http://www.tabasco.com/avery-island/ I'm not certain if you'll go outside of New Orleans but this place where they make Tabasco on Avery Island is interesting and I don't even eat tobasco. You can tour the Jungle Gardens and hang out with the alligators!
Yeah the week of the 4th you'll encounter the heat, humidity and possibly thunderstorms. So when you hit the rain you can duck into a place to eat or shop. I would walk around and look at the plantation homes, check out the antebellum style buildings in the heart of New Orleans. In places you can still see hurricane damage from Katrina in some wards but its getting better.
You can stop in sometime for coffee and beignets at Café du Monde on Decatur but I feel its always crowded with tourists and locals. I prefer French Market coffee on Magazine & Julia.
I don't think its necessary to ride the trolley car but you can if its your thing, New Orleans is very walkable to me. Just be careful as you normally are in any given city and you'll be fine and have fun down there. I usually eat in the side street places/dives versus chain or the popular joints since the food is better and its a little less crowded sometimes.
"If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so. Think twice before reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay."
"Your happiness is up to you. Whatever happened in your life to make you who you are up until this point is irrelevant. It is your responsibility now to take control and change your life to be what you want it to be. Energy and persistence conquer all things. Make time, not excuses."
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