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1. Posted by vagabond (Full Member 104 posts) 9y

A buddy or mine and me are going to nawlins for Mardi Gras 2005.. anyone else going?

what other places would you suggest we visit in louisiana, which are managable driving distance form new orleans and are worth visiting. I'm a outdoors guy and lookin for places somewhat "off the beaten track"(sorry for the cliche) ..

thanks all

2. Posted by travelover (Respected Member 494 posts) 9y

Hey vagabond! As I tell anyone who will be visiting New Orleans, GOOD CHOICE! I went last year and I haven't gotten it out of my mind ever since! So I will tell you that you will have an absolute blast.

As for off the beaten path activities involving nature, I would suggest a swamp tour. It's not really all that off the beaten path to be honest with you but it's worth a see for a nature lover. There are swamp tours within an hour's drive from New Orleans (http://www.louisianaswamp.com/jsp/directions.jsp or http://www.honeyislandswamp.com/index.html).

Quickly, these are the must sees in and around New Orleans:
- The Cajun Village (http://www.louisianacajun.com/main.asp?URL=http://www.eatel.net/~meme/Cabin-Cajun.html&id=spf)
- Everything Voodoo (http://www.bloodymarystours.com/reverendzombies.html)
- Ghost & Vampire/Cemetary tours (http://www.neworleansghosttour.com)
- The Garden District tour (http://www.tourneworleans.com/garden_set.html - they also have other walking tours)

Also, if you're interested in the rest of the Cajun Country, I think it's a few hours drive from New Orleans. That way you can absorb the authentic culture of Louisiana. http://www.louisianatravel.com/regions/cajun.cfm

Although this doesn't count as a site, it is definitely something to experience: the food. Try some of the traditional Cajun/Creole food (jambalaya is sold on the street during Mardi Gras, gumbo), southern comfort food, etc. An important stop is Cafe du Monde (http://www.cafedumonde.com/) on Decatur st. Their beignets are to die for (if you like sweets) and about 1.50$ for 3. Their coffee specialty seems to be topped off with chickory. Don't know how it tastes cause I'm not too adventurous with my coffee. Pralines are another must.

I posted the links all over so you can check things out yourself and judge if they are of interest to you. No matter what you end up doing, keep in mind that walking in New Orleans is the best way to discover stuff (and burn off all those calories from the fantastic yet full of fat foods!). Hope that helped! Don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions!

Tamar

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7274 posts) 9y

Hi vagabond (and hi Tam!),

I just got back from New Orleans yesterday, so I thought I'd throw in my two cent's worth!

My favourite excursion was a plantation and bayou trip. We saw Laura plantation (which burnt down last year, so there wasn't much left, but the guide was fantastic) and Oak Alley (spectacular!), plus we took a boat ride through the bayou. It was too cool to see gators, but the scenery was breathtaking.

And I'm a cemetery freak, so if you can, go see St. Louis #1. There's a voodoo queen's grave there, marked with x's and adorned with an alter full of everything imaginable. We wanted to see St. Louis #2 as well, but half-way there we realized the neighbourhood was pretty bad and residents were staring, so we turned back. Lafeyette cemetery in the Garden District was great, too.

And as Tam mentioned, walking is the best way to stay outside and get around. It was 26 degrees C in January - the weather is simply spectacular. Watch out for the strange people on the streets (we met a guy who insisted he knew where we got our shoes...), and stay clear of the parts above Rampart Street at night, and you'll be fine.

4. Posted by vagabond (Full Member 104 posts) 9y

Thanks a lot folks..

Actully, I 've been to new orleans once (for day and a half). I have had a tour to swamps before, so not sure if I'll be doing it again, but we are planning to drive around to Avery Island or by the banks of Atchafalaya River and probably some swamps in the cajun country.

5. Posted by js1401 (Budding Member 9 posts) 9y

hola

me and a friend arrive in the big easy on the 3rd of feb, staying at the marquette. After mardi gras we were planning a mini tour of louisiana and then to Texas, with the hope of hitting austin. if you want to keep in touch let me know! jamie_shanahan@hotmail.com