There is certainly a Mardi Gras party atmosphere to be had when you go on a private tour of New Orleans
Nobody would be wrong to say that the city of New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the United States. When you arrive there is the most fantastic vibe and immediately you are drawn into the world of jazz music, Cajun cuisine and mardi gras celebrations which is all year round even though the actual festival is in February.
There is such diversity found in New Orleans that is very evident in everything here from the architecture, language, food and music.
Around the French Quarter is very popular with tourists especially Bourbon Street which is at the heart of it. As this district borders the Mississippi River, a great way to tour the area is by elaborate horse-drawn carriages. This is very romantic and enjoyable under the stars at night time. Read More...
Experience the Jazz Life on a Night Time Walking Tour of Bourbon Street
The best way to get around New Orleans is on foot as most of the attractions are within walking distance so whether it is day of night you can enjoy a walking tour of Bourbon Street or the Garden District.
However, if you would like to see the sights and not walk, then why not hop on to one of the historic streetcars. These streetcars are more like trams and an excellent way to get around.
There are no words to describe the nightlife in New Orleans; it will have to be experienced to completely understand the vibe and atmosphere. Every person you meet is friendly and happy to meet you. There is such a variation of music entertainment, but Jazz is, for sure, one of the best here.
Top 10 Things to Do in New Orleans
The French Quarter
One very popular guided tour to take in New Orleans is the French Quarter which is also referred to as Vieux Carre. It is the oldest neighbourhood to be found in the city. See the lovely 300-year-old buildings that still have the iron balconies that hang out over the sidewalk. This quarter is also strongly associated with Jazz music and the best jazz festival in the world is held here every year.
The National WWII Museum
On a guided tour of New Orleans, visit the National WWII Museum, once known as the D-Day Museum. You will learn the history of the American Experience in the war that effected the world. This museum is huge and divided into threes sections; one on the war in the Pacific, another on the war in Europe and another that is home to a WWII aircraft.There is a period dinner theatre, an on-site restoration section and restaurants.
When on a sightseeing tour of the French Quarter, you will see Jackson Square at the heart of it, originally called Place d’Armes. This lovely green area of grass, shrubs, flowers and trees in amongst the old buildings and streets is a welcome retreat. At the centre of the square is an equestrian statue of General Andrew Jackson leader of the troops in the victory at the Battle of New Orleans in 1812.
Aquarium of the Americas
Another excellent tour to take is a guided tour of the Aquarium of the Americas which is located along the waterfront in New Orlean's downtown. See the exhibit that is about the freshwater fish of the Mississippi River and from the Gulf of Mexico, its marine life which includes sharks, stingrays and sea turtles. An amazing feature is the 30 ft long walk through tunnel where you can view the Great Maya Reef.
St. Louis Cathedral
When you are on a city tour of New Orleans, visit the beautiful Cathedral-Basilica of Sanit Louis, King of France casually known as St Louis Cathedral. It is the oldest cathedral found in the United States and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. The cathedral is of a very beautiful design and at night, under the floodlights, the statue of St. Anthony with his arms outstretched is a very imposing sight.
New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art; an excellent guided tour to take when visiting this city. The collections are wonderful and variant from French Art, American Art, African and Japanese pieces. Another great bonus to the art is the Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden located just outside the museum. There are over 60 sculptures all around the gardens, walking paths and beside the lagoons. It is very interesting and beautiful.
A wonderful guided tour is needed when visiting the ‘Deep South’ Garden District of New Orleans. This area is the rich part with mansions, such gardens and mature trees. To many tourists, this is what the ‘Deep South looked like. There is much history here and that is why a guide is a great idea because you can get true and detailed accounts of the 19th-century houses and extensive grounds when you enter them.
A great way to see everything along the Mississippi River is on the Steamboat Natchez. This paddle steamer Steamboat is certainly a unique way to see everything.The cruise takes around two hours and on the boat cruise tour, there is a guide narrating on the sites that are passed. There is a night time cruise that serves dinner while the steamboat paddles along. An added bonus at night is the Jazz band.
The Audubon Zoo
Almost every city has a zoo and New Orleans is no different, it has the Audubon Zoo. It is a great escape from sightseeing tours or just the city hustle and bustle. This zoo is found uptown New Orleans and not within the normal walking distance everything else is. Some of the animals that are found here are lemurs, jaguars, leopards, orangutans, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, snakes and alligators.
Jean Lafitte National Historic Park
Another exciting place to take a sightseeing tour is to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. It is referred to as the treasure trove of southern Louisiana’s historical and cultural riches. You can learn Cajun traditions from people who live their lives by them or watch an alligator as it prowls the banks of the Bayou. There is a lot of interesting ways to learn the history and traditional of many cultures here.
Travel Tips for New Orleans
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit, is simple, anytime during the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans which is January to March. However when it comes to weather then the best time is when it is mild which is early Spring of late Autumn, (Fall) after the hurricane season! It is a lot better to do sightseeing tours or private tours when the weather is not extremely hot and during the summer it gets extremely Hot!
Firstly, no matter where you go during mardi gras season, the prices of everything goes up especially accommodation. Having said that the State of Louisiana and New Orleans are cheaper than other areas in the United States. Accommodation varies in price depending on the grade hotel, motel, B&B or hostel you want to stay in. To get a 3-course meal with wine in an excellent restaurant, it will cost around $70 for 2.
Know Before Visiting
It is advisable to do research about the destination you are going to and check the weather forecast especially if you are travelling during June and October when it’s Hurricane season. Also, make sure you know when all the festivals are on. Book any private tours or sightseeing tours before arriving, that way you will have a schedule to follow. Never walk alone at night in areas of the city that you do not know.
It is a subtropical climate in New Orleans. That means the summers are long, hot and humid with thundershowers. The average temperature is around 32 degrees Celsius. The winters are short and mild for the main part. The north part of the state does see some snowfall. Summer gets the most rain and southern parts get more. Hurricane season is June to November and has an average of 27 tornadoes a year.