Among U.S. Cities, brand-new Orleans stand out together a wonderfully distinct destination. The sights, the sounds, and also most notably, the food, every reflect and encapsulate the city's multicultural influences, consisting of Cajun and Creole, and it's singular history. Yet with much more than nine million visitors a year, new Orleans has swelled through tourist trap designed come trick you out of a truly authentic experience. With handy tips and guidance on exactly how to efficiently setup your time, this skilled advice will offer you the proverbial keys to the city and make it simple to conquer the huge Easy.

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By Zachary Laks

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Don’t overindulge on your an initial night

Any trip to new Orleans should be seen as a marathon, not a sprint. The city thrives on decadence and also debauchery, and also the urge to party the night away here is strong. It’s simple to get caught up in the sewage nightlife that the French Quarter, wherein larger-than-life containers overflow with beer for less than the expense of a burger, festive liquor shots room carted roughly bars by fun hosts, and open-liquor laws make bar-hopping a sport. Yet heed good conscience and stay hydrated, as one night of overindulgence can pressure you to miss out on a priceless day of enjoy it the city’s extensive social offerings.

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans take trip Guide

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Don’t limit yourself come French quarter hotels

Although it can be tempting to continue to be in the love of the action, it’s finest to avoid booking a stay on Bourbon Street. These hotels attribute round-the-clock noise native the never-ending street party, charge a premium for their location, and also are never as luxurious as advertised. Look outside of the French quarter for greater value and much more luxurious accommodations, particularly at The Roosevelt Hotel in the central Business District, Loews Hotel in the Warehouse District, and also the Renaissance new Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel in the central Business District.

PLAN your TRIP: Visit Fodor’s new Orleans take trip Guide

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Don’t just visit on weekends

When it comes to live events, music, and also entertainment, there’s often more to execute on a weeknight in brand-new Orleans 보다 cities through ten times the population. Warm spots like little Gem Saloon, in the central Business District, and also Maple leaf Bar, in the Carrollton neighborhood, hold live music nightly. Examine out brand-new Orleans’ official online overview for a perform of the plenty of daily events. And, that course, you're most likely to find much better hotel rates on weekdays, allowing you to stretch your budget for dining and entertainment.

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans travel Guide

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Don’t rental a car

With mile upon mile of custom-crafted creolian townhouses, creolian cottages, and shotgun houses, you’re walking to desire to slow-moving down and admire new Orleans'great architectural diversity. There’s really no have to rent a automobile when visiting, as the city’s neighborhoods are accessible and exciting on foot or bicycle. If you uncover you require a rest, hop on among the three streetcar present that market a $1.25 ride on the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world. Old-world charm pervades, from the mahogany seats to the exposed ceiling lights to the clang of the bell.

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans take trip Guide

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Don’t eat in ~ tourist-trap restaurants

In a city world-renowned for its Cajun and also Creole food, every meal has the potential to set taste sprout abuzz v flavor. When it comes to Bourbon Streetand other tourist areas, note that high quality is second to cheap, fast, and also primed-for-mass-consumption food. If there’s a sign touting anything as “The ideal of brand-new Orleans,” let that authorize be a warning the you room being duped because that authenticity. As soon as it comes to late-night cravings, avoidLucky Dogsin the French Quarter and also opt for the 24/7 Verti Marte (1201 imperial St.; 504-525-4767), a tiny, unassuming grocery keep that delivers a real grilled shrimp po’ boy.

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans travel Guide

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Don’t forget to prepare for the weather

Situated below sea level in a Southern an ar known because that its bayous, lakes, and also swamps, new Orleans deserve to be a hot, sticky city. Because that optimal weather conditions, visit new Orleans indigenous February (Mardi Gras 2016 is February 9) come May, as soon as temperatures hover in the 70s and also the humidity have the right to be bearable. Just the brave take trip to new Orleans in July and August, as soon as 100-degree temperature and practically 100% humidity deserve to make lifting a mint julep to her mouth feeling like hard work. Prepare wisely v plenty that sunscreen, water, and also even an umbrella to assist ward off the sun.

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans travel Guide

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Don’t invest all your time on Bourbon Street

Extending almost a mile and also spanning thirteen block from Canal Street come Esplanade Avenue, Bourbon Street is a must(but likewise a vortex that debauchery)for any kind of first-time NOLA visitor. Souvenir margarita containers and plus-sized beers space the stock and also trade that this party avenue, whereby bars overflow with folks from around the people fist-pumping to the according to vibrations of a covering band’s take on “Sweet son O' Mine.” after you’ve managed to inspect the obligatory visit off the list, head straight to Frenchmen Street—the neighborhood hangout measures away from the French Quarter, in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood—and weave throughthe bars featuring superior nightly set lists from neighborhood jazz, blues, and also reggae legends.

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s new Orleans take trip Guide

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Don’t skip newspaper Street

Don’t miss out on the chance to stroll follow me Magazine Street, stretching six miles throughdowntown new Orleans and also connecting the Garden district to Uptown. Neck shops, local-made jewel stores, and plenty of live independence boutiques feature one-of-a-kind finds. The roadways are lined with pronounced Greek Revival-style buildingsas well together Victorian cottages that invite passersby to prevent in and browse the neighborhood fare. As soon as hungerstrikes, make your method to La Petite Grocery, where the shellfish stew and also Gulf shrimp and grits are 2nd to none.

PLAN your TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans take trip Guide

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Don’t miss the see of the Mississippi

For an excellent views that the Mississippi River, head to Bywater, wherein the newly created Crescent Park supplies the ideal views the theskyline and also the river. The park is the product that a city plan to change two previous industrial wharves that havebeen beautifully repurposed, extending an impressive 1.4 miles. Primed with bike paths, running paths, picnic areas, and a dog run, the park has quickly become a local favorite.

PLAN your TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans travel Guide

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Don’t forget about beautiful wildlife

After you've been stuffedwith the rich local fare, take it a breather by enjoy it Louisiana’s organic wonders. Check out the swamps and also moss-draped bayous surrounding brand-new Orleans, whereby ten-foot alligators roam wild. The swamps space rich v wildlife, and a watercraft tour v the murky waters is almost certain to cross lumbering nutria, raccoons, swamp deer, and also even the occasional poisonous snake. Because that a much more active method to reap nature, kayak top top Bayou Saint John, a well-known recreational inlet where locals conference to reap the patience waters on barges, kayaks, and also custom-built watercrafts.

PLAN your TRIP: Visit Fodor’s new Orleans take trip Guide

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Don’t bring glass on the street

The party proceeds onto the street in new Orleans, as the neighborhood laws allow for open up containers of alcohol come be appreciated in public. Yet the regulation prohibits the intake of alcohol on the street in any glass party or container. Restaurants such together Broussard’s, Sylvain, and also Salú go the extra mile by topping off your endless boozy brunch v a send-off drink in a plastic cup. Must you find yourself angling to roam v a bottle of alcohol or a glass bottle of Corona, just besure you do the transfer into a plastic container.

See more: How Long Is Cooked Seafood Good For, Leftovers Guide: How Long Can You Keep It

PLAN her TRIP: Visit Fodor’s brand-new Orleans travel Guide

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Don’t eat red beans and rice if it’s no Monday

Monday is the official day the the week to enjoy red beans and rice in new Orleans, a longstanding tradition that dates earlier to the days as soon as housewives would invest their Mondays washing the household’s clothes, leaving tiny time to make a full meal. Heater up a pan of low-maintenance beans and also serving the vault Sunday’s rice ended up being a enjoy the meal of convenience because that the hectic Mondays. These days, restaurants such as Café reconcile in main City and also Felix’s in the French Quarter continue the quirky tradition, including fun flourishes such as Andouille sausage and also cornbread.