Recommendations: New Orleans?

Howdy y’all,

For my sister’s 50th birthday we are going to New Orleans! I have been twice before but she’s never been there. I would love to hear any recommendations you have – locals or tourists – for things to do, see, and eat while we’re there. It’s probably relevant to note that neither of us drink alcohol, but we are not bothered by being around it either.

Here’s things I’ve already done (and many of them I’ll likely do again on this trip):

  • French quarter general tourism

    • Coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde
    • Jackson Square / St Louis Cathedral
  • St Louis Cemetery #1

  • Haunted New Orleans walking tour

  • The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

  • Swamp boat tour – I’ve done two, love 'em

  • National WWII Museum

  • The Aquarium

If you have anything to add to this list I would love to know what you think!

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AWESOME!! Welcome to my fair city!
Those are all great ideas, especially since you’re bringing a first timer. Reminder that St. Louis #1 requires a guided tour for entry, I think the only tour currently permitted is run by the Archdiocese itself.
If you’re going to be here in the summer I’d recommend as much indoor activity as possible. Maybe while walking around the Quarter stop into The Historic New Orleans Collection on Royal, a nice free museum.

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I’d recommend the muffuletta from Central Grocery. Excellent sandwich.

And the WWII museum is amazing. Glad that’s on your list.

I was going to recommend the Insectarium, but apparently that has closed. That’s where I learned that my small toddler already knew the word “cockroach”. :laughing: They had a dollhouse full of roaches, with a plexiglass viewing dome that allowed you to be inside for a close view. They also had live insects inside the tabletops at their cafeteria. Alas, it is gone.

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Thanks! Yeah, we’re thinking October (I’ve been in June – too hot for me – and January – very nice.) The first time I came St Louis #1 was still open to the public, it’s really sad that’s not possible anymore. I’ll check out the Collection!

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Ah that’s too bad, I would have enjoyed an insect museum! (Zoo?) Definitely going to put the muffuletta on my list. The food is my #1 draw there and my sister loves olives. Once I had a crawfish pie at Jackson Square and it was SO GOOD that the only thing preventing me ordering and eating a second one immediately was pure, unadulterated embarrassment :joy:

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I just checked and it looks like Central Grocery is still cleaning up from Hurricane Ida – their roof collapsed – but they are making muffulettas and selling them in Metarie. Maybe they’ll be open in October but if not it’ll be a nice drive to the suburbs :smile:

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Yeah I was about to comment on CG still being out of service for a while since the last storm… I honestly prefer the Muffulettas at Napoleon House, but I prefer them warm over cold.

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also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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they are in the process of moving the Insectarium to the former IMAX theater at the Aquarium.

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I would recommend taking advantage of the streetcars.

For one, I would definitely suggest taking the St. Charles streetcar Uptown. While you would enjoy a tour of Uptown, just getting on the streetcar and heading up the Avenue is marvelous if you haven’t done it. (As the Doobie Brothers once observed, “just take that streetcar that’s going Uptown.”) On St. Charles you’ll see a parade of different architectural styles, including churches, homes, schools, and other places. The streetcar is public transportation, so you can get on and off as you want, although they aren’t as frequent as they once were. You can get on from Canal Street, just make sure you are getting on the green St. Charles car.

The are also all kinds of cool bars, restaurants, coffee shops, galleries etc. off St. Charles and Carrollton (which the streetcar turns onto at the end of St. Charles, appropriately named the Riverbend,) particularly in the University Section and nearby. Oak, Maple and Freret are all great. Check them out.

Audubon Park is across the street from Loyola and Tulane Universities on St. Charles. It’s a nice park on the far side of which is the Audubon Zoo on Magazine Street extending to the river. Magazine Street itself further back towards downtown has more restaurants and antique shops.

Tipitinas is a great live music venue on the corner of Tchoupitoulas (pronounced CHOP-i-too-las) and Napoleon Avenue. Napoleon intersects St. Charles, and Tchoupitoulas is as far as you can go to the river.

Also, I would suggest heading up Canal away from the river.

You can also take the red streetcar up Canal Street through Mid City. Some cars take a turn onto Carrollton heading toward the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. This is a fine museum which hosts both permanent exhibits and traveling exhibitions. It’s on Bayou St. John at the end of the streetcar line. Besides the indoor exhibits, there is also a cool outdoor sculpture garden.

There are interesting casual restaurants (of course) along the trip down this part of Carrollton and at the end of the line here. Bayou St. John is interesting in and of itself, with the possibility of a boat ride and visits to the Deutches Haus and the Eastern Orthodox Cathedral.

Speaking of Deutches Haus, if you are going in October, on the weekends the Haus hosts a fun Oktoberfest. It’s a bit crowded at times and parking is a bear, but I love it. Of course, it’s also not quite what most people think of when they think of New Orleans, but we do festivals very well - and what is Oktoberfest but a festival?

If you ride a car which remains on Canal, you’ll eventually get to “the Cemeteries.” This is a cluster of cemeteries with above ground crypts and monuments that are fascinating in their own right. It might be worth going on a tour rather than by yourself.

There’s more, naturally, but that’s what comes to mind.

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There are so many great clubs on Frenchmen Street and I still have a soft spot for Molly’s on Decatur Street. The jazz museum is really cool too. I can’t get started on food… hard to go wrong as long as you’re at least a few blocks away from Bourbon Street.

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This is awesome, thanks so much! (I used to live in Germany and I love German food so I am very interested in Oktoberfest New Orleans style.)

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It was many many years ago that I visited, but the food was absolutely my favorite part.

On a recommendation from an employee at CVS, I bought some red beans and rice at a place called Hobknobbers (it was a Monday, and and red beans are what you are supposed to eat on a Monday). At the time, the entrance was a poorly marked door down a somewhat dim alley.

As I was told, “You’ll think you must be going the wrong way, but keep going until you see a white door. Open it, and you find a place packed with locals.” Cheap, unpretentious, and delicious. A bit of magic.

From Google maps, it looks like they have a proper entrance now, which must take away a good portion of the charm I remember.

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As someone who went to New Orleans… only one time a decade ago, and as a food lover, there’re great restaurants you might wanna go to and try some of their grub.
This clip from The Simpsons might explain a little better.

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FYI, those are real restaurants Homer is visiting, including my favorite place for Muffaletta’s DiMartino’s. DiMartino’s in on the Westbank in Terrytown where I grew up so it’s a bit off the beaten track.

Also, the place he ends up, Commander’s Palace, is Uptown. IMO, it’s one of New Orleans’ great white-table cloth restaurants, but often missed by visitors because it’s not in the Quarter. If you can make it and are ready to spend a little bit, go there.

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I’ve debated going to Commander’s Palace, never sure if the big-name places are worth it, so that’s good to know. On my first trip we went to K-Paul’s which was excellent (I remember the turtle soup particularly) but that’s closed now.

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Commander’s has always been one of the local’s favorites. It’s where Paul Prudhomme started.

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