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GUIDEBOOK : Beyond the French Quarter

January 06, 1991|Grace Lichtenstein

Step one: Start dieting now. New Orleans is the calorie and cholesterol capital of the United States, and proud of it.

Step two: Contact the Greater New Orleans Tourist and Convention Commission, 1520 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, La. 70112, (504) 566-5011. Or when you arrive, visit the French Quarter office, 529 St. Ann St., (504) 566-5031. They can even tell you how to pronounce Tchoupitoulas.

Getting there: Delta and United fly nonstop from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Continental has direct flights with one stop. Round-trip fares start at about $200.

Tip sheets: Offbeat magazine, available in most hotels, is an honest, forthright guide to music, special shows and art galleries. Gambit, an alternative weekly paper, has excellent restaurant listings. Friday's Lagniappe section of the New Orleans Times-Picayune touts weekend happenings.

Sightseeing: The Riverwalk shopping and dining complex on the Mississippi, from Poydras and Canal streets to Julia Street. Open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some restaurants have longer hours.

Aquarium of the Americas, Canal Street and the Mississippi; open daily at 9:30 a.m., except Christmas and Mardi Gras. Call (504) 861-2537 for closing hours.

Admission: $7.50 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children 2-12. Special combination tickets are available for the aquarium and Audubon Zoological Garden.

Jackson Brewery, 620 Decatur St. Open daily, 10 a.m to 9 or 10 p.m.

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