411 on travel to New Orleans...

<p>DW and I would like to spend a weekend at New Orleans using my Airline miles. I've couple of question if some one can provide the first hand experience.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>The only tickets I'm getting using miles reach New Orleans at 11:30 p.m. I would like to stay in a hotel in French Quarter Area. So the question is how safe it is to take a cab from airport to Hotel in French Quarter?</p></li>
<li><p>What are the few good hotel option (Safety and Comfort) in French Quarter? I'm planning Thursday thru Sunday. So reaching Thursday night at 11:30 and flying Sunday Morning.</p></li>
<li><p>What is must see and what is must eat? I'm big seafood and steak fan.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Thanks in advance.</p>

<ol>
<li> Commander's Palace for brunch, Brennan's for breakfast, Mr. B's for dinner. Take a class at New Orleans School of Cooking wit Big Kev. Cafe du Monde for beignets. Napoleon House for muffulettas and Preservation Hall for music. We did all this and more in 2009 and we're going back in mid September and will repeat several. Wish I could write more but iPad battery running low and too lazy to go downstairs for charger. Lots more to see, hear and eat!</li>
</ol>

<p>ENJOY!</p>

<p>Curious to see this too. I am going to a conference in the fall at the Sonesta in the French Quarter. Good reviews of trip advisor..anybody stayed there?</p>

<p>We stayed at the Royal Sonesta pre-Katrina. It is a very nice New Orleans hotel. It's on Bourbon St. but we were never bothered by noise. If you don't want to be on Bourbon, staying on Royal would be an option. Perfectly safe to take a cab from the airport to the Quarter late at night. </p>

<p>Any restaurant owned by the Brennan's would be good, and Commander's Palace for brunch is an excellent recommendation. Antoine's is a landmark and supposedly the birthplace of oysters Rockefeller and baked Alaska (which are excellent). If you are still hungry, head over to Felix's and enjoy an Abita and oysters while standing at the oyster bar (and if you don't want them raw, order them chargrilled - yum). </p>

<p>Things to do: Garden District and a ride on the St Charles streetcar. Get a walking guide to the French Quarter and wander around. Pre-Katrina, we took a couple of fun walking tours, like the Haunted New Orleans walking tour at night that began and ended (of course) with a drink at a bar. I can't remember the name of the company nor do I know if they are still in business, but your hotel should be able to help you with that.</p>

<p>We stayed at the Windsor Court Hotel, which was an easy walk to the French Quarter. The rooms are huge -- seriously, our suite was the size of an apartment. I second Brennan's, Commander's Palace, and Antoine's -- also add Bayona and Galatoire's. Definitely take a cemetery walking tour -- but not on your own, with a guide. There are plenty of tours in the FQ. You have to see Bourbon Street of course. There was a Tulane/LSU game at the time we were there and it was crazy. There is also great(expensive) antiques shopping if that is your taste. Have a great trip.</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>I did look up Royal Sonesta and was bit worried about the noise on the Bourbon st. and might prefer to stay close to action instead of right into it.</p></li>
<li><p>How about Marriott New Orleans on the Canal St.? I've rewards points with them too.</p></li>
<li><p>Brennan's seems to be a must. Any preference for breakfast or dinner. If I pick Marriott I'll get breakfast so it will be dinner. One thing I noticed that veal is missing from the fixed priced breakfast and dinner. Bayona and Galatoire looks interesting and so do Antoine's. I'll try to pick one for dinner. </p></li>
<li><p>Planning on the walking tours of Bourbon and rest of French Quarter, I'll try to look up for cemetery tour too.</p></li>
<li><p>Garden district and a ride on St Charles streetcar.</p></li>
<li><p>Antiques shopping is must for DW and I'm going to keep my eyes closed for the fear of getting a heart attack :D</p></li>
</ol>

<p>I'm looking forward to it. Love good food and music so have been waiting long for this.</p>

<p>The noise and havoc on Burbon St. can be over the top. You think of it as fun and quaint like in a movie, but you get there and it's a bunch of rowdy drunk 20somethings. So I would say to be near the action but not in the midst of the action.</p>

<p>If Cafe Du Monde is packed, there is a takeout window at the side of the building. You can get your treats to go and then sit nearby.</p>

<p>For the BEST blackened filet mignon ever, must try K Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, owned by Chef Paul Prudhomme.</p>

<p>Home</a> - Chef Paul Prudhomme</p>

<p>Agree with Commander's Palace, Brennan's (Excellent for brunch-MUST get the bananas Foster...you will not want to share this ;) and Cafe du Monde for the must-do food places. Have a great time!!</p>

<p>I like Galatoire's very much.</p>

<p>My tip for a visit to New Orleans is NOT to visit Bourbon Street first. While it's obligatory to go there, I don't think it makes the best first impression of the city, or even of the French Quarter.</p>

<p>Staying on Canal Street is on the edge of the Quarter and a big busy 4 lane road. The best parts of the French Quarter are the smaller more intimate streets. I would try to find a hotel that capitalizes on the more charming sections. </p>

<p>Never stayed in, but heard great things about the Soniat House, although it is pricey. Stayed in the Omni Royal Orleans in 2009. Fabulous location close to Jackson Square and pretty nice. It has a perfectly situated roof-top pool/bar area which allows you to see all the amazing rooftops of the Quarter and a view of the River at the same time. The Place des Armes is an interesting hotel with exposed brick walls (at least in our room). We had a wonderful courtyard view and a location just a block from the Cafe du Monde, at the edge of the Square. We've also stayed in the Hotel Monteleone which we liked as well, especially since we were magically upgraded to a much nicer room than expected. Its location on the western edge of the Quarter is good, but after several trips, we prefer the area of the quarter closer to Jackson Square, a couple block north of the Mississippi River. That said, it's all eminently walkable, so as long as that's ok for you, it probably really doesn't matter, especially for your first trip. S graduated from Tulane so we no longer visit, but sure do miss it. What a charming, wonderful city with lovely people and amazing food! </p>

<p>Also, I concur with the above suggestions re restaurants and sight-seeing. The cemetery tour is uniquely New Orleans and a good one. Another one we did was broader and took us to the Garden District as well--we learned alot of interesting history. The city has many stories to tell!</p>

<p>Lots and LOTS of discussions have been had on these very topics in the Tulane thread. I'd recommend you go there and search on the threads about travel, lodging, things to do, etc. I've stayed at the Marriott. Its fine. Taxi from the airport to downtown at any hour is fine. Consider the bicycle tour, or (this was really fun) the segway tour of downtown. </p>

<p>Its a fun town!</p>

<p>11:30 p.m. in New Orleans? Isn't this when the place is HOPPING? I can't imagine it wouldn't be safe to take a taxi from the airport to a hotel. Agreed with others about French Quarter noise. When we were there, we stayed at a boutique hotel out by Loyola/Tulane universities...on the trolley line (sort of across the street from the zoo). It was lovely...and quiet...and the trolley was there for our convenience (and as I recall ran until ALL hours of the night).</p>

<p>We also liked staying in the Garden District over the FQ. Quiet and no stench. The FQ really stinks in the heat. Easy enough to get around.</p>

<p>Ah, the heat. Our last visit was in late September, and we were absolutely boiling. POIH, you are likely used to milder Bay-area weather - just make sure you are well-prepared with very light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and perhaps wide-brimmed hats to shield your face. And make sure to carry water with you. If your wife has long hair, a ponytail is a must.</p>

<p>For our family, no visit to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Mother's.
Mother's</a> Restaurant - New Orleans - World' Best Baked Ham - 401 Poydras, New Orleans, LA 70130 Tel: 504-523-9656</p>

<p>The restaurant suggestions above are good, though I wouldn't bother with Antoine's, which I think is overrated. I love Galatoires, though. I'd also add Cochon, Herbsaint, and/or Brigsten's.</p>

<p>For hotels, I agree with Pizzagirl that the Windsor Court is amazing. I also love the Monteleone. There are also some smaller, non-chain hotels in the Quarter that are nice. I'm especially fond of the Hotel St. Pierre.</p>

<p>My favorite New Orleans activity ever is to take the St. Charles streetcar out to the end of the line and back. Best $2.50 you'll spend. I also love go to M.S. Rau to look at the antiques and jewelry, but be forewarned: nothing there is even remotely affordable. Oh, and I like to go down to the Moonwalk and watch the barge traffic on the river. New Orleans is a busy and important port.</p>

<p>bookmarking this thread..</p>

<p>I am very anxiously waiting for news by the end of the month to see if we have won the lottery for the 2012 NCAA Final Four, which is in N.O. Despite my strong Louisiana heritage, I've never been to N.O.</p>

<p>I was just there in June and had an incredible trip. I stayed at the Hilton on Poydras street, and from there I could walk to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. I would recommend it as an excellent location--it's out of the craziness but definitely within walking distance if you are comfortable walking a few blocks.</p>

<p>We took a street car through the garden district to dinner one night, and that was an amazing way to see that beautiful part of the city! I wish I had more time there. It is the most delicious place I've ever been! I was surprized at how Caribbean it felt in attitude and just the overall feel of the city.</p>

<p>Drago's was actually in my hotel. They make charbroiled oysters. I don't even like oysters that much, but we had them the first day and then went back the next three days for either lunch or drinks and a serving of charbroiled oysters each evening before dinner!</p>

<p>Drago's</a> Seafood Restaurant | New Orleans, Louisiana</p>

<p>Usually hotel restaurants are not great--but the charbroiled oysters were really amazing. My husband is sick of hearing about how good they were. :)</p>

<p>We also went to Stanley for an amazing brunch, with eggs benedict served with fried oysters! Stanley</a> Restaurant | New Orleans Really fantastic.</p>

<p>I did the walk down Bourbon Street and really enjoyed it. However, we went early and I was back at the hotel by 11pm--I don't doubt that things get very drunk and dirty later. But we had a great time walking down the street--there is phenomenal music in all of the bars, and you can get a to go cup with beer or drinks and just bop from bar to bar and sample music. It was really, really fun! Towards the end it gets very dirty--there's a block where all the strip clubs seem to be clustered together, and you might see some topless or bottomless dancers, but most of the street was just goofy fun.</p>

<p>It's a really beautiful, interesting city. I can't wait to go back. Enjoy your trip!</p>

<p>I, too, think NOLA is quite special - there is nothing like it. The only other US city that I think has that sense of "otherness" is Savannah, GA.</p>

<p>For hotels try the Omni Royal Orleans. It's a close (1/2 block) walk to Brennan's, K-Paul's and the Napoleon House. Or try the Monteleone. Very friendly, a bit closer to Canal street. Or, the newly renovated Roosevelt Hotel (used to be the Roosevelt for decades, became the Ambassador, no locals would call it the Ambassador, finally gave up and became the Roosevelt again). It's just across Canal street and is the home of the Sazerac cocktail and the new Domenica restaurant. </p>

<p>Commander's is great for lunch too, and then you can go for a walk in the cemetery across the street. They used to have 25 cent martinis for lunch, not sure if they still do. Commander's and Brennan's will have a dress code for dinner and brunch (jacket and tie) but not for lunch. Still, no sneakers, jeans or shorts - ever. </p>

<p>Don't stay by the Windsor Court or the other big hotels. Not such a walkable neighborhood and a bit boring to be there.</p>