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Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

Granite Bay, CA
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118 posts
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Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

Hey all! Great posts about restaurants!

We are coming to New Orleans in August for a couple of days before we leave for a cruise. 17 people - 8 adults and 9 kids ages 11 - 19 (yes, 19 is still a kid).

We don't have much time but want to see some of the city. Do you recommend tours? (Haunted, plantation, swamp, walking) Or should we just wander around on our own? We are staying in the French Quarter, will do Bourbon Street (the adults) at night but are looking for ideas for the daytime on Saturday. This is EVERYONE's first trip to NO so I guess we should just be tourist!

Any help would be appreciated.

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iowa
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1. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

ouch...a French Quarter tour middle of the day in August? Understand that you'll be walking in some of the most unbearable heat and humidity you can imagine. I just spent the last five days there, and the mid-day heat was almost unbearable even this early in the summer.

My suggestion is to do whatever walking you want to do either before 10am or after 7pm. The rest of the day save yourself the agony by staying indoors!

In regard to the tours, we took a walking tour of ghost-related spots around the French Quarter (after 7pm). The entire walk was supposed to take 2 hours--but we ditched the group after about 90 minutes. Interesting history and all that, but it can get kind of tiring. Funny that so many tour groups run at the same time. At one point I counted four different crowds all on the same block. We just kept running into each other.

You might also consider a tour on bus, horse-drawn carriage, something like that. It would save you a little misery from walking the hot pavement.

Monterey
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2. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

We took a 3 hour tour by "Tours by Isabelle" It was in a full size van and AIR CONDITIONED! The tour pretty much wrapped up the whole city in it's self. We did stop off at a few places and it was hot back in May when we went. The driver took the group to a cafe so we could get ice-cream & cold drinks. It was fantastic! They pick up and drop off to your hotel. Here is the web site. Good luck!http://www.toursbyisabelle.com/neworleans.html

Ont
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3. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

we took a swamp/plantation tour with Louisanna Swamp tours, really enjoyed it, especially the swamp part, the kids will find this interesting seeing alligators & other wildlife

wilmington de
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167 posts
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4. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

You might want to check out the Aquarium and Imax on the riverfront. They appeal to all ages- and they're air conditioned! Cajun Encounter swamp tours are fun but they will take up a good part of the day due to the travel time to and from the swamp.

home
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5. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

Tours are a must. Check with your hotel conciege as they will match the best tour to your needs

Granite Bay, CA
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6. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

well, sure it will be hot. It's not like we're gonna melt! I can do IMAX at home....

We're hoping to try to get a bit of the history and flavor of NO.

Thanks!

Pensacola, FL
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7. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

If you are just going for a couple of days I doubt that you will want to take the tours. There is so much of interest in the city, the French Quarter, that I doubt you could "take it all in" within a week. I went with the intentions of a swamp tour 2 years ago & I still haven't gotten around to it yet, there is just so much to see and experience (althought I am planning on it my next trip). Everything is in walking distance or just a short street car ride away. The street cars should be of interest to the kids, $5 for an all-day pass. There are also street performers on Royal and Decatur that all the young adults and kid seem to enjoy, a free ferry ride across the river to Mardi Gras World, the Riverwall Mall, Paddle boat rides. You will find that tickets are offered for the Imax, Aquarium, Steamboat rides, and the Zoo all for a discounted price.

Akron, OH
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8. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

We took all 3 tours offered by Historic New Orleans Walking tours because we enjoyed the first one so much. That was the cemetary/voodoo tour, which was fascinating. The guide provided LOTS of very cool information about the history of the city, the architecture, and the details of burials that your kids will surely think is cool, too. Their website is www.tourneworleans.com and the phone is 504-947-2120 (I saved the pamphlet!)

Can't speak to the heat as I've never been there in the summer. We went in April and it was pretty hot then!

We also did an airboat tour through Jean Lafitte (504-689-2368 saved that pamphlet, too!) and enjoyed that alot. Plenty of gators to be found, which was the point. I didn't think the airboat was particularly scary, but I think you have to be at least 8 yrs. old. to ride. Otherwise there are plenty of slower boats that will take you around.

New Orleans, LA
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9. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

Try a ride on the St. Charles streetcar line. Takes you through the Garden District and Uptown, and it's more fun (and interesting for kids) than a bus tour. I'd also suggest a ride on the Riverboat Natchez (2-3 hours long). Do any extended outdoor activities in the morning or evening. Take care to stay hydrated (especially the kids).

The kids would probably find a swamp tour fun and interesting. Just don't go at midday when the heat is at its worst. Believe me--the heat here in August can wipe you out. It's not like California heat (you've heard the phrase "it's not the heat, it's the humidity?" Well, it's true!).

San Antonio, TX
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10. Re: Best Tours? Or don't tour at all....

I would recommend visiting Mardi Gras World in Algiers. You can catch the ferry at the Rivercenter and cross over to Algiers where there will be shuttles waiting to take you to there. This is really interesting for both adults and children especially if you've never seen a Mardi Gras float. The tour takes about an hour or so and you will even receive a slice of King Cake. The tour consists of a video history of Mardi Gras and an insight into the construction of the floats, actual work in progress, and viewing floats used in previous years along with some that are used yearly. Some of these floats are really incredible. Cost is about $12-15 pp, but I believe you can get a group rate with the size of the your group.