New Orleans, Louisiana by Kim Fleming
[Travelogue: New Orleans, LA. May 2013 for 3 days]
This post is somewhat a placeholder for a more animated description of the city if I ever get around to it. A friend gave extensive awesome suggestions and this is just a round up of what we did end up doing.
Taxi from airport to NOLA: $33 flat fee
NOLA Transit: $1.25 per trip or $3 for day pass
Budget Car Rental: ~$80 post all taxes, insurance etc.
Gas to and from Plantations which are around an hour out of the city: ~$12
Stayed right next to the French Quarter:
Wyndham Garden Baronne Plaza (~$150 a night for a double through Priceline)
Royal St Charles Hotel (~$80 a night for a double through Priceline the day of)
Green Goddess (French Quarter, Exchange Alley; MUST GO; Expect line-up; Could take up to an hour to get seated. Go earlier, put in name and stroll around. Plenty of quality street music. The chill thai shrimp ba minh was to die for and the french toast stuffed with dark chocolate and gouda wasn’t too bad either)
SoBou (French Quarter, Chartres St.; Not bad; Less crowded that the places on Bourbon; Decent Food; Good Service; AWESOME interior with these funky frosted and clear glass bottles; Massage place next door which we didn’t try but looked decent; the short rib sandwich I had was pretty decent)
Cafe Beignet (French Quarter) Outdoor jazz in the afternoons and evenings on weekends at the location on Royal St. Beignets are fried dough powdered with sugar and as awesome as that sounds.
Mandina’s (near Metairie Cemetery) Just deep friend, large helpings Southern food. I would probably not go back since I’m not really into deep friend without herbs.
Lüke Restaurant (slightly West of French Quarter on St Charles) Wasn’t impressed. A cockroach showed up at one of the patrons tables and none of the servers paid any attention despite the patrons standing up. Also over priced.
Cafe du Monde (Riverside Market at the south end of Canal Street) We didn’t realize it was in the mall. Basically just a local coffee stall. The one in French Market is probably better. Decent beignets, not as good as Cafe Beignet.
Commander’s Palace Restaurant (Garden District) Pricey but worth it. Gorgeous outdoor seating area. Great service. Perfect summer lunch.
The Original Pierre Maspero’s (French Quarter) More of a bar.
La Divina Cafe e Gelataria (French Quarter) Good gelato. Open late.
There seemed some decent places when we walked further towards Jackson’s Square and walked around the North East side of the square. I’d check them out next time I’m down there.
French Quarter: Feels like you’ve gone back in time a couple of centuries. Check out Jackson Square and French Market and just walk around.
Plantations: You can either can on tours which cost $70+ per person or rent a car like we did and go around to individual one’s where tours are ~$15-20 per plantation. We saw Oak Alley from out side and it’s definitely the prettiest but we had heard the tour itself was awful so instead we went for the Laura and San Francisco tours which were very interesting. Especially if you have no idea who Creole’s were and are interested in that era. Keep in mind Sunday’s all nearby restaurants are closed due to church.
Angel of Grief captured by Jeff Fillmore
Metairie Cemetery: We went all the way there because we wanted to check out the Angel of Grief monument, located in Chapman H. Hymans crypt. The tours stop around 5:30 p.m. on the Sunday but it was still open post that. To find the crypt: enter from the Pontchartrain Blvd entrance closest to Metairie Rd. Take the FIRST LEFT. Keep going till you can’t go any further and take the LAST LEFT. It’s the 2nd or 3rd crypt on your left. Basically you should be at the corner of Metairie Rd and Pontchartrain by this point. Why am I giving directions? Because it took us ages to figure it out and only after we went through multiple TripAdvisor posts did we find it.
Garden District: We decided to a self-guided tour on an the phone just through the browser. The Big Boy Travel Garden District Walking Tour was pretty decent.
There were quite a few things we missed but unfortunately did not have time for like doing a Ghost Tour, checking out more local music (we only made it to Maison Bourbon), touring the St Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square, strolling around The Fly and checking out 9th Ward. I would also have liked to check out The Gumbo Shop, Galatois Restaurant on Bourbon St., attempt Breakfast at Brennan’s, visit the Rau & Sons Antique Shop and go to the Sazrack bar at the Roosevelt Hotel.