Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns
New Orleans Ms

New Orleans, Louisiana

Plan a long weekend getaway with our New Orleans adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Photograph by Laura Diaz Martinez, My Shot

Pop. 311,853
GPS: 30°04'N, 89°56'W

If you aren't eating all day long in New Orleans, you should be. But if and when your fork is ever down, join the lively Spanish and French descendents in Mardi Gras parades, listen to jazz and blues music at any bar on Bourbon Street, and visit the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, home to the wildest trails and waterways in the state.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite New Orleans adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

PLAY
Louisiana is bursting with wetlands, swamps, and bayous. Rent a canoe and explore along one of the many waterways in the Barataria Preserve—more than 20,000 acres of levee forests, marshes, and alligator hang-outs just south of the city ($20 per person for a full day; bayoubarn.com).

EAT
You’ve probably already gotten more New Orleans restaurant advice than you can compute. Grab beignets at Café Du Monde (cafedumonde.com), shrimp and alligator saussage cheesecake at Jacques-Imo’s Café (jacquesimoscafe.com), turtle soup at the Commander’s Palace (commanderspalace.com), and all of the po’boys, gumbo, and jumbalaya you can find. Wash it down with a hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s, a piano bar in the French Quarter (patobriens.com).

SLEEP
Breakfast at Ashtons Bed & Breakfast, an antebellum mansion in the Esplanade Ridge Historic District, includes sweet potato French toast with pecan honey butter and Cajun eggs benedict (doubles from $119; ashtonsbb.com).

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