Visiting New Orleans in March, Tips? Bicycles?

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Hey all! The wife and I are taking a trip to New Orleans for my birthday from the 21-27th of March. I've been wanting to go for a loooonnnngg time so I finally pulled the trigger and I can't wait! :) I have been doing my research of course but I was curious to know if anyone has personal suggestions on what to do or what to avoid. We don't know anyone there so we will be on our own. I was also planning on renting a couple bikes to get around, I know it's a slim chance but if someone here has a couple junkers they would be willing to rent out I'd prefer to do that than go to some rip-off tourist rental shop. I appreciate the advice, cheers!

Zach
 
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I can't help with the bikes, but there's some decent riding there.



For tourist things you'll want to check out the French quarter, stop by cafe dumonde for some beignets.
Not far from there is a cool old steam wheeler on the river, it's just amazing to see.

If you want to spend the money you can tour some of the cemeteries.

I don't recommend eating crawfish in New Orleans, if you have a car make the trip to Baton Rouge.

Just my opinion.
 

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I thought I replied to this but I guess not! We found an airbnb in the Bywater that provides bikes, so that is now sorted. And ohh yeah, we couldn't go to New Orleans and not go to the French Quarter :) A ride on a paddle wheeler did cross my mind, I'm thinking that is a must do. I wasn't planning on getting a car so the crawfish in Nola will have to do.

I appreciate the info!
 
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As someone that lives outside of NOLA and has been there too many times, my best advice to you is, find somewhere else to go on vacation. The thing we all say about NOLA is, if you're looking to get robbed, raped or murdered then New Orleans is the place to go. If you do still want to risk your life, then I suggest getting all your sightseeing done during the day. Or if you do want to do the whole Bourbon Street Experience at night you should do it with more than just two people. The thugs look for couples. I have many horror stories about being there and I will never go back. Keep your wallet in your front pocket or it will be stolen.
 
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As someone that lives outside of NOLA and has been there too many times, my best advice to you is, find somewhere else to go on vacation. The thing we all say about NOLA is, if you're looking to get robbed, raped or murdered then New Orleans is the place to go. If you do still want to risk your life, then I suggest getting all your sightseeing done during the day. Or if you do want to do the whole Bourbon Street Experience at night you should do it with more than just two people. The thugs look for couples. I have many horror stories about being there and I will never go back. Keep your wallet in your front pocket or it will be stolen.
Sorry to hear about your experiences. Wish us luck ;)
 
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Good luck and happy birthday too. Best advice I can give you is, if anyone comes up to you and starts asking questions, just walk away. They are trying to get money from you. Plus many times they have backup near by so look out for that too. You're going to have fun but you just need to pay attention to other people.
 
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No worries. We’re no stranger to big cities and the good and bad that comes with them.
 
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My wife is from New Orleans and we go at least once a year but usually two or three times. If you like jazz, hit up Frenchman street for great clubs and an amazing music store, Louisiana Music Factory. The french quarter is cool but Bourbon street is a .... hole IMO. The only reason to go on it is to get a Pat O's hurricane and if you like absinthe, the Old Absinthe House which has some cool history involving Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson. Do NOT get a hand grenade. They are nasty as heck. Hit up the french quarter during the day unless you want to get puked or pissed on.

Port o' Call is an amazing bar/ restaurant. Great burgers, steaks and the best drink you can get in New Orleans the monsoon. Be careful with that one. It is super strong.
Try to make to Camellia Grill uptown. It is this amazing tiny restaurant with burgers and shakes and the like. If you going during a normal meal time be prepared to wait but it is 100% worth it. The food is awesome and it is just a super cool place. There are only seats at the counter.
If you are feeling flush with cash, Commander's palace is awesome.
Some other restaurants I like are Parkway Po-Boy (from what I have had, best po-boys in town, their Surf and Turf is awesome), Napoleon House, Lula Distrillery, Apolline but there are way to many too mention cause that is the best part about New Orleans IMO.

If you like cool old houses, visit the garden district and uptown. Even better take a ride on street car.
Magazine street has a lot of kind of off beat and cool stores.
The WWII museum is worth a visit but it takes some time to get through.

Not sure of any bike stuff to be honest but I would be wary of riding a bike through New Orleans as it is way way to easy to end up in a part of town I sure as heck wouldn't on a bike in. Basically you can be in a place with million dollar houses and two streets over end up in a place where you really don't want to be. Also the roads are probably the worst in US as far potholes.

And as far as crime, IMO just use the same common sense you would in any other big city and avoid Bourbon street in the evening and night and you should be fine.

New Orleans is one of my absolute favorite places in the US to visit.
 
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My wife is from New Orleans and we go at least once a year but usually two or three times. If you like jazz, hit up Frenchman street for great clubs and an amazing music store, Louisiana Music Factory. The french quarter is cool but Bourbon street is a .... hole IMO. The only reason to go on it is to get a Pat O's hurricane and if you like absinthe, the Old Absinthe House which has some cool history involving Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson. Do NOT get a hand grenade. They are nasty as heck. Hit up the french quarter during the day unless you want to get puked or pissed on.

Port o' Call is an amazing bar/ restaurant. Great burgers, steaks and the best drink you can get in New Orleans the monsoon. Be careful with that one. It is super strong.
Try to make to Camellia Grill uptown. It is this amazing tiny restaurant with burgers and shakes and the like. If you going during a normal meal time be prepared to wait but it is 100% worth it. The food is awesome and it is just a super cool place. There are only seats at the counter.
If you are feeling flush with cash, Commander's palace is awesome.
Some other restaurants I like are Parkway Po-Boy (from what I have had, best po-boys in town, their Surf and Turf is awesome), Napoleon House, Lula Distrillery, Apolline but there are way to many too mention cause that is the best part about New Orleans IMO.

If you like cool old houses, visit the garden district and uptown. Even better take a ride on street car.
Magazine street has a lot of kind of off beat and cool stores.
The WWII museum is worth a visit but it takes some time to get through.

Not sure of any bike stuff to be honest but I would be wary of riding a bike through New Orleans as it is way way to easy to end up in a part of town I sure as heck wouldn't on a bike in. Basically you can be in a place with million dollar houses and two streets over end up in a place where you really don't want to be. Also the roads are probably the worst in US as far potholes.

And as far as crime, IMO just use the same common sense you would in any other big city and avoid Bourbon street in the evening and night and you should be fine.

New Orleans is one of my absolute favorite places in the US to visit.
Excellent advice, thanks!
I think we'll be eating 5x a day and drinking double that. I can't wait! :)
 
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My whole class in a military school went and strolled up and down Bourbon St and the French Quarter all night in 2004. There 8 of us, so I didn't worry too much about the criminal element there that preys on tourists. I saw them lurking though. The food and music were great. But Bourbon St. was a nasty place, if you're not careful you'll get peed on under a balcony. Shirts were coming off and beads were being thrown all over the place. I expected Lucifer himself to come out of one of the back alleys.

I have read where a lot of the great old ratty bikes, ridden by the townsfolk, were lost after Katrina. If I had a day to spend there, I would find an old bike shop or place with used bikes to see what kind of frame or whole bike I might find there.
 
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Thanks everyone for the advice!
We just got back late last night, and had an unbelievably amazing experience. Our place in the Bywater was the perfect proximity to everything, and still relatively quiet at night. It also felt safe, but I suppose I could see that someone who wasn't street smart might have an issue(?) Anyway, we rode bikes around the city every single day, from early morning until 9pm-3am-ish at night. Loved everything about the place, the architecture, food, people, history, music, art, etc, it was absolutely bursting with life. We can't wait to return!

As for bikes, they are everywhere! By far the most bike-able city in the US that I've ever been to. It's as flat as can be, and nothing is too far away. It could use some more bike infrastructure, but that goes for every US city. Most drivers are aware of cyclists. Some roads are bad, but fine if you're paying attention. We were only in a car twice, to get from and to the airport, other than that it was two wheels all day every day. Most bikes are junk, like our airbnb loaners (basic coaster brake balloners), but they easily get the job done. I did spot a early 50's Monark mens bike with a double springer and deep fenders, and a handful of other old timers, they are all pretty well worn but they were being used and that's cool in my book.

If you like to travel, my suggestion is to go there! Just stay away in the heat of the summer. We had flawless temps in the 70's to low 80's every day. Ahh, I'm already getting nostalgic ;)
 
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Thanks everyone for the advice!
We just got back late last night, and had an unbelievably amazing experience. Our place in the Bywater was the perfect proximity to everything, and still relatively quiet at night. It also felt safe, but I suppose I could see that someone who wasn't street smart might have an issue(?) Anyway, we rode bikes around the city every single day, from early morning until 9pm-3am-ish at night. Loved everything about the place, the architecture, food, people, history, music, art, etc, it was absolutely bursting with life. We can't wait to return!

As for bikes, they are everywhere! By far the most bike-able city in the US that I've ever been to. It's as flat as can be, and nothing is too far away. It could use some more bike infrastructure, but that goes for every US city. Most drivers are aware of cyclists. Some roads are bad, but fine if you're paying attention. We were only in a car twice, to get from and to the airport, other than that it was two wheels all day every day. Most bikes are junk, like our airbnb loaners (basic coaster brake balloners), but they easily get the job done. I did spot a early 50's Monark mens bike with a double springer and deep fenders, and a handful of other old timers, they are all pretty well worn but they were being used and that's cool in my book.

If you like to travel, my suggestion is to go there! Just stay away in the heat of the summer. We had flawless temps in the 70's to low 80's every day. Ahh, I'm already getting nostalgic ;)
Glad you enjoyed it and everything went smoothly. It really is an awesome place to visit, but can be dangerous.