My next SOLO Culinary Adventure! You Choose!
Ok yall. I've recently have done solo culinary tours of NY and Las Vegas and now I'm planning my next culinary adventure and I'm reaching to my fellow chowhounds. I have narrowed it down to Napa Valley and San Fran. Area, Chicago, or New Orleans. Being born in Cali. but raised in the south, I've always wanted to go back and experience some western cuisine but also love my spice which is why New Orleans is in the mix and for Chicago, well some of the best Chefs make there grounds there. I want a city that is relaxing, open to solo travelers, and some good scenary....Sorry NY and Las Vegas, yall just weren't a very relaxing of a town and I NEED a relaxing culinary adventure for once. Money isn't a issue as I want to dine at the best!!! Thanks and can't wait to hear some suggestions!
I've been to Chicago, Napa Valley San Fran, New York, and Las Vegas, not New Orleans. If New York wasn't relaxing for you, no way will Chicago be either. While I didn't dine at the top end places, I ate very well in San Francisco. Napa Valley I can honestly say was one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I've been to. Do a few winery tours (Loved the Frog's Leap tour) and just enjoy a nice relaxing day out there. Not sure how long youplan on going for, but I'd venture to guess there is more to do to occupy your time in San Francisco/Napa Valley than New Orleans. San Francisco itself was somewhat more relaxing than the other cities, but it was Napa Valley that was truly relaxing.
New Orleans is one of my favorite places to spend a weekend alone unwinding and chowing down on some of the best food around (at all price points). It's very welcoming to solo travellers, and the people tend to be very warm and friendly. There are plenty of tours to take (Garden District, historical, cemetaries, gourmet, etc.) if you'd like some help planning your time there.
One of the things I'm most fond of in New Orleans is it can be as rowdy or "chill" as you choose. If you'd like to spend a weekend reading on a porch and drinking chicory coffee and eating beignets it's no problem, or if you'd like to go clubbing and dance on tables, there are more than enough people happy to help! (Me, I usually like a bit of a mix.)
I've never been to Chicago, so I can't speak on it. Napa is beautiful, but I have terrible allergies and spent the whole time I was there sneezing violently.
re: steve h.
Chicago is hot hot hot in late summer as is NO. San Francisco is perfect. NO is great in winter, not too hot, not too cold. SO--- NO-winter, Chicago-spring, San Fran-summer.
Chicago is a lot more laid back than NY. While I love NY, Chicago is not as frenetic and not as congested. People are also friendly here, although I think the people in NY are great. But we here in Chi LIKE visitors because we need your money. So come!
I'd pick New Orleans. Sure, I'm from Louisiana, and it holds a special place in my heart, but the sweet swing of NO is so relaxing, and it's a great spot for a solo visitor. It has such a distinct culture, and the music, food, and architecture all compliment each other. The cemeteries, Garden District and Magazine street, as well as Bywater, are great for leisurely wandering.
If you go, I'd recommend driving out of the city for a day or two, and absorbing some of Cajun country to the west, where you can view the swamps and sunsets, while eating some real down home Cajun cuisine.