This post is a self-guided tour of things to see and do in Jackson Square in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. In this post, we address food, lodgings, entertainment and other activities available in the Square, as well as a short self-guided tour. Jackson Square is covered on our daily, pay-what-you-like tours of the French Quarter.
One of the best ways to explore New Orleans is on a bike. We’re a small city, with most of our visitors’ favorite neighborhoods within a short distance of each other, so you can see a lot without having to go too far. And particularly in areas like the French Quarter, where parking a car can be difficult and expensive, riding a bike can make getting around affordable fun instead of an expensive hassle. Below, we’ll share a few bike shops that we think offer the best convenience, quality and value for both rentals and tours.
New Orleans is a fantastic city to explore on wheels! While more costly than walking tours, bike tours tend to be longer (typically three hours), more comprehensive, and smaller in terms of group size (usually with a maximum of 10-12 people). Because of the faster means of travel, a bike tour can also go where a walking tour can’t – which makes for a couple of common routes that you’ll see repeatedy.
Most companies offer a tour that spends most of its time in what’s called the “back of town” area – the part you enter when you leave the French Quarter going away from the Mississippi. New Orleans is famously shaped like a bowl, and while the French Quarter is on the rim, the back of town drops gradually into the famous below-sea-level area. Tours in this area typically pass through the Treme (a neighborhood known for its preservation of West African heritage, especially through music), Esplanade Ridge (a long row of mansions for wealthy 19th-century Creoles), St. Louis Cemetery #3, and City Park. Sometimes the Marigny, a Bohemian neighborhood adjacent to the French Quarter, is also included.
Another common tour route goes to the Garden District, the neighborhood of wealthy 19th-century Americans, and the other American-influenced areas between, especially the Business/Warehouse/Arts District and the Lower Garden District.
Some companies offer other, less common tour concepts. Buzz Nola offers a tour combining the French Quarter and Garden District. Confederacy of Cruisers and Free Wheelin’ Bike Tours both offer a culinary tour with stops at several restaurants, and Confederacy even has a cocktail tour. On an as-requested basis, Flambeaux Bike Tours and Confederacy of Cruisers can take your group to the Lower Ninth Ward. Free Wheelin’ Bike Tours also mentions a nighttime ride on its website – at the time of writing this tour is not available, but if you’re interested, it’s worth making a call to them. Read more »
This post is a review of Cajun Pride Swamp Tours, including reviews of their plantation tours and combination tickets. Cajun Pride Tours operate in a privately-owned wildlife refuge and they guarantee a swamp experience that won’t be disturbed by the traffic of other boats.
This post is a review of Cajun Encounters Tours, a family-owned New Orleans area business, specializing in swamp tours, but also offering bus and walking tours. This outfit strives to give tourists an authentic Louisiana experience. Tours are led by local, licensed guides with deep passion for New Orleans. Guests visit some of the city’s most famed landmarks and districts. These tours are designed to give participants both a fun and historical experience embodied in the city’s beauty and fascinating. Whether visiting for a short period or an extended stay, Cajun Encounters has a tour or package that will fit your desired New Orleans experience.
Overall, reviews of Cajun Encounters are quite good. They have earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and 4 out of 5 stars via the Yelp community. While reviews suggest that all of the tours offered are worthwhile, the majority of praise comes from participants of the Plantation and Swamp Tours. There are thousands of reviews that rave about the tour guides. Not only are they given praise for the abundance of history and fun stories they tell, but are consistently complimented on their friendliness and overall passion for New Orleans. Read more »
This post is a review of Evergreen Plantation with info on tickets, tours, and an online review analysis. Evergreen Plantation is one of the most complete plantation complexes in both the state and the southern United States. The plantation has an impressive 37 buildings, including 22 original slave cabins still in their double row line up. This land is unique in that it is still an operating plantation. This experience allows travelers a chance to truly capture the essence of plantation life.
Our New Orleans in a Day Tour bridges the essential New Orleans sights, as well as some off-the-beaten-path alternatives, in a single day. Through a mix of walking and public transit, including the iconic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, we’ll see the Garden District, the French Quarter, the Marigny, and City Park, as well as the beautiful corridors between.
The tour begins in the Garden District, where we will visit Lafayette Cemetery #1, a classic above-ground cemetery. From here we’ll see Commander’s Palace, one of the city’s most famous restaurants, and 19th-century homes built by early American arrivals to New Orleans and owned by stars of film, literature, and sports. The historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar will then bring us toward the French Quarter along the same route taken by Mardi Gras parades each year.
In the French Quarter, we’ll walk Bourbon Street, the center of the neighborhood’s nightlife, and Royal Street, its hub for antiques, art, and street music. In Jackson Square, we’ll see the place where the city began, including its historic structures, such as St. Louis Cathedral, and one of its many ghost stories. Nearby, we’ll find a shop and temple devoted to the voodoo religion. . After passing by the famous Café du Monde, we’ll walk along the Mississippi River and through the French Market, where we’ll pause for lunch, with all kinds of local cuisine on offer. We’ll finish our time around the French Quarter by visiting its neighbor, the Marigny, home of Frenchmen Street, where the city’s music scene is concentrated.
Finally, we’ll set off along beautiful Esplanade Avenue, an oak-tree-lined row of Creole mansions, on our way to City Park. There, we’ll cross Bayou St. John, passing the New Orleans Museum of Art and the 800-year-Old Dueling Oak on our way to the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. We’ll conclude our time together at Morning Call, a locals’ destination for coffee and beignets, set among live oak trees by a tranquil bayou, with the French Quarter just a streetcar ride away.
This is a pay-what-you-will tour. There is no cost to sign up. Many establishments we will pass are cash-only, and guests should come with enough cash to purchase water if needed, lunch in the French Market, and public transit. A day pass for the city’s streetcar and bus system costs $3/person and can be purchased during the tour. Be sure to read our guide to New Orleans streetcars.
Where: Meets on the southwest corner of Prytania St. and Washington Ave. (next to the white wall). Please use our Google map for directions to the start of the tour. Look for your guide in orange with the Free Tours by Foot logo.
Duration: Approximately 5-6 hours.
When: Sunday, April 16th @ 10:00 am | More dates to follow
Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.
New Orleans has a reputation as a city of all things mysterious, unusual and downright eerie. So naturally, the Voodoo Museum is right at home in New Orleans. This post provides essential information for visiting this one of a kind museum as well as an analysis of reviews from guests to the Museum. The museum has a collection of artifacts, a shop and offers guided readings and tours, all of which are explained below. This is just 1 of 25 top things to do in the French Quarter.
This post is a travel guide for visiting New Orleans on a budget. As a city famous for tourism, New Orleans can seem to require a lot of cash. But a closer look at the French Quarter, and especially a look at neighborhoods beyond the French Quarter, can reveal lots of affordable or free options. Here are some insider tips for how to make the most of your time in the amazing city of New Orleans on a budget.
This post is about attending a jazz performance at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, including tickets and reviews. Each night of the week, you can attend an intimate gathering to watch and listen to the traditions being passed down from one musician to the next generation. New Orleans and Jazz, they go hand in hand.