For New Orleans, it really depends on what you're into.
Places of interest in NO:
(artists - depends on the mix at the time; horse and carriage ride is fun and informative, St. Louis Cathedral)
Music on Bourbon street - just walk and listen, in May when I was there they closed off Royal Street on Saturday and had a different musician/group on every block. That was great.
World War 2 Museum (if your are into that)
Aquarium of the Americas
On Bourbon Street - Arnaulds (pricey but good), Remoulades (casual side of Arnoulds and lower price, good food)
On Poydras - Mothers (great sandwiches and I love their bread pudding)
On Decatur - Central Grocery (home of the muffuletta)
Cafe du Monde at the French Market for coffee and beignets
Depends on where you want to be located. Anything on Poydras or Canal toward the river will be walking distance to the French Quarter. I stayed in the Hilton Riverside (attended a conference) and it is nice, but pricey...$200 a night.
This is just a quick list from my last trip. Some of those guys down south will be able to give a lot more info.
If you are going to be on the go during the day near the French Quarter, the streetcar pass is great. Once price and you can ride as much as you want on any of the streetcars till 4:00am the next morning. More than enough time to get back to the hotel from Bourbon Street...lol. They run on St. Charles, Canal, and Riverfront.
Have a great trip!
My other Taco is a 2003 xtracab 4x4 5spd
Nothin better than Saturday night in Tiger Stadium with 92,542 of your closest friends!