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.
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.
The guides of Southern Style Tours use their knowledge of local history, culture, and culinary delights to lead guests on jaunts around the city. Air-conditioned minibuses carry day-trippers on morning and afternoon trips through the French Quarter during Southern Style's city tours. Routes wind past celebrity houses and famed toolsheds as expert guides give an overview of New Orleans's history, pausing for a spooky detour that winds through the St. Louis Cemetery and its gothic aboveground tombs. Trekkers also observe the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward and find inspiration by witnessing rebuilding efforts led in part by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's initiative. Guides launch urban expeditions seven days a week, with tours running twice per day, first from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pickup begins 30 minutes prior to each excursion.
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.
Formed in 1989, the Louisiana Tour Company started out by organizing Swamp tours narrated by knowledgeable boat captains. Today, the company has grown to offer other excursions such as city Ghost tours on foot, visits to plantations in a van, and Airboat tours of swamp and marshland on the backs of indigenous amphibians. Three-hour New Orleans City and Post-Katrina tours invite sightseers to load up into a minibus to visit city landmarks and areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.