To all you tPF ladies who love NO... how is it for travel in March/April? I don't want to go for the crowds of Mardi Gras but I don't like going to a ghost town for vacation either. :) Plus it's a little late to book, and I'll get more bang for my buck if I wait a month...
Where do you recommend to stay, eat, do, etc. for a very laid back couple? I definately want a hotel in the French Quarter... wouldn't mind traveling out of NO for a day either...
I'm biased but I think New Orleans is always a great time. I can't really think of a time when it's a ghost town. There are festivals all the time. If you're into music, I'd suggest going during JazzFest, which is the last weekend in April and first weekend in May. It's a great time. http://www.nojazzfest.com/
I've been in March and April and it was hopping! If you time it for St. Paddy's day there is a great parade going through the Quarter that is a lot of fun and let's you get a bit of the Mardi Gras experience without the heavy crowds.
Oh, and March is also Spring Break for most colleges....so you'll get a bunch of college kids at night. We were there midweek and LSU was on break...so it was a bit crazy!
Hotels: I really enjoyed the Monteleone...not right on Bourbon, but a block over on Royal...so a little quieter :-) They have a great carousel bar in the lobby.
I went before katrina (unfortunately, have not been back since) with my G-Pa, Dad, and Aunt (aunt's a nurse, G-Pa was in his 80s, arthritic with heart problems.)
Really, it was an amazing time. My G-Pa had dreamt of going to NO, but my G-Ma had always said she wouldn't or that it was too wild. Even he said my Grandmother would've enjoyed it; and it was a great time. Go, go, go.
We went in late April, and I found Vegas a hell of a lot more wild (and dare I say it, trashier rather than hopping... on weekends).
I went there last year right at the beginning of April (I think), and there were definitely plenty of people. While I was there (for an academic conference), the French Quarter Festival was going on, so there were plenty of things to see/do.
Definitely avoid staying in the French Quarter if you're a laid back couple. My friend and I are late 20s/early 30s and the French Quarter at night was more than we could handle. I was glad we were a few blocks away so we didn't have to deal with the crowds/noise at night.
I agree with the noise....however, we were over on Royal on St. Paddy's and we could hear a bit of noise, but it wasn't enough to prevent me from sleeping. If you're a really light sleeper, however, it could be a problem though.
The months you choose to come down will still have plenty to do. French quarter fest should be middle of April, jazz fest will be end of april and st paddy day parade in march! I recommend French quarter fest bc it's free and has great food and music!
As for hotels... I never stayed In the French quarter but usually stay down canal st. So can't really help you there.
Definitely no risk of it being a ghost town! Went to school there for 4 years and the downtown area always had a good amount of people. Mardi Gras is just unbearably crowded so if you go in March/April you are fine.