One of my favorite things to do in New Orleans is bike around and stare at everything . houses, trees, people, street names, flowers. All the neighborhoods along the river . from Downtown all the way through Uptown and up to Carrollton are great for this. Biking up Esplanade to Bayou Saint John and City Park is also GREAT. If you don’t want to bike, take the street car up St. Charles. Don’t forget to get off and wander around in the direction of the river.  You can also take the street car to City Park, a stunning and huge park, home to the largest collection of Live Oak trees in the world.  While up there in Mid-City, eat a wonderful meal at Lola’s or get some home-wade gelato at Angelo Braccato’s. 

In terms of biking, my friend Cassandra leads culinary bike tours through Confederacy of CruisersAnother company rents bikes if folks want their own bike adventure.  This website connects travelers with guides.

Listening to music is essential, and the easiest thing to say is: go to Frenchmen Street (between Royal Street and the River.) I also highly recommend going to Preservation Hall. They’re open every night, 8 -11 pm, St. Peter Street in the Quarter. WWOZ (90.7 FM) plays great music and broadcasts who’s playing where on the odd hour, as well as on their website,

Eating wise, I LOVE breakfast and lunch at Satsuma (Dauphine Street, near Piety, Bywater) and Cake Café for food (corner of Spain and Charters, Marigny) -- which serves breakfast and lunch till 3pm every day but Monday. Looking for a good place in the French Quarter to get brunch?Folks just love Eat and the Green Goddess.

Coffee can be found at the Orange Couch (Mandeville and Royal, Marigny), Café Rose Nicaud (Frenchmen near Royal, Marigny) and Croissant d’Or (Ursulines, near Chartres, Quarter) -- which is another delightful French Quarter joint. Beignets and café au lait at Café Du Monde (Decatur Street near Jackson Square, Quarter) are SO worth it.

Adolpho’s(above the Apple Barrel on Frenchmen near Charters) is one of my favorite places to eat dinner. Across the street, at 536 Frenchmen, are great tapas at Three Muses, where you can also hear wonderful live music.  Coop’s Bar (Decatur at Ursulines Street in the Quarter) has yummy New Orleans food of all varieties. So does Johnny's Po-Boys.  Speaking of po-boys, you can get a good po-boy anywhere. Really. Any corner store will do a good job. Get it “dressed” and we recommend shrimp or oyster, if they're local. Napolean House (St. Louis and Charters in the Quarter) is great for food and Pimm’s Cups. If you want BBQ, The Joint (Poland and Dauphine Streets, Bywater) is where you should head. You’ll need a car to get to Crabby Jack’s on Jefferson Highway, but it’s well worth it. Also accessible by car are amazing Vietnamese restaurants on the West Bank . Pho Tau Bay and Kim Son. You can get also yummy food at the Marigny bar, Love Lost Lounge (Dauphine and Franklin, Marigny), and right down the street, in the upstairs of Mimi’s (Dauphine and Royal, Marigny) you can get yummy tapas.

One of my favorite places to eat dinner is Domenica’s (amazing Italian food -- the clam and carrot pizzas are delightful) located inside the gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel -- also home to the lovely Sazerac Bar, where you should go for a drink.  I also love Peche, Mariza, and Cochon.  These are my absolute favorite restaurants.  The best sandwich in town is the beet reuben (yes, beet) at Cooknya, inside Siberia Bar on St. Claude Avenue.  Everything else on the menu is wonderful too, but just know this  little joint is inside a smoky bar.

For those of you with time and a car, I highly recommend going to the Barataria Preserve. It’s so beautiful.  Stop by Pho Tau Bay or Kim Som forVietnamese food while you’re over there on the West Bank (of the Mississippi River).

        – Eve Abrams