If you are coming to New Orleans anytime soon, whether it be the Super Bowl or Mardi Gras, you HAVE check out Creole PubCrawl. They go around to some really interesting bars and restraunts in New Orleans' Warehouse distrcit where you get to try a specialty drink at each one. It's all led by a very informed tour guide that gives you the historical background of some of the landmarks you pass by between each bar. Creole PubCrawl has both historical crawls and party crawls during the week. You do need to have at least a group of six, but that makes it great to enjoy with a good group of friends. I can't wait until my friends come in town for Mardi Gras, and I can take them on a crawl. It's much better than taking them to the French Quarter where they really don't get to see the true culture of NOLA.
The jury is still out on this one… by looking at the photos, I thought we would inside different kitchens watching them make a local dish. This is not the case; we had samples at each restaurant, but did not enter any kitchens. Knowing this upfront, I think you will enjoy the tour and this history that makes up NOLA. Our tour was during Easter weekend, so maybe this affected the actual kitchen tour. The last place where the lady makes red beans & rice was the best and most informative part of the tour. I really enjoyed her demonstration of making a roux and different kinds of spice additives.
$46 per person – 3hr tour.
They used to give free walking tours of the French Quarter, but since there are other companies that have a business doing this, they decided to stop cutting into their business. They do still do a brief walking tour, but it's concentrated on the riverfront. The talk is still worth it too. He goes into the history of New Orleans, and a lot about the river and the flooding.
It starts at 9:30, but they open at 9 and start giving out tickets at 9. If it's the busy season, get there early. I went in June, slow season and there were about 9 people total.
There is also a very nice display inside the building about New Orleans, the music with earphones sampling all different types, gift shop and bathrooms. The courtyard is very nice too.
There's also a self-guided walking tour of the French Quarter on their website.
Open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. except Xmas & Mardi Gras.
Taking the tour is great, and gives you some ideas of what to look at more closely when you get home. You might not believe what you hear, but you'll still get chills! I did! Try and get Jonathan as your guide.
You can take a tour of darn near anything in-and-around New Orleans. You can see swamps, plantations, museums, historic districts, spooky places, etc., and can do them by boat, bus, carriage and on foot. Not liking crowds or being hurried, I usually avoid tours like the plague but caved into a walking tour here for the history lesson and safety in a questionable part of town. Historic New Orleans Walking Tours had a good reputation for delivering quality content through very knowledgable guides (ours was a teacher for 30 years). I heard that's not true of every outfit and that some are better spinning tall tales than having their facts in a row.
Whatever, we took the Cemetery/Voodoo option that included some fine points on French Quarter architecture, visits to Our Lady of Guadalupe church, Louis Armstrong Park, Congo Square, St. Louis Cemetery #1, and wound up at a Voodoo Temple (optional). We had $3 coupons that knocked an already reasonable $15 for 2 hours down to a great-bargain price $12. Good tour - were glad we did it. Other walking tours offered are the French Quarter History tour, Garden District tour, Haunted French Quarter Walk and Jazz Walk. All run about $15 but could change post-Katrina so check their website for tour times, meeting places and rates.
Good things to know: These treks are HOT in the summer - especially in the cemeteries where there is no shade (our guide referred to the afternoon slot as the Death March). Bring water(!!!), wear comfortable shoes, light clothing and a hat. Tours are first-come, first-served so show up at the meeting place early to make sure you get a spot. They operate rain or shine, only accept cash or traveler's checks, and it's customary to tip the guide at the end. Lastly, I don't know if it's true of all of them but we moved at one very aggressive clip so be prepared burn some calories (although the guide will wait for all to catch up before starting a talk).
The Le Monde Creole tour in the French Quarter is excellent. They take you into several private courtyards in the quarter. This tour costs a little more but is worth it to get into the courtyards. The tour centers around the history of the family who lived at Laura Plantation. You can also take the tour of the plantation.
Walking tour of the French Quarter AND the Garden District
You have to listen to what an expert has to say - the history of this city is amazing!!! It truly is the most European of American cities. By taking walking tours, you get to see important sites up close, plus the Garden District tour takes you through one of the famous cemeteries and past famous people's homes, like Anne Rice.
Historic New Orleans Walking Tours. The Garden District-Cemetary Tour is a must-see.
You learn a lot about a part of the city that's not the touristy French Quarter. You get to see Lafayette Cemetary #1, Anne Rice's house, and you're in the neighborhood to see the Real World's Belfort Mansion.