This article was published on August 23rd, 2015
By plane, train, boat, automobile, or horse-drawn carriage, you need to find your way to New Orleans. The historic southern city is shrouded in fascinating history, ghostly mystery, folklore fantasy, and of course, a lot of debauchery. A visit wouldn’t be complete without checking out these five great adventures in the Big Easy:
Walking haunted ghost tour
A fantastic way to learn about the interesting history and stories of New Orleans is to go on a walking ghost tour. These guided tours are typically two to three hours. The guide will take the group throughout the French Quarter, stopping and landmarks and points of interest. At each stop the guide will tell one or two stories about the location, what happened and its historical significance in shaping the city.
Architecture history tour
Education on vacation? Yes, absolutely! New Orleans has so many different influences, including the French, Spanish, and Union, each playing a vital role in how the city was developed. The two-hour tour through the French Quarter will teach you the differences between a verandah, balcony, and gallery, take you into the Saint Louis Cemetery #1 to see the famous tomb is Marie Laveau, the notorious voodoo queen, inside buildings to see living quarters, and find out which buildings have been featured in TV shows and movies.
Landmark beverages, bits, and bites
Lunch in a 175 year-old family restaurant (the oldest in the United States!), with over 15 dining rooms and 25-cent martinis? Head to Antoine’s. Want to grab a Purple Drink at the oldest continuously operating bar in North America? Go to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, serving drinks since the 1700’s! Where can you get the original muffuletta? It’s at Central Grocery, a small Italian market selling specialty foods and the world-famous sandwich. Looking for the best-handcrafted cocktails? Local industry people flock to Bellocq at the Hotel Modern for amazing mixology, the blood red walls, and velvet furniture.
Street car shuffle
If you only have an hour and you’re on a super tight budget, but you want to do something truly authentic and fun, hop aboard the oldest and longest continuously operating streetcar network in the world! There are three different lines, the oldest being the St Charles Line, operating for over 150 years. The St. Charles Line will take you through a number of residential neighbourhoods. The Canal Street Line will take you all the way to the giant city park and to the above ground cemeteries. It’s the best $1.25 you’ll ever spend.
Louisiana is famous for its swamplands. A quick 35-minute drive from the French Quarter and you can be out on an airboat, whizzing through the secluded bayous where you could see wild boar, alligators, snakes, hawks, owls, crawfish, and other swamp animals. If you’re lucky, you might event get to hold a baby alligator!
Looking for more things to do in New Orleans? You can #FollowYourNOLA or get more ideas from Tourism New Orleans.