I’ve been thinking about a return trip to New Orleans for a while now (last there in 2008), and came across some good off-season fares/hotel deals for August. Yes, New Orleans in August. (Probably too many) specific questions inside…
1. The timeframe that would be best for us is around the first weekend in August. But that’s also the “Satchmo Fest” and art-walk weekend. While I’d love to check out either/both of these, I’m not a fan of crowds…are they big enough that they could make it hard to get around, even if we choose not to go?
2. The heat. I’m not very good at it, although I manage to deal with summer in Washington DC. I’m thinking most everything is going to be air-conditioned though, and we’ll use this trip to see some indoor museums we haven’t been able to make it to yet. Still…bad idea? Wait until March or something?
3. Transportation. We’ve always pretty much walked everywhere, but with the heat we may not have that option this time. We mostly know just the Quarter and a bit of the Garden District. We don’t want to rent a car, but can if we have to. Will the streetcars get us around, or are they more of a tourist ride? Are cabs a good option? (Planning on staying at the W Hotel next door to the casino.) Oh, and we’re generally city-savvy, but don’t want to venture too far anywhere sketchy with no car.
4. Indoor stuff to do. I’m especially interested in the Backstreet Cultural Museum
, the New Orleans Museum of Art
, Mardi Gras World
, and maybe the Museum of the American Cocktail
(worth it?). Any other suggestions for air conditioned activities?
5. Music. I admit to not really “getting” a lot of traditional jazz. Still, after watching “Treme” I’m interested in supporting some local music. I like stuff that’s more of a blending of styles and/or with a heavy funk influence. Are there particular bands or venues I should look for?
6. Cheap eats. We’re doing this as a quick-and-cheap vacation…and we usually feel more comfortable in a casual setting anyway. Best bets for raw bar oysters, sandwiches, regional can't-miss meals? (And if we decide to do just one splurge meal…where?) Mr. Arkham is a pescatarian and I’m an omnivore…so anywhere with at least one seafood/vegetarian option is fine.
7. Drinks. Favorite chill out bars? Best old-school cocktails? We really liked Pravda last time, anything similar would be great.
Thanks in advance! (And always willing to reciprocate with DC advice…)