If one of the kick-off points for Ernie's Tours?Rev. Zombie's Voodoo Shop?is any indication, the trek promises to be a doozy. Ernest Sylvester, a fourth-generation New Orleans resident, pops the lid off of the Crescent City's many secrets during his cemetery tours. Ernie has been a licensed tour guide for 10 years, splitting his time between his own tours and leading groups for Haunted History Tours. So his wealth of NOLA-specific knowledge is as vast as it is eccentric, and he shares it all during walking tours that lead visitors through the French Quarter and Saint Louis Cemetery No.1. History, culture, voodoo, and ghosts are all touched upon as Ernie's lively narratives peel back the surface of New Orleans's many monuments and sites to reveal the spooky stories lingering beneath. The two-hour tours cover 1 mile of ground; guests of age are invited to share a beer with their guide before the tour commences.
Pirates. Supernatural phenomena. Gruesome crimes. The guides from Dark Crescent Tours unveil New Orleans' more macabre side while narrating the city's storied past. In the late afternoons and early evenings, the guides lead outings that visit sites associated with the eerier and more chilling facets of the city's long-distant past. The specialty walking tours provide an immersive look at the former homes of famous New Orleans authors or even interesting bars where each stop includes information about that particular establishment's history or legacy in some way.
Daytime walking tours, on the other hand, spirit folks through iconic neighborhoods, including Algiers Point, the French Quarter, and Faubourg Marigny. During the jaunts, guides relate the history behind everything from the distinctive architecture and the street names to the reason why none of the sidewalks are edible.
Thanks to the Krewe of Boo's annual Halloween parade, every year the French Quarter fills with vampires, demons, and ghouls. But the creatures bear no threat. Far from it, in fact—atop floats adorned with 3D, Halloween-themed fiberglass and papier-mâché props, they toss locally made goodies to the crowds below. Instead of Mardi Gras-style beads that will litter the streets when festivities have ended, these throws beg to be taken home—spectators might snag anything from bags of caramel corn to voodoo-doll magnets. Once the parade's floats and marching bands arrive at the end of their route, the Krewe of Boo begins Spook Fest. This post-parade costume party continues the Halloween revelry with tasty treats, boozy drinks, and live music.
Otto Von Wright, a beer lover for as long as he could remember, founded NOLA Beer Tours after becoming fascinated by New Orleans' bourgeoning craft-beer scene. Otto and his trusty tour guides lead groups on lively tours through the city, stopping at local craft beer establishments to sample their wares and soak up knowledge along with any extra beer that may have sloshed out of its keg. In addition to sampling some of the city's finest craft beers, groups get an insider's view of the brewing process, as well as an earful of NOLA's extensive history. Most tours begin at Tujague's restaurant, the second-oldest of its kind in New Orleans, for a bite and a brew before venturing off on foot to learn about the brewing process and to enjoy its liquid yield.
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.
The guides at New Orleans Savvy Tours don’t lead narrative tours; they lead conversation tours. Each outing is a chance for them to converse with individual visitors, ensuring they take the time to reflect on and absorb each wondrous piece of architecture they encounter. Tours first meet in front of Andrew Jackson’s statue in Jackson Square, then set out to discover the French Quarter by foot. As visitors gaze upon centuries-old homes and local landmarks such as the Ursuline Convent and the Old Bank, they learn how to distinguish French architecture from Spanish architecture, how to classify different kinds of ironwork, and interesting factoids such as how a shotgun home differs from a Creole cottage.