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Lake Pontchartrain Tours

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Lake Pontchartrain
At 630 square miles (1,632 square kilometers), Lake Pontchartrain is one of the largest bodies of water in the US. It’s beloved by locals as a place to fish, sail, and swim, and its shores and waters shelter a huge variety of wildlife and marine life, including blue crabs, Atlantic stingrays, pelicans, ospreys, and even bull sharks.
 
The Basics
Technically, Lake Pontchartrain is not actually a lake at all. It’s an estuary that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Whatever its official designation, it makes a fun day trip from the city of New Orleans, whether for a fishing excursion or pleasure cruise, as part of an airboat swamp tour, or simply for a shoreline picnic.
 
There are a number of lakeside beaches open to the public, including Fontainebleau State Park on the North Shore. The North Shore is accessible by a 24-mile (39-kilometer) causeway (one of the longest bridges in the world), which connects the shoreline communities with downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • For a great photo opportunity, drive across the causeway at sunset when the lake reflects the colors in the sky to impressive effect.
  • There’s a pleasant running/walking path that follows the route of Lakeshore Drive past the University of New Orleans.
  • If you drive across the causeway, plan to stop off for a bite to eat at one of the pretty lakeside restaurants in the town of Madisonville along the North Shore.
 
How to Get There
The lake sits to the north of New Orleans city. Most people access the lake via I-610, using the West End exit. From there a scenic road—Lakeshore Drive—hugs the shore through the Metairie district and is ideal for a sightseeing drive. To reach the North Shore, take the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
 
When to Get There
Lake Pontchartrain is publicly accessible at all times. The shoreline beaches are busier on weekends when local families come to enjoy picnics.
 
Exploring the Bayou
Many New Orleans visitors first glimpse the lake on the way to explore the region’s swamps and bayous. From airboat swamp tours to kayaking and more, bayous are an essential part of Louisiana life, and each one is home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem. On a bayou visit, you might see alligators, many types of birds, nutria (large rodents a similar to groundhogs), and the famous stands of cypress trees covered with low-hanging Spanish moss.
Address: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
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28 Tours and Activities to Experience Lake Pontchartrain

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New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour (With Transportation)Day Cruises

New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour (With Transportation)

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Explore one of Louisiana’s last protected wetlands on a 2-hour boat tour that includes round-trip transport from New Orleans. Depart in the morning or afternoon for Honey Island Swamp, a wildlife preserve teeming with critters such as 'gators, wild boar, snakes and birds. Ride through the swamp dripping with lush foliage and visit a boat-accessible Cajun village with an informative local guide who sheds light on the area’s inhabitants.
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  • 2 hours
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$60.67
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour (Self Transport)Day Cruises

New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour (Self Transport)

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Discover one of Louisiana’s last preserved wetlands on a Honey Island Swamp boat tour. After making a short drive to Slidell, travel deep into the secluded swamp across Lake Pontchartrain to view native wildlife and witness a remote Cajun village only accessible by boat. Enjoy guided commentary on Cajun culture and the lush swamps as you spot alligators, wild boar, snakes, and native birds. This tour does not include transportation.
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  • 2 hours
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$24.32
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  • 2 hours
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Swamp Boat Ride and Southern Plantation Tour from New OrleansPlantation Tours

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Swamp Boat Ride and Southern Plantation Tour from New Orleans

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Experience the civilized and the wild on a plantation tour and educational swamp boat ride from New Orleans. On this half-day journey, visit Destrehan Plantation to experience the early 19th Century South including a Slave Revolt Museum. Next, head into the marshy swampland for a boat ride and some wildlife spotting. Enjoy guided commentary as you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes and native birds.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
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$80.10
$89.00
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
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Whitney Plantation TourPlantation Tours

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Whitney Plantation Tour

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Travel back in time to the era of the antebellum South on a guided 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 tour the 18th-century Spanish Creole main house and historical slave cabins with a guide.
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  • 5 hours
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$63.65
$67.00
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  • 5 hours
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Oak Alley Plantation TourPlantation Tours

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Oak Alley Plantation Tour

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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
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$63.65
$67.00
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
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Double Plantation Tour in New OrleansPlantation Tours

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Double Plantation Tour in New Orleans

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Combine visits to two historical Louisiana plantations, with transportation in between, during this day tour from New Orleans. Journey up the scenic Great River Road to reach Oak Alley Plantation, Laura Plantation, and Whitney Plantation. Choose two options when booking; admission price to each plantation included.
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  • 7 hours 15 minutes
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$84.55
$89.00
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  • 7 hours 15 minutes
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Small-Group Tour of Oak Alley and Laura Plantation from New OrleansPlantation Tours

Small-Group Tour of Oak Alley and Laura Plantation from New Orleans

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Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ rich and conflicted past on a small‐group plantation tour. Take a journey through Oak Alley Plantation and Laura Plantation, spying other historic plantations as you travel the Great River Road. View stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantations’ fascinating—and somber—histories from expert guides.
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  • 6 hours
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$120.00
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  • 6 hours
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Plantation Brunch and Swamp Experience from New OrleansPlantation Tours

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Plantation Brunch and Swamp Experience from New Orleans

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Take a break from the city to explore the history and natural landscape of Southern Louisiana. Going with a guide eliminates the hassle of navigating on your own, as well as ensures you learn little–known facts and stories about two infamous plantations and Cajun swamp life. Included in this tour is a full brunch of regional specialties, including crawfish and Cajun smoked sausage.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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$157.50
$175.00
$17.50 savings
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$175.00
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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Henley's Private Tours (New Orleans Area Custom Private Tour)Cultural Tours

Henley's Private Tours (New Orleans Area Custom Private Tour)

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This is a Custom Private Driving Tours only for your group and can include up to 7 persons at one flat rate fee. Your group will be in a comfortable SUV. We can customize each tour to fit your specific requests around the New Orleans area. We can include stops for coffee, beignets, daiquiris, lunch or whatever your group wants. Our tours are interesting and fun but include strictly facts. No fiction about ghosts, voodoo, or vampire stories.Yes we include humor (loosely defined term) and a relaxed atmosphere. I promise you will laugh and learn.You will have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want about the area and we'll be honest and open with you in our explanations. We do not exaggerate or include stories that can't be fact checked. My passion is to take you out of the French Quarter and show you the rest of this beautiful city. We love our beautiful city and you'll understand why once you have attended our 3 to 4 hour tour.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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$360.00
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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Honey Island Swamp Tour with Pickup from New OrleansNature & Wildlife

Honey Island Swamp Tour with Pickup from New Orleans

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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
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$49.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

2hr Sunset Sail on historic Lake PontchartrainSailing Trips

2hr Sunset Sail on historic Lake Pontchartrain

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Hop aboard a luxurious six-passenger sailboat and ride into the sunset on the protected waters of New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain. You’ll find comfortable seating, with blankets for cooler weather, along with included craft beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. Enjoy the spacious lounge below, or find your front-row seat for the sunset on deck.
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
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$110.00
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
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Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery and St. Joseph Plantation TourPlantation Tours

Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

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Delve into the history of slavery and the plantations of Louisiana on this small-group tour from New Orleans. Drive past Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River to the Whitney Plantation’s Louisiana Museum of Slavery. Learn about the lives of the enslaved people who worked there and on plantations throughout the South during a tour of the museum and restored buildings. Next, head to the Creole-style St Joseph Plantation for a tour of the working sugar plantation where the movie ’12 Years A Slave’ was filmed.
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  • 6 hours
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$120.00
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  • 6 hours
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New Orleans Historical and Sightseeing Small-Group TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

New Orleans Historical and Sightseeing Small-Group Tour

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Discover New Orleans’ vibrant history through its dynamic history on this sightseeing tour. Enjoy a small group van ride through the city, viewing the diverse architectural wonders of the French Quarter, the Garden District, Esplanade Avenue, and Bayou St John. You’ll disembark for small-group walking tours of the St. Louis Cemetery No 3, City Park, and the Longue Vue House and Gardens—a masterpiece of architectural and horticultural history.
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  • 4 hours
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$90.00
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  • 4 hours
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VIP City and Cemetery Tour by BusCultural Tours

VIP City and Cemetery Tour by Bus

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Step aboard an air-conditioned bus to escape the heat for a comfortable, comprehensive tour of New Orleans. This whirlwind tour hits all the most important sights—the French Quarter, the Garden District, Treme, the 9th Ward, and others—in a single day. You'll have the benefit of in-depth commentary as you travel and the chance to ask questions.
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  • 2 hours
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$45.00
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  • 2 hours
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Houmas House Plantation and Gardens Tour with Transportation from New OrleansDay Trips

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

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Take a trip back in time during this guided tour of the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, one of the most well-preserved in the nation. Hop on an air-conditioned bus in New Orleans and enjoy the comfortable ride, listening to guided commentary as you travel. Once at the property, explore with your guide and learn about the history of the plantation, including its antiques and art dating from the 1830s.
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  • 5 hours
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$67.00
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  • 5 hours
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5 Mile RideHelicopter Tours

5 Mile Ride

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Experience the thrill of a helicopter ride mixed with views of Lake Pontchartrain on a scenic helicopter flight. This short and accessible flight makes a perfect first-time helicopter experience and serves as a great way to see more of the region. With a maximum of three riders per trip, every guest is guaranteed a window seat, creating great photo opportunities for all.
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  • 4 to 6 minutes
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$35.00
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  • 4 to 6 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

The National WWII Museum PT-305 RideSailing Trips

The National WWII Museum PT-305 Ride

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Experience history like never before aboard PT-305! Built in New Orleans by Higgins Industries, the patrol-torpedo (PT) boat PT-305 was a critical asset for the US Navy during World War II, serving in European waters from 1944 to the end ofthe war. PT boats were a perfect naval expression of the American Spirit at war. Fast and maneuverable, patrol-torpedo boats were a unique and essential tool for US naval forces during World War II. PT-305, in bad repair and far from seaworthy, resided at Back Bay Boat Yard in Galveston, Texas, when she was acquired by The National WWII Museum. The decade that followed brought hundreds of volunteers, millions of dollars in monetary and in-kind donations, and dramatic changes to PT-305.Making her return to her home waters of Lake Pontchartrain, you can now see and feel the PT boat experience and learn about the service of the men who called them home with PT-305—the world's only fully restored combat-veteran PT boat in operation today!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$249.00
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Swamp and City Tour of New Orleans4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Swamp and City Tour of New Orleans

star-4.5
This tour combines a comprehensive New Orleans city overview with a rough-and-tumble swamp boat adventure—all with included transportation that makes logistics a breeze. Learn about New Orleans history and culture as you pass by classic sites such as the French Quarter and Lake Pontchartrain, and then transfer to an swamp boat to explore the swamps. You might even see an alligator! Opt to eat lunch at a local restaurant at the end of the tour.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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$69.00
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Tour of the Honey Island Swamp with Round-Trip Transfer from New OrleansNature & Wildlife

Private Tour of the Honey Island Swamp with Round-Trip Transfer from New Orleans

star-5
Let a wetland ecologist guide you through the Honey Island Swamp during this private tour from New Orleans. Listen to engaging commentary about the city as you make your way to the West Pearl River. Then, climb aboard a shaded flat-bottom boat, equipped for up to 14 passengers, to get a close look at one of the country's wildest swamps. This private tour offers flexibility and personalized attention from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$900.00
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$900.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Tour of New OrleansHistorical & Heritage Tours

Private Tour of New Orleans

See the highlights of New Orleans—from the French Quarter to the Garden District—and learn about the history and culture of the city from your personal guide. A private tour enables you to prioritize the parts of the city that interest you most. Plus, traveling in a private vehicle lets you see more of the city without driving in the hectic traffic or tiring yourself out walking from place to place.
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  • 3 hours
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From  
$390.00
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Citywide Driving Tour of New OrleansCultural Tours

Private Citywide Driving Tour of New Orleans

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Customized tours of New Orleans are our specialty. For a local, insider's glimpse of the city, authentic, unscripted...you have come to the right place. We will show you New Orleans through the eyes of a native. Though each excursion is tailored to your interests, notable stops will include the French Quarter and Jackson Square, historical neighborhoods such as the Faubourg Marigny & Treme, as well as the magnificent homes in the Garden District. Ride along St. Charles Avenue and the streetcar line, pass the ancient live oaks in Audubon Park, as well as a view of Tulane and Loyola Universities. Learn about our unique cemeteries and the history of our "Cities of the Dead", journey through the New Orleans City Park, one of the oldest urban parks in the nation, and along Bayou St. John, which flows through the heart of the city. History, architecture, voodoo, tales of piracy, whatever your taste, we can create the perfect tour for you!
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$300.00
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

2hr PRIVATE Sunset Sail for up to 6 peopleSailing Trips

2hr PRIVATE Sunset Sail for up to 6 people

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Explore the Lake Side of NOLA on an Indulgent Sail.Your captain is local New Orleanian, Captain Doug, and he has over 35 years of sailing and sailboat racing experience. Doug is a U.S. Coast Guard Master Captain who loves sharing his passion of sailing with you. Sail on the protected waters of historic Lake Pontchartrain, located just 10 miles from the French Quarter.Every private sail includes:Transportation to and from French Quarter area hotelsComplimentary local craft beer, white wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks, such as chips, cookies, and gluten-free pre-packaged optionsComfortable seating on deck and below in our beautiful spacious loungeSatellite radio onboard or Spotify – iPhone/Android compatibleRestrooms and all proper safety equipment onboardBlankets on board to use during those chillier daysSee the world’s longest bridge over water, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
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$625.00
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Private New Orleans 3-Hour Historical and Sightseeing TourCultural Tours

Private New Orleans 3-Hour Historical and Sightseeing Tour

Discover New Orleans' heritage and the beauty of its period homes during this private historical tour for your group of up to 10 travelers. Ride along the city’s stately streets, passing jewels of architectural styles in the French Quarter, Bayou St John and Garden District, and enjoy guided walking tours of St Louis Cemetery #3.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$800.00
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Audubon and the Felicianas, the Other Louisiana. An Exploration in Elegance.Cultural Tours

Audubon and the Felicianas, the Other Louisiana. An Exploration in Elegance.

Your excursion in elegance departs from your hotel or favorite restaurant at 10 am sharp in unparalleled comfort and safety. Drive through the National Register Historic Landmark Garden District alongside the St. Charles Avenue streetcar past beautiful churches and homes to Audubon Park, the universities, and the picturesque Carrollton neighborhood on your way over enchanted Pass Manchac and to the Felicianas, the Happy Land of Audubon. Visit the charming town of St. Francisville and two of her most beautiful historic houses, including Oakley, the home of renown naturalist and painter John James Audubon. Return through Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s State Capital and Home to the LSU Tigers.
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  • 8 hours
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  • 8 hours


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