Good Times With These 8 Best Tours In New Orleans, LA: The Big Easy!

best tours in new orleans
Steph
Steph 
Updated

They say “there’s nothing quite like New Orleans,” and it’s true; also known as “The Big Easy” or “NOLA,” the beautiful setting of the acclaimed Disney animated picture Princess and the Frog is also famous as the birthplace to jazz, and this is evident by the various sounds and rhythms that seem to flow throughout every street and corner. With its multicultural roots stemming from countries such as France, Spain, Cuba, and Haiti, it is truly a melting pot of cultures that brought about the creation of new unique New Orleans experiences. From the urbanized bustling Central Business District to the Old World feel of the authentic French Quarter, there are definitely lots to explore and see in this phenomenal city. To keep you on your toes, here are the top 8 quintessential tours to discover New Orleans in all ways.

1. Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter (from USD 71.0)

Panama.langostasobrepapitacriolla
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user nicole tarazona used under CC BY 2.0

If experiencing cultures through tasting their delicacies is your calling, the New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter is definitely up your alley. Home-grown culinary experts will speak of the history of the original Creole-style and Southern cuisine, and take you on a gastronomical journey deep into the authentic French Quarter to world-renowned restaurants and established local eateries to give you an insight and a taste (or two) of the finest local cuisine and famous eats. Suitable for everyone, you’ll even get to specify your preference or any dietary restriction prior to the trip and the experienced experts will take it from there. Be sure to turn up on an empty stomach, and get eating!

New Orleans French Quarter Food Half-Day Tour with Tastings

Duration: 3 hours

2495 reviews

2. Jazz Cruise aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez (from USD 50.0)

US Navy 061008-G-4938T-001 Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, Texas, assists local Coast Guard units, and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies during Tall Stacks, a steamboat festival held on
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user U.S. Navy photo used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Go back in time on the original Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez – the only surviving steamboat in New Orleans – as you set sail while grooving to classic jazz played by one of the most acclaimed local bands, Dukes of Dixieland. Choose between just cruising or adding a meal to enhance your Southern experience (lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch) for this 2-hour charming tour down the Mississippi River, which will definitely leave you relaxed and recharged. Whip out your camera as you explore the many areas of the authentic historic vessel; the entire setting is beautiful beyond words. After you’re done with the many activities on board, look forward to sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the breeze, and watching the idyllic scenes of New Orleans gracefully pass you by.

New Orleans: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

Duration: 2.0 hour

1241 reviews

3. Hour Scavenger Hunt all across New Orleans! (from USD 44.0)

ChrisLitherlandBourbonSt
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris Litherland used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Convert the city of New Orleans into a giant gameboard, and look forward to the exhilarating fun of a scavenger hunt that brings you and your family or friends all around the symbolic sites and local gems of New Orleans! The New Orleans 3-Hour Interactive Scavenger Hunt aims to provide an educational yet stimulating experience for those who are on board. All you need is a smartphone, and you’ll be guided throughout the journey and towards the finishing pit-stop as you solve puzzles, look for clues and complete challenges that are all related to the history of the Riverwalk area. A unique sightseeing experience that keeps you on your toes as you go through bustling local markets and visit traditional precincts, this is an ideal activity for all ages.

New Orleans: 3-Hour Interactive Scavenger Hunt

Duration: 3.0 hour

19 reviews

4. Voodoo, mystery, and everything spooky! (from USD 23.45)

Saint Louis Cemetery 1 in New Orleans
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Photoartel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Always a tad superstitious, or just fascinated with spooky tales and their origins? The New Orleans 2-Hour Voodoo, Mystery, and Paranormal Tour is well-known for its historic stories alongside the tour, and you’ll also get to try out EMFs or paranormal activity detectors. Visit over 15 hauntingly-alluring sites like the renowned St. Louis Cathedral, St. Anthony’s Garden, the Sultan Palace as well as the infamous LaLaurie Mansion, and find out for yourself why New Orleans is also known as the most haunted American city. Explore multiple sites known for unsolved suicides and murders and discover documented reports on vampires and ghosts that roam the vicinity. This may not be suitable for those timid at heart. This is an ideal opportunity for you to get up close and personal with the dark history of New Orleans when night falls.

New Orleans: Voodoo, Mystery and Paranormal Tour

Duration: 2.0 hour

74 reviews

5. Experience Cajun Country: a New Orleans you've never seen! (from USD 242.0)

New Orleans is more than just music and party; there is a big part of the city that includes a wild and historic side. Experience Cajun Country: Swamp Boat Adventure and Plantations Full Day Tour allows you to see the exciting wildlife that is famous in New Orleans, and experience the quiet countryside plantations that are full of history. Admire the natural scenery of the bayous and swamps as you glide along the Mississippi River into Cajun country, and get up close and personal with the local “residents” with guidance from the local experts. An ideal trip for all ages, you get to learn more about the exotic wildlife and as an extra bonus, you can opt to do the boat tour in a traditional air-boat, which can accelerate up to 124 mph (200 km/hour)! After an exciting morning, look forward to a traditional Creole-style lunch in the most idyllic environment in one of the famous plantations, Oak Alley Plantation, before delving into the history of the area, giving you more insights into the 18th century American Civil War movement. You get to spend the afternoon exploring the different plantations, take in the stunning architecture, and learn more about the stories of the previous occupants. A tour dubbed “best of both worlds,” it is not to be missed.

New Orleans Airboat and Plantations Tour

Duration: 9 hours

1111 reviews

6. City and Katrina Recovery Tour, all together! (from USD 49.0)

If you have a packed schedule or wish to see it all in a day, the City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour is the most ideal. You’ll get to visit various unique New Orleans’ districts and learn about the history and culture of each area during the drive. Well-versed tour guides will also be taking you through the oldest parts of the city, before delving into the aftermath of the catastrophic hurricane Katrina, and will introduce the 9th Ward, which was built specifically to retain the city’s soul and culture. From there, the journey continues to one of the notable cemeteries, and then onwards to enjoy nature at its finest at the alluring 1,300-acre (526 hectare) City Park before passing along the awe-inspiring rows of oak trees along St. Charles Avenue. Before wrapping it up, the tour guides will showcase the different side of New Orleans, which is the hustle and bustle of the Central Business District. This is a perfect day out for those who may not have much time or those looking to experience the many different areas all in a day.

City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour

Duration: 3.0 hour

46 reviews

7. New Orleans Night Flight Tour (from USD 189.0)

New Orleans French Quarter
Source: Photo by user vxla used under CC BY 2.0

For those romantic at heart or those with a desire to see things from a bird’s eye view, the New Orleans Night Sightseeing Flight Tour is not to be missed. Soar above the glittering twilight sights and look forward to 360 degree sweeping views of the various buildings that make up New Orleans. Be in awe by the stunning city lights from the Central Business District, the hype and life of old French Quarter, and the au-naturale Louisiana bayous and the Mississippi River while relaxing by the window seat of a comfortable small plane. An experienced pilot will also be telling you fascinating stories and history of the various districts and iconic landmarks. A highly customizable tour, you get to choose your ideal duration (45 minutes or 60 minutes) as well as your preferred sights.

New Orleans Sightseeing City Lights Night Flight Tour

Duration: 30 to 45 minutes

13 reviews

8. Mardi Gras: Behind the Scenes Tour (from USD 22.0)

The Krewe of Orpheus' Leviathan float, Mardi Gras World, New Orleans, USA
Source: Photo by user Paul Mannix used under CC BY 2.0

Are you fascinated by the world-renowned event, Mardi Gras, that sees thousands of visitors to New Orleans each year? A quick tour of the Mardi Gras World: Behind-The-Scenes will work perfectly. Think colorful floats, costumes, and much more that goes into creating the world-class annual parade. This tour allows you to experience first-hand in the creation of the parade floats and costumes, and learn more about the rich and vibrant history of Mardi Gras and how the first parade came about. At the end of the tour, you’ll also be able to try out Mardi Gras outfits and the official Mardi Gras festival dessert, King Cake, which is a delicious puff pastry of sweet fillings with a hidden surprise!

New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Guided Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

174 reviews

New Orleans: be spellbound by its marvels

Being versatile and rich in color, culture, and history, it is no wonder that New Orleans is often referred to as the most unique American city, and most tourists came to embrace New Orleans as their homes after visiting; this is definitely a reference to the city’s Southern hospitality and the easy-going and carefree nature of its residents. The city and its residents are very welcoming and inviting, and there are so many areas to be explored. You will find everything just clicks in New Orleans, and whatever excites you, be it food, music, games, or even history and culture, this beautiful city will definitely not disappoint.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore New Orleans
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!