5 Ways to See New Orleans Before or After a Cruise

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Mardi Gras World is a popular New Orleans attraction by the cruise terminal.
Mardi Gras World is a popular New Orleans attraction by the cruise terminal.

So, your next cruise is sailing out of New Orleans and you want to see this amazing city? Famous for Mardi Gras, New Orleans is so much more than that. There’s plenty to see and do – from food to museums, to historical sites and world -famous restaurants, New Orleans offers something for everyone. Here’s 5 ways to see the Crescent City on your trip.

Here are five ways to see New Orleans:

1. Hop–On, Hop–Off Double Decker Bus. Open 7 days a week from 9:30 to 5:30 PM, this moderately priced bus tour takes you all over New Orleans. The entire loop takes about 2 hours – if you don’t hop-off. But the best part of this option is the hop-off feature. With 20 stops, including the Garden District, Mardi Gras World, St. Louis Cemetery #1, the French Quarter and the World War II Museum, you can go anywhere you want! For $39, you can get a one week unlimited hop-on and hop-off ticket which includes walking tours in the French Quarter and Garden District. Children are only $10 for any tour. You can buy your ticket at any bus stop or visit https://www.citysightseeingneworleans.com/.  Your ticket also gets you discounts at local restaurants and attractions along the way.

2. Organized Tours.  When I was in New Orleans recently, I took a tour with Gray Line (https://www.graylineneworleans.com/) to see Louisiana’s most photographed plantation, Oak Alley Plantation. As a frequent cruiser, I take shore excursions and tours in the Caribbean ports I visit, so this seemed very familiar and comfortable for seeing the sights in New Orleans. A well-organized tour, it departed from the French Quarter and took us directly to the plantation. The driver was also a guide and knowledgeable about all things New Orleans. When we arrived at the plantation, the driver distributed our tickets and gave us the pick-up time. The plantation was spectacular, but it was even better to not have to worry about transportation and tickets – the tour company did it all. Plantations aren’t the only tour options – you can also see the bayou and swamp, cemetery tours, Paddleboat tours, Hurricane Katrina tours and more.

Famous Oak Alley Plantation in New Orleans.
Famous Oak Alley Plantation in New Orleans.

3. Biking. Want a fun way to see New Orleans with a little less walking? Biking’s your answer. Local companies offer different biking tours to see different parts of the city. Confederacy of Cruisers (https://confederacyofcruisers.com/) offers unique and distinct tours taking you all over New Orleans for a true ‘local’ tour. One of their tour offerings, New Orleans Culinary Bike Tour, includes an emphasis on all the local flavors New Orleans offers. You’ll bike and stop at the best local places, creating a day you won’t soon forget.

4. Walking. New Orleans is very pedestrian friendly. Lots of famous sites and locations are all within walking distance. And some spots are really only accessible or best seen by foot – for example, Bourbon Street. You can grab a map or your smartphone and walk New Orleans on your own easily. You can also book a tour with a local company who gives you a more guided and personal experience. Walking tours include Big Easy Jazz, French Quarter and Garden District. There’s even specialty walking tours like New Orleans Cocktail Walking Tour (though the walking may get tougher as the night goes on)!

5. Running. Yes, Running. For the more active and adventurous, signing up for a local race is a fantastic way to see the city. Runners (and walkers) in races tend to get access to sites and places normally off-limits to pedestrians. In January/February, the Rock’n’Roll marathon and half marathon come to town and the course veers through the Central Business District and French Quarter. In April, the Crescent City Classic 10K (https://www.ccc10k.com/) kicks off a year of road races in New Orleans that wind through different areas of the city. In December, the 2 mile Celebration in the Oaks Run/Walk gives you the chance to experience New Orleans at Christmastime, including a sneak peek of the Celebration in the Oaks Light Display. A bonus to this option – you can enjoy ALL the amazing food New Orleans has to offer without any of the guilt!

Do you have any suggestions or ways to see New Orleans? Let us know.

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