New Orleans
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended New Orleans Meet the Locals

New Orleans: History and Haunts Carriage Ride Night Tour

1. New Orleans: History and Haunts Carriage Ride Night Tour

A carriage tour at night is a wonderfully spooky way to see the town, learn a bit of history, and experience a one-of-a-kind adventure. Visit famous haunted locations and be introduced to the ghostly lore and legends that New Orleans' French Quarter is known for. Thanks to 300 years of tragedy, New Orleans is filled with true stories of ghosts, voodoo, and vampires.  With so much paranormal activity happening in the city, the best way to tour these haunted locations is by carriage ride at night. Historical stories of love and tragedy come to life as the professional tour guides explain the legends and lore, in addition to historical narration detailing all major landmarks throughout the French Quarter. On the haunted tour, expect Voodoo galore, and learn about how Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, applied her magical powers to shift the course of love, luck, and law in New Orleans. Learn about the bevy of haunted restaurants, like Muriel’s, where numerous seances have been held over the years. Witness the site of a 19th-century massacre, said to still hold ghosts of the tragedy.  You may even discover that your hotel is haunted, as the carriage ride rolls past all of the most haunted hotels in the French Quarter. Group carriage tours travel at a leisurely pace and with small groups exceeding no more than 8 passengers per carriage. For a more exclusive experience you can reserve a private carriage which holds 1 to 4 passengers.

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New Orleans: City Highlights Tour with Transfer

2. New Orleans: City Highlights Tour with Transfer

See the best of New Orleans in comfort on one handy guided motorized tour. Hop in the minibus and let your guide lead you through the city. No New Orleans city tour would be complete without the French Quarter, the home of Jazz and Mardi Gras. Take in the lively atmosphere with music in the air and colorful, historical buildings. Travel along to Magazine Street, the Big Easy’s thoroughfare that contains plenty of eclectic shops and eateries and meanders in parallel with the Mississippi River. Head across to St Louis Cathedral to see the “Big Easy’s” oldest cemetery, complete with famous and infamous residents. Lake Pontchartrain offers incredible views and photo opportunities. See the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the places hit by Hurricane Katrina. Spot some typical steamboat houses here and remnants of Louisiana's darker history – the sugar cane plantations and colonial buildings. After your whistle-stop tour with your live guide, get dropped off at your New Orleans hotel.

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French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour

3. French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour

Take a walking and storytelling tour through New Orleans' famous French Quarter. See famous landmarks and learn about local history as you make your way from the jazz fountain to Jackson Square, hearing fascinating stories along the way. The night before the tour, your guide will send an email with their photo, contact information, and directions to the meeting spot. The tour begins at the jazz fountain at the intersection of Decatur and Dumaine Streets in the historic French Market district. These are small-group tours, making for a more comfortable, customized experience.  After a brief overview of New Orleans history, your guide will lead you around the oldest neighborhood in the city, and point out the locations that have made New Orleans famous: St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and the Mississippi River - and lesser-known treasures such as the French Market, an almost 300 year old convent, and courtyards hidden behind the 18th and 19th century buildings. Your guide will also be an enthusiastic storyteller, and the stories about this neighborhood are like no other. Established as a French colonial outpost in 1718, its earliest inhabitants were the quirky, gritty, fascinating types who are still attracted to it today. Every block has a story which will be shared with you. The tour concludes in or next to Jackson Square, but it is by no means over. Your guide is full of recommendations for enjoying the neighborhood and the city further. When you finish the French Quarter tour, you will be energized to go out and explore this jewel of a neighborhood even further, and the knowledge you gained walking with your guide will only deepen your understanding of New Orleans, and  stay with you long after you have left its quaint streets and alleys.

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New Orleans Lunch & Lesson: Cajun & Creole Cooking Class

4. New Orleans Lunch & Lesson: Cajun & Creole Cooking Class

Learn the basics of Louisiana Cooking with cajun and creole chefs teaching New Orleans specialties such as Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines, seasoning them with history, trivia and tall tales. The chef will share the fascinating history of New Orleans, and how culture and cuisine are interwoven. Follow along and learn how to make mouth-watering creole and cajun dishes and dig in after the class. At the end of the class, you will receive a coupon to use in the general store and are encouraged to go home and try to make the dishes yourselves.  The general store, as well as the classroom, are both located in a renovated molasses warehouse built in the early 1800s in the heart of the French Quarter. The store has a thoughtful collection of the best locally sourced products and is the home of the famous Joe's Stuff Creole Seasoning, used and loved by local chefs and visitors alike. Program of Menus: 10 AM Class · Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday: Gumbo, Jambalaya, Bread Pudding and Pralines · Monday: Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Pecan Pie and Pralines · Tuesday: Gumbo, Jambalaya, Bananas Foster and Pralines · Thursday: Corn & Crab Bisque, Shrimp Creole, Bananas Foster & Pralines · Friday: Crawfish Etouffee, Shrimp and Artichoke Soup, Bread Pudding, Pralines 2 PM Class · Saturday: Crawfish Etouffee, Shrimp and Artichoke Soup and Pralines · Sunday, Tuesday: Corn & Crab Bisque, Chicken Etouffee and Pralines · Monday, Thursday, Friday: Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines · Wednewday: Gumbo, Chicken Creole, Pralines

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New Orleans: French Quarter Food Tour

5. New Orleans: French Quarter Food Tour

Your culinary tour of New Orleans starts where it all began—the banks of the Mississippi River. From here, witness the lifeblood of this region which brought new cultures, new influences and new ingredients to the USA through its ports. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, indulge in New Orleans' most iconic breakfast pastry covered in powdered sugary goodness, the beignet. Next, head up to the French Market, the site of America's oldest public market and a unique culinary space where you can grab a local bite to eat and meet some of the locale's colorful personalities. From the French Market, embark on the picturesque streets of the French Quarter. Follow your guide to some of their favorite palette-pleasing spot, both classic New Orleans as well as delicacies you won't find outside Cajun country. If you have an affinity for the spicier side of life, you'll love unleashing some Louisiana hot sauce. This is the birthplace of Tabasco, after all. Get the chance to try a dish that sparks more controversy among chefs in New Orleans: gumbo. Learn how hundreds of years of history has shaped this recipe and how it varies from restaurant to restaurant. Finish off with a sweet treat made from locally grown sugarcane and the region’s abundant pecans.

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New Orleans Kids and Family French Quarter Walking Tour

6. New Orleans Kids and Family French Quarter Walking Tour

On the morning of the tour, your guide will meet you in Jackson Square and everyone will toss a penny in the fountain for good luck and put on some Mardi Gras beads. Your family will enjoy a local snack (the snack varies depending on allergies and seasonal availability) while your guide presents you with a quick, easy history of New Orleans (with pictures!). From Jackson Square, you will follow your friendly tour guide through the bustling, colorful streets of the French Quarter, as you learn about pirates, Mardi Gras, voodoo, jazz music, second-line parades, Creole cuisine and history. You will also learn about how kids and families lived in New Orleans in years past. Your children will be captivated by the colorful sights and sounds of this vibrant neighborhood and you will learn a few things and be able to ask your guide to make recommendations of other things to see and do in New Orleans. Along the way, your children will be able to stop and do at least one hands-on activity that New Orleans children love. Like the snack, the activity will vary depending on the ages and abilities of the children on the tour.  Towards the end of your tour, the group will decide on a special occasion and, each with your oun second-line handkerchief, have a traditional second-line parade to a favorite jazz tune. The tour ends in the French Market, where everyone will have one last chance to ask questions before you can eat and shop where New Orleanians have eaten and shopped for generations! Even parents and grandparents love this tour!

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New Orleans: French Quarter Secrets and Bourbon Street Tour

7. New Orleans: French Quarter Secrets and Bourbon Street Tour

Your tour begins on Bourbon Street where you’ll meet your local expert guide. Set off to learn how this area developed from a seedy slum into one of the preeminent pleasure districts in the United States. You will also swing into a bar to learn about (and enjoy too if you wish) one of the many cocktails created in the French Quarter, before pausing on Royal Street to see some of the best street musicians in America and learn about the creation of Jazz music. From there, your guide will take you to Jackson Square where you’ll see landmark buildings like the Pontalba apartments (the oldest continually-occupied apartments in America), the St. Louis Cathedral, and the Cabildo (where the Louisiana Purchase was signed). You will then step inside the Presbytere for a guided tour of the interior, including exhibits on Mardi Gras and Hurricane Katrina. You can’t visit New Orleans without a close encounter with the supernatural, so your next stop is one of the most haunted buildings in the city, where you will take a tour of its interior which includes the infamous seance room. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, this is an experience not to be missed. After swinging through the old French Market and stopping at the best spot to take pictures of Jackson Square, you'll head down to the riverfront to watch the steamboats go up and down the mighty Mississippi River.

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New Orleans: Evening Jazz Discovery Tour With a Local Guide

8. New Orleans: Evening Jazz Discovery Tour With a Local Guide

This music tour of New Orleans begins just outside the French Quarter at the historic and beautiful Louis Armstrong Park in the Tremé neighborhood. Within the park, your guide and group will talk about the historical origins of jazz and discuss one of the jazz greats, Armstrong himself.  From here, you'll make your way to the popular Marigny neighborhood, named after the nobleman and good-time guy of the same name. Updated for modern thirsts, Marigny is a hip nightlife area that appeals to New Orleanians and visitors alike. Your guide will lead the way, either on foot or by streetcar, making sure to point out a few popular local music and nightlife haunts along the way.  Soon you will arrive at the famous Frenchmen Street, the largest concentration of live music venues in the city. Your guide will take you inside some of his/her favorites. Being with a local, you’ll have access to the best options, depending on the day of the week, time of day and band schedules. And to top it off, you will receive a free beer at one of the stops and you’re very welcome to purchase additional beverages as and when you want them.  In New Orleans, there’s always the opportunity for an element of surprise. Be on the lookout for impromptu street performances, which always make the night special. And if the timing and mood is right, you’ll get behind the scenes with one of the bands in between sets.  In addition to getting your groove on and enjoying the sights and sounds of Frenchmen Street, your tour will endat the nightly art market. This is another lively spot where the city’s artists show off their best work, from handmade sculptures to local photography.  If (well, let’s be honest, when!), at the end of the tour you're still craving more, your guide will point out other great locations in the area for dinner, drinks and of course, more great music!

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New Orleans' Lower Garden Food Tour

9. New Orleans' Lower Garden Food Tour

Stop at 5 delicious tasting destinations, and hear from the food vendors themselves in an unforgettable historic and cultural experience. Discover 2017’s Best New Restaurant in America, the world’s first Creole Taqueria, America’s best donut, and more. Walk through the leafy, tree-lined streets amidst the towering antebellum mansions. See first-hand the old world charm that makes New Orleans one of America’s most special cities. The tour takes place right at the foot of Magazine Street, NOLA’s greatest shopping destination, with six gorgeous miles of every type of shop, restaurant and bar you can imagine. This tour features America’s most famous bologna sandwich, meal-sized gourmet donuts, and a mix of flavors from Korea, Vietnam, Mexico, and more.

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New Orleans: Private and Personalized Food Tasting Tour

10. New Orleans: Private and Personalized Food Tasting Tour

Get a taste of Southern cuisine and be filled up with flavor on this walking food tour around New Orleans. Sample well-known treats including gumbo, gulf shrimps, and grits, or try something new like Champagne paired with fried food. Be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Meet your guide at your hotel, then set off into the bustling streets of New Orleans. The entire tour is customized to suit your preferences, and your guide is handpicked according to your interests. Follow your guide to some of the city’s best kept secrets and places only the locals know about. Highlights could include a delicious dessert in the French Market at Loretta’s, or a sizzling jambalaya on Decatur Street. Perhaps you’ll follow the grapevine to a winery loved by the locals, or soak up views of St Louis Cathedral at a french-fry hotspot. And a trip to the Carousel Bar and Lounge is an absolute must-do.

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Other Sightseeing Options in New Orleans

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What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 169 reviews

Miss Harriet is my new super hero. She was full of wonderful tidbits of information about New Orleans and great tips for us semi knowledgeable cooks. She had the best, yum, corn and crab bisque. Who knew, other than Miss Harriet, how well the base and roux would make it. It was so good that seconds called my name. Her Chicken Etouffee was delicious and I wanted seconds but another course was coming. Pralines, OMG. Can’t wait to make these and Miss Harriet, I will make them my own.

Eliot was an amazing guide! Very well informed, very funny and charming too! The tour was just what we were looking for in getting to know the history of the French Quarter and the colonial history of New Orleans. Eliot did a fantastic job in leading this tour :)

This was a wonderful surprise. The instructor was very entertaining as well as informative about the food and history of the city. We greatly enjoyed this class and would go again. The food was excellent too.

This was a great class. The combination of learning about the origin of the food and how to cook it were entertaining and informative - and the presentation was fun.

Deep and broad knowledge by the tour guide. Easy to understand explanations. Great tour to learn