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First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

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Oldbury, United...
posts: 10
reviews: 36
First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

Me and my wife are planning on coming over to NOLA for 10 days or so over Easter 2013. Were in our early/mid twenties although my wife has arthritis which prevents her from walking long distances and difficulties using her hands.

I know there are never any guarantees but safety is essential for us out there we are both very street smart but dealing with a disability can make us a bit more vulnerable in any difficult situations.

I have been to Los Angeles before and stayed in a very shady part of Hollywood with no trouble whatsoever but that is really the only comparison I can give in that situation.

We would like to stay within close walking distance from the quarter or good access to the streetcar.

Any advice on what specific areas ( street names etc) to stay away from would be great also any great places to eat local food and drink would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Edited: 8:13 pm, November 10, 2012
College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 6,729
reviews: 3
1. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

Most all areas popular with tourists are relatively safe and secure. The best lodging location for you will be based to some extent on the activities that most interest you. For what lovely wife and I most enjoy while in New Orleans, we like to stay as close as practical and economical to the intersection of Chartres St and Toulouse St.

The typical first time visitor will find both convenience and security by lodging within the area bounded by, clockwise starting at Jackson Square, Decatur St, Magazine St, Gravier St, Baronne St, Dauphine St, Frenchmen St, and Decatur St, or in premises fronting on one of those boundary streets.

posts: 1,041
reviews: 29
2. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

It is just this simple: stay in the French Quarter because that is where most of the action is and there are plenty of different types of hotels. Let us know a bit more about what type of hotel experience you are looking for and many here will have suggestions.

Google "French Quarter" and you can find a map of the streets that outline it.

Given your wife's condition, you might be pleased to know that there are pedicabs (bicycle cabs) that frequent the French Quarter. I have never used one, but there are many. When you get there, you should probably hail one and get his (or hers) cellphone number and that way, if your wife gets to the point where she no longer wants to walk, you can call the pedicab to come pick you up.

Unfortunately, walking is indeed how you get around in the French Quarter, but there are also some benches to stop and rest, or you can stop in a restaurant and get a drink to rest your feet.

Safety is generally not a problem as long as you stay within the main areas of the French Quarter.

It is a bit of a walk to get to the streetcars, but you can always uses a pedicab to get you as close as possible to their routes.

If you have any more specific questions, please let us know.

posts: 241
3. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

Cabs are cheap and plentiful in the French Quarter too.

Oldbury, United...
posts: 10
reviews: 36
4. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

Thanks for the replies

So far the most affordable location near the French Quarter we like is the Country Inn and Suites. Based on the reviews here it looks good. Anyone stayed here before?

In terms of restaurants in or near the French Quarter we would like to go somewhere that is as traditional as possible but not too expensive!

Antoine's Restaurant most likely fits the criteria although looking at the menu I wouldn't want to spend any more as I feel this is probably at the peak of my budget. Also any cheap eats recommendations would be greatly appreciated also!

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 8,712
reviews: 74
5. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

I would stay IN the FQ, not near it to minimize walking. The FQ technically starts at Canal St, but the first couple blocks of the FQ are more modern with high rises and larger buildings - victim of misguided planning and modernization that took place in a lot of cities in the 1960s. The FQ doesn't start to really feel like the FQ until you are a couple blocks in. The Country Inn and Suites is a couple blocks on the other side of Canal, so more walking built in.

Have you checked out the Place d'Armes on St Ann? This hotel has a wonderful location - half a block from Jackson Square, half a block off Royal - close to everything in the FQ, but a bit removed from the craziness of Bourbon Street. You basically step out the front door and are sightseeing. There are ground floor rooms that open onto the courtyard as well as other rooms upstairs with elevator access.

For restaurant recommendations - TONS of choices. Do a search on this site and you will see lots of discussions about it. And you absolutely do not have to spend a lot to eat well in New Orleans. There are plenty of places serving traditional NOLA food without the Antoines prices. I think if you DO want to spend a small fortune on a meal, most people on this board would steer you toward Galetoires or Commanders Palace rather than Antoines.

College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 6,729
reviews: 3
6. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

I have not stayed at Country Inn and Suites, but have visited a room there, and it is nice, well maintained and well managed; receives nothing but favorable comments on this Forum. Not the most convenient or perfect location, but certainly good enough.

I would check directly with Valentino New Orleans Hotels (Place D'Armes, Prince Conti, and Hotel St. Marie); each of the hotel websites give you the option of checking rates and availability at all three hotels at one time. Hotel Villa Convento is a quaint and very "NewOrleanish" hotel that usually does not show up on booking sites; a Forum favorite.

Most of the "old line traditional" restaurants offer much better value at lunch. And in New Orleans this makes sense as well. You can have a relatively early traditional full lunch in place of breakfast and lunch, take a nap, and then have something more casual and lighter in the evening so you will not be weighed down for the night. Many New Orleans bars and clubs are open 'till 4 AM, some never close.

North Carolina
posts: 1,012
reviews: 15
7. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

I like Antoine's for traditional Creole food, but I favor it at lunch time during the week. The fixed price 3 course menu at lunch is $20.12 and you can get 25 cent martinis. For a "break the bank" meal, I agree with the suggestion of Commander's Palace.

Oldbury, United...
posts: 10
reviews: 36
8. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

After a lot of intensive research and price comparisons we have decided to stay at the Country Inn and Suites, although not the most ideal location it is quite a bit cheaper for us than the Place d'armes (which would have been our 1st choice after looking at reviews and location).

With lots more research to do and restaurants to read about, it will be a busy next couple of months or so planning!

Thanks for all the replies!

posts: 3,180
reviews: 6
9. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

Commander's also has lunch specials (@$20) with 25 cent martinis. Antoine's special is M-Sat and Commander's is M-Fri.

Country Inn and Suites is not on the streetcar line and it is 3-4 blocks out of the Quarter...you might be in a better location for your wife if you considered other hotels in the Quarter besides PDA. I, for one, do not always agree with the reviews.

Chicago IL
posts: 92
reviews: 40
10. Re: First Time In NOLA, travelling from the UK.

First of all, there are places that are great to eat in any budget range. We have visited New Orleans every year for the past 6 - twice on a tight budget due to unemployment that happened after tickets were bought and hotel paid for. There are all sorts of sites you can use to get tours at a discount too. (Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, etc) For dining you can also check out restaurant.com.

Verti Marte has wonderful sandwiches and home style entrees for under $10 US per person. The American Sector has $.75 BBQ sliders from 3-6 PM every day it's easy to grab something to tide you over after visiting the WWII Museum which I highly recommend. If you stay at the Crowne Plaza and are a Priority Club member, ask to be upgraded to the executive level. This gets you admission to the executive club which means you get free breakfast, happy hour with free drinks from 4-8 PM every night and snacks. Even if there is an upcharge it ends up being well worth it. We had hot breakfast there every day and many times the snacks at night were gumbo, jambalaya or something else hot.