Catch some Southern sweetness down in New Orleans where good times, great food, and even better music are right around every corner. 

Beating to the sound of trumpets, NOLA (as it’s affectionately known) is an eclectic city made up of European, Creole, and Cajun culture in a vibrant melting pot that’s sure to satisfy your inner excitement-seeker. Take a stroll through the historic French Quarter, chow down on some boiled crawfish with your New Orleans tour group, and soak up as much of the ‘Big Easy’s atmosphere as you can in what is guaranteed to be the adventure of a lifetime. From enjoying a drink (or 10) down New Orleans’ iconic Bourbon Street to immersing yourself within the rhythm of the best jazz performers going ‘round, this city has everything to offer. Why not ask your tour guide for directions to Café du Monde, New Orleans’ famous beignet café? Or seek further information about this city’s troubled past and its haunted history? However you choose to spend your time here, New Orleans will leave your head full of music and your stomach full of gumbo.

Our New Orleans Tours & Vacations

12 Days From 3400

Dive into the Deep South with this trip through Atlanta, Charleston, Asheville,...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

What to do in New Orleans

An airboat ready to take passengers onto the bayou swamp for a tour in New Orleans.

Take a cruise down the Bayou

Explore the swamps and waterways of Louisiana on a leisurely cruise where you’ll get up close and personal to alligators, raccoons, and other swamp-dwelling animals, as well as the city’s famous Spanish Moss trees. On an adventure that’s sure to get your heart rate up when you spot those beady little eyes staring at you from the water, taking a cruise is the perfect way to learn about the history of the swamplands. Choose from a fast airboat or a slower pontoon boat to enjoy your experience and relax as the bayou unravels before you.

An authentic New Orleans steamboat on the Mississippi River.

Enjoy dinner on the Mississippi River

Guaranteed to be one of the most entertaining dinners you’ve ever had, hop aboard an authentic New Orleans steamboat, and make your way down the mighty Mississippi River as you’re served a delicious 3 course meal. Trust us when we say there might not be anything better than listening to traditional jazz music while you’re sipping on craft cocktails and watching the sun go down. Relax aboard the paddle wheeled vessel and take in the twinkling New Orleans skyline in style, alongside a Creole-inspired meal that’s sure to tickle your tastebuds.

People walking up and down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Drink your way along Bourbon Street

If you think the ‘Big Apple’ is the city that never sleeps then the ‘Big Easy’ is right behind it. Embodying the ‘party spirit’ that New Orleans is known for, Bourbon Street is a must-visit spot lined with balconies where colorful bead necklaces are often thrown to people passing below. Famous for being the place to go to when you’re looking for a good time, this street features bars, pubs, and restaurants, all lit up in neon lights. Perfectly vibrant and entertaining, making your way along this thoroughfare should be high on your bucket list, and once you’ve had a few of the infamous ‘hand grenade’ cocktails to-go, you might never want to leave.

Oak Alley plantation house is New Orleans.

Learn about history at a plantation house

If time works out in your favor, your Southern comfort USA trip might include a historic tour of a plantation house where you’ll learn about the troubled history of some of Louisiana’s most beautiful homes. There are many different plantation tours to choose from including the famous Oak Alley, characterized by its oak-lined esplanade, Laura Plantation, Whitney Plantation, and St. Joseph Plantation. Whichever tour you decide to go on, take a journey through time, exploring manicured gardens and beautiful architecture while acknowledging and learning about the experiences of the slaves who lived and worked in the sugar cane or cotton fields surrounding the houses.

St. Louis Cemetery at sunset in New Orleans.

Explore New Orleans’ haunted history

New Orleans has a big reputation for being a colorful party destination but it’s also a city with a dark past, and there’s no better way to dig into its haunted history than on a guided walking tour. Explore the ideas of vampires, witches, and ghosts with a leader who knows all about New Orleans’ spooky past. Hear about the dark magic of voodoo queen Marie Laveau and visit some of the most haunted places in town including the LaLaurie mansion, the home of the slave-murdering socialite, and St. Louis Cemetery #1, the most haunted cemetery in America. Whether you’re fascinated about other-worldly creatures like ghouls and warlocks, or merely curious about this city’s deeply terrifying past, New Orleans welcomes everyone; the living, the dead and everything in between.

A beautiful cast-iron balcony on a Creole townhouse in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stroll through the French Quarter

Also known as Vieux Carre, the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, dating back to 1718 when founder Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Beinville developed the now famous city around a central square. Known as the crown jewel of New Orleans, the French Quarter is characterized by its stunning, French, and Spanish inspired architecture with Creole townhouses being the most recognizable features thanks to their stunning cast iron balconies. Talking in the French Quarter by foot is a great way to get up close and personal with the history of this fascinating place. Whether you join a leader-led tour through the districts famous landmarks including historic churches and hidden courtyards or stroll through it on your own, this city won’t disappoint.

New Orleans Tour Reviews 

New Orleans FAQs

New Orleans is fairly easy to get to depending on where you're traveling from. You can arrive in New Orleans by car from neighboring cities such as Baton Rouge and Lafayette or if you're located a bit further away, flying to New Orleans is another good option. The distance between New Orleans Airport and the French Quarter is only 15 miles, and will take you roughly 45 minutes. 

If you're staying within the French Quarter then the best way to get around is definitely on foot. The streets in the French Quarter are sometimes narrow and there tends to be a bit of traffic during peak periods. If you want to travel outside the Quarter then either catching a ride on one of New Orleans' iconic streetcars, renting a vehicle, hopping in a taxi, or riding a bike are more suitable forms of transportation. 

The weather in New Orleans can vary quite a bit depending on what time of the year you're traveling in. As New Orleans is located quite close to large bodies of water, the weather can get a bit wet, especially in the Winter and Fall seasons. Believe it or not, New Orleans is ranked as the city with the highest levels of humidity in all of the U.S. so make sure you check out the expected temperatures before you go which will give you a better understanding of what you should pack. 

Read more about the weather in New Orleans

When traveling to New Orleans, it's important to read up on what kind of weather to expect during the time you'll be there as temperatures in New Orleans can often fluctuate throughout the day in some seasons. Regardless of when you're going, New Orleans is quite a humid place so it's best to pack hot weather clothes so you won't be too uncomfortable. We'd also recommend packing an umbrella if you're traveling during Winter or Fall as well as some appropriate wet weather shoes. You should always remember to pack sunscreen and apply it everytime you go outside, even if the day looks overcast. 

There aren't any beaches within close distance of the French Quarter or the city of New Orleans itself. The closest area where you can tan, swim and play other beach-related sports is Coconut Beach, a manmade attraction that's located about a 15 minute drive out of the city in Kenner, Louisiana. If you have access to a car and a day to spare, traveling to Pass Christian Beach is also an option, located 1 hour from New Orleans' city limits. 

New Orleans is a very popular city among both locals and tourists alike thanks to its fascinating history, beautiful architecture, and reputation for having fun. The City of New Orleans is located close to other states and is a popular destination for weekends away, as well as longer vacations. If you live in one of the surrounding states or cities, driving to New Orleans might be the best option. Below is how far New Orleans is from its neighboring regions by car: 

  • New Orleans is roughly 81 miles away from Baton Rouge, making the journey by car just over an hour. 
  • To travel from the town of Biloxi to New Orleans would take you roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes, as the journey is 91 miles. 
  • The city of Pensacola is just over 200 miles away from New Orleans. To travel there by car it would take you just under 3 hours. 
  • New Orleans is 205 miles away from Lake Charles so the journey by car would take you roughly 2 hours and 50 minutes. 
  • If you're road-trippin' your way from Houston to New Orleans, it will take you 4 hours, 47 minutes to reach your destination with the journey being 347 miles. 

Read more about how far New Orleans is from its neighboring cities

It's not known exactly where the nickname the 'Big Easy' came from or when it started circulating however, it's widely believed that it was introduced in the 1900's as a direct comparison to New York City's, the 'Big Apple'. New York was considered a bustling place where things were happening all the time and New Orleans was seen as the exact opposite; a city with a relaxed, laidback sort of lifestyle. 

Historically, New Orleans is quite a haunted city thanks in part to its spooky and troubled past. The cemeteries in New Orleans make up some of the most haunted places in this city, with ghostly apparitions sighted and eerie noises heard among the tombstones. These are the most haunted cemeteries in New Orleans: 

  • St. Louis #1 Cemetery 
  • St. Roch Cemetery 
  • Lafayette #1 Cemetery 
  • Metairie Cemetery 

Read more about the most haunted cemeteries in New Orleans

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. New Orleans is working towards making all services, city programs, and facilities accessible to all persons. New Orleans is also quite a flat city so it's fairly easy to get around. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Read more about the United States