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Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Adelaide, Australia
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Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

HI all

I am heading to NOLA in August with my bestie (both late 40's). We have a packed three weeks - I am just sorting our itinerary and have at this stage given NOLA two full days (in late on the Wednesday, out at 6am on Saturday). Looking at this forum I'm wondering if I should take a day off NYC and add it to NOLA? ...

We arrive to NOLA at 10pm on a Wednesday evening - plan will be to drop our bags and get a feel for where we are at, maybe visit a bar or two.

The next morning hoping to book a 9.00am cemetery tour ..

Originally I was thinking a combined swamp/plantation tour but I'm wondering if the swamp thing is just something I feel we 'have' to do rather than what we want to do. Plantation a must however as I'm a Gone with the Wind tragic!

We both love the heat so walking around isn't an issue and our favourite thing is people watching with some great drinks whilst meeting the locals and making new friends. Neither of us are big on museums, etc. We just like to mingle.

My boss has suggested the following spots as he was there last year:

- Fritzels on Bourbon Street

- Spotted Cat or Snug Harbor for contemporary jazz

- Preservation Hall for traditional jazz?

- a seafood dinner at GW Fins

- and a bourbon on the rocks in the bar at the Roosevelt.

I also want to visit the Carousel Bar :)

Is Commanders Palace something two single ladies would want to do? Sounds to me like a more romantic anniversary deal but please let me know if I am wrong?

Hotels we are looking at are:

Royal Sonesta

Hotel St Marie


Hotel Monteleone

Leaning towards Hotel St Marie as its 200 cheaper than Hotel Monteleone unless you can talk me out of it :) :)

I would really like something traditional (think Double Jeopardy) but trying to keep a lid on the expenses - we will only be sleeping there.

I have read a previous thread requesting nightlife for over 40's ladies so I have Cats Meow, Famous Door and Fat Katz on my list of possibilities also.

Anything I havent got on the list thats a NOLA must do?

Anything that I DO have on the list that you wouldn't bother with?

Any help will be greatly appreciated - especially if I need to cut a day of NYC and add to NOLA :)

Thank you


Edited: June 13, 2018, 6:42 pm
20 replies to this topic
Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

PS as far as dining goes - we like to b able to eat outdoors if that's possible

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

As for dining outside in August, I would mix that idea. It will be hot, and humid, so device’s, like misting systems, which work out here in the dry desert, will have zero affect in New Orleans.

Usually, from June until October, AC is “king.”

Otherwise, enjoy,


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3. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Hard to say if you should take a day away from NYC and add to NO, without knowing how many days you have planned for NYC. I would allow a minimum of five days for NYC and try for a minimum of four for New Orleans.

Agree with LoupGarou, eating outside in August won't be pleasant, even if you do like the heat. You will appreciate the air conditioning inside the restaurants. I haven't been to Commanders, but I think it would be great for even a non-romantic meal. Go at lunch time and enjoy their 25 cent martinis.

I am a cheapskate so I would probably choose the Hotel St. Marie which I would imagine would be the least expensive. The Monteleone is beautiful but I am happy to just stop by the Carousel Bar and not pay the hotel room rates.

If you do stay at the Hotel St. Marie, be sure to use their own website, valentinohotels.com. If you book a Valentino hotel through a third party website, you will pay more than by using their own website.

If you like GWTW, you will probably want to see Oak Alley Plantation. While the inside of the house is much smaller than I would have expected, the outside is gorgeous with the beautiful oak trees lining the lane to the house. You might want to do a combo tour that includes both Oak Alley and Laura Plantations, as they are very close together and frequently packaged together. Laura focuses more on the slavery aspect and the women who ran the plantation, and Oak Alley is more about the grandeur, so it is nice to get a perspective of both.

Have a great time in New Orleans!

Phoenix, Arizona
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4. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Oops, in Reply #2, that should read “NIX the al fresco dining in August,” and not “MIX.”

Sorry for my faux pas.



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5. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Phone pas? 😜

Edited: June 14, 2018, 12:05 am
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6. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

I would probably just do the plantations and not the swamp tour. Have been to Commanders with a small group of friends and it is always fun so I would recommend that. Right next to Fritzels is the Funky Pirate which has some pretty good bands. They say its a Blues bar with a rock and roll problem.

While you are on Frenchmen st (where Snug Harbor and Spotted Cat are) be sure to listen in some of the other venues as well.

College Station...
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7. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

If your visit will include an outside of the City plantation and/or swamp tour, I suggest a four-night stay.

Your boss has made some very good suggestions.

For two ladies, I suggest lunch or brunch at Commander's Palace. I actually prefer the daytime ambiance and reduced prices. You can combine this with a visit to the rest of the Garden District.

For New Orleans lodging I actually prefer the smaller "boutique" hotels to the larger "full service" hotels, but this is a matter of personal preference. The close proximity of restaurants and bars within the French Quarter makes having these amenities within the hotel less critical than might be the case in other locales. In addition to Hotel St Marie, you might want to check out Bourbon Orleans and Place d'Armes (all are "traditional"). As previously mentioned, Hotel St Marie and Place d'Armes usually offer the best rates directly from the hotel website or hotel reservation line.

I really like all of the New Orleans places you mentioned. But for additional ideas, here is my "canned" list of "must see/do":

Daytime stroll 200 – 1200 Royal St. – See note on Carousel Bar and Lounge below.

Daytime stroll 1200 – 600 Decatur St. – See notes on Café du Monde, Jackson Square and Central Grocery below.

Daytime or early evening stroll Jackson Square, passing surrounding buildings and going through Pirate’s Alley. Carriage rides depart from the Decatur St. side of the Square.

Evening or nighttime stroll Frenchmen St. between Decatur St. and Royal St. (Faubourg Marigny) - Location of musical performance venues.

Nighttime stroll 200 – 1000 Bourbon St. – See note on Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop below.

Experience the River from the River bank, inexpensive Canal St. Ferry, or, time and finances permitting, the Steamboat Natchez or Paddlewheeler Creole Queen.

Ride St. Charles Avenue Streetcar (requires exact fare [$1.25]) – Board across the street from French Quarter on Carondelet St. (Bourbon St.) at Canal St. Time permitting, get off in the Garden District (at Washington Ave.), at The Columns Hotel (at Peniston St. [pronounced like tennis ton]), at the “Bend” (at Carrollton Ave.), or at Oak St. If you anticipate boarding more than 2 times that day (including end of line) get a $3 unlimited ride day pass (exact change) when first boarding (available on streetcar) that day. See Note on Commander’s Palace below.

Laffitte’s Blacksmith Shop – Bar in historic (1770's) building. 914 Bourbon St.

Carousel Bar and Lounge – In the Monteleone Hotel at 214 Royal St.

Café du Monde – Café au lait (coffee with chicory and cream) and beignets (fried pastry). 800 Decatur St. Crowded mid morning; most interesting late night/very early morning.

Central Grocery – Muffuletta (sandwich). Open 7 days 9:00 – 4:00. 923 Decatur St. Get your sandwich, chips (Zapp’s) and drink to go; picnic on the River bank (other side of French Market across the street).

Commander’s Palace – Traditional and famous restaurant. Corner of Washington Ave. and Coliseum St. (2 blocks off St. Charles Streetcar route). Consider lunch (M-F 25 cent martinis) or brunch (S-S) to allow for Garden District walking tour, including Lafayette Cemetery (closes at 3 PM) across the street.

Other popular activities/locations: City Park/Museum of Art (Sculpture Garden), Preservation Hall (traditional New Orleans jazz), National World War II Museum, Napoleon House Bar & Café (warm muffuletta and Pimm’s Cup), dueling piano players and/or flaming patio fountain at Pat O’Brien’s, Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, free History of French Quarter morning lecture given by Jean Lafitte Park and Preserve’s Folklife and Visitor Center, various French Quarter walking tours (ghost, haunted, voodoo, pub crawl, historical, cocktail, culinary, architecture, etc.), demonstration class at New Orleans School of Cooking, daytime Magazine St. shopping and/or restaurant/bar hopping via Magazine St. bus, Audubon Park/Zoo via St. Charles streetcar and/or Magazine St. bus, and outside of the City swamp and/or plantation tour.

Edited: June 14, 2018, 12:51 am
Mitchell, South...
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8. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Some wonderful restaurant deals in the French Quarter in August. Fixed price meals at a low price, known as Coolinary. Two I would suggest Antoine's and Bayona. I also echo having lunch at Commander's Palace. The drink you need at the Roosevelt Hotel is the Sazerac at the famous Sazerac Bar.

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Thank you SO VERY much for all the feedback. We have decided to skip Vegas and add the extra days to NOLA and one to Miami.

We are very much looking forward to immersing ourselves into the New Orleans culture :)

Brigantine, New...
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10. Re: Two Aussie first timers to NOLA - Itinerary help :)

Don't leave town without some charbroiled oysters from https://www.dragosrestaurant.com/

Since you said you both don't mind the heat I am going to give a thumbs up to a swamp tour. If you've never been it's a surreal experience as you begin to realize how the vegetation has adapted to its watery environment and of course some of the wildlife is pretty spectacular too.

On a grimmer note when I went through there were still clear markings on the doors of homes in the swamp indicating that they'd been checked after Hurricane Harvey and the markings indicated both the search was completed and what damage was found or ongoing dangers exist or the number of people rescued or dead.


This particular tour gets good reviews and includes both Oak Hill and a swamp tour.

Here's a link to their reviews here on TripAdvisor

https://tinyurl.com/Oak-Alley-Swamp-Combo This is a full day tour as you're planning your time.

As a Gone With the Wind fan you might also be interested in knowing you can dine and stay overnight at the plantation although I suspect that would require you to make alternate arrangements to get there.

Either way experiencing Oak Alley is a once in a lifetime experience.


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