View Full Version : Louisiana sightseeing

09-18-2011, 11:27 PM
If you are coming down for Imaging, make sure you get some time in for sightseeing.

I love my state. It has a very unique history if you take the time to study it. It is very beautiful in many places. And if you are resourceful, like the outdoors, has a lot to do. But is there not something to see, do and appreciate in every state if you just look for them? :)

Anyway here are a few places that are top notch.

The National WWII museum is a very good one. Not too far from the convention center. Easy cab drive.

Airboat Adventures tour. Not sure if you will see alligators at that time of the year, but it is a fun tour. You will see what makes Louisiana the sportsman's paradise and the largest supplier of seafood. It is in the marsh's right below NOLA. It does not go to the largest swamp in the United States, the Atchafalaya. But it does give you the sights. Big airboats, very safe. They even have transportation from downtown NOLA.

Chalmette Battle Field. I think there is even a paddle wheel cruise for that. But there is a small museum. Though the battle took place after the truce with Great Britain signed, this lopsided victory by Andrew Jackson, made us recognized as major power in the world and sealed presidency for General Jackson.

Oak Alley plantation, see what the world was like in the 1850s and before. I am sure there are tour buses one can take. Also see Destrehan Plantation, one of my favorites. I have read there were more millionaires in the 1850's from Baton Rouge south along the river than the rest of the world combined.

There are many things to see. And do not forget to try some great food. I sort of like outside of NOLA for food but their are great places there too.

If you have any questions, ask here. I may be able to help out.

09-18-2011, 11:36 PM
By the way, people think that history is not important. But knowing mine helped during Katrina when I worked with CAP at the State Office of Homeland security.

I knew the area well, knew that the Chalmette battlefield was the highest land that could land choppers below New Orleans. I was able to suggest this as a landing zone for the 82nd Airborne for Katrina. The reason why the British selected it to land in 1814-15 and then march to New Orleans. After having some air photos made of the area, it was confirmed that just enough was out of the water for choppers to get in and out safely.

09-18-2011, 11:51 PM
love your state
visited 3 times
of course you need few days in French quarter
a walk trough the garden district might bring you by writer Anne rice's house
go see the cemetery, it's a tourist thing to do
check out Marie's museum & voo doo shop
cafe d' Monday for a snack at anytime of the day or night
havexa mufalata sandwich for lunch
so many great & famous restaurants to choose from
they say the zoo good, but I've never been there
take a cab to the rock & bowl for some rock & bowling duh!
on each trip I drove around the state, stayed is old plantation b&b's and sucked down some great crawfish in-between some clog dancing
of course if you can visit during Mardi GRAS that's lots of fun too
I guess you can tell I wish I was a travel photographer/writer

09-19-2011, 12:59 AM
Great idea Tim. Let's give some local favorites for food. Not just the typical touist stuff. I will start wtih Pascals Manales for their famous barbeque shirmp. Or, Camelia Grill near Tulane University for the red beans and rice. Felix's bar for Dixie beer and raw oysters. Little Izzy's for soul food and bread pudding for desert.

09-19-2011, 01:06 AM
I don't know the little restaurants like you locals do

but I had a great experience at emeral's
his original one, last time I was there he had 3 locations

09-19-2011, 03:33 AM
I don't go to the restaurants where the celebrity chef is no longer there. For any city, including Vegas.

Here's my list of favorite restaurants:

Court of Two Sisters
Fanny Mae's (fried chicken)
Mother's (Rubble Sandwich)
Central Grocery (Original Muffalata Sandwich)
Mr B's Bistro
Commanders Palace
Breitsen's (Take the St Charles trolly, a great trip in itself)
Restaurant Dokie Chase
Acme Oyster Bar
Morning Call Coffee Stand (Original Beignets. Used to be on Decateur St, now located in Metaire)
Jean Lafite's (Country's oldest bar - drinks)
Pat O'brians (Hurricane Punch *warning, don't drink more than two. Spinning Room syndrome will happen with three)

That should be good for starters:)

09-19-2011, 03:54 AM

Good job! - Sounds like we should sign you up for the New Orleans Tourism Commission !!!

Morning Call is gone from the Quarter, but Cafe du Monde is still there - right next to Jackson Square on Decatur - so you can still get coffee and beignets on Decatur St. - the only problem is that it is somewhat more crowded since the Morning Call has moved.

Also - if you're looking for Seafood, a restaurant that has been a local favorite for many years now has a location in the French Quarter - Deany's Seafood - it was formerly located out by the Lake in an area called "Bucktown", but they now have a second restaurant down in the Quarter and it's not a really long walk from the Hilton.

Another place that is not bad is Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe down by the French Market. I've eaten there a couple of time and it's pretty good.
You might even run into Jimmy there - he almost ran into me while trying to get on the GNO Bridge a while back - he pulled out without looking and I screeched to a halt about two inches from his drivers side door to see his startled face and him lipsynching "sorry" - his SUV's license is CHZBRGR - so if you see an SUV with that license, you can play paparazzi.

09-19-2011, 04:44 AM
Here goes my diet!

09-19-2011, 11:12 AM
Thanks for starting this Tim! This will be my first time to NO - and a group of 6 of us (at last count) are flying in on Wed night to have plenty of time to go sightseeing before IUSA. We're staying in the French Quarter then moving to the Hilton on Saturday.

09-19-2011, 12:54 PM
One of my favorite things to do is go to Cafe du Monde early in the morning and sit to have my coffee and beignets. What a great way to start the day.

Another place for amazing eggs benedict is Brennans. Also, they claim to have invented Bananas Foster and that is a must have there. Even if you have a late breakfast there.

09-20-2011, 01:33 PM
Okay - here's a little question. I'm still trying to make finances work so that I can make it this year. In terms of walking distance (for someone who has had 3 back surgeries and still has pain) where would be the farthest hotel-wise that I should stay? Is the French Quarter within walking distance to the Convention Center? If I come, I'll be there on Friday sometime, so that I can help with Print Comp Setup and would leave on Wednesday, so that I can help with take-down. However, I like to make it to all the early morning sessions (but don't want to have to get up at 4:30 or 5:00am just to be able to walk and make it to the early session). So, anyone got any good advice? (As long as the hotel is clean, I don't really care about amenities).

09-20-2011, 02:36 PM
there are so many volunteer positions at imaging
setting up & taking down the prints is a backbreaking job, unless you just doing paperwork.
maybe you could talk to someone like rick who might hook you up with another chairman and find a job that would not be such a strain on your back.
just thinking you should save your back for all the convention legwork

09-20-2011, 02:41 PM
see your point about absent celebrity chefs, but emeral's was awesome, much better then i expected.
as explained to me by a native new o, bad restaurants don't last in new o.
it's just a great food destination!

09-20-2011, 03:28 PM
Thanks for the concern Joe. :) It is appreciated. However, I enjoyed doing it last year, as it gave me a chance to look at all the beautiful work, and meet fellow PPAer's. And I actually have more problems when I am just standing still, or walking long distances. That's why I was curious about where I should be looking to stay (and keep in budget). lol ;)

09-20-2011, 04:09 PM
see your point about absent celebrity chefs, but emeral's was awesome, much better then i expected.
as explained to me by a native new o, bad restaurants don't last in new o.
it's just a great food destination!Probably why he's so successful in business. If you don't go to the restaurant to see him, but the experience he's created, then it doesn't matter who the chef is. Maybe that's how all of us should run our studios? ;)

09-20-2011, 05:55 PM
i just want you to take care of yourself
i agree, i've worked on the print committee at our affiliate many times and always enjoyed it

09-20-2011, 09:18 PM
Don't worry, we'll need someone to put the names on the corners, the corners on the prints and to check that everything is right before they're hung. If her back is bothering her we can have her sitting down most of the time. She helped last year and she's coming back to help again this year - THANKS !

I'm more concerned about the walking distance for her to her hotel. The closest hotel would be the one right across the street from the Exhibit Hall - I think it's a Hampton - but i've heard that it is full. The Hilton is a good central location between the Convention Center and the Quarter - it's at the foot of Canal St., it's the headquarters hotel, so it will probably be where some of the get-togethers are scheduled, and it's only a couple of blocks walk to the edge of Quarter. In any case, she will have to expect quite a bit of walking since the beginning of the Bourbon Street clubs is about a 5 or 6 block walk from the Hilton, and Jackson Square is about 6 blocks down Decatur from Canal making it about an 8 block walk from the Hilton. The Exhibit hall at the convention center is almost under the bridge - that's a good walk from the Quarter.

Unfortunately, there are no low cost hotels in the area around the convention center. The area adjacent to the convention center has transitioned from a low rent warehouse district to a high rent condo area. The other hotels adjacent to the French Quarter are all designed for tourists, and are medium to high end. You could also check out the Westin Hotel in Canal place - we've held our state convention there for the last several years, and the hotel is very nice and has given us good rates - it's about 2 blocks away from the Hilton and is in the edge of the French Quarter - that's a little longer walk to the convention center but a shorter walk back to the hotel after sepnding an evening in the quarter.

09-21-2011, 08:41 PM
Okay, so carrying this thought a little farther...if I find a less expensive hotel a little farther away, and decided to rent a car, anyone know what the parking fees are around the convention center (is there a parking structure nearby)? Or would it just be easier to pay for a cab to and from the hotel? Trying to add up whether it's more reasonable to just try to find something close and pay the higher room rate, or farther away, and pay for travel back and forth.

Thanks everyone. Oh, and btw, for anyone who hasn't booked yet, bookit.com is running a special where you can book it now, and pay no interest for six months. Basically you'd pay it off about the time you were getting back from the convention. Not sure for how long, that's why I'm trying to get my ducks in a row soon. :)

09-22-2011, 05:20 AM
There is a parking lot right next to the convention center and a couple across the street. I'm not sure what the rates are, since I haven't parked by the convention center in a good while. The Hilton also has a parking lot, as does the Westin a couple of blocks away, but they will be on the high side - all day parking at the Westin is around $25 - not sure what the Hilton or the lots around the convention center charge. If I have to go down there, I'll take a look, but I don't have anything scheduled soon that will take me into that part of town.

09-22-2011, 02:08 PM
Thanks Rick. I appreciate the help.

09-22-2011, 04:27 PM
I would expect that the hotels will have a shuttle service as well. I love riding the trolleys.

09-22-2011, 05:03 PM
Other noteworth items to consider while in New Orleans. The World War II museum is probably the most extensive museum of it's kind in the world. This museum has grown from just a small display to cover almost an entire city block and is still growing. Very worth the time to spend there.

The Aquarium of the Americas is very close to the convention center and is certainly worthwhile. Also the Audubon Zoo.

The Garden District is full of stately southern style old mansions with huge canopies of live oak trees and the street car running through. Just a beautiful area to wander. While there, make your way down towards Tulane University and stop in for lunch at the Camelia Grill http://www.camelliagrill.net/home.htm

Of course back in the Quarter if you like music especially jazz, don't forget to stop in Preservation Hall. And of course the beautiful Jackson Square with all the street performers, relaxing atmosphere, and tons of boutique shops all around. And right across the street is Cafe du Monde for the great coffee and beignets.

09-22-2011, 06:50 PM
I love daytime on the Quarter. From the Galleries and boutiques, to the fantastic antiques shops. I actually prefer the daytime vibrance over the night time. You can get hustled a lot, and panhandled on Bourbon at night.

09-22-2011, 09:59 PM
Yeah I'm with you Michael. Plus, having been there so many times, I am not a Bourbon street person. Everyone needs to go down Bourbon once at least but all the really good stuff is off Bourbon. Daytime in the Quarter is great. As you mentioned, there are some really great art galleries in New Orleans so don't hesitate to walk in and seem some amazing talent.

Yes beware of pickpockets. The tourist areas like Bourbon street are well known for them.

09-22-2011, 10:01 PM
Usually there will be some hotels that have a shuttle to the local convention center, I don't know what the situation is in New Orleans though. Sometimes the shuttles don't leave early enough in the morning, so that needs to be considered in that case. I have rented a car a couple of times when going to imaging, but usually it gets left parked at the hotel most of the time because parking at the convention centers was actually more than my daily rate for a car rental.

09-22-2011, 10:03 PM
Sorry, I just read Missy post about the shuttle... ditto that thought:D

09-22-2011, 10:59 PM
Thanks all for this thread. Keep ideas coming, and I'll condense to a Word doc for myself.
If I have my druthers, I'd be driving from visiting relatives in FL, Sarasota area.

09-23-2011, 04:19 AM
Also, the graveyards are a must see, however, go with a tour group and most definitely do not go alone.

09-23-2011, 04:21 AM
Oh! And the Bayou rides on either the Nachez or the Mark Twain. However, take the 2 hour tour (or less). I was on the 4 hour one and I had enough after 2 hours.

09-26-2011, 06:28 PM
I've already made reservations at Emeril's, Brennan's, Commanders Palace and Court of Two Sisters... four nights... for amazing dinners.

09-26-2011, 08:57 PM
all great choices
there are so many great well know restaurants it's hard to choose
many of the ones mentioned can be pricey
for those of you planning on spending some extra days before or after imaging I suggest going to the finest restaurants for lunch
same great kichen & experience at a lunch priced menu
a good tip for those without unlimited budgets who want to experience the awesome food of n.o.

09-26-2011, 09:04 PM
And eat oysters. Tons and tons of fresh oysters.

09-30-2011, 05:53 PM
So, I'm finally registered and have my reservations. I'm going to be staying at the Queen and Cresent Hotel, and wondered if anyone else is staying there? And how close is the convention center? Walking distance, or will I need to rent a car?

11-02-2011, 11:17 PM
Hey Tim!
I've never been to NOLA and am looking forward to Imaging. Should I rent a car to see the sights? Parking is $$$ downtown and most hotels charge as well. How is the public transit?

11-03-2011, 02:30 AM
If you're staying at a hotel near the convention center or in the French Quarter you might as well walk and save the car rental and parking. There is little that tourists normally go to see that is not in the Quarter or along the riverfront. Some take a streetcar ride through the Garden District, but you can just do a round trip. Parking in the Quarter is high, and there aren't a lot of parking lots within the quarter with the exception of a couple on Chartres St. and a couple inside some of the hotels like the Royal Orleans or the Royal Sonesta, but the hotel lots are usually pretty full - you'll probably end up parking at the riverfront and walking anyway, so if you're staying downtown, even if you're staying right across from the convention center hall, you're only saving about a mile or so walk at the most - and the temperature shouldn't be too bad in January - probably in the 70's - but the humidity will still be up there...

11-03-2011, 03:00 AM
Angela, Here is the google maps walking directions (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Queen+and+Cresent+Hotel&daddr=900+Convention+Center+Blvd.&hl=en&geocode=FZUAyQEdgKeh-iEbPdUK7iUW_A%3BFRPlyAEd77yh-ikF4MlHbqYghjHVhzY5Z5uhXA&sll=29.94681,-90.066798&sspn=0.016325,0.025277&vpsrc=0&dirflg=w&mra=ltm&ie=UTF8&ll=29.94655,-90.066916&spn=0.008162,0.012639&t=m&z=17) for your hotel to the convention center.

11-03-2011, 12:35 PM
FYI: PPA just made available an iPhone app (might also be for other devices) named IUSA 2012; has map, schedules, speakers, trade show, and other info. Message says more info to come. FREE. iPhone version downloads directly or via iTunes & syncing......


11-03-2011, 05:42 PM
Angela, Here is the google maps walking directions (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Queen+and+Cresent+Hotel&daddr=900+Convention+Center+Blvd.&hl=en&geocode=FZUAyQEdgKeh-iEbPdUK7iUW_A%3BFRPlyAEd77yh-ikF4MlHbqYghjHVhzY5Z5uhXA&sll=29.94681,-90.066798&sspn=0.016325,0.025277&vpsrc=0&dirflg=w&mra=ltm&ie=UTF8&ll=29.94655,-90.066916&spn=0.008162,0.012639&t=m&z=17) for your hotel to the convention center.

Thanks Ed! Looks like it's not too bad. Just not sure how I'll feel about leaving the hotel at 6:30am to make it to the early sessions. Hope my back holds up!

11-03-2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks Ed! Looks like it's not too bad. Just not sure how I'll feel about leaving the hotel at 6:30am to make it to the early sessions. Hope my back holds up!
Just stay on Poydras and away from Lafayette Square at 6 in the morning...

11-03-2011, 09:39 PM
Thanks for the advice. Just booked hotel, convention and looking at air. Can't wait to see what the fuss is all about with NOLA! I understand that you eat pretty well there?

11-03-2011, 09:44 PM
I don't understand all the fuss either - but then again, I've lived here my whole life, so to me, the French Quarter is no big thing...
I used to ride my bicycle to the Quarter to pick up vegetables at the French Market when I was a kid... We only lived a mile or so from the French Quarter, and my father's business was located only three blocks from the edge of the Quarter.

11-19-2011, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the advice. Just booked hotel, convention and looking at air. Can't wait to see what the fuss is all about with NOLA! I understand that you eat pretty well there?

Brad, I may not would get a rental car unless you just want one. I know that sometimes, i will rent a car for a few days to sight see, then turn it in, and just take public transportation.

When I stay in NOLA, if it is hot, I will get cabs. If it is cool, I will take the trolley if time is not a problem. If I am in a hurry, I take a cab.

On Saturday night, a bunch of us from Pro4um are meeting at Pat O Briens at the bar in the courtyard. From about 630 till 830. Then we will be doing a Bar Crawl, to see some of the hotspots. The oldest bar from like the 1770's. A bar that has not closed since the 60's, even open during Katrina. Just stuff like that.

I will post a link to the facebook page when it comes out. Just come and go as you please.

11-20-2011, 03:34 PM
Pat O Briens at the bar in the courtyard. From about 630 till 830. Then we will be doing a Bar Crawl, to see some of the hotspots. The oldest bar from like the 1770's. A bar that has not closed since the 60's, even open during Katrina. Just stuff like that.

I will post a link to the facebook page when it comes out. Just come and go as you please.
I think the oldest bar is Jean Lefite's (sorry about the mangling of the spelling

12-27-2011, 05:57 AM
I know this thread is old, but I have to chime in. I second (third?) the Court of Two Sisters. It has the BEST brunch. Hands down. Also, Deanie's Seafood is as good as it gets.
Parking is a PITA and expensive. You really don't need one for the Quarter and the Convention Center area.

12-27-2011, 04:58 PM
Being from New Orleans originally I wish I was going. I've scanned the thread and hope not to repeat info.

Just 2 reminders for visitors. The some of street names change at Canal St. downtown. Some will be one name on one side but crossing Canal they will be another.

If you rent a car and do driving... Be careful at all intersections. There is a type of street where the traffic goes one way, there is grass and the traffic goes the other way on the other side of the grass. Northerners call them parkways we call it neutral ground. The difference is that the grass is so wide that there will be a stop sign in between on the cross streets. I know this seems like a silly warning to some but it is an unusual traffic situation for people from smaller cities. (see below)

I didn't see anyone mention the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas next to the river on Canal Street. Highly recommended!

01-09-2012, 01:13 PM
Just stay on Poydras and away from Lafayette Square at 6 in the morning...

I was reading about a scam/routine where they will say "I bet you $20 I can tell you where you got them shoes at", then the answer is "on the street of new Orleans" and they will claim you owe them on the bet.

I guess it's like any big city and it's important to stay away from certain sections and avoid engaging people on the street wherever you go. Thanks for all the local knowledge everyone .

01-11-2012, 03:04 PM
To those of you who have been to NOLA before I'm looking for a few ideas. This is my first time and I am psyched!

I have Friday afternoon, Friday night, part of Saturday and part of Saturday night free. (after the PPA Charities event)

I LOVE music and dancing. I want to hit some of the best jazz bars but want to find some places with dancing too. What suggestions do you have? Any and all lists welcome!

Thanks so much!

How about Saturday in the daytime up until around 2:30 or so?

01-11-2012, 04:03 PM
Look at the list that I posted of a pub crawl we are doing, if you want to join us at any time.

Post 81


01-12-2012, 05:55 PM
Angela, your hotel is just around the corner from mine and it is an easy 5 minute walk to the Hilton. From the Hilton to the convention center is the longest part of the trip. When it is open you can go via the Riverwalk (very long indoor mall)from the Hilton to the convention center. Despite the fact that the building outside my hotel window looks like it has been bombed out, the vibe walking to the convention center in daylight feels pretty safe along the route Rick spoke of along poydrus street.