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How to Get Off the Beaten Path in New Orleans

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in New Orleans

Though the nightlife and festivals of New Orleans thrive on the energy of crowds, you can still experience a quieter side of the Big Easy. Be willing to venture outside the city limits or even just beyond the French Quarter to discover the road-less-traveled. Here’s how. 

Steamboat Natchez

Climb aboard this vintage paddlewheeler for a trip down the mighty Mississippi. The crowds and sounds of the French Quarter fade away as the Natchez chugs along the waterfront and you get an alternative perspective of New Orleans’ busy port. Choose between brunch, dinner, and jazz cruise options.

Mardi Gras World

Get a behind-the-scenes look at New Orleans’ most famous party at this Mardi Gras museum and workshop. Get up close to papier-mâché floats, and outrageous costumes and masks used in the annual parades without getting jostled on a sidewalk or paying peak season prices. 

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Due to its close proximity to the the French Quarter, most New Orleans visitors make a beeline for St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. But if you venture further afield to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District, you’ll see some of New Orleans’ most impressive family tombs and compete with fewer tour groups for the hallowed ground.

Whitney Plantation

While many plantations conjure Louisiana's antebellum era, Whitney is the only one that’s dedicated to the experience of enslaved people. At this former sugar plantation outside New Orleans, see remaining slave cabins, the owner’s house, a church, and memorials on a tour. 

Cajun Country

The rollicking bars and souvenir shops of the French Quarter seem a world away in the Louisiana bayous, where crickets and frogs replace the sound of traffic and jazz bands. Explore the wildlife and culture of wetlands such as Honey Island or Manchac Swamp on a high-speed airboat ride or a more relaxed nature cruise. Be sure to keep an eye out for wild Louisiana ‘gators.

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12 Tours and Activities | All New Orleans Tours

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Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise

star-4
The Steamboat Natchez is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic experience of New Orleans at night on this romantic riverboat cruise! Journey through time on a paddle-wheel boat ride along the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, cozy up with family and friends, and delight in the sparkle of the urban shoreline at dusk. This excursion includes a Creole‐inspired dinner and live jazz music.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures

Experience Cajun Country: Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations Full-Day Tour from New Orleans

Experience Cajun Country: Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations Full-Day Tour from New Orleans

star-4.5
Go beyond the French Quarter and discover the unique Cajun and Creole cultures of New Orleans during this full-day swamp and plantation tour. Venture deep into the bayous, with a small group limited to 8, to see Cajun living and spot wildlife like alligators and pelicans. Then, admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the history of Houmas House and Laura plantations. Upgrade your ticket to include a high-speed airboat ride through the bayous.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$194.00
From
$194.00
Taking safety measures

Whitney Plantation Tour

Whitney Plantation Tour

star-4.5
Travel back in time to the era of the antebellum South on an afternoon tour from New Orleans to the Whitney Plantation, a former indigo and sugar plantation on the River Road now dedicated to promoting an understanding of slavery in Louisiana. Learn about the realities of plantation life through museum exhibits and recorded narratives as you explore the restored structures and historical slave cabins. Please download the Whitney Plantation app for the self-guided tour of Whitney Plantation Museum.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

star-4.5
Peek behind the curtain at the marvel of Mardi Gras with this tour of Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. See the behind-the-scenes work and incredible artistry that goes into preparing for the annual celebration. With a guide, learn the history of the event, and see fantastic floats and props. Get a picture in front of your favorite float, dress up in costumes, and sample some classic King Cake.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$22.00
From
$22.00

Honey Island Swamp Tour with Pickup from New Orleans

Honey Island Swamp Tour with Pickup from New Orleans

star-5
Trade in the urban bustle for the bayou on a half-day trip from New Orleans to the wilds of the Honey Island Swamp. Relax on the ride from your downtown or French Quarter hotel, and then cruise beneath hanging moss and cypress trees while a wetland ecologist shares tall tales and fun facts about this protected nature reserve on the shores of Lake Ponchartrain. Learn about Louisiana’s long-standing fishing industry, and keep an eye out for native critters like otters, turtles, egrets, and alligators lurking beneath the surface.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.27
From
$52.27
Taking safety measures

Manchac Swamp Kayak Tour

Manchac Swamp Kayak Tour

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Venture beyond New Orleans to the wilds of the Louisiana bayous on a small-group kayaking tour of the Manchac and Maurepas swamps. Climb aboard a tandem kayak and paddle through a lush landscape of cypress forests and wetlands teeming with wildlife. No kayaking experience is necessary, as a guide teaches you everything need to know to enjoy this Southern-style adventure.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$87.18
From
$87.18

Edgar Degas House Impressionist Tour in New Orleans

Edgar Degas House Impressionist Tour in New Orleans

star-3.5
Spend a morning or afternoon in Impressionist‐era New Orleans with a tour of Edgar Degas’ former home and art studio, led by his great-grandniece. See the grand interior spaces that provided the setting for many of Degas works, learn about the artist’s Creole roots and stroll under the beautiful oaken canopy along Esplanade Avenue. Extend your tour with optional upgrades including a courtyard breakfast beforehand or a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art.
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.00
From
$25.00

City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour

City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the culture, history, and landscape of vibrant New Orleans on this half-day tour with a small group of 15 people or fewer. This experience combines elements from several disparate tours, including those focusing on architecture, the Garden District, historic cemeteries, the French Quarter, and recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Hotel pickup included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.00
From
$52.00

Small-Group Cycle Boat Booze Tour in New Orleans

Small-Group Cycle Boat Booze Tour in New Orleans

Introducing the newest New Orleans experience, the city's first ever Cycle Boat. This social, active adventure is the perfect way for friends, families, visitors and locals to explore New Orleans. This Pedal Party Boat is an incredibly unique eco-experience/ booze cruise that will take you past a Shipwreck Graveyard and show you scenic views of the New Orleans City Skyline. There are 12 pedal seats that surround a center high-top table with built-in coolers and a padded bench that seats 12 comfortably.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
From
$55.00

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

star-4.5
Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ antebellum south on a half‐day tour of Oak Alley Plantation. Take a journey through time to the manicured estate and into the gorgeous home, built in 1839. View stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantation’s fascinating – and often somber – histories from expert guides.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Hidden Gems Food and Cocktail Tour

New Orleans Hidden Gems Food and Cocktail Tour

star-5
Take a big bite out of the Big Easy on this culinary walking tour of the Freret neighborhood in New Orleans. This charming uptown neighborhood packs all the charm and flavor of the French Quarter without any of the crowds and offers you an authentic taste of New Orleans food and culture.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$96.00
From
$96.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Airboat Ride

star-4.5
Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride. This boat tour winds through the mossy cypress swamp close to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named for the 19th‐century pirate and smuggler. While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from a native guide as you admire lush, forested shoreline and spot local wildlife.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$55.00
From
$55.00
Taking safety measures