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Combo Oak Alley Plantation and New Orleans City Tour
"Go beyond the typical city tour experience and see New Orleans like a local. Relax in an enclosed air-conditioned minibus that runs every day rain or shine. You’ll pass through the French Quarter and travel past mansions along Esplanade Avenue on your way to a stop in City Park where you can visit the Morning Call Café for coffee and beignets. In addition you will see the Ninth Ward a neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Katrina. View the Garden District with its vast mansions that line pristine boulevards and Faubourg Treme — one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in the country dating back to the 1700s. Pass through the home of the internationally acclaimed World War II Museum and by the Contemporary Arts Center
From $99.00
 
Three Hour City Tour of New Orleans
"Your tour begins when you pass through the French Quarter and travel past the mansions along Esplanade Avenue on your way to a stop in City Park where you can visit the Morning Call Cafe' for coffee and beignets or view the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. In addition you will see the Ninth Ward a neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Katrina. View the Garden District with it's vast mansions that line pristine boulevards the Warehouse District Faubourg Treme- one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in the country dating back to the 1700's pass through the area formerly known as the American Sector
From $45.00
 
French Quarter Walking Tour with Burlesque Guide and Optional Drink
"Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse is the meeting spot where a festively attired tour guide will greet you. The mood is set and you can relax as the evening unfolds. You'll move from the club to the storied streets of the French Quarter. Blaze Starr Chris Owens and many more titillating women are remembered for their bold style of living out loud. Lessons on tassel twirling and sexy glove pulls are delivered in style and don't you worry - the men are no left out. We're pleased to present the only burlesque centered tour. Upon the tour's conclusion there's intentionally a lot of evening left. This tour wraps early. On a regular basis guests follow the guide to burlesque performances. The groups are kept small and this tour is adult only.""""The history of burlesque presented by a burlesque dancer! This tour is completely unique in every way. You'll meet your expert guide in a world class Jazz venue on Bourbon street. Then you'll take to the French Quarter streets in the early evening. Guest
From $25.00

Tours Tips (15)

New Orleans tourist traps

I have to respond to Dutch-Tulip who simply stated that "Bourbon Street smells like vomit."

We spend a lot of money having a company constantly moving around the Quarter picking up garbage and washing the streets and sidewalks. We can't help it that tourist don't drink or behave responsibly and puke on our sidewalks. People will come here and puke on our steps, pee on our doors and even defecate in our courtyard entrances. Then they go home and tell everyone how "filthy" New Orleans is. Well, Hello!?!

We love our tourist and we go out of our way to welcome and entertain them. All we ask is that you treat our homes and city with the same respect that you would expect.

A few tips:

Yes, the best way to see the city is on foot. Remember however that people live and work here. Stay on the sidewalks. If you step into the street, look before you do so.

Ignore the street hustlers

If you stop to watch or photograph a street performer , tip him or her

Do not feed the filthy gutter punks. They are transients and a nuisance . Giving them handouts only encourages them to stay.

If you take a carriage tour, LISTEN to the driver before you get into the carriage. If you can't understand him then, you won't understand the tour. There are several of the drivers who cannot be understood at all. Look for the guy in the cowboy hat, Jim gives a very entertaining and informative tour.

Plantation Tours- Destrehan and Laura Plantations are very accurate and professional tours. Evergreen
Plantation was a huge let down. The tour guide was unprofessional the house was unimpressive. It was the most expensive of the three and there was very little to see or learn.

GScott
Apr 28, 2011

How to choose a carriage tour

Being from New Orleans and a retired history professor, I am very critical of some tours given to travelers in New Orleans. I will suggest that in choosing a carriage tour be aware that not all guides have the same level of knowledge. Written testing of tour guides was not begun until just before Katrina. Guides with long histories of giving carriage tours are grandfathered in and do not take the exam. Ask guide how long he or she has been a guide. Pick one post 2005. Most black drivers have not been tested and do not do as well as other guides. Several carriage tour guides are outstanding. If you get one of the better ones, you will experience one of the better tours in New Orleans. There is even one guide known as "the professor." He does an outstanding job. Beware of those whose speech is not distinct. That is a tell tale sign that you won't understand them and their tours are usually as sloppy.

aryannia
Feb 14, 2011

Pick Your Tours Carefully

You can usually book your tours at your hotel, but the tour companies traditionally pay the receptionist/concierge something to encourage them to recommend their tours to you.

Think carefully about what you want to see and do and whether the tour description sounds like it would be worth the money. Read up on the tours yourself rather than just taking the recommendation of the hotel person.

Actually I was mostly happy with the 3 tours we took

Unique Suggestions I wanted to see New Orleans itself and I can't walk all that far. So the City Tour let me see the various sections of the city in comfort and the guide told us about the various types of architecture and stories of the people who lived in various homes. I was careful to book a tour in a small van so we could get into the narrow streets of the French Quarter.

Later we rode the St. Charles Line Streetcar. This was more interesting than it might otherwise have been since we had already had the tour. The only problem with this tour was the timing (it was longer and we got back later than I expected), and we didn't go to St. Louis Cemetery #1. A carriage ride would probably also have been interesting, but more expensive.

I wanted to take a trip on the river, and the Chalmette cruise allowed me also to see the battlefield. I enjoyed hearing about the things we saw on the river. This was an inexpensive cruise because the Chalmette part was done free by the US Park Ranger at the site. The problem with this tour was that they didn't allow you to bring food on the boat to eat, and the time at Chalmette was quite short.

I wanted to see a plantation and I wanted to tour the swamp. We had visited a plantation with big oaks, so we took the Oak Alley/Swamp combination tour. Oak Alley was a disappointment because they recently decided not to allow photos inside, and because it was NOT original inside.

Fun Alternatives You can walk around the French Quarter on your own, and there is also a FREE walking tour offered by the NPS. You can take the St. Charles Streetcar out to the Garden District. You can take the FREE ferry across to Algiers.

If you have a car, or rent a car for the day, you can drive out to Chalmette, or the Jean Lafitte Reserve, or to the plantations along the River Road on your own, and take the tours when you get there.

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grandmaR
Aug 01, 2005

Horse Carriage

This horse carriages tours are parked right infront of the moon walk across street from the Jackson Square in the french quarter area. Well, my husband's colleagues decided that we all should go for a horse carriage ride.. I was kinda hesitant coz personally I didnt really like french quarter that much. from the first time we were there, its was scarry and smelt horrible (smells like garbage and smoke).. But out of professionalism we joined in. Well, so much for the carriage tours! there was nothing in there to see but a bunch of small street with garbage all over the place and loud music/people yelling at each other (Bourbon Street) with lots of strip clubs.. (Im sorry not my dream horse carriage tour!)
So, after one hour of just going around french quarter we head back to Jackson Square and there goes our $35, (15 dollars/ per person /hour plus tip!)
If you're not a drinker and would like to explore french quarter (galleries, shops, restaurants) try to do it on foot in the morning.

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Minnieg
Jul 25, 2005
 
 
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AVOID TOURIST INFORMATION CENTERS IN FQ

The so called "Tourist Information Centers" on every French Quarter street are scam operators. They put heavy pressure on us to buy a "time share." They gave us a free tour - (you get what you pay for) - the tour was terrible. They use tour companies who use ignorant drivers - ours couldn't answer even simple questions.
We found out later from a tourguide at Laura Plantation that a group of tourguides own a free service web site that directs visitors to the quality tour companies: www.tourbookingsneworleans.com
Yes, there are good tours! Avoid the tourist traps!

Unique Suggestions Avoid the so called "tourist information centers" in the French Quarter. (with the exception of the Louisiana State Tourism office at Jackson Square)

Fun Alternatives We will try the tourguide owned web site recommended by our docent at Laura Plantation.
www.tourbookingsneworleans.com
(It's a new free service website promoting quality tourism in New Orleans.)

JckD
Jan 14, 2005

Horse and Buggy Tours

I don't know if I would call this a tourist trap, but you can make up your mind. You will see horse and buggies lined up on Decatour St right past Jackson Square who offer French Quarter and Cemetery tours. They will take you through a few streets of the French Quarter and impart some local knowledge, but nothing too spectacular. The cemetery tour was not good. The guide took us to one cemetery and told us to look around. He only talked quickly about Marie Luvou's tomb. Nice guy (we said he looked like Brett Michaels of Poison), but I don't know if it was woth the $45-50.

Unique Suggestions I highly recommend a tour, especially of the cemeteries. Just choose what you really want to see. Stay away from the French Quarter tours. Buy a book about it, read it before you go and walk around the Quarter yourself. Make sure you go in a group to the cemeteries. I saw all the warning on some other member pages and completely agree. As soon as you walk in, you will get the feeling you are happy you are not alone (with live people that is!). Nowhere to go as most have high walls.

Fun Alternatives Talk with the conceirge about the best tours in the city. Some are expensive so check that out before you book one. A lot to do and see in New Orleans so figure out what it is you want to see.

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nuker
Jan 05, 2005

WATCH OUT FOR NEW ORLEANS BELLMEN BOOKING TOURS

We were sent on a plantation tour by the hotel bellman only to find out he got $20 from the company for each of us! The company saves money by not hiring qualified tour guides. The bellman put $40 in his pocket!
(The "driver" was ignorant, and could not answer even simple questions.)

Fun Alternatives We got our information from a licenced tour guide that drove a group to the plantation that same afternoon. He told us he and other tour guides support a free internet site designed to direct visitors to quality tour companies: tourbookingsneworleans.com

227
Jan 02, 2005

Cemetery Walking Tours

DON'T GO on those daytime walking cemetery tours!!! and dont think they're supposed to be scary! they're nothing but a waste of time and money. unless you wanna waste $20 walking in the sun visiting vandalized graves and listening to a so-called 'voodoo princess' who lost her accent 15 minutes into her talk (we learned she's from chicago and an RN), then go for it!

Unique Suggestions at least you get to exercise and lose calories from all the margaritas you had the night before.

Fun Alternatives go on a cruise, bar crawl, plantation tour etc...anything!

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jilldj
Aug 13, 2004

Top 5 New Orleans Writers

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grandmaR

"Two Visits - 54 Years Apart"
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doug48

"new orleans louisiana"
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jadedmuse

"The Naughty Madame"
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VeronicaG

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ATXtraveler

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Haunted History Tours

If you go to New Orleans and are planning to take a haunted walking tour, go with this company. I had a blast. I started out with the ghost tour and had so much fun, I ended up taking the vampire tour the following night.

On the ghost tours, you'll hear tales of horror at the lalaurie mansion, the axe murderer who stalked his victims and then killed off the entire family and the woman who haunts the bar you'll stop at.

the picture here, is at that very same bar which used to be a house of ill repute. The story goes that there was a prostitute working there who fell in love with a soldier. They were to be married but he wanted to go on one final mission beforehand so they could later live in financial comfort. The young woman was apprehensive so she made him promise to come back to her.

when he finally was to arrive home, she put on her white dress and ran down to happily greet him, only to find that he had indeed returned, but he was dead in his coffin.

the young girl, distraught, locked herself in her room for weeks refusing to eat until finally one day overwhelmed with her sorrow, she hung herself from the tree by the stables. it's said that she haunts the courtyard.

take a look at the righthand side of the picture directly behind the plant, taken of that very tree. do you see what I see?

Unique Suggestions go on the vampire tour and hear tales of the Count St-Germaine's reputed brief stay in new orleans and learn about the filles de cassette or 'casket' girls of ursuline convent . what really lies on the third floor? And why does it remain off limits to anyone save high ranking members of the church?

make sure you pick up a coupon before you take the tour. it'll save you some money.

Fun Alternatives I took a cemetary and voodoo tour with another company, and the tour guide wasn't half as good as the ones with this company. the guides were well informed, entertaining and very funny. if you're going to be a tourist for a couple of days, why not make yourself obvious and take one of the tours. it beats spending the entire time drinking on bourbon st.:P

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jessicat1982
Jul 19, 2004

Mardi Gras World - cheesy, but sorta interesting

Since we weren't in New Orleans at the actual time of Mardi Gras, we felt the need to check out Mardi Gras World - I wanted to see the floats. I'm not ENTIRELY disappointed that we did, but I don't ever need to go back. We took the ferry over from Canal Street and, though they have a cramped-looking bus to take you from the ferry to the door of Mardi Gras World, we opted to walk. It was a fairly short, pleasant walk.

We entered the main building and paid - luckily we had a AAA discount, but I'm still not sure it's worth even $10. At the start of the tour, a movie is shown, touting the Mardi Gras parade, some of the famous people who have participated and Mardi Gras World's place in it (they make all the floats for the parade). I found the film interesting. Then everyone can try on various pieces of the costumes and take pictures - at least there is no additional charge for this!

The most interesting part of the tour for me was the room where you could actually see the workers painting and sculpting the floats. From there, we went into a room where there were assembled floats. The size of the floats IS impressive, no doubt about that! But overall, this part of the tour was too short. Unfortunatley, in addition, our tour guide was new, and couldn't answer many of the questions asked by the people on the tour.

All tours include some Mardi Gras "King Cake" and coffee. Not being a coffee drinker, and not needing the ultra-sweet piece of cake, I could have done without this as well.

I guess my biggest complaint is they took an interesting tour, and cheesed it up so that they could charge more for admission.

Unique Suggestions The ferry ride across the river to Algiers, where Mardi Gras World is located, is FREE. Hop on at the base of Canal Street and ride over and back across the Mississippi. The poor man's river cruise!

Fun Alternatives Unfortunately, there IS no alternative. If you're not in New Orleans for Mardi Gras and want to see the floats, this is your only chance. Maybe a glance through the website would be enough? http://www.mardigrasworld.com

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Treefrogfloyd
Apr 12, 2004

Tour Centres in the Mall & Street

I recommend that you go in and pick out the pamphlets that interest you and of course the coupons. However, be wary of the sales people who tries to coerce you into buying into one or more of the tour combinations and that you have to book it thru their centre. It turns out that the sales people are pushing tours that are not known to the owner of the tour centre. The tours are being provided by local people and they are charging an exorbitant cost for a tour. Example being $90.00 USD for a plantation tour and the sales person gets a cut of the profits from the deposit that you must pay. You are better off calling the tour operators directly and make your own arrangments and skip the middle man. Additionally, if you are doing a tour alone, there may be some hesitation. Hidden Trasures would not come to get me as it was not worth it for them. Instead of being truthful and admitting that it wasn't worth their efforts, they lied and told me that business was slow and they didn't have anyone else interested in the same tour as me. I just happened to call the company back 30 minutes later to request another tour hoping there may be other tourists. Only to learn that all tours including the one I was interested in was booked. I learned that the only reason they did not want to come and pick me up is because I was the only one from this particular hotel.

Unique Suggestions If you must go on a tour thru the company, be aware that the prices are inflated to pay the middle man. The owners of the tour centres are unaware of the extra tours that are being booked thru these centres and the sales people are making their own profits thru this venue.

Fun Alternatives Other than the tour to the cemetary due to its alleged dangers, there is no reason why you cannot do the tours yourself. Once you obtain a map and choose a means of tranpsortation either by transit or taxi cab, you can make your own way around on your own. I made my own way around the French Quarters, the Warehouse/Art area by walking. I can assure you that the walking is good for your metabolism while you experience the cajun, creole and other fattening cuisine. I manage to maintain my weight and ate to my tummy's content.

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amberose
Apr 07, 2004

Haunted Walking Tours

These are expensive and overrated. They show nothing you couldn't see on your own with a good guide book and are run by theatre major drop outs who can't get real jobs. A waste of time and money. Spend the $30-$40 on drinks at a nice bar instead.

peach93
Mar 31, 2004

Things to Do Near New Orleans

Things to Do

Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Wax Museum

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French Quarter Walking Tour

On our last visit to New Orleans, we got ourselves out of bed early and headed down to the National Park Service Visitors Center for their free tour of the French Quarter. The walk departs from 419...
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Superdome

We saw the Superdome on the way in from the airport, and of course when we took the New Orleans tour, they mentioned it again. On their website, I thought that it looked like a giant hamburger all lit...
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1850 House - Louisiana State Museum

While you're walking around Jackson Square you'll see the 1850 House which is apart of the Louisiana State Museums. "The Upper and Lower Pontalba Buildings, which line the St. Ann and St. Peter...
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Pharmacy Museum

Before 1804, the field of pharmacy was unregulated. The only requirement was a six-month apprenticeship, after which time the person could make and sell medicines unhampered by any laws or agencies....
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