Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

There is an old song that asks "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" After several visits, I must say that I can sympathize. A city bursting with fine cuisine, elegant and interesting places to stay, friendly people, history, and Oh Yeah - Lots of fun!


Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 19, 2002

If you are visiting, the first place to start is the French Quarter. This historic section of town can keep you entertained for at least 2 to 3 days - and maybe many more. If you like to eat well, the French Quarter is the place to be. Cajun and seafood are the traditional favorites but there are also many other flavors to suit your palate. The streets of the Quarter are lined with an eclectic array of restaurants, shops, hotels, residences, and historic landmarks with some places being a combination of the above. Jackson square which is across from St. Louis Cathedral, in addition to being a worthwhile picture opportunity, is a great place to find all sorts of street entertainers such as jazz bands, tap dancers, human statues, mimes, sketch artists, fortune tellers, and even one guy playing music on a set of water filled glasses. If you enjoy antiques, then the Quarter should definitely be on your 'to see' list. The Quarter never sleeps. Many places are open 24 hours or don't close until 4 or 5 am. Plan on relaxing, taking it easy, eating well, taking in some good music, and seeing some very interesting people. ${QuickSuggestions} While flying in to New Orleans, I had the opportuniy to sit next to a man who was a New Orleans native and on his way home. He said that the only people who actually say "Nawllins" are tourists trying to act like they are from the area. In his words, "Don't bother trying to fake an accent because no one will be fooled." Most locals seem to say 'New Orleenz' or 'New Orlins'. Also, if you are traveling with kids, you might want to be careful about taking them to some parts of Bourbon street where there are a few of the more risque estabilshments. The rest of the French quarter should be fine.${BestWay} While in the French Quarter, walking is the best option. Some streets are closed to vehicles and those that are not are very busy with pedestrians. While walking, be careful in the narrow streets. Drivers often find it difficult to see people as they cut in and out through parked cars. Parking is often difficult to find in the French Quarter. If you find an open spot, grab it. By the time you circle the block looking for something better the open parking spot will most likely be gone. The key to finding a parking spot in the Quarter is patience. You might have better luck on the edges of the Quarter and in the more residential areas. Most of streets are one way with one at least, Ursilines, reversing direction at one point! Shuttles and public transportation might be a valid option if you are not staying in the French Quarter.

Villa Convento

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 19, 2002

This small hotel in the French Quarter offers a chance to really experience the feel of the French Quarter. The rooms are not large but tastefully decorated and well furnished. The hotel is an old building and some of the features are old as well, but still functional. Most rooms open on to a street side balcony or an internal courtyard. I would recommend the street side balcony if it is available. The staff is very pleasant and helpful. The hotel also operates a set of rooms in a building across the street under the name The French Quarter Guest House. These rooms (We stayed in these as well) are quite small but comfortable and also a bit cheaper. When staying in the French Quarter Guest House, you first check in across the street at the Villa Convento. The Guest House rooms are accessed through a locked and gated passageway and the rooms open into an outdoor, enclosed courtyard. While staying at either set of rooms, continental breakfast is served every morning in the form of fresh baked croissants from the next door bakery. A wonderful start to your day and some of the best croissants that I have ever tasted. Netiher set of rooms would be considered luxury accommodations but they are definitely quaint, full of local character, and off the beaten path.

If you want to experience the feel of New Orleans and don't mind not having room service and elaborate amenities, then it is a great place to stay. We have stayed with this hotel on more than one visit.

Note: The hotel offers indoor garage parking at an additional fee. The garage is several blocks from the hotel, but there are a few temporary, 10 minute parking spots in front of the hotel for checking in and out.

Villa Convento
616 Ursulines Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116
(504) 529-5489

Angelis on Decatur

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 20, 2002

Angelis on Decatur is a stylish and hip Italian restaurant that is also casual and comfortable. The food was very good even if it wasn't the traditional Cajun and Creole that most people think of when describing New Orleans cuisine. I would highly recommend the mystical pizza accompanied by the Greek salad. The pizza was good enough that we went back a few days later for a past midnight, pizza snack. Like much of the French Quarter, Angelis is open til past 3a.m. The restaurant is decorated in an artsy combination of angels painted on the walls and a variety of disco balls hanging from the ceiling giving the restaurant a dark but sparsely chic look. The service was a bit slow due to the fact that the woman serving us was a bit overworked with too many tables than one person should have to handle. She, however, made up for it by being extremely nice and helpful despite being somewhat harried. Her authentic Italian accent was a delightful, lilting contrast to the smooth and easy southern accent heard in most parts of New Orleans. Angelis is a restaurant we plan on returning to on our next visit to the French Quarter.
Angeli's
1141 Decatur St
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116
+1 504 566 0077

Margaritaville

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 20, 2002

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is a fun and entertaining place to eat and listen to live music. Decorated in a Carribean flare with plenty of Jimmy Buffet paraphenalia and collectibles on display. And for those of you still looking for your 'lost shaker of salt' as the song goes, the 'chandeliers' are made from margarita glasses and dangling salt shakers. The food was not fine dining but was still tasty and the restaurant made up for it in atmosphere. I would personally recommend the Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich. There is also a gift/souvenier shops next door where you can purchase T-shirts, etc.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
1104 Decatur Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116
(504) 592-2565

Clover Grill

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 20, 2002

Enjoy a hamburger fried under a hubcap in this fun and irreverent old fashioned style diner. Claiming to be the home of the world's best hamburgers, the Clover Grill cooks their hamburgers under a hubcap to seal in the flavor - at least that's what they claim. Whether due to the hubcaps or not, the hamburgers were quite good. The menu is cleverly irreverent and provides a few chuckles if not a few raised eyebrows and smirks. All the employees wear T-shirts that say Clever Girl instead of Clover Grill; and, as stated on their menus, they are not in any particular hurry. The menu informs you that if you want that type of service, there is a McDonalds down the road. The staff are; however, very friendly and often joke and chat with the patrons.
Clover Grill
900 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116
(504) 598-1010

Cafe du Monde

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 20, 2002

On a trip to New Orleans, you have to stop, at least once (possibly many more times), at the Cafe du Monde. Their beignets, a fried pastry square covered with powdered sugar and served hot, come in a grouping of three and are wonderfully delicious. Try an order with a cafe au lait or some other coffee product. The Cafe du Monde started as a coffee stand and still only serve drinks (mainly coffee) and beignets. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, every day except Christmas. The Cafe du Monde is a perfect place to stop for a snack while seeing the sights, or after a night on the town, or for breakfast, or...well any excuse is as good as the next for visiting the Cafe du Monde.
Cafe Du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116
(504) 525-4544

Cities of the dead

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by TravelPhotographer on August 20, 2002

An interesting historical side trip to the famous above ground cemeteries can be entertaining as well as educational. The St. Louis cemeteries numbered 1,2, and 3 are near the French Quarter and show an example of the above ground burial vaults and crypts used because of the high water level that caused some of the old coffins buried in the ground to literaly float free after a hard rain or flooding. The tombs are often bleached white and some are undergoing restoration. We even had the opportunity to observe some of the restoration crews at work. The tombstones make for interesting reading with some dating back to the 1800's. While walking among the tombs, one can observe elaborate sculptures and crypts and interesting iron work. Tours are available in the French Quarter; although, the few that we encountered while walking in the cemeteries seemed a bit campy, focusing on ghost stories and voodoo legends. If that is not your style there are, I believe, other tours that are more historical in nature. Or, you may prefer touring at your own leisure. A note of caution: it is recommended that you not go to the cemeteries alone, especially after dark. There is a danger of mugging for the unwary traveler. We saw no evidence of unsavory characters, although we went during the middle of the day and there were plenty of other tourists around.
Cities of the Dead

New Orleans, Louisiana

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