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A few days in New Orleans

A few days in New Orleans

Old Feb 22, 18, 12:13 pm
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A few days in New Orleans

Flying into MSY Wed in July. 2 seniors traveling a bit heavy (2 45# roller bags, 2 med. backpacks). Transport to the Staybridge Suites (booked), 501 Tchoupitoulas? Cab or Shuttle?

Planning on Staying thru Sunday (that day we will be transferring to the InterContential Hotel in the similar area). We tentatively plan to get 3 day hopon/hopoff bus tickets for transportation to various areas for activities. We have not been here before, so we are newbies (no renting a car). Fancy dining, big drinking, lots of group hiking is not our thing. History, Museums, Zoos, Archit., etc of greatest interest. Any suggestions?

Sunday we move to the IC for precruise night. Will transport (and drop off bags) for more sightseeing if something is left of interest. Monday, after breakfast, we will likely take a tour of a plantation prior to boarding the boat.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 22, 18, 12:37 pm
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A shuttle from the airport will be slower and cost more ($24/person) than a cab ($36/2 people). So cab for sure, or Uber/Lyft for about the same price.

The Staybridge is decent and centrally located.

Expect it to be hot.

There are lots of walking tours in the Quarter - my mother took the one offered in association with the state history museum and liked it a lot:
Friends of the Cabildo Book Tours | New Orleans French Quarter Walking Tours Booking

The WWII museum generally gets rave reviews.

The Historic New Orleans Collection is worth a visit.

Mardi Gras World is unique and entertaining.

There are a ton of midsize and smaller museums in town: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...in_New_Orleans
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Old Feb 23, 18, 10:14 am
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In addition to swag’s suggestions, you could take the Canal St. - City Park streetcar to the end of the line and visit the New Orleans Museum of Art. Afterward, you could walk over to the Morning Call, located, at most, a hundred yards from the museum for coffee and beignets. Much nicer setting than Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter.

System Map

You could take the Magazine St. Bus all the way to the end of it’s route and get off in Audubon Park(beautiful) and visit the Audubon Zoo. The bus will bring you back downtown to near where you are staying.

You might want to investigate getting a Jazzy Pass from the RTA website (link above).
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Old Feb 24, 18, 10:41 am
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I would say forget the hop-on bus tickets. I agree about the Jazzy pass - you can buy a week RTA pass for much cheaper than the hop-on and the streetcars and buses will take you where you want to go and you get more of a local experience rather than being in a tourist bus. The St. Charles line is worth riding to the end and back just for viewing the architecture (not air-conditioned though). You can take the Canal-City Park line to the museum of art and sculpture garden as well. Most dining in the summer is not too fancy, but it's definitely worth visiting a few of the classic old restaurants and they often have deals over the summer.

Even though you don't want to drink too much, there are a few classic hotel bars that are worth a visit, especially if it is hot or rainy out. Roosevelt Hotel's Sazerac bar, for example, has a lot of history associated with it.

Definitely follow the above advice and stick with the museum affiliated tours. The Insectarium gets rave reviews as well as the aquarium - those are good ways to escape the mid-day heat. You can get a combo Audubon insectarium, aquarium, and zoo pass.
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Old Feb 24, 18, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by prokowave View Post
I would say forget the hop-on bus tickets. I agree about the Jazzy pass - you can buy a week RTA pass for much cheaper than the hop-on and the streetcars and buses will take you where you want to go and you get more of a local experience rather than being in a tourist bus.
My sentiments exactly. Forget the hop on bus.

BTW, if you are coming the first week of July, there will be a lot of tourists because of Essence Fest. Restaurants will be crowded, so make all of your reservations as soon as possible.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 10:38 am
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Visit more than the French Quarter. The Garden District is lovely. Audubon Park is nice. Tons of restaurants outside the quarter.
Frenchman's street for music is far better than Bourbon St.

Find the little grocers , go to the back and get sandwichs from their counters. A hidden NOLA secret.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 5:08 pm
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Thank you all. You are really helping us hone in on what to do.

We will be coming the second week.

Are there places we should avoid, if we go for the local transport. We only would be day time sightseers.

I will check out the public transport and payment mode, etc.

I found 3 day Jazzy Pass $9. We are seniors, so the way I understand the program is we can just get on the bus/street car and pay 40 cents each (free transfers) and show ID. That works well. Do I pay with coins, or do the buses have change? Might even try the ferry to somewhere? Sr rate $1 each boarding each (free transfers)

I found the "router" on the RTA site and tried from our hotel "501 Tchoupitoulas st" to the zoo, and it said it could not route it? I do not see it on the map they show with the routing. Doesn't seem credible that the bus would not go to the zoo?! I will check FLYMSY' link to see the Magazine St route. Not having the HOHO, but bus, will allow is to plan each day as we go. Maybe too hot for zoo?

We would like to see the zoo, as that is what we do all over the world. Like to see the aquarium too (I saw the pass). A garden review would be good...which is best (and relatively flat). We will do some French Quarter (walk about or tour as suggested). Maybe a cemetery? We are not very adventurous when it comes to eating, but some crawdads would be a worthwhile adventure for us. We normally are ice tea (not sweet tea) and wine (not sweet types) drinkers. We use to do bourbon (Seagrams 7, VO, even known to have Southern comfort...all with water. What do you suggest we drink? We cannot eat all our meals at Subway! War Memorial is good for us. Not so much art museums, but I will check the others suggested and see what I can route and what interests the wife.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 7:57 pm
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For the buses, and streetcars, they accept coin or bills. Change is given on a fare card, so if you pay 2 seniors with a dollar bill, you'll get a card with 20 cents credit towards your next ride. I'm not sure if the ferry offers change.

If you like bourbon, try a sazerac. It's a classic local cocktail made with rye. If is hot, another local drink to try is a Pimms cup. It's made from gin and cucumber, and is very refreshing.

And not to worry... Everything is flat.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 7:00 am
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I've done paid walking tours in the Garden District in the past - this time I downloaded a google My Maps tour and we did our own walking tour. Fine for us this time because we wanted more to see the neighborhood than hear all the history and stories (you can find a lot of info online if you want to DIY and get the background)

This is the map we used:
http://www.bigboytravel.com/louisian...ictwalkingtour

Friends of ours did a tour they enjoyed - history, food & cocktails - I'll see if I can get their info, they really enjoyed it. Think they were mostly in the French Quarter for that tour....

We also did our own DIY cocktail tour in the French Quarter - we started at Cane & Table, which had been on my to-do list for a while - enjoyed their fun twists on old school cocktails. We started there when they opened at 3 on a Friday and made our way to a couple other bars for happy hour specials (many places have specials in the 3pm-7pm range - I just looked online the places that have been on my to-do list, noted the happy hour times, and plotted a map that made the most sense....because I'm an overplanning dork that way ;-)
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Old Mar 2, 18, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post
Thank you all. You are really helping us hone in on what to do.

We will be coming the second week.

Are there places we should avoid, if we go for the local transport. We only would be day time sightseers.

I will check out the public transport and payment mode, etc.

I found 3 day Jazzy Pass $9. We are seniors, so the way I understand the program is we can just get on the bus/street car and pay 40 cents each (free transfers) and show ID. That works well. Do I pay with coins, or do the buses have change? Might even try the ferry to somewhere? Sr rate $1 each boarding each (free transfers)

I found the "router" on the RTA site and tried from our hotel "501 Tchoupitoulas st" to the zoo, and it said it could not route it? I do not see it on the map they show with the routing. Doesn't seem credible that the bus would not go to the zoo?! I will check FLYMSY' link to see the Magazine St route. Not having the HOHO, but bus, will allow is to plan each day as we go. Maybe too hot for zoo?

We would like to see the zoo, as that is what we do all over the world. Like to see the aquarium too (I saw the pass). A garden review would be good...which is best (and relatively flat). We will do some French Quarter (walk about or tour as suggested). Maybe a cemetery? We are not very adventurous when it comes to eating, but some crawdads would be a worthwhile adventure for us. We normally are ice tea (not sweet tea) and wine (not sweet types) drinkers. We use to do bourbon (Seagrams 7, VO, even known to have Southern comfort...all with water. What do you suggest we drink? We cannot eat all our meals at Subway! War Memorial is good for us. Not so much art museums, but I will check the others suggested and see what I can route and what interests the wife.
Both the Magazine and Tchoupitoulas buses will get you to the zoo. But, do yourself a favor and take the Magazine bus. It’s a more direct route and much more scenic. Magazine St. is much more interesting than Tchoupitoulas. Take it from a native New Orleanian. You’ll be getting on and off the both buses in essentially the same places.

As far as bars, you might want to check out the Carousel Lounge at the Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter. The bar goes around, very slowly, like a carousel. Also, since you like wine, try W.I.N.O. which is just up the street from your hotel.

Longue Vue Gardens is a nice place and a visit should not take very long. No convenient public transportation to get you there, though. City Park and Audubon Park are nice. It shouldn’t be too hot to do the zoo, besides, there are several cafes and refreshment places scattered throughout where you can rest and cool off, if needed.

The most impressive cemetery, IMHO, is Metairie Cemetery. You’d need a car or a tour. You could, also, try to see about getting a tour of the St. Louis Cemetery. I, also, like the one, Lafayette, directly across from Commander’s Palace.

Edit: Even though the it’s called the Tchoupitoulas Bus, it doesn’t run exclusively on Tchoupitoulas St. and certainly, doesn’t pass in front of your hotel. That’s why the RTA website said that it couldn’t route you from the hotel.
​​​​​

Last edited by FLYMSY; Mar 2, 18 at 7:35 am Reason: Add’l info
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Old Mar 3, 18, 5:16 am
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A lovely (albeit touristy, but still lovely) way to see the zoo would be to walk the few blocks from your hotel to the aquarium, where you can catch a riverboat to the zoo. Just buy a one way ticket. After your visit to the zoo, exit the front of the zoo (rather than the back, where the ferry will have dropped you off), and take the free shuttle from the zoo to St. Charles Avenue, and then ride the street car back.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
A lovely (albeit touristy, but still lovely) way to see the zoo would be to walk the few blocks from your hotel to the aquarium, where you can catch a riverboat to the zoo. Just buy a one way ticket. After your visit to the zoo, exit the front of the zoo (rather than the back, where the ferry will have dropped you off), and take the free shuttle from the zoo to St. Charles Avenue, and then ride the street car back.
We did this many years ago. Great suggestion. You will see some sort of shipping and see New Orleans from a different perspective.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
A lovely (albeit touristy, but still lovely) way to see the zoo would be to walk the few blocks from your hotel to the aquarium, where you can catch a riverboat to the zoo. Just buy a one way ticket. After your visit to the zoo, exit the front of the zoo (rather than the back, where the ferry will have dropped you off), and take the free shuttle from the zoo to St. Charles Avenue, and then ride the street car back.
I have fond memories of this from my first ever trip to NOLA, though we did the streetcar out and the boat back, which had us cruising down the river during sunset. Lovely.

But I thought I had heard that the Audubon cruises had been discontinued a few years ago. I'd love to be proven wrong, if anyone has a current link.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
I have fond memories of this from my first ever trip to NOLA, though we did the streetcar out and the boat back, which had us cruising down the river during sunset. Lovely.

But I thought I had heard that the Audubon cruises had been discontinued a few years ago. I'd love to be proven wrong, if anyone has a current link.
No mention of it on this page from the Audubon Institute:

https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo-getting-here

But, to tack on to other suggestions, you could take the Magazine bus in one direction and the St. Charles Ave. streetcar in the other direction. That would be a great way to see parts of the city. You could either walk thru the park to/from the zoo, if you really like to walk and mobility isn’t an issue. Otherwise, take the shuttle between the zoo and St. Charles Ave., as suggested.

Last edited by FLYMSY; Mar 4, 18 at 7:30 am
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Old Mar 4, 18, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
But I thought I had heard that the Audubon cruises had been discontinued a few years ago. I'd love to be proven wrong, if anyone has a current link.
Shoot, it looks like youíre right. Thatís really unfortunate
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