The Big Easy, New Orleans

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  • Art Mobility
    Art Mobility
    by CoAir13
  • Typical NOLA street scene
    Typical NOLA street scene
    by Jmill42
  • The Big Easy
    by vigi
  • GraydonWilson's Profile Photo

    Visit for Mardi Gras or something else?

    by GraydonWilson Updated Aug 8, 2010

    Favorite thing: By and large, much of what people have posted here is good, though I would not agree with the advice that you avoid the Quarter. It's simply a matter of what you're interested in. But everybody who's replied so far is from somewhere else. I'm from New Orleans. I was born and raised there and lived there for thirty years. Though I live elsewhere now, I get back on a regular basis.

    Mardi Gras can be a lot of fun. It can also be very tiring. And Mardi Gras varies dramatically according to where you are and when you're there (meaning day or night). In the Quarter, it's crowded, wild and raucous — and there aren't any parades. Elsewhere, it's parades and such, less crowded (except on Canal Street) more family-oriented.

    Mardi Gras can also be hazardous. I have never had a problem and can't say I know anyone who has. But lots of people do. Many of the people who have problems are visitors who are unfamiliar with the terrain. It's very easy to wander into a sketchy area unknowingly. Other people who have problems are those who get drunk and belligerent, or who believe New Orleans is their playground and that anything goes. It's loose, but there are limitations. Whatever you do, do not antagonize a police officer. That would prove to be an unfortunate choice.

    Whether you want to be in the Quarter on Mardi Gras day or elsewhere, get started at about 6:00 a.m. Lots of people will be out and about by then and it just gets busier and busier afterwards. And wear a costume, one you thought up and designed yourself. Something clever and topical is always great. You'll get your photograph taken a lot, so get ready to pose.

    If you're interested in the rest of what you mentioned (history, food, music, entertainment etc.), go to New Orleans some time other than Mardi Gras. I would highly recommend the third week of April. Everything is in bloom, the weather is fabulous (clear skies, not hot, low humidity) and the crowds are smaller. The French Quarter Festival is the weekend preceding the first weekend of the JazzFest, but it's not too busy. Alternatively, mid-October to late November works, too.

    The JazzFest is a two-weekend affair that's always the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. If you're interested in the JazzFest, treat it like Mardi Gras. That is, go for that and nothing else. It's a huge event that will occupy all of your attention. There are concerts and shows everywhere at night, in addition.

    From late May to mid-September, New Orleans is very hot and humid. And, of course, from mi-August to early September, there's always the possibility of a hurricane. That's an interesting event that's best avoided.

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  • Ecclectic and Eccentric

    by CoAir13 Updated Mar 11, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Art Mobility

    Favorite thing: Southern hospitality is prominent in New Orleans and so is uniqueness. The great mix of people is what gives this city it's spicy flavor. You really have to explore every nook and cranny to get the full taste. Walk around in empty corners and open your eyes to what surrounds you.....you will always find something special!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

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  • Get a Shoe Shine

    by peach93 Written Sep 10, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rob Gets a Shoe Shine on Decatur St.

    Favorite thing: The tourist guides all tell you to avoid the shoe shine people. And yeah, I guess that some of them could be trying to pick your pocket or something, but that can happen in a shopping mall for cripe's sake. So for about $5 you can have your tired, old shoes looking brand-spanking new. These guys do a GOOD job. They really earn the money they make. Everyone wins. I mean how often does that happen?

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • tompt's Profile Photo

    New Orleans, is just different

    by tompt Written Nov 23, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wash Away Your Sins

    Favorite thing: New Orleans is just different from all the other american cities. It is more lifely, but also more strange....

    In a shop window we found this soap.
    It is called: Wash Away Your Sins.

    Where else would you find things like this??

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  • Jmill42's Profile Photo

    The "Scenery"

    by Jmill42 Written Dec 10, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Typical NOLA street scene

    Favorite thing: Truthfully, NOLA is not one of the more beautiful places in the world. The street are VERY dirty and riddled with pot-holes. There is an ever-present stench that can only be described as New Orleans, and most of the accomodations are old run-down places that are really expensive because they are billed as "historical" or "antique." With that said, though, it is without a doubt one of the best party towns on earth and you will leave wanting to come back.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    We Finally Got There

    by keeweechic Written Oct 25, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: New Orleans was to be the highlight of our trip. Other than our first night away, it was the only place we actually made hotel reservations. With 'Isidore' about to hit the coast, we did our best to keep to our schedule and arrive the night we planned. Unfortunately that was not to be due to flood waters in New Orleans and the highway. The next day we tried again and finally got there.
    .

    Fondest memory: It was gray and overcast the afternoon we arrived but the next day, other than a few places still closed or boarded up, you would never have known the French Quarter had been under water. The weather was gorgeous. Unfortunately though, we lost a day and although we crammed a lot in, we missed seeing the Garden District and other areas.
    .

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  • dawnm70's Profile Photo

    New Orleans in a Day

    by dawnm70 Written Oct 25, 2002

    Favorite thing: I guess my favorite thing about New Orleans is no matter what day of the week or time of day it is, you will always see something that will shock you. People seem to lose their inabitions down here in the Big Easy making a "free show" for all who walk down Bourbon Street. Night time, though, is more pleasing to the eye.

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  • Enjoy the food, walk around...

    by markjs Written Aug 26, 2002

    Favorite thing: Enjoy the food, walk around bourbon steet and the surrounding streets, and enjoy the nightlife, which never really dies down.

    Fondest memory: The pure joy that most tourists have while they are in New Orleans. Combined with the friendly attitude of the locals, this city really makes it simple for everyone to have a great time.

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  • Let yourself go! Just...

    by huffress Written Aug 26, 2002

    Favorite thing: Let yourself go! Just experience everything you possibley can! Eat the food, drink the beer, be a part of that crazy crowd!

    Fondest memory: Every memory! It was a worry-free fun time with great friends, in a fun-filled place!

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  • CDNgirl's General Tip

    by CDNgirl Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: I work night shifts usually, and I had a hard time flipping myself back to days on my first 24hrs in New Orleans, so on my first nite there, I woke up at 2 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I ended up sitting in the courtyard outside our room(formerly slave quarters) and read by moonlight on a wrought iron bench. The weather was still warm and humid, and I could still hear the sounds of Bourbon Street. It was a moment of peace shared only with the house cat in a city known for partying 24-7!!

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  • ranting's General Tip

    by ranting Written Aug 24, 2002

    Fondest memory: Ok, so it's December 31, 1998 and I'm driving across the country after a nightmarish X-mas trip to New England and am returning to CA. I'm alone, broke with only a gas card to sustain me and the car until I can get home. Realizing at this point that there is no way I'm going to be in CA to ring in the New Year I figure I will head to the biggest party I can find - so New Orleans is on the way. And that is how I came to ring in 1999 in New Orleans with the Texas Aggie football team - oh, they were there playing in some 'Bowl' game the next day.

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  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo

    General Information

    by jadedmuse Updated Aug 8, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: For information covering any and all aspects of New Orleans, its culture, and what to do when you're there, visit:

    bestofneworleans

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  • vigi's Profile Photo

    Downtown in the morning

    by vigi Written Apr 22, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: Downtown New Orleans in the morning... quiet... slow... peaceful... with cleaning and construction staff working at sidewalk.

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  • larsy's Profile Photo

    Great Vacation spot something...

    by larsy Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Great Vacation spot something is always going on.
    I visit alot but I dont like many of my pictures enough to bother scanning them so alot of these are from websites

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