I would pass on the mule rides. Most buggy drivers do not have a tour guiding license which is required of tour guides who are on foot. They are known for telling people mistruths. For instance, that Harriet Beecher Stowe stayed at the Cornstalk Fence Hotel or the that the Louisiana Purchase was signed at the Cabildo in Jackson Square! If you want real information go with certified tour guides on foot, such as The LA State Museum walking tours. They are on Jackson Square at the 1850 House. These tour guides take a rigorous month long course and are very informative.
Additionally, the mules are treated very inhumanely and tourists do not see this very ugly side of the industry. A closer inspection of the mules will show that the hooves are not shod properly, bits and bridles are not fitted properly and sometimes there are open sores. Locals frequently complain and have written to the local newspaper to express their disdain for the inhumane treatment the mules receive.
Locals pass on the buggy rides when visitors come to town...there are too many other options out there to get a great tour...pass on the mule ride... the mules will thank you.
The driver was very friendly and informative. The ride gave us an idea of where everything was and things we wanted to go back and see.
The carriages line up at Jackson Square and the Garden District. We got on ours somewhere else. I think they're happy to pick you up wherever, so if you see an empty one, ask. It was a lot cheaper than the New York ones, especially if you have another couple in the carriage! If you want the carriage all to yourself for a more romantic trip, it will cost a bit more.
I didn't go on the carriage tour and am not normally inclined toward such things. But I overheard many of the drivers during my evening walkabout and was very impressed with their knowledge and charm. For a group of four I think the $100 price tag for a one hour tour might actually be worth it as an introduction to the French Quarter.
The driver in this picture has parked in front of Lafitte's and is shouting "Service!" to get drinks served to his clients in the carriage.
We took one of these at night, which was really great, because I think New Orleans comes alive (even more) at night. The driver was very friendly and informative. We did it the first night we were there, which was good because it gave us an idea of where everything was, and things we wanted to go back and see. Also, it was freezing that night (in January) and he had a blanket for us to cover up with - very comfortable. We were able to squish 7 people in.
It is romantic to spend the evening sight seeing the French Quarters on a buggy. We couldn’t help but notice that the designs of wrought iron railings are uniquely different on every balcony.
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