The 10 Best Guided Tours in Louisiana! By
Louisiana is rich in history of a multi-cultural background that includes French, Spanish, African, and Native America influences. The results are shown in the architecture, traditions, cultures, food, and celebrations all over the state. Below are 10 of the best guided tours available around the state that will help you understand and celebrate the way of life in this amazing state.
If you’re a foodie at heart, there’s no better tour than one that takes you to some of the best and most popular Creole restaurants, markets, and shops to sample that food that New Orleans is famous for. You’ll start in the French Quarter and experience seven opportunities to taste everything from classics like seafood gumbo to traditional po’boys and pralines to new culinary treats like sweet potato beignets and corned beef brisket. This three-hour tour will leave you full in belly and experienced in the gastronomic history of New Orleans.
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Founded in 1974 to preserve, promote, and protect historic cemeteries in New Orleans, the Save our Cemeteries organization provides restoration of neglected tombs, maintenance, an annual Run/Walk, the All Saints Soiree Gala, educational events, and cemetery tours. Tours last about two hours and are conducted rain or shine. Make sure to bring drinking water and wear comfortable shoes for the tour. Book early as these popular tours fill up quickly.
Enter into the heart of the swamps with the Honey Island Swamp Tour. No need to be fearful of the alligators and other swamp creatures you may encounter along the way. Your tour is done from the comfort and safety of a Coast Guard-approved boat by licenses guides. Participants on the two-hour tour will travel deep into the cypress swamp and see many of the birds, animals, and reptiles that call it home. Guides will explain the ecosystems and history of the regions, and drinks and snacks are available onboard for a nominal fee. Groups rates and customized tours are available, but reserve in advance due to popularity.
Louisiana is home to more than 735 species of birds, fish, and reptiles and hundreds of plant varieties. Jungle Gardens in Iberia Parish on Avery Island, Louisiana, is 170 acres of protected gardens and a bird sanctuary created in 1895. There are several walking paths on the premises, and a Buddha temple was donated in 1936. The gardens are open year-round except for major holidays, and there is an annual fall festival in October with fun family activities.
Have you ever wondered how Mardi Gras got started? What about the origins of the traditions around Mardi Gras? Visit the Mardi Gras World Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, and take a tour back to 1932, and see the elaborate floats that represent the origins and traditions of this celebrated season. This behind-the-scenes look at how the floats used in the Mardi Gras parades have been made since 1947, and what inspires the extravagant concepts and ideas that took them from the first mule-drawn wagon to the fantastic paper mache creations that often take a year-long process to complete.
The outstanding bousillage Creole house and outbuildings that comprise Kent Plantation House in Alexandria, Louisiana, contain the oldest structure still standing in the state. The plantation and restored grounds represent what life on the plantation was like during the period between 1795 and 1855 in the state’s history. Buildings available for touring include the main house, the milk house, open-hearth cooking area, barn, blacksmith shop, and slave quarters. Tours are given every day except Sundays.
If you want to take an authentic tour into the swamps and bayous, then the Cajun Man’s Swamp Tour & Adventure may be just for you. Starting at Gibson, Louisiana, the 15 to 20-mile tour takes you past the amazing cypress trees that line the waterways and lets you see the animals and plant life that are part of this delicate ecosystem. On your tour, you’ll ride in cool comfort and your guide, a lifelong resident of southern Louisiana and experienced alligator hunter, treat you to lively Cajun music along the way. This is not your typical swamp tour, but one that you won’t soon forget.
Journey through the French Quarter, otherwise known as the Vieux Carré Historic District and oldest part of New Orleans. This part of the city formed the original square and the entire area holds the history and stories from the past that come alive through the architecture. Led by experienced guides, your tour includes going by Ursulines Convent in the French Market, and several well-known points of interest like the home of William Faulkner. Tours are given every day and last about two hours. It’s better to make your reservation in advance and group discounts are available.
The French Quarter of New Orleans is the location of the Cocktail History Walking Tour, where participants can indulge themselves in the liquid culture of the state. Your expert guide will take you and other over-21 adults on a journey through Bourbon Street and stop at two popular local establishments to sample iconic adult beverages and learn about the drinking history of the area. During the three-hour tour, you’ll be treated to stories and legends about the area, and hear some of the music that New Orleans is known for.
No trip to Louisiana would be complete without taking a tour through the swamps and seeing the alligators that live there. Led by experienced guides who grew up in the state, are familiar with the 20,000-acre area, and are Coast Guard-certified airboat captains, the best time to take the tour for the best photography is in the early morning or early evening when the light filters through the cypress trees. Besides alligators, you’ll see eagles, raccoons, and other migratory birds.