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something a little different

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posts: 68
reviews: 31
something a little different

Good Day! Myself and wife are planning a trip to NoLa from Mar.20-30/13. I have read the forums, checked the links and am aware of all the festivals of music, food and the usual tourist trips and walks.

What we are looking for, is a little more unique and personal like people who love their city and would like to show tourists around. You know, to the places, one as a traveler, may over look. Little gems only the locals know etc. We like the swamp tour during night and such, little twists to make an adventure to remember.

We will not be renting a vehicle and are lodged in the upper french quarter.

Any ideas or contacts would be welcome, New Orleans is a beautiful and wicked Lady, and we'd like to see her all! The input on tripadvisor forum is full of great people and ideas! We hope you have more for us!

Cheers from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan , Canada

Chicago IL
posts: 124
reviews: 50
1. Re: something a little different

Tours by Isabelle. They offer a variety of tours and are the best deal going. Now, keep reading, because I know you said you want something different. We are not "tour" people. In fact, we hate them with a passion. However, we took a plantation tour yesterday (3 plantations from 8 AM to 5 PM with a lunch option) and LOVED it all because of our guide. She was born and raised in New Orleans, educated in France, well traveled, college degreed and clearly loves her job and her city. Ask for Ginnie if you book. You won't be sorry.

The locals agree that Commander's Palace is a favorite that should not be missed. Make sure to make a reservation in advance. Ralph's On the Park was a great time for us this trip as well. (This is our 6th consecutive year.)

posts: 68
reviews: 31
2. Re: something a little different

Excellent advice! Thank you. We will check out your suggestions. We are not opposed to the offered tours, just want the ones with more character and realism.


posts: 2,571
reviews: 27
3. Re: something a little different

Slightly off the beaten path is City Park, and the (free) Besthoff Sculpture Park there. It makes for a lovely day. You can even take an "authentic" gondola ride there! You can get there via the "City Park" line of the Canal St. streetcar. There are several great lunch spots nearby. My husband and I went to Liuzza's by the Track for some great po-boys - it was an easy walk from the park.

More off the path are the several Mardi Gras Indian museums. An easy walk from the French Quarter is the Backstreet Cultural Museum, in the Treme. St. Augustine Church across the street is also worth checking out as it has a memorial to slaves.


There's also the "House of Dance and Feathers" museum in the Lower 9th Ward. I haven't been to this one, but will try to visit on my next trip in May.


posts: 68
reviews: 31
4. Re: something a little different

Thank you for the thoughtful input, we will check out the sites!


posts: 1,041
reviews: 29
5. Re: something a little different

Are you active? If so, the kayak tour of St John Bayou in New Orleans gets consistently rave reviews :


posts: 68
reviews: 31
6. Re: something a little different

Thanks for the reply, while I am secure in the water or on it, spouce is not comfortable in that setting. A good idea though.


College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 8,157
reviews: 3
7. Re: something a little different

Although it's just a touch early to be swimming, late March weather is typically pretty nice, opening up your options.

One litlle treat is the small obsevation deck above the rooftop bar at the Omni Royal Orleans, accessible by stairway across from the rooftop bar. Sometimes the rooftop pool/fitness area requires key card access, but if you can't piggyback with an entering or departing hotel guest, the front desk folks will usually grant access if you state you want a drink at the bar (if open), or that you want to evaluate the facilities incident to your consideration of a potential future stay.

Another little treat is enjoying a late afternoon drink on the porch of the Columns Hotel located on the St Charles streetcar line.

If the weather is nice, you might consider an evening (sometime between 6 to 10) at Bachannal in the Bywater. You buy a reasonably priced bottle of wine at the wine shop, along with cheese if desired, take it out to the adjoining courtyard featuring live adult music; you can order gourmet food from a window off the courtyard, which is brought to your courtyard table.

Watch the sun rise over the West Bank (not a typo) from the French Quarter, maybe from Cafe du Monde. This can be accomplished by staying up very late, or getting up very early. Early morning in the French Quarter is somehow very special.

little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
posts: 3,239
reviews: 269
8. Re: something a little different

Here is a museum which gets little play on this forum. If you like art, it concentrates on art from the southern states of America - it's a beautiful, low-key place with a strong and interesting collection. One of my fav art museums in the country. www.ogdenmuseum.org

Birmingham, AL
posts: 2,229
reviews: 28
9. Re: something a little different

A second thumbs up for Ogden. I was really impressed with the works of the artists they showcased when I visited. They also have a live concert from 6pm-8pm most Thursdays after the museum closes.

posts: 68
reviews: 31
10. Re: something a little different

Thank you, if time permits we will see it, the list is now getting large!