We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

NWT
Level Contributor
497 posts
123 reviews
Save Topic
SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

So- basically, we have about 500 questions, so read on, if you are bored, a New Orleans Ambassador, or curious! ( Have I mentioned that we are actually giddy at the prospect of visiting your city? Not because of Hollywood, either. Have met many from this city on travels, and have all been so friendly and positive, regardless of obstacles (mostly horrific-weather induced.)

We are so very, very, very excited to have the very (hopefully without sounding annoyingly touristy) (super) coveted experience to visit New Orleans! In May, no less!)

We are staying in the French Quarter-ish district, because it is close to our reason-for-travel-needs.Near Iberville Street. (Note- we are happy to cab it)

We would like to:

1. See a garden- botanical, or otherwise- with native to Louisiana plants

2. Eat REAL Louisiana BBQ- Not BBQ for tourists (yes- I know we are tourists!) But happy to take a cab, as long as one is happy to pick one us up after dark and is easily accessible

2b- We'd also like to find some non-tourist traps for eating all meals within a 20 min walk radius?

3. Go to a local micro-brew (nearby, or off the beaten path)

3b- And/or a great place for beer on tap with food- the more on tap the better- SUPER partial to IPAs

4. Happy Hour? - snacks, drinks- etc.

4b- also- How about LIVE MUSIC? What can we find within walking distance in this area? (happy to walk 20 min in light, and grab a cab in a plentiful area, if needed, in dark?) Reggae, jazz, blues?

5. Tour? ( Yes…I want to see an alligator…judge if you must…but come here (to one of the coldest parts of Canada (as I assume you are a fellow traveller?) to see a wolverine or ptarmigan, and I promise I won't judge you…)

Best :)

LL

Mitchell, South...
Level Contributor
2,796 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

#1 Steetcar to City Park, $1.25 exact change, 3 day passes available #2 New Orleans is not known for its BBQ. A good place is The Joint in the Bywater Area. #3 numerous restaurants serve locals and tourists alike some of my favorites are Mr B's Bistro, Orleans Grapevine, GW Fins, Arnaud's, Louisiana Bistro, Bayona. My local dives for good food: Copper Monkey, Cajun Mike's, the Alibi, Yo Mamas. #4 Numerous bars/ clubs along Bourbon St have happy hours and live music usually beginning around 3 PM. Walk by and listen. If you like the sound go in and enjoy, usually one drink minimum with no cover charge. The other popular area is Frenchmen St with numerous venues, Snug Harbor, DBA, The Spotted Cat, Bamboula's , the Apple Barrel, Igor's Checkpoint Charlie. The Balcony Music Club corner of Decatur and Esplanade Sts in the lower Quarter is excellent. # 5 Cajun Encounters offers an excellent swamp tour. Follow this forum as many of these questions are answered often.

Orlando, Florida
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
6,585 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

Good job sodakman.. Also add Squeal for BBQ...and Buffa's via Chartres st. On Sunday for the jazz brunch...and do check out trip reports and use the search feature here on TA.

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
163 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

I second The Joint. Being from Austin, I might be a BBQ snob, but I really like The Joint. Depending on what time of day you need your Q fix, you could grab a bite and them wander a few blocks over to Vaughn's or BJ's for some live music in the evening. Or just stroll back to the FQ stopping off at one of the many bars along the way for a beer or two and hit Frenchman St.

NWT
Level Contributor
497 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

Wow! Thanks so much for all the great info in the above responses.

If I may ask a couple more questions?

1. Safety- have read through the threads, and have been reading the newspaper- do you think we'd be ok to go and check out some local parks?

2. Have been reading about fried chicken (lots) and Coops seems to be in the lead? Agreed?

3. What's the deal with the weather (mid May) sounds like it's pretty hot...?

4. Iberville projects- Where I've grown up "projects" are kind of or very sketchy- the hotel we are staying at is the Hyatt French Quarter on Iberville- is it cool? (I think so---but thought I'd check in)

Thanks again!

Texas
Level Contributor
223 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

Your hotel is fine and in a great location - no worries! The Iberville projects were pretty sketchy but they were not located near your hotel anyway. They've been recently demolished as part of the gentrification of the treme area, FYI.

Mitchell, South...
Level Contributor
2,796 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

Your hotel is very safe. The Iberville Projects are closed and in the process of being demolished. Common sense prevails as in any large city with regard to safety. Louis Armstrong Park is a very short 10 min walk from your hotel and is safe during the day. Concerts are held there many evenings beginning soon. The park is very near the Visitors Welcome Center as well as St Louis Cemetary # 1. The Cemetary is adjacent to the now shuttered projects but very safe during the day. Police station right across the street. Two other parks Auduborn which houses the zoo and City Park which has botanical gardens and the New Orleans Museum of Art are easily accessible. May will be hot with the always present possibility of showers. Recommend inexpensive rain poncho and small umbrella.

Texas
Level Contributor
223 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

Also wanted to add, Coop's can be very hit or miss. I've had good food and some pretty bad food there on different occasions, but I've never been impressed with the service. For fried chicken, give Fiorella's a try.

Edited: 6:23 pm, March 28, 2014
College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
11,457 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

During mid May expect daily highs (mid to late afternoon) in the mid 80s (F), and daily lows (just before sunrise) in the high 60s, and relatively dry (by New Orleans standards).

Anguilla...
Level Contributor
349 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

For Craft beer, take the St. Charles streetcar to the Avenue Pub. It is THE craft beer bar. It will have an excellent selection of beer. If you're here on a Friday, check out the NOLA Brewing Company Tour. They have a taproom now but I'm not sure the hours. They're on Tchoupatoulos (you will have to cab it if you don't have transportation).

Lots of great food in New Orleans, but it's more of a liquor town than a beer town. You'll find Abita, NOLA, Lazy Magnolia and a few other local craft beers in the Quarter but it'll be mainly Bud/Miller/Coors.

Sydney's Wine Celler has a good craft beer selection if you're on Decatur near the French Market. You can get a go-cup to walk around with. You mentioned IPAs. Several local IPA's I recommend are Lazy Magnolia's TimberBeast, NOLA Mechahopzilla and Hopitoulas, and Abita Jockamo - in that order.

If you venture down Magazine, look for Stein's Deli. They have an excellent beer room with American Craft and Import beer. If it's to be had in Louisiana, they'll have it.

I have to agree that while there is great BBQ in New Orleans and Louisiana, that's not what it's known for. Coop's has excellent fried chicken - it gets mixed reviews but our food has always been great and the service has been ok (It's not Commander's Palace, but then again it's a dive bar). There are several other places with great reputations for Fried Chicken that I have not been to so I can't endorse - but you may want to Google "New Orleans Menu" or "Tom Fitzmorris" - he's a food critic with an excellent website concerning New Orleans Food.

I haven't been on any of the swamp tours but they all should provide you with the flora and fauna of the area. If it wasn't so far away, I'd recommend you go to Avery Island near New Iberia. That's where they make Tabasco and the McIlhenny family's "Jungle Island" nature area is excellent.

10. Re: SO Excited! Where to begin? May, Downtown-ish? Couple Fun?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:17 am, March 30, 2015