Bursting from the retro ambience of a refurbished art-deco movie theater, the renowned hand-blown-glass art studio boasts a multihued array of gaffer-made accoutrements. Keep wine from escaping on a post-party spree with a decorative bottlestopper ($62), a hand-crafted sculpture complete with elegant metal fitting designed to hold in liquid and libation secrets. Showcase seasonal candies or secret-admirer notes in a fluted dish ($65), available in intricate designs of blue, salmon, white, and more. The New Orleans paperweight adds personality to desks and gravity to astronaut homework with the classic Big Easy fleur de lis etched in a heart shape atop a round paper anchor ($50). For a romantic shimmer, check out the pointed oil candle with a stand, a teardrop-shaped candle perched in a three-pronged mini-tripod that imbues romance with long-lasting light ($50), similar to a triple showing of Gremlins under an Alaskan summer sky.
The Southern Food & Beverage Museum quells culinary curiosities with ongoing exhibits celebrating the unique bites and beverages of the South. Permanent exhibits include Tout de Sweet: All About Sugar, which examines the role of sugar production in Louisiana, and A Table at Galatoire’s, which traces the venerable restaurant’s history through artifacts such as original plates and salvaged blue-cheese crumbles. Inside the museum, guests encounter The Museum of the American Cocktail, a Martha Stewart brand-endorsed knowledge vault that explores the history of mixed drinks from the 1800s to the modern day, housing original absinthe fountains and Prohibition-era flasks crafted from Al Capone’s day planner.
At the Vieux Carré, New Orleans' famous 85-block French Quarter, modern-day visitors moving in and out of National Historic Landmark properties are transported to city's past while taking in the mishmash of architectural styles distinguished by colorful facades and filigreed iron galleries and balconies. The restored landmark property known as the Gallier House makes its home in the Quarter, waiting to dazzle with the 19th-century splendor that backdropped the lives of their inhabitants—a diverse crew of enslaved workers, tycoons, free people of color, architects, and robots—more than a century ago.
The Gallier House was built in 1860 by renowned architect James Gallier Jr., who also designed the old French Opera House and Municipality Hall (now Gallier Hall). Gallier ensured the house was ahead of its time by installing a bathroom with indoor plumbing, a ventilation system to circulate air, an attached kitchen, and a hologram butler. The fully furnished two-story house also contains a courtyard, carriageway, and slave quarters, and it inspired Louis and Lestat's New Orleans residence in Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. In 1996, The Woman's Exchange bought the property, ensuring that it would be preserved as a museum and historic landmark. Today, curators illuminate the mansion’s history through frequent exhibits and educational programs for people of all ages.
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.
Witches Brew Tours guide groups and walking tours through all angles of the haunts and mysteries of the French Quarter, where spirits, witches, voodoo, and vampires dwell. Fully licensed guides tell tales of vengeful ghosts and the history of Marie Laveau, the Queen of Voodoo. Guests can participate in walking, trolley, or mule-drawn-carriage tours through the city’s winding streets or the maze of mausoleums at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
Paddle the river in style on the luxurious Creole Queen, aquatically equipped with heat and air conditioning, modern restrooms, and wheelchair accessibility and replete with old-time accents such as Victorian-style draperies, gaslight-inspired period lighting, friendly ghosts, wooden parquet dance floors, and Louisiana cypress bars and brass railings. Disembark and change out of pedestrian threads and into something more heroic during the 2.5-hour Chalmette Battlefield tour, which includes informative narration on noteworthy landmarks, local river lore, and crock-pot recipes and a visit to the historic battlefield. On the jazz tour, passengers embark on a two-hour cruise filled with peppy live jazz, cocktails, a Creole buffet, and starlit views of the city's skyline. Dinner (though not included with this Groupon) can be purchased on board for $24 per person.