Trip to New Orleans - Advice needed

luinrina

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#1
Before going to Vicksburg for the CWT gathering in October, I'll be in New Orleans for a few days. I've already made a longer list of what to see than I will have time. :cautious: On that list is - of course - the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum.

My question: How much time minimum should I allot for the visit at the museum? I know, I could probably spend an entire day and not have seen everything. But I don't know how large the museum is so I have no idea whether I should be there as soon as it opens or if it's enough to enter an hour or two before they close.

Also, I've found two tours that I'd love to do but I guess both won't be possible time-wise. Both tours have great reviews on tripadvisor. What would you suggest for a first time visitor to New Orleans and Louisiana: A trip on a paddle wheeler on the Mississippi to the battlefield of the Battle of New Orleans, or a swamp tour with an air boat through the Jean Lafitte National Park?

Other items on my New Orleans agenda are: sightseeing tour with the Hop on-hop off-bus, walking tour through the French Quarter and (possibly) the Garden District, St. Louis cemetery walking tour, Mardi Gras World, Metairie Cemetery and, when heading north to Vicksburg, Oak Alley Plantation.

Oh, regarding Metairie: I've read it's a huge cemetery and one could easily spend a week in there discovering new things. If I only wanted to see the tombs of Civil War participants, how much time should I allot?

Many thanks in advance! :thumbsup:
 

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Cavalry Charger

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From one who has visited there fairly recently as a tourist, I would say give yourself at least a couple of hours for the museum. It is not overly large, but well worth a visit. I think you will enjoy it. The Garden District is beautiful, and is worth a stroll if you have a guide (i.e. book a tour) as we had a marvellous young guide who was entertaining as well as informative. Oak Alley Plantation is not to be missed in my opinion, at least as an example of such things, and I really enjoyed the beauty of the place and that particular area of Louisiana. Swamp tours are fun, and I wouldn't have felt like I'd visited Louisiana if I hadn't taken one. Though a riverboat trip on the Mississippi is something I didn't have the opportunity to take advantage of and would love to do that the next time round. We stayed in the French Quarter, and the Louis XIV Cathedral is there as well as a massive gold statue of St. Joan of Arc. So I guess it has that French Catholic flavour to it. Plus, some enjoyable night life which I won't go further into here :D

I think that covers it all from this tourist's perspective Lu. It's a great place with plenty to see. The problem as always is what to see!
 
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#3
If you have your own transportation you might want to travel south through Plaquemines Parish to Fort Jackson in Triumph, La. It would take around an hour to drive there from New Orleans, and two or three hours to tour the fort and grounds. If you are really adventurous you could find someone with a boat and cross the river to Ft. St. Phillip. But that would be really off the beaten path.

***(I can't find a current website or any information about whether the interior of the fort is open for tourists. It is owned and operated by Plaquemines Parish but I think it has been closed recently. I know it was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. I went there in 2006 the year after Katrina and the inside was closed then but you could still wander around outside the walls.)

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ucvrelics

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The WWII is a must see. I would do the Cafe du Monde for breakfast or late night after you come off The Quarter. Then the WWII museum. Then a Poor Boy for lunch at the Jax Brewery, next the Confederate Museum, followed by a walk thru Jackson Square and the lower district. Next a nap followed by drinks and dinner at the Court of 2 Sisters. Then some dancing at Razzus. The most important thing about a trip to NO is
"Laissez les bons temps rouler"
 
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Well now ... for me the two most essential elements of New Orleans (besides the history) are food and music.

You can get good food almost anywhere but if you're only going to visit once and you can spare some dollars I really think one of the classic up-scale eateries is in order. You can do some Googling but I can definitely say that two of the oldest classics are worth every penny: Brennan's and Commander's Palace. Brennan's is in the FQ while Commander's is at the edge of the Garden District. I had a truly memorable day visiting the Lafayette Cemetery #1, eating at Commander's Palace (right across the street), and then spending the night at Tipitina's, one of NO's great music venues. They're all fairly close to each other.

As to music, like food it's everywhere but a few of the classic clubs - in addition to Tipitina's - are the House of Blues (in the Quarter)and the Maple Leaf Bar and the Rock n' Bowl. The last two will require a car as they're quite west of the Quarter. The Rock n' Bowl is something not seen anywhere else, being a functioning bowling alley and music bar in an old wooden building.

There's also costume shops (if you're into that sort of thing), museums, and great music stores where you can browse for hours. If you want to visit a cemetery I'd say it'd be best if you go with a tour as, unfortunately, the criminal element frequents those places as they can hide easily and take people by surprise (NO can be a dangerous place so you need to be aware of where you go when).

Have a good time.
 

Nathanb1

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#13
Eat, eat, eat!!!! Yes to the swamp tour with airboat...that's something we've done twice. Yes to Mardi Gras World...you will get the real flavor without the smell of bodily fluids (Yes, the French Quarter has that aroma). You'll get to cross the river on the ferry to Algiers to go to MG World, so you get the river experience--and it leaves from near Jackson Square, so there's that. I'd also note the Aquarium downtown is one of the best I've seen--the drilling platform with the glass floor above the shark tank is freaky--and there are albino alligators! Be on high pickpocket alert--and do take a cemetery tour, never alone!
 

Cavalry Charger

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do take a cemetery tour, never alone!
Forgot to say a cemetery tour was included with our Garden Quarter tour, and it was fascinating as well. The advice given by @Nathanb1 here, and by several others, was also given to us by our guide on that tour.

Dang! Missed the WWII museum, and it wasn't like @7th Mississippi Infantry hadn't told us it was there! Just couldn't fit everything into the time we had. But, will definitely be back, and Lu you're going to love every minute!
 
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#16
"Laissez les bons temps rouler"
For those who might not be familiar with New Orleans . . . that translates into "Let the Good Times Roll "

And @luinrina, I agree with every suggestion you've received !

I could add many more recommendations, but since your time will be limited . . . I'll save those ideas for your second trip to the Deep South.

:smoke:
 

luinrina

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#17
Grr, had I known about Nic Clark, I would've gone with him. I already booked the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass. But with all your recommendations, I guess I'll have to return to New Orleans one day and then I'll go with Nic. I can't possibly fit everything into this trip.

Yes to the swamp tour with airboat...that's something we've done twice. Yes to Mardi Gras World...you will get the real flavor without the smell of bodily fluids (Yes, the French Quarter has that aroma). You'll get to cross the river on the ferry to Algiers to go to MG World, so you get the river experience--and it leaves from near Jackson Square, so there's that.
Thank you! The swamp tour it will be. Maybe there's a paddlewheeler experience possible in Vicksburg (after the gathering) or Natchez. Or it'll go on the agenda for the next visit.

Many thanks for all your advice, ladies and gents! I'm afraid I'm more interested in sightseeing than sitting down in a restaurant to eat. I'm the tourist type of grab and go! :laugh: Maybe I'll slow down in the evenings to sit somewhere to enjoy the atmosphere, after the sightseeing places all closed. And I'm not a seafood fan either. I eat fish, but shrimps and (raw) oysters unfortunately make me :sick:. I'll have to look at food options beforehand to not get surprised. All those exotic names make me wonder what's hiding in them.

And my question about how much time to allot for the Confederate Museum hasn't really been answered... :frown:
 

Booner

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#18
I lived in New Orleans from '83 to '89 so what I'm going to say may be dated.
I volunteered at the Confederate Museum. It was rather small then so unless it's been enlarged, I'd say it's a two hour tour. The WWII museum and aquarium are new since I lived there so I can't help you.
You don't like sea food? Oh lord, you gonna starve.
NOLA can be a very dangerous place, so stay with others especially around the edges of the French Quarter at night and stay out of the cemetery next to the quarter during the day unless you're with a group.
One night, go to Cafe du Monde next to Jackson Square in the quarter and drink some Cafe au late and eat some beignet's and people watch.

Have a wonderful time in Nola and I hope to meet you in Vicksburg.
 

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#19
go to Cafe du Monde next to Jackson Square in the quarter and drink some Cafe au late and eat some beignet's and people watch.
There was a long line out the door when we went to check it out, so chose another less crowded cafe on a street in the French Quarter to taste the wares ... definitely try one, Lu. They are delicious :hungry:
 



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