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How to Tackle New Orleans as a First Timer

How to Tackle New Orleans as a First Timer

From Creole mansions to crumbling cemeteries, Mardi Gras parades to jazz clubs, swamps to steamboats, New Orleans oozes a Southern charm all its own. Here’s how to make the most of a first visit to the Big Easy.

Cruise the Mighty Mississippi

New Orleans has deep roots as a port city, so join river traffic with a ride aboard the vintage SteamboatNatchez paddle wheeler—one of the last of its kind. Upgrade your experience by booking a brunch or dinner jazz cruise for a taste of Creole cuisine on the water. 

Stroll the Garden District

A short streetcar ride away from the bustle of the French Quarter, the leafy Garden District is a calm refuge of antebellum mansions and tree-lined avenues. Explore the history and architecture of this upscale neighborhood on a walking tour, including a stop at legendary Lafayette Cemetery No. 1—one of the oldest graveyards in New Orleans. 

Explore the Swamps

Trade the sounds of clanging streetcars and jazz clubs for frogs and crickets with a day trip to the Louisiana swamps. It doesn't take long to reach the heart of Cajun country, where you can glide through the bayous on an airboat while spotting alligators, snakes, turtles, and other swamp critters.

Indulge in Creole Cooking

Eating is a favorite New Orleans pastime, so taste local flavor with a food tour of the French Quarter. Savor authentic Creole specialties such as seafood gumbo, muffulettas, beignets, and pralines, or learn recipes you can try at home with a hands-on cooking class. 

Go Ghost Hunting

A past scarred by wars, plagues, shocking crimes, and natural disasters has earned New Orleans a reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the US. Visit sites known for paranormal activity and hear legends of voodoo, vampires, and witches on a haunted-history tour. Book one that begins after dark for the eeriest effect. 

Step Back in Time at a Plantation

A handful of historic plantations are within easy reach of New Orleans, with the best-preserved along the River Road that runs parallel to the Mississippi. Learn about life in antebellum Louisiana and the impact of the slave trade during a tour of sugar cane plantations such as Oak Alley, Laura, Destrehan, and Whitney. 

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11 Tours and Activities | All New Orleans Tours

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Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option

SPECIAL OFFER

Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option

star-4
The Steamboat Natchez is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic experience of New Orleans at night on this romantic riverboat cruise! Journey through time on a paddle-wheel boat ride along the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, cozy up with family and friends, and delight in the sparkle of the urban shoreline at dusk. This excursion includes a Creole‐inspired dinner (if option selected) and live jazz music.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
$50.00
$5.00 savings
From
$45.00
$50.00
$5.00 savings
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo & Vampire Walking Tour

SPECIAL OFFER

New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo & Vampire Walking Tour

star-4.5
Exploring New Orleans in the evening can seem like an intimidating quest on your own, but this ghost, voodoo, and vampire walking tour takes you to the city’s most eerie sites at night in the safety of a group with a knowledgeable guide. Stop by top attractions such as the LaLaurie Mansion and New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, all while listening to your guide’s detailed stories of the paranormal and beyond.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$19.97
$21.25
$1.28 savings
From
$19.97
$21.25
$1.28 savings
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter

star-4.5
Get more from the city by exploring New Orleans’ food culture with a guide. Stop by some the French Quarter’s most famous restaurants for some of the area’s most delicious food. Enjoy tastings that could include seafood gumbo, Creole brisket, and beignets. You also learn fun facts from your guide as you walk along the city streets.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.95
From
$54.95
Taking safety measures

VIP: Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise with Private Boat and Engine Room Tour

VIP: Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise with Private Boat and Engine Room Tour

star-4.5
The Steamboat NATCHEZ is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic riverboat experience while you step up the luxury on this Viator VIP dinner cruise. Your experience begins with a complimentary Champagne cocktail while you take a guided tour of the boat’s authentic fixtures and spaces such as the pilot house. In the dining room, you’ll have a reserved table where you can relax, indulge in a sumptuous tableside dinner and enjoy a live jazz performance. If you want to go all out, upgrade to a full‐bar option.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$159.95
From
$159.95
Taking safety measures

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Tour with Boat Ride from New Orleans

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Tour with Boat Ride from New Orleans

star-4.5
Discover the mystique of the swamps and bayous on a sightseeing boat tour from New Orleans. Travel deep into the secluded bayous across the Mississippi River to witness Cajun life and spot native wildlife. Your guide will provide commentary on Cajun culture and the myth‐laden swamps while you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes, turtles, and native birds.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
From
$52.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Tour

New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Tour

star-4.5
Discover New Orleans’ dark side on this haunted history ghost tour. Hear tales of famous hauntings from your local guide, and visit the French Quarter’s most infamous and eerie locations—hotspots for paranormal investigators and historical videographers. By the end, see the Vieux Carré in a different (and profoundly more ominous) light.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Cocktail and Food History Tour

New Orleans Cocktail and Food History Tour

star-5
Get the best of Louisiana with this historical tour that combines all the flavors of New Orleans with a trip into the past. You'll follow your expert guide to eight different locations throughout the city that include Creole restaurants, cocktail lounges, sandwich shops and pre-Civil War bars. This tour includes samples of up to ten different dishes, plus four full-sized drinks that showcase the best of Louisiana's culinary and cocktail heritage. This is the perfect tour for foodies and allows travelers to sample the best in a single afternoon!
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$130.00
From
$130.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Cooking Class

New Orleans Cooking Class

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Get the full Louisiana dining experience during a fun and educational New Orleans cooking demonstration class. Take a seat amongst other foodies in a converted 19th century molasses warehouse and get ready to learn and eat! Meet a lively local chef and learn the fundamentals of preparing classic Creole dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and pralines. Then dig into delicious samples complemented by local beer or a sweet ice tea.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.45
From
$34.45
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans

star-4.5
Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ rich and conflicted past on a small‐group plantation tour. Take a journey through Laura Plantation and St. Joseph Plantation, spying other historic plantations as you travel the Great River Road. View stunning architecture and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantations’ fascinating—and somber—histories from expert guides.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.00
From
$128.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Cemetery and Voodoo Walking Tour

New Orleans Cemetery and Voodoo Walking Tour

star-4.5
Experience New Orleans’ spiritual side on this walking tour of St Louis Cemetery No 1. A knowledgeable local guide will lead you through a maze of haunting yet impressive mausoleums including that of Marie Laveau, the city’s most revered voodoo priestess. Learn about New Orleans’ distinctive above‐ground burial system and its rich – and evolving – voodoo tradition.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.00
From
$29.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery Tour

New Orleans Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery Tour

star-4.5
Take a stroll through New Orleans’ history and culture on a walking tour of the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery #1 with an experienced guide. Visit streets lined with gracious, antebellum homes, and learn how the city’s Creole and American residents competed with Greek Revival architecture and English-gardens. Discover the elaborate crypts and monuments in one of New Orleans’ oldest and most beautiful cemeteries, hear stories about Lafayette’s most famous ‘residents,’ and trace Louisiana history through the names on the gravestones. Enjoy personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.00
From
$25.00