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CarolSue Ayala's Southern road trip

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3322 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
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The Garden District has a lot of things going for it but I'd put Slim Goodies at the top of the list. They're renowned for their sweet potato pancakes (light, fluffy, amazing) and clever names for their breakfast mashups like the above Jewish...
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6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Audubon Park sits on the site of a former sugar plantation—the only plantation in the city that wasn’t subsequently developed for homes or businesses. It’s about 25 minutes via streetcar from downtown, but feels a world apart,...
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3029 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
Skip the cheesy French Quarter T-shirt shops in favor of this Garden District spot. Designs come from online design contests, and tees are printed daily.
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923 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
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The fragrant, pleasingly cluttered Central Grocery is a holdover from an era when Italian-run groceries occupied storefronts throughout the city. This timeworn shop across from the French Market still boasts an old-world charm, filled with tall...
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2036 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
My first advice to anyone visiting New Orleans is always the same: explore the wonderful neighborhoods outside of the French Quarter. Take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar and when you're tired of gawking at the Garden District mansions, hop off...
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209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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Lunch is the time to visit Galatoire's—a sight and scene for all senses. Well-respected locals come to dine and celebrate, and the joie de vivre (especially on a Friday afternoon) is unparalleled.
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813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
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Connected to Arnaud's, this cozy bar place makes you feel like you're transported back in time. It's a great place for conversation, even if just with the bartender. They take their cocktails seriously and you MUST try the souffle potatoes. Yum!
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Bywater, New Orleans, LA, USA
The French Quarter, the Central Business District, and the Garden District are well-trodden neighborhoods—and it's there that you'll find the largest concentration of hotels, restaurants, and bars. But it's worth checking out the rest of the city,...
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623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
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This Frenchmen Street landmark offers up a steady parade of remarkable local musicians from late afternoon until early morning, with an emphasis on foot-tapping traditional and swing jazz. Musicians play on a low stage against the front window;...
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2401 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
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“Well, we’ll see about that!” loudly harrumphs an endless of stream of out-of-town customers, eager to challenge the claim that Willie Mae’s makes “the world’s best fried chicken.” They’re usually...
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726 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Preservation Hall is the best spot in the French Quarter for live jazz. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will take you back to the early 20th century with some of the hottest jazz you ever did hear. A must-see when you're in N'awlins.
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1400 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Cemeteries can tell us such fascinating stories about the past – where people came from, how they lived and how they died. Nowhere is this more evident than in the above-ground cemeteries throughout New Orleans. Many local tour companies will...
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130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
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A Sazerac is composed of whiskey and absinthe, and nowhere sports classier digs for this signature cocktail than the Sazerac Bar of the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, where the low lights flow over heavy wood tables and the big leather...
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1433 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
There are three old streetcar lines that run in New Orleans. We enjoyed a ride down St. Charles, the oldest of the lines. The trains were beautifully worn originals and gave us a glance at the front of many beautiful old homes. There were also a...
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1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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The Big Easy knows how to brunch—sometimes with music, almost always with cocktails. Commander's Palace is a go-to any day of the week for chef Tory McPhail's updated Creole classics, but on weekends, when patrons don their Sunday best and a jazz...
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New Orleans, LA 70114, USA
If you're looking for some quiet time while visiting New Orleans (what?), consider heading across the river to Algiers Point—a residential section of New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi River, full of Creole cottages and other...
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1000 Howard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
Discover a history that can be felt and a little local flavor with one of the many tours available or explore it all on your own. The beauty of this cemetery is a reflection of it's location.Worn in and unkempt, it's air of mysterious romanticism...
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1332 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
The Garden District was developed in the middle 19th century, and is where the mercantile elite built their in-town estates. Unlike the narrow parcels of the French Quarter or surrounding neighborhoods, house lots here were divided up with just...
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930 Tchoupitoulas St b, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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Bourbon St. is the most (in)famous street in New Orleans, but I would argue Andrew Higgins Blvd has the most to offer in the Crescent City. A few blocks away from the French Quarter, you can find the National World II Museum and the amazing Cochon...
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Algiers Point, New Orleans, LA 70114, USA
Is there anything more romantic than a sunset? Do as the locals do and watch the sun go down over the Mississippi from Riverview Park, a.k.a. "The Fly." For river views from a different perspective, take the ferry to Algiers Point, where you can...
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8420, 2231 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
Every time I get a chance to spend some time in NOLA, you'll find me on Frenchmen Street, Marigny, Bywater, 9th area. This art market, while not really a hidden gem, is always worth a visit. Grab a cocktail and catch some music to loosen up and...
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The outdoor French Market is full of vendors peddling knickknacks, pralines and beignet mix, and boozy, frozen beverages to go.
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1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
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Neal Bodenheimer, the cocktail guru behind this brand-new spot, calls his latest venture "proto-Tiki." But don't expect an over island theme. In fact, the spot is pretty minimal—and the rum cocktails are excellent.
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New Orleans, LA, USA
Frenchmen Street is, more or less, the local-music version of Bourbon Street. It also has its share of tourists trundling about with go-cups in hand, but they’re drawn more by the music than the drink. Plan to spend an evening (things start...
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401 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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“Just get in, it’s that good,” a stranger entering the restaurant told me, as I was browsing through the menu at the entrance. And indeed, after pounding down on the Jerry Jambalaya Dinner with potato salad and red beans, I couldn’t have said it...
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544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
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A two-story dining room with an always-packed raw bar, The Ordinary serves some of the South’s best seafood. Here, chef Mike Lata dishes up must-try options like a seafood tower, crab toast, fish chowder, and triggerfish with fingerling...
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1614 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA
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Line up--with cash--and get your box of chicken, perfectly fried to a crisp. It comes with flattened tater tots, slaw, delicious hush puppies, and a roll of bread. There's no place to eat inside at Price's, but head back to your car, grab a seat...
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698 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
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Leon’s is a meticulously renovated former auto-body shop that's now famous for oysters and fried chicken. Don’t overlook chef Ari Kolender’s shrimp roll, though—lightly dressed with horseradish mayo, it’s served...
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116 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
John Rutledge was an active player in early American politics, signing the Constitution and serving as South Carolina’s first governor. But his townhouse on Broad Street, now the John Rutledge Inn, was built before he even attended his first...
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75 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
After a multi-phase expansion completed in 2016, the former Restoration on King dropped "the King" from its name and gained a new restaurant, spa, coffee shop, and several dozen more suites. The sleek and modern rooms at the boutique Restoration...
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3125, 166 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Charleston's French Quarter didn't earn its title until the 1970s, when a group of preservationists started touting the area's historic concentration of French Huguenots to protect buildings in danger of demolition. Opened in 2002, the French...
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149 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
This Gilded Age residence, built for a cotton merchant and his bride in the 1880s, was renovated and opened as a hotel in 1998 after stints as a masonic meeting place and an insurance office. It's a testament to some serious preservation and...
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207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
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For those seeking a true taste of Charleston, it’s hard to recommend anywhere better than Hominy Grill. You’ll likely have to wait for a table, but just grab a drink in the front courtyard until it’s your turn to sit. Meals...
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Charleston, SC, USA
A colonial classic, Charleston might initially come off as a little ye olde. But if you look more closely, this 340-year-old harbor city actually lives in the present. Bars reinvent Southern spirits, boutiques showcase new spins on cotton, and the...
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2 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Two Meeting Street Inn is a Queen Anne Victorian bed & breakfast in the South of Broad neighborhood. The house overlooks White Point Gardens and the Battery, with great views from the front porch. The three story home has 9 rooms and serves...
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Charleston, SC, USA
Last July, Suzanne Pollack and Lee Manigault launched the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. They teach even the most hapless of hosts to decorate with style and throw themed gatherings, such as a men’s-only dinner party, through classes...
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70 Cunnington Ave, Charleston, SC 29405, USA
Travelers visiting Charleston typically stick to the downtown area, but if you're interested in Civil War history, head up to "the Neck," the area between downtown and North Charleston, to Magnolia Cemetery. The marshside cemetery is where the...
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1870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
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Few places mean more to Charleston than Bowens Island Restaurant, which has existed in one form or another since 1946. The original building, covered in Sharpie messages signed by diners over the years, burned to the ground in 2006. Current owner...
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3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, USA
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A visit to a Charleston historic plantation is typically on every traveler’s itinerary, but choosing which one can prove difficult. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens makes its case with Lowcountry wilderness rather than tamed rows and...