3 things we have formally planned are:

1. A drive to see the Plantations, specifically Oak Alley, and probably Laura plantations. Are there other specific plantations or parks/gardens to see, particularly scenic gems that would make great photos? (Yes, I have Richard's great post with the plantations listed - but is one better than another?) We're driving ourselves in a rental car. We have most of a second day unplanned with the car, turning it in late in the afternoon in the city, if there is a great scenic drive someone can recommend?

2. We'll have the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tickets for three days after that, so we can explore the city some, during which we plan to see the Mardi Gras Museum. I'm interested in things to do at stops this bus makes. Anyone have recommendations?

3. We're taking the Creole Queen riverboat brunch cruise, which stops at the New Orleans Battlefield site.

The rest of our time is wide open. I know about the WW II Museum. Are there any other museums that are considered must-sees? We plan to do a walking tour of the Garden District and French Quarter, included with the bus tickets we purchased. Are they worth it, or are we better off arranging a scheduled tour?

So you experienced NoLa visitors, any last minute advice?

Looking forward to this trip. It's been a long, cold Winter, and this is our first getaway of the year.

Dave
 

slip

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Don’t bother ordering a half dozen oysters, always order a full dozen. :)
 

Sandy VDH

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WWII Museum is great if you have any interest. I see it on your post. But go, it was a really interesting visit.
 

Passepartout

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Weigh yourself before you go so that when you get back home, you'll have an idea how long you have to starve yourself to erase the damage. :)
 

amycurl

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We'll be at Avenue Plaza at the beginning of next month, celebrating my in-laws 50th anniversary (it's the city where they met, and were still living when my spouse was born.) There will be 9 of us total, with three kids, aged 12, 8, and 5. I reached out to a chef friend of mine, who is a NOLA native, and got some of his recommendations for dinner, which I thought I would pass along. My criteria were not-too-spendy, kid-friendly, and vegetarian-friendly (my f-i-l is a pescatarian.)

Irene‘s Cuisine
Napoleon House
Domenica

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip, esp. any insider info about AP that we should know about, or places within walking distance we should be sure to check out. :)
 

DaveNW

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WWII Museum is great if you have any interest. I see it on your post. But go, it was a really interesting visit.
We've talked about it. And not to sound disrespectful to anyone, but it's a back-burner thing for us. We've already seen quite a lot about WW II previously, in multiple trips to Hawaii and Washington DC. I spent 20 years in the military, starting around the end of Viet Nam. This trip is our first to the New Orleans area, deliberately planned to experience New Orleans, Cajun food, and southern culture. I know the WW II museum is extraordinary, and it's one of the things we'll save for "on-the-day." (Hope that doesn't sound petty. I really don't mean it that way.)

Dave
 

DaveNW

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We'll be at Avenue Plaza at the beginning of next month, celebrating my in-laws 50th anniversary (it's the city where they met, and were still living when my spouse was born.) There will be 9 of us total, with three kids, aged 12, 8, and 5. I reached out to a chef friend of mine, who is a NOLA native, and got some of his recommendations for dinner, which I thought I would pass along. My criteria were not-too-spendy, kid-friendly, and vegetarian-friendly (my f-i-l is a pescatarian.)

Irene‘s Cuisine
Napoleon House
Domenica

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip, esp. any insider info about AP that we should know about, or places within walking distance we should be sure to check out. :)
Thanks, Amy. I'll add those restaurants to the list. I'm already planning to stop at Cafe du Monde for peignets, and probably someplace like Pat O'Brien's to drink a Hurricane. There are so many choices for food and drinks in New Orleans, it's pretty overwhelming. I'm hoping the concierge at Avenue Plaza will have some close recommendations for affordable eats. Luckily, we like seafood and spicy stuff. I figure we won't starve. (Thanks, Jim! I'm taking pants with elastic waistbands. LOL!)

Dave
 

geist1223

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Red Fish on Bourbon Street. Order 2 dozen of the grilled oysters. Have the chocolate bread pudding for desert. Patti and I usually share 1. Deanie's Sea Food Kitchen at Magazine and Jackson. You can walk there from the Plaza. Two Sisters Courtyard Brunch. Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street for music. Does not have food. Get there early and avoid cover charge and get one of the few tables.
 

PamMo

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For an easy dinner from Avenue Plaza, take the street car over to Superior Seafood for Happy Hour! We had a reservation, but decided to sit in the bar for a fun evening of people watching and enjoying the $.50 fresh oysters, and a frozen mojito - or two. We got there at 4PM on a weeknight, and it was packed by 4:30!

https://www.superiorseafoodnola.com/about-superior-seafood.html
 

louisianab

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Commanders Palace lunch during the week also has (had?) 25 cent drinks, limit of 3.
 

zzcn69

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On plantations, I recommend Houmas House. It is privately owned, and house is truly spectacular. Has beautiful gardens and a really good restaurant. I really think the hop on- hop off bus in NO is a waste of time and money. Most sites in NO are easily reached by streetcars (One stops right outside Avenue Plaza, and once downtown, sites are easily walkable. For over 65 folks, the bus/streetcar fare is just 40 cents. There are several historic homes in the Quarter which are very good. There's a weekly magazine that's free at the front desk that lists all the homes in the Quarter. Most museums are usually closed on Monday (except WWII). There are 2 museums on either side of the Cathedral on Jackson Square. The 1850's house is on Jackson Square which shows how the Pontalba Apts. were set up at that time. To me, NO is just a great city to wander around exploring and people watching.
 

geist1223

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We find HOPONHOPOFF to be helpful during a first visit to a large city. It helps us get oriented and identify places to return to see. During our first trip to NOLA 4.5 years ago we were gifted 2 days on 3 day tickets. On our second trip 6 months ago we primarily used feet and street cars. When we moved from Avenue Plaza to Frenchmen Street we used street Car.
 

DaveNW

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Thanks. We’ll do what we can, and enjoy every bit of it. The Hop On Hop Off bus was intended to help us get our bearings, and see how far away things are. Spouse has neuropathy foot issues, so we try to avoid needless walking, especially on uneven pavement.

We do plan to visit Houmas House, and Oak Alley, if only for the photo ops. Depending on time and weather, we may tour others. We’ll have a rental car for two days. Still looking for scenic drive ideas for the second day, if anybody has suggestions.

Dave
 

Bailey#1

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Go to Frenchmen Street for good music! Starts in the afternoon.
 

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If you get a chance when you're in the French Quarter, check out Kiel's Antiques on Royal Street and say Hi to Maggie, a wonderful lady who works behind the counter. http://www.keilsantiques.com/
 

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