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Nashville or New Orleans?

Nashville or New Orleans?

Old May 13, 18, 9:43 am
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Nashville or New Orleans?

Hi guys!
Im planning a trip to the south side of the USA and wondering which city would be better. I ideally would be travelling mid September.
My requiremtns are:
-more than likely travelling alone so would need to stay in a safe part of town.
- I don’t drive so a easy to walk about city that has reliable transport during the day/ night.
-In terms of the different music scene I believe Nashville is more countrified and NO is more jazzy?

Either city will most likely be flown with BA as they have direct flights to both.

Thanks for for any advice given.

B52
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Old May 13, 18, 2:45 pm
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How many days would you stay? Budget constraints? What are your main interests?
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Old May 14, 18, 5:21 am
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4/5 days. No budget restraints, just want to experience the best of the culture/ music scene.

Am am very curious of the southern accent!

In terms of interests, music, museums, food and culture. (Would say music and food are the top priorities!)

B52
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Old May 14, 18, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Biggles52 View Post
4/5 days. No budget restraints, just want to experience the best of the culture/ music scene.

Am am very curious of the southern accent!

In terms of interests, music, museums, food and culture. (Would say music and food are the top priorities!)

B52
More questions.

Which types of music?
Jazz, Cajun, Zydeco, Brass band, Rock, Blues, etc. (left out Country intentionally. Nashville would be better for that.)

I hate to disappoint you, but native New Orleanians don’t have a “Southern” accent. NOLA is a port city and back in the day, we had a lot of people coming through from many different countries and some of them stayed. Our “accent” became an amalgam. Some people say that when speaking to a native, they hear a touch of Brooklyn. I’ve had people tell me that I have a touch of the Midwest, even though I’ve never been in the Midwest.

You could drive to Baton Rouge or north Louisiana and hear a Southern accent. If you go to Lafitte, across the River, you can hear some Cajun. Or better yet, drive to Lafayette and environs to hear Cajun.

As far as restaurants go, check out the New Orleans restaurant thread in this forum. You probably only need to check out the last few pages of that thread. Some of the earlier pages have restaurants that have closed or changed for the worse.

New Orleans restaurants -- recent reviews and recommendations?


​​​​​​​(Oops, just saw that you don’t drive.)


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Last edited by FLYMSY; May 14, 18 at 3:25 pm
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Old May 14, 18, 4:02 pm
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I visit both cities regularly for work.
Food New Orleans > Nashville. But both have good food.
Both have very touristy sections of town, but both have interesting areas outside of that. I would think those areas of New Orleans, like the Garden District, Adobon Park, etc. would be easier to reach by public transit (street cars). But both are short Uber rides away.
The touristy areas on New Orleans are much wider, the whole French Quarter and surrounding areas. The touristy parts of Nashville are two streets and some waterfront.
Yes, Nashville has more country, but there are other types. Their music scene is much more compact, with 20+ music venues in a few blocks.

New Orleans will likely be hotter and more humid during that time. That may be a factor.
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Old May 14, 18, 4:05 pm
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Nashville will be hot but dry in mid Sept. NOLA will be steamy with some chances of tropical systems.

I agree that NOLA > Nashville on food.

You won't go wrong in either place.

Both have public transit in the tourist core.

Or...you could do both!
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Old May 14, 18, 4:42 pm
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While I agree that NOLA will have a better variety of food than Nashville, if you want really good BBQ, then Nashville wins out over NOLA. Overall, there is probably more things in the downtown NOLA area to keep your interest than in Nashville, but given you will only be there for 4 or 5 days (and haven't been to either), both have enough things to keep you busy for your trip. As for music, I think others have hit on the music itself, but if you are more into the history of music and the making of music, Nashville just seems to have a bit more to offer. Both have a lot of history. So I'd ask which might be more interesting to you? In Nashville, there is the Parthenon in Centennial Park. There is Fort Nashborough literally right downtown next the Cumberland river. In NOLA, there is the French Quarter. There are a number of very old cemeteries that you can tour. While Nashville might have the Bell Witch, NOLA has whole host of "ghost" tours to satisfy you with. Also, Nashville will have some historical homes (The Hermitage, etc.), though NOLA probably has more. Both will have a lot of Civil War sites and museums, though I might guess Nashville may have a few more around the area.

Are you more of a partier? Yes there is night life in Nashville and some very good good locations right downtown especially if your big into Country Music. But lets face it, few places are going to match a night in NOLA.
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Old May 15, 18, 12:28 pm
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For a 4-5 day trip to New Orleans, the members of this board could easily provide you with things to do for every waking moment, including incredible food, more great music in a wide variety of genres than you’ll have time for, and plenty of day-time activities to fill the gaps between your meals and music shows. That gets my vote.
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Old May 15, 18, 2:01 pm
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If you do go to Nashville, make sure you do a tour of the Ryman Auditorium and check out if there is a concert while you are there. Great bit of history. https://www.ryman.com/tours/
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Old May 17, 18, 6:58 am
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You can't go wrong with either, but I recommend Nashville. Personally I prefer the BBQ over Creole cooking and have spent time in both places.
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Old May 19, 18, 5:12 pm
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I'm biased, but I do think you will find better food (and not just local food, but a wide variety) and culture in New Orleans. New Orleans is usually ranked in the top 3, next to SF and NY for dining (less expensive though). It is much more walkable and has better transit - not just my opinion but compare the walkscore and transit score. One thing that is often overlooked is that we have THE National World War II museum (if you like history). It has been significantly expanded and everyone seems to enjoy it. Not to mention many other museums and galleries.

It will be hot and humid in September, and there is a slight hurricane risk but you will also find the best hotel and flight deals at that time. Just FYI October is typically our 2nd or 3rd busiest tourism month because the weather is better then.
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Old May 22, 18, 12:42 pm
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It's been a while for me on New Orleans, but as a Nashville native I can say that September, along with May/April, is probably my favorite time of the year in Nashville. The heat in late July/early August can be brutal, but September is very mild. It's also probably the best month of the year for music around town outside of June (but without the heat!).

While New Orleans has historically had a much better food scene than Nashville, there's probably few areas in the US that has seen more new, creative restaurants pop up over the last 5 years or so. A ton of great places like Husk, 5th & Taylor, Henrietta Red, Butcher and Bee, Prince's or Hattie B's for Nashville hot chicken, City House, Martin's BBQ, The 404 Kitchen, Josephine, etc. etc. etc.

Nashville public transit is not so great, and the city is fairly spread out if you're planning on venturing outside of the downtown area. However, Uber and Lyft are easy, relatively cheap, and readily available.

And of course, lots of great music venues and festivals.....while country music is what we're known for, don't underestimate how diverse the music scene is:
-- Live on the Green - annual free concert downtown, hosted by a local indie radio station and featuring a lot of good non-country artists (local and not)
-- Musician's Corner - free weekend concerts in Centennial Park
-- Americana Festival - Sept 11-16 in various music venues around town
-- Ascend Amphitheater - new downtown amphitheater on the river (Widespread Panic, Nashville symphony under the stars, James Bay currently scheduled in Sept) Events | Ascend Amphitheater | Nashville TN
-- as someone mentioned before, the Ryman Auditorium is the most historic music venue in the city; if you can't make a concert there, at least make time to tour it
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Old May 25, 18, 2:52 pm
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Husk is great.
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Old May 30, 18, 10:52 pm
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I've been to Nashville (long ago) and lived in New Orleans for nine years. The southern U.S. city that intrigues me re: music, history, BBQ, and "accents" is Memphis. Unfortunately for OP, the only airline w/ nonstops from London is FedEx.
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Old May 31, 18, 11:53 am
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Is it possible that you could go just a little later in the fall, sometime in October? I prefer New Orleans but other commenters are right when they talk about the weather in September. It's still pretty oppressive through early October. From mid-October through May you will find better weather. If you can REALLY adjust your schedule and like fabulous food, I would recommend going in early December. the weather is very mild and many of the city's best restaurants participate in Réveillon, where you can pretty much go into a food coma nightly with four courses for about $50-$100, depending on the restaurant. I took clients on a Réveillon-centric NOLA trip at that time of year in 2016 and they are clamoring to go back. Ignore the 2013 headline and check out some of the menus and pricing from last year here: https://nomenu.com/category/special-...ays/reveillon/
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