Winding through the cobblestone streets of various New Orleans neighborhoods, knowledgeable guides lead groups through notoriously haunted and historic spots during 2-hour walking tours. Each tour guide possesses experience with and/or passion for the occult and New Orleans history, and the fleet includes the founder of the New Orleans Paranormal & Occult society, as well as a member of the Louisiana Historical Society. With tours running daily, the meanderings whisk guests past real voodoo altars during the voodoo tour, or into the world of the undead with a vampire tour. Guests can eschew the spooks with a Garden tour or a cemetery tour that focuses on the neighborhoods’ history and inability to sleep with the lights off.
For more than three decades, Save Our Cemeteries has preserved the architectural and cultural beauty of historic cemeteries with restoration work, lectures, photography sales, and guided tours of the city's above-ground coffin repositories. At 10 a.m. from Friday through Sunday, cemetery sightseers can take a gander at the oven wall vaults and stone tombs of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, which was founded in 1789 as the burial ground for famous Louisianan revolutionaries, chess champions, and voodoo queen Marie Laveau.
Seattle: The Game is an interactive tour that sets friends and family members loose on an exhilarating, knowledge-fueled undertaking guided by text-message clues, trivia, and riddles. Players may explore one or all of the game's three zones, sampling fresh fruit at stalls in Pike Place Market, admiring monuments in historic Pioneer Square, or frowning at all of the Mark Rothko paintings at the Seattle Art Museum. Clues point the way to culinary delights such as Seattle's first bar and flagship Starbucks, and indulge eyes and ears in a chamber filled with porcelain and a record shop frequented by Santana and Eric Clapton. At least one player on the team will need a US cell phone to receive clues, and none of the self-guided tours require previous knowledge of the city. Adventurers play at their own pace—most zones take two–three hours to finish—which allows them to spend more time learning about the city and photographing vibrant fire hydrants for aqua-centric scrapbooks. From the time of activation, Venti Packages give players a year to chase through all three tours.
The journey begins with stunning views of the French Quarter, as the 24-foot paddlewheel punches through river with diesel-electric force. The tour narrator will point out noteworthy landmarks along the way, while also disclosing local river lore, vessel information, crock-pot recipes, and river history. Disembark and change out of pedestrian threads and into something more heroic during the hour-long Chalmette Battlefield tour. The 45-minute tour, provided by the National Park Service, includes the highlights of battlefield topography and a history of the Battle of New Orleans and its impact on the War of 1812. There will also be a visit to the Chalmette Monument and a tour of the historic Malus-Beauregard House, which is older than yo mama jokes at 170 years of age. Although tempting, re-creating one of commanding officer Andrew Jackson's 13 duels is not recommended. After the land portion of the tour, reboard the Creole Queen for the return journey, making sure to explore any of her 190 feet that you may have missed during the ride in. In all, about 1.5 hours will be spent on the water journey, and an hour will be spent on land.
After Frankie Cheek discovered segway tours while visiting Italy, he decided to start his own company in his native New Orleans. When he was boarding a plane back home, Hurricane Katrina struck, redirecting him to Louisiana’s grandfather country: France. While exploring Paris in the wake of the devastating tragedy back home, Cheek drew inspiration for his future segway tours—he was resolved, according to his website, to "help a city rich in history move forward while riding the most high-tech transporter available." Since returning to New Orleans, he’s led daily segway adventures, whirring groups of sightseers around the French Quarter, the riverfront, and Jackson Square with the ease, maneuverability, and safety-minded attitude of a cool biker gang. Plus, through a partnership with other tour companies, Cheek can also guide guests through swamps, plantations, and supposedly haunted locales.
Whether your tire-turning extremities are located at home, at a hotel, or in a docked zeppelin cabin over the river, Big Easy Bike Tours will deliver the bicycle(s) to you and up to four of your cycling teammates almost anywhere in the city. All tours begin back in 1718 with sightseeing and narrated soundseeing throughout the French Quarter. From there, there is a spork in the road where you can choose between three touring fates. The first, Neighborhoods and Lower 9th Ward, takes a path past green homes built by Global Green after Hurricane Katrina, visits the levee and explains what led to its failure, and passes through St. Roch and Treme. The second journey lands you on the Esplanade Avenue of the Creoles, exploring Bayou St. John and the history of New Orleans cemeteries, European settlers, and early New Orleanians' struggles to colonize the undomesticated flavors of crawfish étouffée within its wild habitat. After pedaling through City Park and observing the Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens, you finish cruising through Mid-City. The final option, a tour of the American Sector and the Garden District, details some of the architecture, universities, and finest fine arts found in New Orleans.
Given New Orleans' great wealth of stories, it's no surprise that the city itself would certify its master storytellers. This certification, held by every one of French Quarter Phantoms' guides, is put to good use as they lead small groups of travelers through the city’s dark alleys on historically accurate ghost and true-crime tours. The guides' expertly spun, chilling tales earned French Quarter Phantoms the accolade of second-best haunted tour in America from HauntedAmericaTours.com, as well as a certificate of authenticity from Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang.