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How to Get Off the Beaten Path in New Orleans

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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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New Orleans Tours & Activities (11)
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Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner CruiseNight Cruises

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Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise

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Experience the dazzle of New Orleans at night with a romantic dinner cruise aboard the famous Steamboat Natchez. Journey through time on this 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
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  • 3 hours
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Experience Cajun Country: Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations Full-Day Tour from New OrleansDay Trips

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

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Go beyond the French Quarter and discover the unique Cajun and Creole cultures of New Orleans during this full-day swap and plantation tour. Venture deep into the bayous, with a small group limited to 14, to see Cajun living and spot wildlife like alligators and pelicans. Then, admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the history of Oak Alley and Laura plantations. Upgrade your ticket to include a high-speed airboat ride through the bayous.
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  • 9 hours
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  • 9 hours
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New Orleans City Tour: Katrina, Garden District, French Quarter, GraveyardHalf-day Tours

New Orleans City Tour: Katrina, Garden District, French Quarter, Graveyard

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Gaze at the spectacular sights of New Orleans from the comfort of a luxury coach on an unforgettable 3-hour city tour. With a professional guide, cruise past historical highlights like the French Quarter and the Garden District while listening to illuminating commentary. See the the lakefront area and the 17th street canal where the canal bank was breached by hurricane Katrina, and delve into the city’s rich history as you take a tour of the best museums in New Orleans. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation from your hotel in Downtown New Orleans on this informative tour.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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Whitney Plantation TourDay Trips

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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New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, and French Quarter Walking TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, and French Quarter Walking Tour

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Rich history and voodoo legends make New Orleans one of the most fascinating places to visit, but if you see the sights alone, you could miss out on some of the key details that bring this vibrant city to life. This New Orleans voodoo tour takes you through the city and into St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 during daylight hours—perfect for those you don’t want to get too scared, but still want a look into the city’s mysterious past.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes TourCultural Tours

New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

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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
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  • 1 hour
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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
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  • 4 hours
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City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery TourHalf-day Tours

City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour

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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
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  • 3 hours
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Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery TourCultural Tours

Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery Tour

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Take a stroll through New Orleans’ history and culture on a walking tour of the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery #1 with an experienced guide. Visit streets lined with gracious, antebellum homes, and learn how the city’s Creole and American residents competed with Greek Revival architecture and English-gardens. Discover the elaborate crypts and monuments in one of New Orleans’ oldest and most beautiful cemeteries, hear stories about Lafayette’s most famous ‘residents,’ and trace Louisiana history through the names on the gravestones. Enjoy personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour.
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  • 2 hours
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Manchac Swamp Mystic Wildlife Kayak TourOther Water Sports

Manchac Swamp Mystic Wildlife 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 will teach you everything need to know to enjoy this Southern-style adventure.
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  • 2 hours
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Edgar Degas House Impressionist Tour in New OrleansCultural Tours

Edgar Degas House Impressionist Tour in New Orleans

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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
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
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