As the self-proclaimed oldest operating premium rum distillery in the United States, Old New Orleans Rum Distillery has accumulated an arsenal of accolades. Your approximately 45-minute tour will give you a glimpse into the distilling process of the best liquor to emerge since mint Scope. First, you'll learn how Louisiana sugarcane is mashed and mixed with water and yeast to create the primordial soup from which baby rums are born. If you're the type of person who likes to read the book before you see the movie, check out the rummery's website for a detailed explanation of the distillery process. Once the tour concludes, the group will head to the rum tasting room, where you can sample the distillery's four signature rums, and the friendly staff may elicit your opinion of new, yet-to-be-marketed blends. You'll also get a signature cocktail made with New Orleans Rum and stirred with swizzle sticks of love.
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.
The guides at Cajun Tours and Cruises lead small groups on expansive adventures through the history and architecture of New Orleans. Experts meet groups at their hotels, houses, or couch forts at 9 a.m. to venture out on citywide jaunts. Eyes explore prime examples of Southern architecture, including Creole townhouses with asymmetrical arched openings and stucco exteriors, and shotgun houses with covered front porches and lacey Victorian ornamentation. Camera wielders click photos, freezing moments in the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and St. Louis Cathedral before wandering past the site where the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina. In City Park, guides dole out refreshments at the Pavilion, recounting how the sculpture garden was donated and how it once came to life on a full moon. After picnics, visitors hop rides on streetcars and cruise down St. Charles Avenue to take in more beautiful New Orleans structures, returning to their home bases at 4 p.m.
Each spring, Frisco Fest welcomes more than 100 Louisiana crafters and artists to the picturesque grounds of the San Francisco Plantation, creating a unique environment where regional history and modern creativity converge. Setting up shop in the shadow of centuries-old live oaks, participants peddle everything from handmade jewelry and pottery to homemade jams, and master gardeners host plant-advice clinics to impart tips to green thumbs looking to revive once-lush landscapes or get their azaleas accepted into a private college.
Each year, activities that occupy the big curiosity and little hands of children abound, such as pony rides, petting zoos, and rock climbing, and adults detour from the crafty wares long enough to enjoy a classic-car show and live music by Leroy St. Pierre. Local chefs sizzle up piquant piles of Cajun and creole cuisine to tempt artistic appetites of all ages, and competitive appetites are twice-satisfied during a Chef's cook-off and cracklin contest.