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Old 11-03-2009, 10:47 PM   #1
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New Orleans and St. Petersburg

We will be leaving early December from San Antonio for 3 + weeks, and will be driving past New Orleans. We are thinking about staying at the KOA there and am wondering if anybody has any thoughts or experience with the campground or the city in general. I have been to New Orleans a long time ago, and I remember it as being an interesting place to visit.
We have made reservations at the Long Key State Park as shown in the Fall 2009 edition of Airstream Life magazine, and will do a day trip to Key West. I have been there many times for sailboat regattas, and have always enjoyed it for a few days.
On the way back to Texas we were thinking of visiting St. Augustine, Florida, for no particular reason other than the fact that it sounds interesting and we have never been there. Any thoughts on places to stay and what to do?
Thank you,
Barry
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:10 AM   #2
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We'll be spending a night or 2 in NOLA soon. I've heard there's a CG very near the French Quarter, but it may be expensive. Not having to drive to the French Quarter is a big plus. I'm wondering if anyone has stayed there?

Barry, NOLA is unlike any other place. The Fr. Q. is unique (where else do you see VooDoo stores?) and walking along the river is a good experience. Stately old homes next to the Fr Q. in the Garden District on the other side of Canal St. and worth seeing. And driving through the bayou country, if you have the time is interesting—also not like anywhere else. We'll spend a day in Key West tomorrow—been there 2 times before and always enjoyed another unusual place. Enjoy your trip.

Gene
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:24 AM   #3
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We have been visiting NOLA for 17 years, and it is one of our favorite places in the world. The French Quarter, in particular, is one of those end-of-the-earth places, like Key West, where any alternative lifestyle goes and is acceptable. The music and food are wonderful and old buildings/architecture beautiful. We love the Garden District and also Magazine Street, where there are lots of antique shops and artisans.

We stayed at the French Quarter RV resort this last spring, for JazzFest. It is very nice but very pricey, right at the edge of the Quarter and within easy walking distance of everything. We found this the best place for JazzFest, as they had a shuttle to/from, and we then walked anywhere else we wanted to go.

We have stayed at the KOA in Kenner, but it is far out from everything and transportation into the French Quarter difficult/infrequent or expensive if you take a taxi. Parking and driving in the Quarter is always a challenge, and expired meter tickets expensive. Streets are very narrow and you are sharing them with bicycles, horses & carriages, etc. We wouldn't suggest driving down in there unless you are simply a glutton for punishment.

Our favorite camping near NOLA is Bayou Segnette State Park, which is right across the river from the Quarter in Algiers. It is large, completely paved, and very hospitable to RV's and travelers. They also have free laundry. A 15-minute drive from the Park will take you to the Algiers Ferry, which is free, and you can park all day at the Ferry for $5. The Ferry takes just a few minutes, and drops you off in the Quarter where you can walk anywhere, take a bus or get on the St. Charles trolley to the Garden District and Magazine Street. You can then return to the Park whenever you choose. There is a large fresh seafood market just outside the Park entrance, too.

Be sure to have cafe au lait and beignets at the Cafe du Monde.

Have a great trip, and travel safe.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:29 AM   #4
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Barry, you asked about St. Pete. It's very dispersed on a peninsula across Tampa Bay from Tampa, and south of Clearwater. The whole area seems like a giant suburb with sand. Lots of beaches and the world's worst baseball park. Clearwater beach is rated as one of the best in the country and is long and broad. Traffic on US 19 can be monumental. I don't know anything about RV parks as we used to stay with relatives in Clearwater years ago. The bridge south—the one that was hit by a ship and rebuilt—is a unique suspension bridge.

Gene
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
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I second the recommendation for Bayou Segnette State Park! We've been to New Orleans many times and found the park to be the best and most convenient place to park.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:10 AM   #6
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In St. Augustine, Anastasia State Park is just across the bay and the campground is on the beach. Lots of tree cover and you can walk to beach or ride bikes on beach.

St. Augustine is very historic and worth spending a couple of days exploring the fort and the old city.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:15 AM   #7
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We have a daughter who goes Tulane University in New Orleans so we are there several times a year. I would highly recommend the French Quarter RV park. The people who work there and run it are very nice and the park is very safe as it is a gated park. They will also take you to the edge of the French Quarter via a golf cart.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:36 AM   #8
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We enjoyed St. Augustine as well, and then there's the guy with bagpipes. He plays with a cup for donations. You can hear him from blocks away. He drives people away from the stores—which have keep their doors closed. I don't mind well played bagpipes for about 10 minutes, maybe 15 on rare occasion. This guy was a 1 or 2 minute bagpipe player to me. This was more than 10 years ago, so maybe he's better now or someone throttled him. The merchants hated him but couldn't do anything about it. I'm a strong supporter of the 1st Amendment, but I wondered if there should be an exception for bagpipes.

We toured the old fort and just walked around the old city. They claim to be the oldest city with the oldest house, but Santa Fe will dispute that.

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:55 AM   #9
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Barry, I used to spend most of the winter in St. Pete for work (a tough life) and we still go there to vacation.

It's not exactly an exciting area, but it is rather pleasant and relaxed. I love Fort DeSoto Park - a lovely beach and a nice campground, although getting reservations is supposed to be tough and can be costly. St. Pete has a nice modest-sized downtown district with a pier. The whole area is great for sea kayaking, if that's your thing. As Gene said, the Skyway bridge is a marvel, and a very pretty piece of engineering.

All of that said, I'm guessing you meant to type St Augustine in the thread title - St. Pete is a ways down the peninsula and would be quite a detour.

Tom
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:20 AM   #10
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We stayed at the FQ RV resort and enjoyed the ability to walk to the French Quarter. It was pricey, but that goes with the territory. The people give first-class service and are very friendly. They will give you a golf-cart ride to the edge of their property (saving you a block's walk to the FQ). They will also meet you there in the evening if you walk from a nearby restaurant, giving you a little-less-lonely-and-exposed comfort. Still, I think no one would recommend that you walk from Nola's, for example, back to camp after dark.

A negative is that it sits very near to I-10 and the traffic noise is fierce, if you are one that enjoys sitting outside under your canopy as you read the Times-Picayune in your bunny slippers. After all, who doesn't like that?

Pat
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:18 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your input. I have made reservations at the French Quarter RV Resort.
Barry
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:31 AM   #12
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Hello. We are in NO right now. Second year in a row. We love to visit and walk all over the French Quarter. Here's how WE do it. We stay at Fontainebleau State Park on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, just East of the town of Mandeville (nice restaurants). We camp for half price ($9) with the America the Beautiful Senior Pass (federal). Louisiana State Parks honor it for 50% discounts! We drive our vehicle over the causeway (26 miles across the lake!). It costs $3 going into town... no charge returning. We follow US10 east 2 miles and get off at City Park. Park free at the Art Museum. Catch the tram (every 45 mins) down Canal Street ($1.25). to the river and French Quarter. Walk around all day. Take the free ferry to Algiers and walk some more if you like. Catch the tram back up Canal Street to the 'City Park/Museum' (another $1.25). After about 6:30 pm the trams to the museum become about 1 hr 20 mins apart. Check the schedule on-line NORTA (New Orleans Regional Transit Authority). Relax and have a great time. Also stayed at Anastasia St. Pk. in St. Augustine last year. Nice campground and beach. Make reservations a bit in advance if you can. Loved the old town. Cheers Pete
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:42 AM   #13
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Great tips! We can't get those senior discounts just yet, only 2 more years!

By the causeway, you mean the Lake Ponchartrain bridge? Didn't know it was open yet. Our favorite way to go into NOLA from the north.

Have a muffalletta for us.

Travel safe.
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