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Peng Shaun

New Orleans, San Diego, Austin, Nashville, Denver

NOLA, San Diego, Denver, Austin/San Antonio, Nashville?

I am finishing a business conference in Louisville, KY on a Thursday afternoon before Easter weekend, and I leave the country on Sunday evening from San Francisco - this leaves me around 2-2.5 days to visit maybe one city, but I can't decide where to go. 

I've been to San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and LA, and I don't want to go any further east (because I still have to fly west), but I've randomly picked a few places that seemed interesting based on guides and the like - therefore picking between NOLA, San Diego, Denver, Austin/San Antonio, and Nashville just on suggestions alone. 

First instinct is for NOLA but I'm not sure if 2 days (Fri and Sat) is enough to "do" NOLA? I don't want to end up going there just to find that there's still lots to see and do and that I will feel the need to come back again, hence I am considering the other cities as well. 

I know these locations are famous for different things but my interests are strongest in history/culture, so museums work nicely for me. Not really so much into music (e.g. jazz or country), I'm not overly outdoorsy (e.g. hikes or zoos), and I don't really drink. But I do like food! (a lot!)

So yes, open to suggestions. Thanks in advance! :D

10 Answers

top answer by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

Go straight to New Orleans. Stay at the New Orleans Marriott on Canal St. Or the The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans in the French Quarter. Take a million pictures. Navigate to Café du Monde take a Carriage Ride from there and walk around. Take the walking tours of the cemeteries. Ride the bus around. Eat everywhere you like.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New Orleans (city)
  2. New Orleans Marriott (hotel)
  3. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans (hotel)
  4. French Quarter (restaurant)
  5. Café du Monde (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Janelle from Charleston

If you want culture/history/museums, I'd recommend Dallas.  It's a major air transport hub so it'll be easy to get there from Louisville and to get to San Francisco from there.  There are 2 can't-miss museums: the The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas (where Oswald shot President Kennedy) and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth (about 30 minutes' drive from downtown Dallas).  Other museums/cultural attractions worth a visit are the Dallas Museum of Art and the Fort Worth Stockyards

As far as food goes, Dallas isn't quite on the level of a foodie mecca as, say, San Francisco, Chicago or even Austin, but there is plenty of good food to be had.  I'd recommend Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse for authentic Texas-style barbecue (the original one near Parkland Hospital is by far the best).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dallas (city)
  2. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (attraction)
  3. Kimbell Art Museum (attraction)
  4. Dallas Museum of Art (attraction)
  5. Fort Worth Stockyards (attraction)
  6. Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Linda from Livermore

San Diegois our favorite city for a short get-away. There are several great museums plus you can visit the historic Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island and have a great lunch there. One evening eat in the Little Italy district. You can see quite a bit in 2 days in this small area and leave out the zoos and party scene.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Diego (city)
  2. Hotel Del Coronado (hotel)
  3. Coronado Island (island)
  4. Little Italy (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Diane from San Diego

I live in San Diego and have also lived in Denver. Both of these cities will require a car and attractions are far apart; neither are renowned for their food (but are for craft beer). If you are looking for a city to walk around in with fabulous culture and food, I would go with New Orleans (also the food there is very reasonable compared to say San Diego or especially San Francisco); plus, you can easily see most of NOLA in 2 days.  If you are looking for history and food, maybe San Antonio (The Alamo) would be a better match and this can also be done in a short time period. Never been to Nashville or Austin, but I think both have great barbeque and great music.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Diego (city)
  2. Denver (city)
  3. New Orleans (city)
  4. San Francisco (city)
  5. San Antonio (city)
  6. Alamo (city)
  7. Nashville (city)
  8. Austin (city)
1 thanks

answered by

I would skip Denver.  Nashville, if  you like music (country music, that is):  you can see the Grand Ole OpryMusic Row.  You can see a lot in New Orleans in 2 days;  it's fun.  I love San Diego & go there frequently (I live in Phoenix); good beaches, museums, restaurants. From there it's a short flight to San Francisco, too.  You may have to flip a coin to choose...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Denver (city)
  2. Nashville (city)
  3. Grand Ole Opry (attraction)
  4. Music Row (attraction)
  5. New Orleans (city)
  6. San Diego (city)
  7. Phoenix (city)
  8. San Francisco (city)
1 thanks

answered by

Austin and San Antonio have some distance between them, so I would pick one or the other if you decide to go to Texas. San Antonio can be done in two days, but is a nice short getaway. The The San Antonio River Walk is a great place to stay and is nearby to the Alamo and that is another must do thing in San Antonio. If you like theme parks, Six Flags has one out there called Fiesta Texas Main Entrance. There is a lot to do in Austin but you could definitely have a good time in two days. We live in Dallas and we love visiting Austin. We like the food truck park where we like to get Torchy's Tacos and then we like to go to Amy's Ice Cream for dessert. Hula Hutis also a great Austin eatery, but be prepared for lines there. If you love food as you say, Austin should be high on your list (although there is tons of great food in New Orleans, you will find more variety in Austin). In addition, there are lots of parks, shops, and 6th street, as well as the state capital.

Denver is where my best friend lives so I travel there a lot. Denver itself doesn't hold much appeal to me, but I love many of the surrounding cities. We usually stay in Boulder and hit up some of the smaller mountain towns as well. Two days is enough time to explore either Denver or Boulder, but probably not both. The mountains look gorgeous from both cities, but if you want to visit the Rockies, you will have to make the trip over to Boulder and a little bit beyond to get to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. They also have an excellent farmer's market on Saturdays, free tours (and free samples) at Celestial Seasonings Tea Company, and Pearl Street Mall with excellent shopping and street entertainers and one of my favorite bookstores, The Boulder Bookstore.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Austin (city)
  2. San Antonio (city)
  3. The San Antonio River Walk (attraction)
  4. Fiesta Texas Main Entrance (attraction)
  5. Hula Hut (restaurant)
  6. New Orleans (city)
  7. Denver (city)
  8. Boulder (city)
  9. Estes Park (city)
  10. Rocky Mountain National Park (park)
  11. Celestial Seasonings (attraction)
  12. Pearl Street Mall (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by

I'd go to New Orleans - even if you can't get a non-stop flight and even if you aren't going to be able to do everything.  It's better to have a reason to come back.  Or you might just stay in KY and go to Frankfort (Kentucky) and Lexington

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New Orleans (city)
  2. Frankfort (Kentucky) (city)
  3. Lexington (city)
1 thanks

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)

I know you don't want to fly east and its counter-intuitive to do so , but take a look at the airline connections out of Louisville.  They aren't very good to any of the cities you mentioned.  If you fly from Louisville to Washington, DC and can make a 5:20 pm flight, you can catch a nonstop to National and be there by 7:00 p.m for dinner.   You can also fly nonstop from there to San Francisco on Sunday morning nonstop on several fights.  New York City also has some good nonstop flights from Louisville, and good nonstop flights to San Francisco on Sunday morning.  Both New York an Washington have a lot of history and great museums and food.  Of the cities you mentioned, Denver has the best connections.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Louisville (city)
  2. Washington, DC (city)
  3. San Francisco (city)
  4. New York City (city)
  5. Denver (city)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by

i would cut Nashville from your list based on your criteria, you'd be better off in Memphis you can do that in a day. Dry Rub BBQ, and Graceland is all you need to do. i recommend the speak easy BBQ reasturant if that helps. and theres an ikea if you get bored

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nashville (city)
  2. Graceland (attraction)

answered by
Peng Shaun

Thanks everyone for your recommendations! I decided to get my flight changed so I fly out of Houston instead, which meant that I could arrange it so I spend 2.5 days in New Orleans :D

comments (1)

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