Twenty-five minutes south of New Orleans, the tour guides of Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour guide memorable expeditions into the heart of bayou country. They maneuver swamp boats through brackish water and groves of mossy cypress trees, pointing out alligators, snakes, and other wildlife along the way. Customers can also opt for an exhilarating ride on one of the company's high-speed, open-topped airboats.
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.
La Vie Orleans Tours, LLC owner Ashton Rogers arrived in New Orleans as a Tulane law student and quickly became enamored by the city’s French-inspired culture and lifestyle. After graduating from Tulane, Ashton created La Vie Orleans Tour—which roughly translates to “The Orleans Life”—to share the city’s best.
The French Quarter tour features historic sites such as Jackson Square and the Lalaurie House, while La Vie Orleans’ cocktail tour ducks into bars and tucked-away dives to discover the cocktail’s role in the city’s history. Guides can also plan custom tours for bachelorette/bachelor parties, business groups, and other special occasions.
New Orleans wasn't built to be explored by car. Its narrow, stone-paved streets are best traveled by a less bulky and more leisurely form of transportation. That’s why the guides at French Quarter Bike Tours have designed a series of small-group bicycle tours to help guests take in the city’s historic layout.
With local expertise and helmets brimming with facts, guides lead riders past the lacy iron balconies of the French Quarter and the colorful old homes in The Marigny, before pulling up to famous mansions in the Garden District and the homes of the city's deadest residents in historic cemeteries.
Since 1924, Gray Line Tours has introduced guests to the sights of New Orleans through an eclectic collection of tours, from leisurely walking tours to heart-pounding ghost tours. In addition to taking immersive history or plantation tours, participants can climb aboard an authentic steamboat, which preserves its engine room and original cartoon-mouse captain in a museum-quality exhibit, for a dinner jazz cruise.
Led by historian guides, Livery Tours' city tours showcase New Orleans' heritage and landmarks?sometimes from the cockpit of a Cessna airplane. The Mississippi River sprawls out beneath the aerial tour, which also flies over the Super Dome. Walking and driving tours, meanwhile, focus on topics from the city's post-Katrina renaissance to local ghosts and the centuries-old mansions they abide in.