NEW ORLEANS! tips - questions - advice

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  1. If you still are logging on, feel free to PM me with any questions since I live here.
     
  2. I'll be traveling to New Orleans next month on a Wednesday afternoon and leaving Friday morning. I'm traveling by myself and I really wanted to check out one of the haunted tours, but I'm somewhat scared to do that since I'll be sleeping my by myself! (My husband is overseas on business)

    Do you guys know if those tours are really scary?

    I was also wondering if new Orleans generally safe to walk around by yourself?

    How far is the trip to and from the airport to the W hotel?

    Should I rent a car if I am planning on staying at the W hotel? I looked at maps and things and I think I can just walk to most of the main attractions I want to see Cafe Du Monde, etc and I found this self guided walking tour on frommers: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/neworleans/0020020033.html

    Do you guys suggest I take a guided tour or just walk it myself?

    Sorry for all the questions! This is the first time I've done a trip on my own without friends or family, so I want to make sure to plan so i don't get lost, etc. =P
     
  3. ^^ I've done the Haunted History and the Vampire tour in the Quarter. I would recommend the one at night, when it is cooler. I thought both of them were fun, very theatrical and the guides can tell a great story. A lot of the stuff they tell you might make you shiver or make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. But it is all in good fun. Plus you get a drink/potty break halfway through. Here is the link
    http://www.hauntedhistorytours.com/
    I live here too and I would do those tours over again with any fam/friend that came to visit me.
    As for the car rental, I personally wouldn't do it. Even if you plan to head up to the plantations, you can usually head up as part of a group tour on a bus. Driving around here can be confusing (esp if you aren't familiar with it) because of the way the city is orientated. It follows the curve of the river, so streets that are labelled as North or South, don't actually run that way.
    One last thing I thought I would mention. The streetcar is exact fare. So make sure you bring lots of singles and quarters. Or you can usually buy the visitour passes for one, three or five days.
     
  4. The airport is on the otherside of Metairie, so it'll prob. be a 20 or 30 minute drive.
    I would suggest just taking a taxi to your hotel and not bother renting a car. All the touristy things are right in or around the french quarter.
    I'm not a huge fan of guided tours, but for a first timer, it might be a cool way to get to know they city. New Orleans is so full of history and culture. It's a really great city. And the people are super friendly. Enjoy your trip!! :smile:
     
  5. Oh instead of a cab, which will cost you $30 one way, there is alo an airport shuttle. That will cost you about $30 roundtrip. They are located in the baggage claim area and you just need to call about 24 hours before your departure. They service all the downtown hotels and will take you to almost every hotel in New Orleans.
     

  6. The French Quarter is super easy to walk around. I don't think you need a guided tour unless you really want a lot of info to go with it. It's a great city with a lot to do. All my big recommendations are in my previous post. Don't forget an umbrella!
     

  7. It is safe to walk around IF you stay in the right areas. If you stay in the populated areas of the French Quarter you'll be fine, but in this city you can find yourself in a crappy area before you know it, so just keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. I'd check with your hotel staff if you plan to go somewhere about specifically where you are going. I'm not saying it to scare you, because I will go anywhere (even places some people won't) but you need to be alert. I had my wallet stolen out of a purse in a bar in the quarter.
     
  8. Vampire Tour at night is fun! The guides are very dramatic and you get a lot of history intertwined. We took it and then went to Cafe du Monde for a late night treat of cafe au lait and beignets. yummmm I have heard the cemetary tours are quite interesting, too. Check out a Voodoo shop. I love New Orleans and agree that the people are the best!
     
  9. My DH and I were thinking of doing a long weekend in New Orleans. I looked at the prices and it seems relatively inexpensive. However, I know that it hasn't been able to fully bounce back from Katrina and I was wondering if we should bother. Anyone been recently? Any thoughts?
     
  10. I'd go just for the food aspect! The French Quarter is just about as good as ever!
     
  11. If it's cheap, I would go ahead and go. I went about a year ago on a business trip and outside of downtown, there were still many areas that were wrecked. Once you're by the French Quarters though, you'd never know.

    Like Compass said, the food is great (although extremely heavy). I tend to think a lot of US cities seem very homogeneous but I do think New Orleans is one of those cities that stands out. The French Quarters were so much fun when I went, the people are very nice and the energy and liveliness makes you automatically have a fun time. The live music really made New Orleans stand out to me when I was there.

    All in all, I'd say go for it if it's cheap but I'm not sure that this would need to be too long of a trip.
     
  12. I've only been there once and it was before Katrina. But I'd go again in a heartbeat. Loved it...very unique city....felt like Europe but with it's own personality. We found some bars and restaurants that were walking distance from the main part of the French Quarter...still safe for tourists but more locals places that were very nice.
     
  13. Of course you should go. New Orleans is a fab city with great people, food, atmosphere, music, the works. We were there just a year or so after Katrina and from the Quarter, you would have never known. Many areas are still damaged, but you will have a great time.
     
  14. Yes, please do go!
    The French Quarter is up and running, but New Orleans desperately needs its tourist dollars.
    Eat a muffelata at the Corner Grocery, try the different gumbos (chicken & sausage is my favorite), eat pralines, rest at cafe du monde with beignets and chicory cafe au lait.
    Preservation Hall has wonderful jazz music that you might like too!
     
  15. True all that!

    Plus great live jazz!

    I LOVE New Orleans!