my friends and i are bringing our younger siblings who are still in high school to new orleans for spring break on the first of april and i want to know what it is they will be able to do outside of the french quarter.
There is a common belief the French Quarter is an adults-only area but that isn’t true. The strip clubs on Bourbon Street (the first 5 blocks starting at Canal Street) have outdoor advetising that is very risque’, but the rest of the FQ is fine. The FQ is a neighborhood (about 90 blocks in size) and there are actually quite a few family-friendly things to do in the FQ and around New Orleans.
There are many tours offered and examples are:
Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival are world famous events, but New Orleans hosts many festivals and celebrations throughout the year: www.nola.com/festivals
The Saint Charles Streetcar is the oldest continuously operating street railway in the world and is a "tourist attraction" in its own right. It is part of the public transit system, as are the Canal Street and Riverfront streetcar lines: www.norta.com
Wander around the French Quarter, enjoy the architecture, watch the street entertainers (do tip), and visit some of the historic buildings that have been turned into museums (go to www.frenchquarter.com and click on Historic Attractions).
There are many tours, and an example is: http://www.graylineneworleans.com/
Assuming the weather is good, you can collect a sandwich lunch and eat in the riverfront park (watch the shipping) or in Jackson Square (a very nice park).
The Riverwalk shopping center has an air-conditioned food court with dining overlooking the river (www.riverwalkmarketplace.com). The Canal Place shopping center is in the French Quarter and has a cinema and higher-end shopping (Saks 5th Avenue, Brooks Brothers, etc.). Magazine Street is a miles-long shopping district: www.magazinestreet.com
Louisiana is the only US state that offers tax-free shopping for international visitors: http://www.louisianataxfree.com/
The lobby for the Westin Canal Place Hotel is on the 11th floor and overlooks the French Quarter. It is a great place for an afternoon drink/snack:(www.westin.com).
Preservation Hall has traditional live Jazz, and doesn’t serve alcohol so all ages are welcome: www.preservationhall.com
New Orleans has ballet, opera, a symphony orchestra, and theatre:
There is a free ferry across the Mississippi at the "foot" of Canal Street. It is a short trip but like a harbor cruise w/o a guide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/canal_street_ferry
The Aquarium, and Audubon Zoo are world-class attractions (www.auduboninstitute.org) and you should see them if you can. The Zoo is several miles from downtown. You can drive to the Zoo (which has free parking) or take public transit from the French Quarter.
The Louisiana State Museum is in the French Quarter: http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/ New Orleans is also home to a number of other museums, such as the National World War II Museum (www.ddaymuseum.org) and the New Orleans Museum of Art (www.noma.org). Both can be reached by public transit: The WWII museum is in the central business district but a long walk from the French Quarter. NOMA is not within walking distance of downtown but has free parking. Go to www.neworleansmuseums.com for info on more museums.
New Orleans City Park has a variety of attractions, including golf and an amusement park with rides and attractions for children + free parking.
Check www.frenchquarter.com and http://www.nola.com/visitor/ for ideas about other things to do.
A few restaurant suggestions:
Cafe du Monde is in the French Quarter and you shouldn’t miss having cafe au lait & beignets (www.cafedumonde.com). Another great coffee shop is the Croissant d’Or (at 615 Ursulines Street), which is open from 7:00am to 2:00pm and has food in addition to pastry.
The Palm Court restaurant is very nice, has moderate prices, and offers traditional live jazz starting at 8:00pm: 1204 Decatur Street, tel 504-525-0200 (reservations are important and they are not open every day). The Palm Court is closed from about July 25th to sometime in August each year.
Maximo’s Italian Grill has great food and atmosphere: 1117 Decatur Street in the French Quarter, (504) 586-8883.
All of the famous restaurants (Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Brennan’s, Commander’s Palace, etc.) have reopened. The Pelican Club (on Exchange Alley in the FQ) is not as well known but is the same type experience. Reservations are a good idea, and probably essential on weekends.
Tujaques Restaurant (823 Decatur Street) is very traditional and has moderate prices: www.tujaguesrestaurant.com
Cafe Degas is a very French restaurant near City Park at 3127 Esplanade – which is not within walking distance of downtown (5 to 10 minutes by taxi). They are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays (504-945-5635).
The Napoleon House restaurant is at 500 Chartres Street in the FQ, and has a menu of great local dishes: www.napoleonhouse.com
The weekly newspaper “Gambit” has a dining guide: http://bestofneworleans.com/gyrobase/
More restaurant suggestions:
Things for adults to do in New Orleans:
There is always music, but the bands change: Go to www.bestofneworleans.com and click on Music then Listings or to www.offbeat.com and click on Listings, then Music.
Note that music clubs often advertise "No Cover", meaning there is no charge for entering. However, clubs with "No Cover" often require that customers buy a beverage each for every "set " of music (which can be every 20 minutes) so KNOW THE PRICE before you sit down. Clubs do that because some people will sit in the club all evening drinking nothing (clubs only make money from the drinks they sell – not from the music). It is also a good idea to pay for each round of drinks (in clubs on Bourbon Street) as it is delivered so there can’t be any confusion at the end of the evening.
An incomplete guide to bars & clubs:
About certain alcoholic beverages: Realize that some famous drinks are VERY potent compared with regular cocktails that have only 1 to 1 ½ ounces of alcohol. For example, a Hurricane is basically 3 or 4 ounces of rum in something like red Kool-Aid, and a Hand Grenade has at least 4 ½ ounces of Everclear + rum + vodka mixed with melon liquor. They don’t necessarily taste like an alcoholic beverage and it is easy to over-indulge.
Harrah’s Casino is in the Central Business District: www.harrahs.com (age 21 required for entry)
I hope you have a great time!
The Inn on Bourbon, Bourbon Orleans and Royal Sonesta are the only balconies overlooking bouron street.
The Chateau Sonesta and Astor Crowne Plaza MAY have a room or two with balconies overlooking the 100 block of Bourbon (which isnt that great).
Lafitte Guest House is in the quieter 1000 block and has some balconies.
Any suggestions for food, attractions, hotspots, or just anything interesting and cultural!
The French Quarter.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
hey Katie. I missed you.
My husband and I are taking our 3 young daughters to the zoo and aquarium in New Orleans this week-end. I live in Louisiana and have never been to New Orleans. I am not sure which parts of town are the "safest". Any ideas on websites to find discount hotel prices? Any information on New Orleans would be appreciated.
Stay in the Quarter. Since the hurricane, I have stayed in the Hotel Monteleone twice (smallish rooms except the suites), the Ritz Carlton twice (service still struggling to achieve appropriate standards), the W French Quarter twice (fabulous location on Chartres but a real sink would be nice), and the Windsor Court four times (love the full suites, but they need a make over). All have parking, are close the sites of the city, and are safe. Only the Monteleone would be described as historic. The size of the Windsor Court is perfect for kids. Have fun.
On March 9, 2010, GOP opponents staged a French Quarter protest as the Southern Republican Leadership Conference was being held in New Orleans. CityBusiness Staff Writer Richard A. Webster captured this footage. (Warning: Contains language that might not be suitable for young viewers.) Related story: http://neworleanscitybusiness.com/blog/2010/04/10/more-than-200-gather-march-in-no-as-gop-convenes/
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A wander around the Vieux Carre… includes popular footage of ‘old lady in pink doing her thing’ – great fun
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This is a wonderful song by Dr. John. Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? new Orleans will never be the same again, but our memories are written in hearts.
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People here in NOLA have been shouting ”Who Dat?!” in the streets for a long time but more recently there are talking about something else. The high cost of eyeglasses. I’ve got news, people. Stop the whining and complaining about the prices you have to pay for a pair of eyeglasses . You need to know about Zenni Optical. Because Zenni manufactures its eyeglasses in China there is a waiting period. With these prices you will be glad to wait, I guarantee, Cher
The prices at Zenni range from a mere eight bucks, that is correct, eight bucks, to forty dollars a pair at the high end. When considering your choices starting with where to have those eyeglasses made to all of the multiple lens and frame options, of course it’s Zenni Optical. Their low cost product will make that decision for you. Be prepared, there is an extra charge if you want bifocals or thick lenses. They also charge extra for anti-glare coating. At $4.95 extra as opposed to around $50-$100 extra at other places it is an easy choice. Shipping is just $4.95 no matter how many pairs you order, so get eyeglasses for your entire family at Zenni Optical.
I am going to New Orleans on Memorial Day weekend and staying near Bourbon Street. Which bars (if any) show UFC fights?
Well, I have been to the French Quarter and walked down Bourbon Street many times and while you are there, you might as well sight see every bar on Bourbon Street! They are all nice and listen to the music and tour. I would not go there and just see one bar! You might as well tour them all. They probably all have a tv too watch the game in between the other sights to see. Have a good time!
I read that New Orleans will eventually become completely submerged, does anyone know the rate at which the land is being lost?
Louisiana is losing land to coastal erosion, not “rising waters”.
The exact area that has been lost is debatable, but it is huge.