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I am taking a trip to New Orleans next week. This is my first time and my wife and I are looking for some fun/scary things to do. There are tons of things online, but thought I would ask here for any that have experience there. We will be visiting cemetery No. 1 for sure and taking in a tour, just not sure which one. We love things off the beaten path and different. This is also for her 30th birthday.
Anyone have any info/ideas they could share?
Thanks!
 

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Looove NOLA! Visited Cem.1 while there and was "lucky" enough to see the maintenance crew prepping for a body switch. As you probably know, the above ground crypts are often temporary resting places until decomposition is complete. Then the remains are swept out and bagged (unceremoniously in Hefty bags) and the cleaned crypt then awaits the next occupant. They usually shoo the public away and cordon off the area during this process- so getting to see that made for a very unique experience.

The guide books warned to be wary of robbers and to always stick to a guide tour. We took the tour- and were glad of the info provided- but didn't think going it alone with a guide book constituted any risk. I think the warning - at least during mid-day- is mostly to keep solo wanderers out.
 

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Exciting!

Hopefully I can help; I'm a freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans from out of state, so I've done a good deal of exploring the city this year. I'll list some ideas of things to do in this post, but let me know if there's anything else I can help with beyond what I mention here!

A note on directions:
Because New Orleans is situated on the river, it has a much more organic (and sometimes confusing) layout than a grid-style city. Because of that, streets rarely align North-South or East-West. Consequently, people more often refer to directions as Uptown (roughly west), Downtown (roughly east), Lakeside (roughly north) and Riverside (roughly south).

Within the French Quarter:
-There's a Voodoo museum that's an absolute must-see for haunters. It's a very small place is but jam-packed full of relics and is definitely worth the small charge: https://plus.google.com/112058245974618645100/about?gl=us&hl=en
-Bourbon Street is Bourbon Street. It's certainly a bit of a novelty at first, but is very catered to tourists. Essentially, it's Vegas transplanted into New Orleans: fun, if that's what you're looking for, but not at all "off the beaten path" as you said.
-Royal Street runs parallel to Bourbon and is more of an artsy street. You'll find all sorts of galleries, antique shops, and a generally less drunken version of the French Quarter here. Jackson Square, which sits at the center of the quarter (and which I guarantee you won't be miss), also has a wide array of interesting artists and musicians on a daily basis.
-Because of the placement of hotels and shops more on the uptown (West) side of the Quarter, the downtown (Eastern) side of the quarter sees only a fraction of the foot traffic of the uptown side.
-Just downtown (East) of the Quarter and within walking distance is Frenchman street, home to arguably the hottest live music scene in the city. If you're looking to drink on any given night, I'd recommend Frenchman Street a thousand times over Bourbon.
-And of course, as you mentioned, St. Louis No. 1 cemetery sits just outside the quarter.

Outside the French Quarter:
-I haven't been, but have heard from friends that the World War 2 museum is absolutely superb. Apparently they have a 4D cinema experience that is worth the price of admission alone.
-The garden district is full of 19th century Anglo-american mansions that are absolutely marvelous to look at. Even if you don't have a rental car and are staying near the French Quarter, getting uptown from there is relatively straightforward on the Saint Charles streetcar line.
-Also uptown from the Quarter (and I believe in the Garden district) is Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. It doesn't have the fame of Saint Louis No. 1, but is equally as beautiful (and FREE) and is worth the stop any time you're in that part of town.

Concerning RESTAURANTS:
-Basically, anywhere you go in a city like New Orleans is going to have good food; there's just too much good competition for bad restaurants to survive. The one situation where you might find a less than great restaurant is if it feels exceptionally touristy (namely, in the French Quarter). Most of the city's restaurants and bars get their business from repeat customers, but there's a few that target one-time tourists and thus don't have to give people as delicious of a meal to stay in business.

-If you want to see some alligators, sign yourselves up for a swamp tour. Fun fact: alligators are highly territorial, so the companies who run the tour can almost guarantee that you'll see gators on your tour because they know exactly where to find them. You won't have to go that far either; most of these places are just 15-30 minutes outside the city.

I hope this helps! Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

-Collin
 

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I am not a gourmet at all, but I had THE BEST tasting fish I had ever tasted in the French Quarter.. went back to the city four more times , and never found that dish again!?
Is the Wax Museum still there?
I enjoyed all of the nocturnal ghost-Vampire tours through the quarter. My Ex asked if it was like a haunted house? No. Then they threw a few armloads of latex body parts over us as we sat looking at a murder house across the street! What a Hoot that was!
I returned by myself a few years later and entered this strange, very small bar that is actually in just a crack in the alley wall (In the French Quarter) I happened to be wearing my black cape, hood and black leather boots that I was always wearing for my Ravens Grin Inn. I first stood,statue-like on a raised platform inside this tiny bar, then came to "life" every once and awhile, Scaring some people! (A "Bus Man's Holiday!)
When I went upstairs to another room young men were congratulating me, shaking my hand! They thought I owned the place! really! How Fun-Funny this was.
 

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Another Time At the French Quarter

My Bed& Breakfast hosts told me Not to go the the St. Louis number one graveyard because I would get mugged, things stolen and the culprits would escape very easily running around just a few corners of the totally mis-arranged layout of the ancient grave markers. I could imagine this happening very easy.
Their B&B was maybe 100 feet from this graveyard!
I hired a old man, he was a little drunk, he used my cameras to take the pictures of me as I laid dead next to the graves in the cem. I was not supposed to go to!
I had the pictures developed "next-day" and then sat there handing my B&B hosts these photos of me being where they warned me not to go, with a rubber knife stuck inme, bleeding, they were looking at these pics. horrified!
But I am sitting right here infront of YOU!?
So Fun!
 

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I went last summer it was a lot of fun. We went to a cemetery. There's a lot of stands with brochures for "cemetery and swamp yours" . We also visited the WW2 museum and that is very nicely done but it's about 4/5 hours. We stayed in the garden district and took the trolley downtown. We also went on the Natchez (river boat ride)
 

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I have been to NOLA twice, and loved it! I was disappointed in the ghost tour i took (this was in 2009). We walked right past the LaLaurie mansion, and the guide didn't seem to know anything about it. I started telling my companion the stories, and soon had the attention of the entire group lol. On my first trip I went on a guided tour of St Louis #1 and it was pretty informative. In the French Quarter there is a Christmas store that had awesome Halloween ornaments :) I got a red devil head, a black cat, a bat, and a skull. And even though it's touristy, I highly recommend going to Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee. Hope you have an amazing time!!
 

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Don't you "love" some tour guides? Most we had were very good, but.. one told us," We would be seeing Jean Lafitte's tavern, a building So Old it doesn't even have electricity!" I could see their neon beer sign a few blocks away! And what about those pin ball machines all running, and surveillance cameras!?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks everyone lots of great information here. really excited to go, there are so many things to do!
 
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