8 Ways to Tour New Orleans
Get better acquainted with the Crescent City by taking one of its many tours.
1. Step Back in Time: History Tours
Rest assured: History sure ain’t boring in New Orleans. Great fires, rapscallion characters, culture clashes: The city’s colorful past is evidenced right in front of you in New Orleans—if you just know where to look. That’s where a tour comes in handy. Knowledgeable guides will reveal the stories you’d never suspect existed behind the curves of a wrought-iron fence, a bubbling courtyard fountain or a hard-to-pronounce street name.
2. Eat Your Way Through New Orleans: Culinary Tours
New Orleanians will find a way to bring food into any activity—and tours are no exception. One of our culinary tours will have you indulging in fare from classic New Orleans restaurants while learning the history behind the cuisine. Looking to actually get into the kitchen? Try a hands-on approach at one of the city’s cooking schools, where you can discover the secrets behind New Orleans’ most famous dishes like barbecued shrimp, jambalaya and corn-and-crab bisque. Hungry?
3. Sip Your Way Through New Orleans: Cocktail Tours
New Orleans has a long lineage of libations, from the Sazerac to the French 75. Learn about the local cocktail culture and heritage on a walking tour, where you’ll taste test alcoholic creations from the French Quarter’s best watering holes. Or go right to the source with a tour and tasting at Celebration Distillation, the oldest premium rum distillery in the United States.
4. Ride in Style: Carriage Tours
Always wanted to ride with Aretha Franklin through one of America’s greatest music cities? Now’s your chance. Oh, did we mention Aretha Franklin is the name of one of the beloved mules that draw the recognizable open-sided carriages through town? Still, you’re bound to enjoy the clip-clopping of hooves while meandering down cobblestone alleys as your driver narrates the sights of the French Quarter or Garden District. Arrange for pickup at your hotel, or head to the Decatur Street side of Jackson Square, where the carriages gather, and hop in.
5. Choose to Cruise: Riverboat Tours
We’re not talking about a tacky booze cruise here. Step aboard the regal Creole Queen or Steamboat Natchez for an enchanting paddlewheel ride up the Mississippi River, accompanied by live music from the likes of the Dukes of Dixieland. Choose from a romantic evening with a dinner and jazz cruise, or experience riverfront history with the Chalmette Battlefield cruise, which disembarks at the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans and tours historical combat sites.
6. Spook Yourself Silly: Ghost Tours
Get the chills with a nighttime adventure, where you’ll hear about ghost stories and explore French Quarter locations known for their paranormal activity. Trying to find a genuine haunted house? Spot spooky apparitions at Mystère Mansion/Haunted Mortuary, a sprawling, neoclassical mansion built in 1872 that boasts nine resident ghosts.
7. Walk Among the Dead: Cemetery Tours
Wander through historic cemeteries, where the city’s unique aboveground tombs, stone sarcophagi and massive headstones mark burial sites for New Orleans’ deceased. Visit their graves and learn about the supernatural craft of voodoo, including its West African origins, Catholic influences and modern-day practices.
8. Distinguishing Designs: Architecture Tours
Admire the unique styles of building and houses as you explore the architecture of the "The Northernmost Caribbean City." With colorful houses, balconies overflowing with hanging plants, and courtyards draped in wisteria, the New Orleans architecture will draw you in. You'll find French, Carribbean, and Southern American influences mixed with blended architecture, making it a distinct style unique to New Orleans. The city has structures that range from modern to the late colonial era, which will weave history and culture into your architecture tour.