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New Orleans in March - Any tips?

MBster 262 246 February 21, 2016 at 05:50 PM
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Will be visiting New Orleans in the second week of March and am looking for tips. Will have wife and two kids (a 2 and a 4.5 yr old). The plan is to spend a week (interspersed with some work-related days at the Convention Center) staying at the Sheraton on Canal. Unfortunately, will not have a vehicle with us so am wondering if folks have any tips regarding public transit with two little ones in tow. Thinking of visiting the aquarium, zoo, insectarium, swamp tour (any recommendations?). Any other kids-specific attractions that we should hit up as well?

Would also love some recommendations on dining options, both lunches and dinners.

Also, any other travel tips to make this trip wallet-friendly?

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#2
if you can, rent a car for the day to do the swamp tour and a plantation tour. there's a couple on canal about a 1 mile north where you are staying. tour operators can provide transportation but they charge per person and it works out to the same as rent a car for the day, probably more for you because of 2 kids. I did the cajun pride tour, they have a groupon. the tour was ok but we went when it was cold outside so there weren't any alligators, but overall it wasn't a bad tour. I really like coop's place, definitely get the fried chicken. there's tons of oyster happy hour places. blind pelican does 25 cents oyster. if you need more info send me a PM.
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#3
Get a jazzy pass & just take the streetcar everywhere. The Hilton Riverwalk is better, just saying.

http://www.norta.com/
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#4
Acquarium, Zoo, and Insectarium are all worth the time. if your going to be visiting all three I would look into a yearly Audubon family pass. it might actually work out to be cheaper. Also, City Park has something called Storyland which is a small children's amusement park, my kids love it. for transportation, most visitors use Uber. But I agree with the first response, rent a car if you can.
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#5
I think we went on the Cajun Pride tour -- not 100% sure -- but we had a groupon, as well. There is a YouTube video featuring their cat AKA "The Cat Who Slaps Gators": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duqvb-IRv9c We went in mid December and did not see more than a couple of small gators but the captain did have a little gator that he took out to show us on the way back and the kids on the trip enjoyed that. We saw a lot of other sights on the swamp boat that made the tour worthwhile. We also had a groupon for a cemetery tour and a city tour. Do the usual -- beignets at Cafe du Monde and compare with the ones at the park concession -- we actually liked those better. Lunch at Commander's Palace is worth the price -- especially when you figure the 25 cent Martinis into the price -- limit is 3. Walk around the French Market and the Garden District. If you are a history buff, there's the World War 2 museum. So much to do.
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#6
I've heard there's a large airbnb.com presence there, could save you some money over hotels.
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#7
Thanks for all the great feedback everyone.

We've got to stay at the Sheraton instead of airbnb since I would be working for parts of the time there and as such, must use formal hotel lodging. Luckily, was able to get the Sheraton for $160/night, so that's nice. As for car rental, this would be our first non-driving trip so are naive of certain requirements. First and foremost is car seats for the 2 and 4 yrs old (were not planning to bring/use them on the plane though both obviously would have their own seats on the plane). Do auto rental places have and charge for car seats for kids? If so, how much? Also, parking at the Sheraton is via valet only and is $40/day.

Also, Blind Pelican's 25 cent oysters is definitely on our radar. I'm assuming public transit should take us there easily from Canal (provided we don't end up with a rental)?
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#8
you can do a 1 day rental. pick up at 8am and return at 6pm, that way you don't have to worry about parking. there's a street car that stops by the blind pelican. you'll be able to catch it near the sheraton.
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#9
If you search for rental car seats, you should find plenty of info. Most of the rental car companies charge for them. I think you can get a free one at Hertz if you are a AAA member. I would research a company's policy pretty heavily before I put my kid in one to find out how they are guaranteed for safety -- if at all -- and what their sanitizing method is.

Cheap parking is hard to find and with public transportation, it is a good suggestion to do a daily rental. A drop off at the airport would give you a longer day with a rental car and the Airport-Downtown Express (E-2) Bus picks up outside airport Entrance #7 on the upper level and costs $2.
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#10
I would recommend checking out a crawfish boil as March will be prime crawfish season. Many local bars and restaurants do them usually on friday saturday and sunday. My favorite is at the river shack tavern on fridays at 6 and sunday at 4.
As far as transportation the street car will take you to blind pelican and zoo. everything else in walking distance. Rent a car for a day for swamp tour and uber everywhere else.

Oh maybe children's museum
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