New Orleans City Tour – 4 Days
Four days of history, music & ghosts in the Big Easy
New Orleans is considered one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, it’s home to a unique melting pot of culture, food and music.
Program Highlights & Inclusions
- Guided walking tour of the French Quarter
- Honey Island Swamp Tour
- Admission to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
- Admission to Mardi Gras World
- Free time in the French Quarter
- Guided tour of the Destrehan Plantation
- Admission to the Audubon Zoo
- Visit to Cafe Du Monde
- Guided Jazz Tour
- Walking Ghost Tour
Upon arrival in New Orleans, you will meet your Tour Manager and begin your adventure. First, you will travel through three centuries of history, legends and romance as you take a walking tour through the French Quarter. You’ll see Bourbon Street, Royal Street, The St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, The French Market and more.
After dinner you will head to your hotel to rest for the days ahead.
This morning you’ll take a boat tour of Honey Island Swamp and see one of the only remaining preserved wetlands in Louisiana. You will have the opportunity to not only see and smell the swamp, but touch the flora and fauna around you.
After some free time at Riverwalk, you’ll visit the exhibits at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
Next, you’ll have a rare behind-the-scenes look at the magic of Mardi Gras when you take a tour of Mardi Gras World.
Next, you’ll continue your exploration of the French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carre. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans in French) was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré (“Old Square” in French) as it was known then. While the area is still referred to as the Vieux Carré by some, it is more commonly known as the French Quarter today, or simply “The Quarter.” Although called the “French” Quarter, most of the present day buildings were built under Spanish rule and show Spanish colonial tastes. The district as a whole is a National Historic Landmark, and contains numerous individual historic buildings. It was affected relatively lightly by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as compared to other areas of the city and the greater region.
This evening you’ll step on board and cruise into the night where the sleepless activity of America’s busiest port buzzes during your dinner cruise. The sounds of a lively jazz band fill the air as you enjoy a lavish Creole buffet in elegantly appointed dining rooms.
This morning you will take a tour of the Destrehan Plantation. Costumed interpreters will intrigue you with the legacy of the Destrehan family, historic events that occurred at this site, and the unique architectural features of the plantation. Destrehan is owned by the River Road Historical Society, a nonprofit organization.
Next, you’ll visit the Audubon Zoo which is a New Orleans landmark and a living museum filled with some of the rarest and most beautiful creatures of nature. There have been animals at this site since the 1884 World Exposition in Audubon Park. Today, Audubon Zoo has 58 acres of animals in their natural habitats.
You’ll then visit Cafe Du Monde. The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It closes only on Christmas Day and on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans. The Original Cafe Du Monde is a traditional coffee shop. Its menu consists of dark roasted Coffee and Chicory, Beignets, White and Chocolate Milk, and fresh squeezed Orange Juice. The coffee is served Black or Au Lait. Au Lait means that it is mixed half and half with hot milk. Beignets are square French -style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar. In 1988 Iced Coffee was introduced to the cafe. Soft drinks also made their debut that year.
This afternoon, you’ll take a guided Jazz Tour. Explore the world’s richest musical city, starting with a rare inside look at the legendary Preservation Hall. Visit the site of the Old French Opera House and stroll through the Tango Belt and May Bailey’s before arriving at the Treme section. Enter historic St. Louis Cemetery #1 to see the New Orleans Musicians Tomb, Stroll through the Tango Belt to the New Orleans Musicians Tomb in St. Louis Cemetery #1. You will then head to the remains of Storyville (including Quinn Early’s Saloon where “Pretty Baby” was written). From Storyville, check out the Basin Street Station and then venture into Louis Armstrong Park, the location of Congo Square, historic site of African slave gatherings. Congo Square is considered the wellspring of all New Orleans music and consequently so much of the world’s most popular song. It is also the site of the first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (1970) and the Municipal Auditorium. Then enter the building that housed the legendary J&M Studios which created the “New Orleans Sound”. Finally, you will visit the Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian Gallery and check out the world’s greatest street musicians who carry the Jazz flame to this day.
This evening, you’ll brace yourself for the New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Walking Tour which explores the grim and ghastly deeds of the old French Quarter.
This evening you will board your bus for an overnight drive home.
This morning you will arrive back at your school. If traveling by plane, you will head to the airport for your return trip home.