We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson right in the French Quarter meaning we were within walking distance of a lot of the famous sights. As it was Thanksgiving weekend when we visited we were able to park our car on the street for free, on holiday days. Parking was not an issue despite the Bayou Classic.
In order to get a feel for the city we took the City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off bus tour. We’ve taken a number of similar tours in the past for cities closer to home and always found them to be useful and informative. We actually took the bus on two separate days, the first day to take the full tour and see the whole city and then the second day to take advantage of the additional walking tours included in the ticket price. It was quite apparent that not all tour guides are equal since our second guide was much less communicative compared to our first.
As mentioned the ticket includes the cost of a total of three walking tours; two are escorted and the third you are provided with a map so that you can guide yourself. The two escorted tours take you around the French Quarter and the Garden District and you get to see a lot of the properties the buses are unable to reach. The self guided tour is around Lafayette Cemetery #1 and the map gives you details of famous graves to seek out and look at. All three tours were fantastic and gave a real insight into not only the architecture of the city but also the history of the city itself.
We did one final walking tour around the city and that was the Haunted History Tours French Quarter Ghosts and Legend Tour. The tour was actually recommended to us by a couple of ladies we met at an information store come souvenir shop. They really sold it well so we decided to take the plunge and see for ourselves.
On check in we purchased the 2 for 1 Hurricanes and waited for our tour guide. Sadly we were not allowed to film during the tour so we had no footage to share on Youtube. Suffice to say the tour was fantastic and we learnt all about New Orleans horrid and gruesome history.
A bucket list item we had to do whilst we were in New Orleans was a swamp boat tour to see the Mississippi Bayou and hunt out it’s infamous alligators and other wildlife. We opted for the Cajun Encounters Honey Island Swamp Tour and were lucky enough to see alligators and wild boar as well as a whole host of local bird and plant life. If you would like to join us on our tour, be sure to check out our video here.
If you have not yet watched our other New Orleans video, be sure to check it out here.
Finally, here are a few of our favourite photos from our time in the city.