Ultimate Roadtrip: New Orleans for Sugar Bowl or Tulane
New Orleans is a popular destination for our tailgate crowd, with a convenient RV campground nearby, lots of fun to be had in the French Quarter, and great football. Being from Atlanta, we won’t talk about the ‘Aints, but you can if you want to.
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Bring your walking shoes for any road trip to New Orleans. With a lot of attractions compacted into or near the French Quarter, it will be easy to get your 10,000 steps for your FitBit tracking.
RV Life in New Orleans
I took Starter RV to New Orleans in 2014, as Georgia Tech opened the new football stadium at Tulane. Our group all parked the RVs at the French Quarter RV Resort. As the name implies, we were within a football’s throw to the French Quarter. What more do you need to know?
The French Quarter RV Resort is easily accessible via Interstate 10, so even a novice RV driver like me at the time could easily get in and out without worrying about the notoriously “fun” streets of New Orleans. The Resort has all the electrical (30 and 50 amp), water, sewer, and cable hookups for your RV. The Resort also has an on-site pool, hot tub, and laundry.
Tip: Be sure to take your bathing suit, so you can enjoy the pool and hot tub. You’ll probably want to take a dip in the water after a few minutes in the New Orleans heat and humidity! Even after a shower, you’ll want another shower.
The French Quarter Fun
Football is only part of the attraction to bringing you on this road trip. The real attraction and the reason you say yes to this road trip is the French Quarter.
- Bourbon Street: Depending on the nature of your tailgate crew, you may never venture much further than Bourbon Street. Some would even say that you don’t need to. You’ve got your expected options of hurricanes, cheap beer, and even a mechanical bull. If you’ve never been, you’ll want to go at least once. Stop by the original Pat O’Briens for a hurricane.
- Frenchman Street: It’s a short stretch of bars that is jammed pack with some great musical talent. It is worth a trip off Bourbon to see some great jazz acts. Hopefully, you’ll get the chance to see an all brass band on the corner of Frenchman Street. Stop and listen for a few minutes; you’ll be glad you did.
- Restaurants: We recommend Arnaud’s, Mr. B’s Bistro, and Acme Oyster House, all excellent choices for a sit-down meal. We aren’t even going to begin to list all the other great places to eat, but we do recommend that you check dress code and whether reservations are recommended. On prime weekends, some of your better dining options will be hard to get into without a reservation.
- Harrah’s Casino: Just outside the French Quarter’s technical boundaries, but probably within all practical definitions is Harrah’s Casino, for those that gamble. If you are like me and don’t gamble but all your friends do, there’s a good sports bar with plenty of football games on.
Other New Orleans Attractions
New Orleans is not just the French Quarter, although many road trips will leave you believing otherwise. Take time to venture to other destinations. A few that may be of interest include:
- World War II Museum: Originally, the D-Day Museum, the World War II Museum just outside the French Quarter is now a sprawling museum that is well worth spending a day in. It has movies, historical artifacts, and great commentary to remember the American experience during World War II.
- Garden District: Want to see a mansion or two? 19th-century mansions are well-preserved and maintained in this district. Commander’s Palace is a restaurant worth visiting. The Garden District is only a convenient streetcar ride away from the French Quarter RV Resort.
Streetcar trips are $1.25 each way, payable with exact change when you board. Day, weekend and monthly passes are also available.
Wait, we are here for football?
Step off Bourbon Street for a few minutes to take yourself on down to the football stadium. It was your excuse to come to New Orleans, after all. But believe me, after a Friday night in the Quarter, you won’t have much in you to tailgate for the football game. So keep it simple. Fortunately or unfortunately, the football hosts have tried to help you out on this front.
The Super Dome, home of the Saints and the Sugar Bowl, is not far from the RV Resort. The Dome does not allow tailgating in its lots. So bring all your friends to your RV spot and then head over to the Dome. A taxi, Uber or Lyft is recommended for this trip.
If you are in town for Tulane, the tailgating is a little better on the college campus. They have a good size lawn for game day activities, but you still will not want to move your RV. So pre-game at the RV resort, then hop on the streetcar (St. Charles line) for your visit to Tulane’s campus. Once on campus, they have some options available for food and drink (beer and wine only, not liquor) before you head into the stadium. One tip for all you tailgaters and revelers out there, Tulane is an outdoor stadium with no shade – if you have a day game in the heat, it is hot and miserable. A hangover in these circumstances is absolutely brutal. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Final Words on New Orleans
This is a road trip that you’ll be happy you made. All your friends will be there and it will feel like one big party, win or lose. Have fun, but remember the first rule of the RV Tailgate Life: Don’t f it up! This is one road trip where it is easy to go overindulge more than you normally do.
What are your recommendations for a New Orleans road trip?
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