Bounded by Elysian Fields and Esplanade Avenue, the Faubourg Marigny is one of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods. Originally it was a prosperous plantation, and much the old French colonial buildings were constructed from cypress trees cut to clear the land. The plantation later specialized in brick laying.
The owner in 1805 was Bernard de Marigny. He decided to chop up his plantation into lots that he sold at a good price. While the Americans moved into present day Central Business District and Garden District, refugees from Europe and Haiti gravitated to the Faubourg Marigny. Here they built a unique culture that is still visible today in the neighborhood’s architecture and music scene.
Cajun Pride does offer a number of other great tours, including a combination ticket for $98 for Adults and $60 for Children where you get a swamp tour and a visit to either Laura Plantation or Oak Alley Plantation.
Unlike their competitors, this company offers services both with or without transportation to the departure point. If you’re looking to save money on travel expenses, this might be your best bet.
We like that they offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before tour time.
Some of their airboat tours include hotel pick-up as well. This is easily one of the most affordable and popular airboat tours on our list, and they operate only 35-40 miles outside of downtown New Orleans.
Arguably the best way to explore the swamps and bayous around New Orleans is in a kayak or canoe. No other method can get you deeper into the swamps than by small craft.
However, you will lose range, as you will not have the benefit of a high-speed engine.
And if you are concerned about the danger from alligators, you shouldn’t be. Alligators avoid humans unless confronted and surprised.
Kayak and canoe tours are usually a bit more expensive than the swamp boats, but cheaper than airboats.
New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours
With an experienced guide at the helm, New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tour offers picturesque 2 – 2.5 hour narrated kayak trips through locations such as Manchac Swamp, the Pearl River, Honey Island Swamp and Cane Bayou.
Groups of 2 – 12 are easily accommodated, with private tours available for larger groups.
Prices start at $59/person, and transportation can be arranged when booking, for an additional fee ($20/person roundtrip from two locations in the French Quarter, or $40/person round trip from your hotel or other specified location)
Tours currently launch at 9:30, 12:30, and 3:30, and your guide will notify you via email or cell of the launch site. New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours.
Canoe and Trail Adventures
Rated 5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor! Enjoy a 2-3 hour kayak or canoe tour through one of the last undeveloped bayous that feed into Lake Pontchartrain, while getting immersed in the ecosystem of Louisiana.
Locally owned and operated, your tour fee includes kayak/canoe rental, safety gear, waterproof cases (for phones/cameras/bags), light snacks and water, and an experienced guide.
Groups average 10 paddlers, although larger groups are welcome – please contact the company directly for private tours and discounts.
Prices are $59/Adults and $35/Child (6-12). Transportation is available to/from New Orleans for $15/person. Tours go out Monday, Wed, Thurs, and Friday at 10 a.m. (for those needing transportation) and 11:00 a.m for those driving. Tuesday tours are at 11 a.m. and do not include transportation. Canoe and Trail Tel 504-233-0686
Wild Louisiana Tours
Offering a 2 – 3 hours “Manchac Magic” kayak and canoe tours, experienced tour guides will lead guests on a relaxing, educational journey down the Manchac wetlands.
Discover the bayous and waterways that many of New Orleans’ founding fathers explored, and examine the ruins of Ruddock, LA, a now-deserted logging community.
Kayak – Iti – Yak offers a 2 and 3-hour daily tour of Bayous St John and Bienvenue, as well as a 4 hour “Pontchartrain Paddle,” guaranteed to burn off all those beignets! www.kayakitiyat.com Tel 985-778-5034
Jean Lafitte National Park Service
While canoeing and kayaking through the Park are definitely great ways to explore this area, the Barataria Preserve in Marrero is currently impassable, due to overgrowth of aquatic vegetation. Be sure to check the Park’s website for more information. www.nps.gov/jela Tel 504-589-2133
An extremely cost effective way (if you have a car) to experience the swampland near New Orleans is to take advantage of the National Park Service, which leads hikes through the Barataria Preserve, a southern unit of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve located about a 30 minute drive south of the French Quarter.
The Park Services operates a visitors center with exhibits highlighting the development of the swamp area. You can pick up self-guided maps here and join a regularly scheduled park ranger hike from here.
Barataria Preserve Unit, 6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero, LA 70072 (map) (504) 689-3690 (ext. 10)
In addition to this option, you can also visit Bayou Sauvage for free and see a lot of incredible native species. The US Fish & Wildlife Service provides both a map of the bayou and a list of the types of birds you can see in the area.
Whether you’re interested in bird watching or you want to see other animals such as alligators, this is a wonderful opportunity to get a close look at local wildlife in their natural habitat.
You’ll find Bayou Sauvage just east of New Orleans, but if you want to experience the natural beauty of Louisiana without leaving city limits, consider a trip to City Park.
Visitors are welcome to check out the Couturie Forest for free. You can expect to see various types of native birds, trees, and fish in a location which has several trails for walking and hiking.
Below, we list our top 12 famous mixed-drinks that are associated with or originated in New Orleans, including a video either of how to make the drink or of the establishment most associated with it. Read more »