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Few Questions (coming in June)

Los Angeles...
5 posts
Few Questions (coming in June)

Hi,

I just have a few questions if anyone might care to answer them:

1) What is the smoking situation? I'm aware smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants but what about bars and outside? (Must ask as one cannot even smoke outside in the open air in many parts of California)

Personally, I'm not much of a smoker, only when drinking which is once every few weeks and when on vacation... So important to know. Also, these streetcars or trolleys, I'm imagining they are like those Rice-a-Roni ones which aren't enclosed, if my imagining is right, can one smoke on those? Also, I was thinking it would be fun to do some boat ride or something and, can one smoke on those? (lol, so crazy one must ask to smoke outside)

2) Any hotel suggestions? I've been looking all over the place and so far the best rate I've found is for some Best Western which I hear mixed reviews about, largely due to it being on the outskirts of the French Quarter. I want something where I can easily walk/be-in the French Quarters, Bourbon St and Harrah's and be safe (plan on being out until 3-6 in the morning drinking so...).

Really, so far, my search for accommodations has been frustrating as they all seem overpriced, especially when looking at the pictures of the rooms. Though that could just be me as I go to Vegas every 2-3 months and their low, low rates jaded me. Also, a room with smoking accommodations would be ideal but I don't intend on being in room long so, isn't that important (though I am annoyed at how every hotel seems to voluntarily refuse smoker accommodations, besides two I've found thus far... Just makes me think "the big easy?").

3) A main reason of this trip is just eating. Any suggestions on where to get the best gumbo and Cajun food and beignets? I need real food, has been too long living in LA not having any real food and Vegas has good food but I want real Southern, Cajun, Creole food.

4) Any other casinos worth the drive to visit other than the Harrahs that's right there? I plan on making a daytrip to Biloxi (was going to stay a night or two but had to make cuts to trip) but if there is anything else in New Orleans that is worth visiting like that Boon(or Boom)town.

5) I read one can drink freely outside so long as the container is plastic... Is that a Bourbon st. only kind of thing like Vegas or is it true for the entire city? Also, just to be sure, bars are all 24 hours? Also, are flaming Homer's legal? As in, can one order a drink that is lit on fire? (absurd it's outlawed in Vegas).

Lastly, 6) Is early June a good time? I love humidity so I'm anticipating plenty of that but will the streets be filled and everyone having a good time or is it at all dead? I plan on staying Wednesday through Monday so...

Thanks for any suggestions or advice... I'm sure I'll have more questions as I continue to plan my trip but thus far, that's about it so far, lol.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
62,510 posts
48 reviews
1. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

"A main reason of this trip is just eating. "

Could have fooled me, it sounds like you're going to New Orleans just to smoke. :) (JK, I like a smoke now and then too if I have a beer in my hand...)

No prohibitions against smoking outside. Most bars allow smoking, a few do not. No smoking on streetcars. "Boat ride or something' is too general a question to address.

The best way to get hotel advice is to post your specific dates and your budget per night.

Moncton, Canada
Level Contributor
6,479 posts
48 reviews
2. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

Definitely stay in the Quarter. Unless you're looking for really really almost unreasonable cheap prices, I'm surprised you can't find anything in the FQ. The summer months are the slowest months for NO because of the heat and humidity, although there's always people around, and the hotel prices start to go down to try to attract business. Hotels that usually have good pricing are the Prince Conti, Hotel St Marie, Place D'Armes (all owned by the same people and you can compare prices of the 3 hotels at the same time on their reservation site), Villa Convento, Chateau Hotel. These places are not 5 star high class hotels though. If that's more to your taste, there's the Monteleone, Omni Royal, and the Royal Sonesta which is more upscale.

As for the driking on the street thing, no it's not just Bourbon St. It's pretty much everywhere's.

As for restaurants, there are all kinds of place from casual to upscale dining. Some of my favorites, all casual places, are: Coops, Yo Mamma's, Chartres House Cafe, Fleur de Lis Cafe (breakfast), Clover Grill.

I recommended going through the forum, and reading trip reviews especially. You'll get more than enough ideas of places to eat and things to do.

Blenheim, Canada
Level Contributor
11,142 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

kk, I too am a smoker. Most bars allow smoking, most restaurants don't. No smoking on streetcars, but if you want to take the Natchez boat ride, smoking is allowed (just please make the smoke out completely and throw it in the garbage--not the River!) porelly lists some nice hotels, but most are non-smoking. Next week will be my 4th stay at the Hotel Provincial that has both smoking and non-smoking rooms, and you can also have a smoke in the gorgeous courtyard! There's ashtrays on the tables!

You can drink just about anywhere, as long as it's not a glass container. I've never ordered a drink that's lit, but you probably can somewhere! porelly also listed some really good places to eat. Food is ABUNDANT in NOLA, it's all real and all good (except for a couple places)

I'm not a gambler, so I don't know much about casinos, but I'm sure someone will! June is great if you love heat and humidity! What dates?

Ontario
Level Contributor
112 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

You don't need to pay top $$ for accomodations in Nola. Try bidding for a hotel on Priceline or Hotwire. If you want to stay in the French Quarter 4* for example, you'll pay a bit more but usually can get something for approx 50% asking price. If you go less than 4* in the FQ you may end up in the heart of the action but won't get any sleep because of the noise. Last year we bid on Priceline $140 and got the Marriott on Canal (FQ). This year we choose the Downtown District which borders the FQ and got the Hilton St Charles for $100. It's a 5min walk from the FQ. Hotwire has good deals too.

Eating in Nola is a wonderful experience, that's what we enjoy most. It depends if you want to go upscale or middle of the road. Either way the prices are good. For nice dinners, we always start off with K Paul's and have never been disappointed. Also had positive experiences with Mr B's, Nola's & Emril's. For happy hour, Luke's in the Hilton St Charles is great. For lunch, we love the muffleta at Central Grocery. Don't get discouraged by the lineups, it moves fast. Cafe Du Monde for beignets I guess you should try but not sure what all the fuss is about.

If you enjoy food, you really need to book a class at Cooking School of New Orleans. We booked a morning class (2.5 hrs) with Chef Kevin and had an excellent time. He cooked gumbo, jambalaya, bread pudding & prawlines and then we got to enjoy all of it while being entertained by him. Walked away with the recipes and a positive experience, all for $29 pp. You need to book this online before you leave if you're interested. Same for all the restaurants, they book up fast.

I would take a pass on Herb Saint.

Mississippi
Level Contributor
12,999 posts
7 reviews
5. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

Here's a link to what's smoke free. I know you want to know where you can smoke. Just about any bar but there are smoke free bars too.

SMOKE FREE...............

http://www.letsbetotallyclear.org/

Here's a few good hotels in the FQ.

Hotel Le Marais @ 717 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 2300. http://www.hotellemarais.com/

Hotel Monteleone @ 214 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 523 - 3341. http://hotelmonteleone.com/

Hotel Provincial @ 1024 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 581 - 4995.

http://www.hotelprovincial.com/

Hotel St. Marie @ 827 Toulouse Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 561-8951.

http://www.hotelstmarie.com/

Iberville Suites Hotel @ 910 Iberville St., New Orleans, LA 866 - 229 - 4351.

http://www.ibervillesuites.com/

Place D'Armes Hotel @ 625 Saint Ann Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 524 - 4531.

http://www.placedarmes.com/

Mississippi
Level Contributor
12,999 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

June is a good month. It will be warm outside but NOLA has good AC. You may need a jacket at night in restaurants. Renaissance Arts Hotel is near Harrah's. Check their rates. The Ambassador is next to Harrah's and they are inexpensive. What happens with NOLA hotels is all the conventions and festivals take up most of the rooms so rates go up. June is not a big month for tourism though. Good luck.

Renaissance Arts Hotel @ 700 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 613 - 2330.

marriott.com/hotels/…

The Ambassador Hotel @ 535 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 599 - 2119. www.neworleansboutiquehotels.com/ambassador/

Mississippi
Level Contributor
12,999 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

Bon Ton is a classic creole restaurant. It is not open on weekends. Muriel's is another classic creole restaurant. Galatoire's is one of the best in the city. Sit downstairs for the best time but they do not take reservations downstairs. Get in line. Most likely there won't be a long one. Wear a jacket at night. Bouchderie is cajun. Cafe Atchafalaya is good creole dining. Clancy's is outstanding creole cuisine. Go to Commander's Palace for lunch and sit in the Garden Room. Mr. B's has fine gumbo and BBQ shrimp. Good luck.

Bon Ton Cafe @ 401 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 3386.

http://www.thebontoncafe.com/

Muriel's @ 801 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 568 - 1885.

http://www.muriels.com/html/home.html

Galatoire's @ 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 2021.

http://www.galatoires.com/

Boucherie at 8115 Jeannette St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 862 - 5514.

http://www.boucherie-nola.com/

Cafe Atchafalaya @ 901 Louisiana Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 891 - 9626.

http://www.cafeatchafalaya.com/

Clancy's Restaurant @ 6100 Annunciation Street, New Orleans, LA. 504 - 895 - 1111.

Commander's Palace @ 1403 Washington Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 899 - 8221.

http://www.commanderspalace.com/

Mr. B's Bistro @ 201 Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 2078.

http://www.mrbsbistro.com/index2.php

College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
13,448 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

There are two Best Western properties, The Best Western St. Christopher, and Best Western French Quarter Landmark Hotel, both close to different edges of the French Quarter. The St. Christopher, though not particularly deluxe, is well located and generally well thought of; I'm staying there for the first time at the end of this month. The Landmark is less well regarded, in part because it is in area thought of as being somewhat dicey after dark. Although most advise the typical first time visitor to stay in or very close to the French Quarter (good advice), most also advise against staying on or within 1/2 block of N. Rampart St.

Although bars can operate 24 hrs., only about a 6-10 in the French Quarter do. Most bars are open 'till 2:00 Sunday thru Wednesday, and until 4:00 Thursday thru Saturday (Sunday morning). You can walk most anywhere with a plastic open liquor container. You cannot smoke on the streetcars (they are enclosed). The French Quarter and surrounding areas have quite a bit of activity year round.

Lodging rates may be a bit high because of a pretty high amount of convention activity this June. June 14-19 seems pretty clear.

Orlando, Florida
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
6,762 posts
122 reviews
9. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

Don't worry about noise in the French Quarter unless you are on Bourbon Street. There are many fine boutique hotels like Place D'armes, St. Marie, Prince Conti, Bourbon Orleans, Le Richelieu, Provincial that are near the action but away enough to not contend with the bourbon street noise.

Los Angeles...
5 posts
10. Re: Few Questions (coming in June)

Thank you so much for the replies everyone... Will check out all the hotels mentioned for rates... I'm trying to keep the hotel around $500, Wednesday to Monday... Though I could always knock the Sunday night off. (Want to be in on Wednesday though as some of the bars have karaoke that night and I love karaoke, lol).

I was initially looking around the 8th to 13th though can easily do the following week, not really set in stone. Just not the next week after that as will be in Vegas. The Priceline bidding thing... I've read on another forum post about people doing that, I'm just so scared, lol. But will take a last thorough look around including the hotels mentioned and then go for the bid if I don't find anything as I don't really want to stay in that Best Western after hearing confirmation on it being in a shady area here.

As for food, I want to eat both upscale and also just casual, like a local place that has really good food, even if it requires a drive as I was hoping to rent a car to return in New Orleans but, lol... It's $200 for a car to be rented for a week returning it where it came from but $200 a day to return it elsewhere, lol... So will be having a car.

Speaking of which: Where is the best place to leave one's car? I hear the Harrahs parking is free if you gamble for a half-hour or something, which can be easily and happily done if that's the case.

Thanks again for the replies everyone... And all this jacket talk, is it only cold inside but still warm outside at night?