Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

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fishmonger
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Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by fishmonger » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:09 pm

So DW and I will be married 10 years in November. We're saving a nice family trip for the summer of 2019, but are planning to get away for a 4 day weekend over Veterans Day in mid November with just the two of us. We'll be flying out of Boston and the top 2 contenders right now are New Orleans and Austin. Some particulars:

Both 36 years old
Interests:

Good food - especially seafood and BBQ (the main reason Austin is a consideration)
Craft beer
The outdoors/fishing
History and culture

Austin is stretching how far we'd like to travel for just 4 days - so about a max 4 hour flight

Any suggestions appreciated!

sailaway
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by sailaway » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Have you looked at Savannah? It looks like Jet Blue has direct flights that are under 3 hours!

fishmonger
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by fishmonger » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:24 pm

sailaway wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:19 pm
Have you looked at Savannah? It looks like Jet Blue has direct flights that are under 3 hours!
We've briefly considered Savannah and Charleston

GmanJeff
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by GmanJeff » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:26 pm

My impression of NOLA was not positive when I visited for a business conference and stayed in the French Quarter. It's noisy, seemed focused on bars where patrons seem to begin drinking early in the day, and did not feel like a safe environment. I would not return for vacation.

runner3081
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by runner3081 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:50 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:26 pm
My impression of NOLA was not positive when I visited for a business conference and stayed in the French Quarter. It's noisy, seemed focused on bars where patrons seem to begin drinking early in the day, and did not feel like a safe environment. I would not return for vacation.
Completely agree. Was there at the beginning of May for business. No desire to go back.

rj49
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by rj49 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:52 pm

I have a more novel suggestion--you can fly direct to Dublin from Boston on Aer Lingus for $400 r/t from Nov 9-12, which includes a bag and a meal. It's a center of history and culture (not many cities offer a literary pub crawl), it's one of the most youthful and hip European cities, so the food and beer and arts scenes are amazing, and of course it has some of the best scenery in the world. Dublin has plenty of day tours exploring some of the more impressive Irish areas, like the cliffs of Moher, the giant's causeway, and County Wicklow. The flights are 6-7 hours, and it won't be warm, but you'd probably end up with more meaningful memories and have more of an adventure, something worthwhile after 10 years of marriage.

bob60014
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by bob60014 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:05 pm

NOLA. There is more to it than the French Quarter, where most of the craziness happens. The Quarter is still wild at times, but there is a increased police presence, we were never uneasy walking about. Outside of the Quarter, the history, architecture, museums, streetcars, restaurants etc are all something one should experience once. There are still areas that most tourists wouldn't wander into, but it's still a great place to visit.

cantos
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by cantos » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:30 pm

NOLA is great. Those who hate it because they hated the french quarter are, sadly, just tourists who didn't bother to get to know NOLA. I've also found that those that don't like NOLA tend to go alone. It's like going to NYC and thinking it sucked because you walked down to Times Square and all you saw were street hawkers and you were all by your lonesome.

NOLA highlights: the best outdoor sculpture garden I've ever seen at the NOLA museum of art. The city park is also a wonder on a beautiful day, especially for a Boston-area person (I'm a fellow northeaster). Jean Lafitte national park is also awesome - my wife and I ran down the boardwalk there and it was scary enough that when we went around the corner a group of women shrieked lol. No, we weren't alligators. But we did spot one, along with HUGE scary bugs! You have to be there to experience the eerie-ness of da bayou. Take a bayou trip on a boat or kayak.

Foodwise, you have to hit the Commander's Palace - unforgettable dining experience, and one my wife and I still talk about. Emeril's and other great dining can be had. And of course baked oysters. Mmm oysters.

As for the french quarter, there are some gems.

I've been there 3x in 3 years, and am going again this year, and every year I do something new that surprises and interests me. I plan on renting a car and driving down to the ocean points this time. Like Venice, self-proclaimed fishing capitol of the world: https://venicefishingcharters.com/

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MP123
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by MP123 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:51 pm

NOLA is a great time. Commanders, ACME oyster, Cafe du Monde, Garden district, and so on.

If you're looking for food, beer, history, and culture it's for you.

The Quarter at night is kind of like a frat party in Vegas, easily avoided if it's not your thing. I've never felt unsafe visiting NOLA, even shortly after Katrina hit.

dcabler
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by dcabler » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:03 am

OK, I grew up near New Orleans and I have lived in Austin for 30+ years. Still have family back in Louisiana, so I visit all the time.

For Austin, BBQ, absolutely! Along with Tex-Mex and a whole bunch of local, eclectic places. The food is one of the reasons I like living here. And craft beers and breweries everywhere.

That said, I would vote NOLA. Excellent food and I would say more things to do to spend your 4 days! Since we visit pretty often, we usually avoid the gigantic tourist spots like the Quarter and opt for Magazine Street these days. Likewise, we avoid the old, nationally known restaurants like Commanders Palace, Acme, etc. There are a ton of really good restaurants outside the quarter like Restaurant August, Herbsaint, and Lilette to name a few...

fishmonger
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:39 am

rj49 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:52 pm
I have a more novel suggestion--you can fly direct to Dublin from Boston on Aer Lingus for $400 r/t from Nov 9-12, which includes a bag and a meal. It's a center of history and culture (not many cities offer a literary pub crawl), it's one of the most youthful and hip European cities, so the food and beer and arts scenes are amazing, and of course it has some of the best scenery in the world. Dublin has plenty of day tours exploring some of the more impressive Irish areas, like the cliffs of Moher, the giant's causeway, and County Wicklow. The flights are 6-7 hours, and it won't be warm, but you'd probably end up with more meaningful memories and have more of an adventure, something worthwhile after 10 years of marriage.
Have already been to Dublin, honestly was not that impressed with it. I'm of Irish heritage and expected a lot more, I found it to be a very generic European city - felt like it could have been anywhere.

Now Galway, Cork, the countryside? Now we're talking

jebmke
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by jebmke » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:56 am

fishmonger wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:39 am
Now Galway, Cork, the countryside? Now we're talking
In that case, fly into Shannon. Kerry peninsula and also up the coast to Galway is quite nice. As is Connemara. I've done it a couple of times. Once from the US. There used to be direct flights to Shannon.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

fishmonger
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:05 am

cantos wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:30 pm
NOLA is great. Those who hate it because they hated the french quarter are, sadly, just tourists who didn't bother to get to know NOLA. I've also found that those that don't like NOLA tend to go alone. It's like going to NYC and thinking it sucked because you walked down to Times Square and all you saw were street hawkers and you were all by your lonesome.

NOLA highlights: the best outdoor sculpture garden I've ever seen at the NOLA museum of art. The city park is also a wonder on a beautiful day, especially for a Boston-area person (I'm a fellow northeaster). Jean Lafitte national park is also awesome - my wife and I ran down the boardwalk there and it was scary enough that when we went around the corner a group of women shrieked lol. No, we weren't alligators. But we did spot one, along with HUGE scary bugs! You have to be there to experience the eerie-ness of da bayou. Take a bayou trip on a boat or kayak.

Foodwise, you have to hit the Commander's Palace - unforgettable dining experience, and one my wife and I still talk about. Emeril's and other great dining can be had. And of course baked oysters. Mmm oysters.

As for the french quarter, there are some gems.

I've been there 3x in 3 years, and am going again this year, and every year I do something new that surprises and interests me. I plan on renting a car and driving down to the ocean points this time. Like Venice, self-proclaimed fishing capitol of the world: https://venicefishingcharters.com/
LOVE the quote about Times Square. That is a perfect analogy for things I often hear from people that experienced a tiny subsection of a great place.

Where do you stay when you go? Unless there's a real unique location, we generally pick a Marriott. Higher end but not too expensive, know what you're going to get and almost always in a great location

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BL
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by BL » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:43 am

Since you mentioned Veterans Day, the World War II museum in NOLA is great. Lots of things to see and do all over. Pedicab was fun while getting us where we wanted to be. Great food. Street car was a nice way to get places as well, but it may not cross into French Quarter.

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bertilak
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by bertilak » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:10 am

runner3081 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:50 pm
GmanJeff wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:26 pm
My impression of NOLA was not positive when I visited for a business conference and stayed in the French Quarter. It's noisy, seemed focused on bars where patrons seem to begin drinking early in the day, and did not feel like a safe environment. I would not return for vacation.
Completely agree. Was there at the beginning of May for business. No desire to go back.
Based on experience from 20(+/-) years ago (also business conference, French Quarter) I would rule out NOLA. It impressed me as a giant frat party with public drunkenness. If you are in your 20s and miss your college years perhaps it is a good place to go. It seemed very dangerous late at night as the crowds thinned out, so go with like-minded friends.

EDIT: During the day it is a different story: lots of interesting shops. art and antique galleries, restaurants, etc. Completely safe.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

fishmonger
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:00 am

We would plan to stop into Lafitte's but other than that probably stay away from the French Quarter. Would've loved it in my 20s (and maybe still would with a bunch of buddies), but for the wife and I we'll pass

Rupert
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by Rupert » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:08 am

As others have noted, the French Quarter in New Orleans is just a horrible tourist trap. Stay in the Garden District. If you have only seen the French Quarter, then you haven't seen New Orleans.

mw1739
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by mw1739 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:19 am

I'm a huge fan of Charleston, but I'll also throw Asheville in the mix. Great food, huge craft beer scene and tons of outdoor activities.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by BrooklynInvest » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:42 am

A different take on NOLA -

Went for work and tacked on a few days at the end. Wife came down and we had a ball.

A couple of beers on Bourbon Street was enough to say "did that, bought the t shirt" but a lot to do outside that area. World War 2 museum, museum of southern cooking (best bar-in-a-museum ever) and some great restaurants. Took a street car all the way to the end of the line and saw some neat parts of the city.

Glad I went.

campy2010
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by campy2010 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:53 am

Other ideas for long weekends in November from Boston:
Sedona AZ
Nashville TN

fishmonger
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:14 pm

mw1739 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:19 am
I'm a huge fan of Charleston, but I'll also throw Asheville in the mix. Great food, huge craft beer scene and tons of outdoor activities.
Yes, want to visit Asheville at some point

NJdad6
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by NJdad6 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:41 pm

cantos wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:30 pm
NOLA is great. Those who hate it because they hated the french quarter are, sadly, just tourists who didn't bother to get to know NOLA. I've also found that those that don't like NOLA tend to go alone. It's like going to NYC and thinking it sucked because you walked down to Times Square and all you saw were street hawkers and you were all by your lonesome.

NOLA highlights: the best outdoor sculpture garden I've ever seen at the NOLA museum of art. The city park is also a wonder on a beautiful day, especially for a Boston-area person (I'm a fellow northeaster). Jean Lafitte national park is also awesome - my wife and I ran down the boardwalk there and it was scary enough that when we went around the corner a group of women shrieked lol. No, we weren't alligators. But we did spot one, along with HUGE scary bugs! You have to be there to experience the eerie-ness of da bayou. Take a bayou trip on a boat or kayak.

Foodwise, you have to hit the Commander's Palace - unforgettable dining experience, and one my wife and I still talk about. Emeril's and other great dining can be had. And of course baked oysters. Mmm oysters.

As for the french quarter, there are some gems.

I've been there 3x in 3 years, and am going again this year, and every year I do something new that surprises and interests me. I plan on renting a car and driving down to the ocean points this time. Like Venice, self-proclaimed fishing capitol of the world: https://venicefishingcharters.com/
Yes,this. The Times Square example is perfect!

The French Quarter is beautiful. Bourbon Street is a dump (in fact much worse than I thought it would be). One block over are 5 star restaurants, great jazz bars and beautiful courtyards. As mentioned, the Garden District and even parts of downtown are great places to visit. New Orleans is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in America but unfortunately many people (especially people visiting on business) only go to Bourbon Street and form their opinion based on that 2-3 block stretch of the city.

I also really like Austin and Savannah. Charleston is one of my favorites and meets all of the criteria on your list. Have not been but have heard great things about Nashville too.
Last edited by NJdad6 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brokendirtdart
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by brokendirtdart » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:03 pm

BL wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:43 am
Since you mentioned Veterans Day, the World War II museum in NOLA is great.
Concur.

I have been twice. Once 10 years ago when it was the "D-Day Museum", and again last week. I love the museum, and am amazed at the additions to it. What used to be a full one day open to close experience has probably expanded into a day and a half to see it all.

It is a must see if you're ever within a day's drive of NOLA.

pintail07
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by pintail07 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:07 pm

Nashville is fantastic that time of year and has everything you like. If you choose and want a great fishing guide to fish Percy Priest, inside Nashville City limits, let me know the stripers will be on fire.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:55 pm

Given the choice between NOLA and Austin (if I had never been to either), I would pick NOLA in a heartbeat. Austin would pick up points for the live music and cruising the Hill Country though!

For those saying avoid the French Quarter in NOLA, if you have never been, you absolutely have to go at least once for a hurricane at Pat O'Brien's, beignets at Cafe du Monde, and a muffaletta at Central Grocery just to say you have done those things. And my favorite restaurant in NOLA, Antoine's, is in the FQ! Great food everywhere you turn in NOLA. If you are intent on pigging out on Tex-Mex and brisket though, by all means Austin is the place!

cantos
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by cantos » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:08 pm

fishmonger wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:05 am
LOVE the quote about Times Square. That is a perfect analogy for things I often hear from people that experienced a tiny subsection of a great place.

Where do you stay when you go? Unless there's a real unique location, we generally pick a Marriott. Higher end but not too expensive, know what you're going to get and almost always in a great location
I just stayed at the big conference hotels off Canal street. Don't know where the ideal romantic/cool place would be... The Marriotts near Canal are just fine, good location. If you choose to stay in the French Quarter it can be loud until 2am, so for that reason it may be better to be outside of the French Quarter...

-buzz-
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Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

Post by -buzz- » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:42 am

fishmonger wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:09 pm
So DW and I will be married 10 years in November. We're saving a nice family trip for the summer of 2019, but are planning to get away for a 4 day weekend over Veterans Day in mid November with just the two of us. We'll be flying out of Boston and the top 2 contenders right now are New Orleans and Austin. Some particulars:

Both 36 years old
Interests:

Good food - especially seafood and BBQ (the main reason Austin is a consideration)
Craft beer
The outdoors/fishing
History and culture
We've done NOLA twice as a long weekend getaway. We really enjoyed it. Took some tours, did the WWII museum, and ate great food. The city is a spectacle in itself.

One specific recommendation. We took a New Orleans cooking class that was a lot of fun. If you are interested, there are several that are offered. You need to look carefully to see if it is a cooking demonstration or actually a class, depending if you just want to watch or actually prepare something yourself.

We went to this one: Mardis Gras School of Cooking

TripAdvisor has reviews. We had a great time and still make the recipes from time to time. Between getting there and doing the class, it was about a half day experience and a very memorable highlight of the trip.

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