New Orleans SightseeingNew Orleans is a top travel destination offering many fun things to do. Take a moment and plan some sightseeing excursions so you don't miss any fabulous sights during your vacation.
Boat Tours One of the best and easiest ways to experience the sounds, scents and strange beauty of Louisiana is by boat. Tours take passengers through swamps and bayous and past city skylines and historical areas; many tours provide information and insight into the history and ecosystem of this region. In addition to your camera, take along insect repellent. Reservations, always a good idea, can be arranged at most hotel transportation desks or at the boats; phone to confirm departure times.
Bus and Carriage ToursTaking an organized bus tour is one of the best ways to become acquainted with New Orleans. These range from a 2-hour trip through the city to a full-day tour of the entire metropolitan area and a local plantation.
If you're looking for fun things to do with friends, some companies also conduct visits to hot spots on New Orleans' nightclub circuit. Passengers are picked up from and returned to motels and hotels throughout the metropolitan area. Reservations are advised. Many downtown hotels have sightseeing booths, and motel managers can often provide information and reservations.
Horse-drawn carriages leave continuously from Jackson Square for narrated tours of the French Quarter. The waiting time varies; most tours require a minimum of six passengers and depart when the carriage is full.
Food ToursNew Orleans is famous for its local restaurants. Learn how diverse cultures impacted the culinary character of the region. Sample the local fare and discover new favorite dishes from exciting places to eat.
Guided Walking ToursPark rangers from the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve conduct 60-minute walks of the French Quarter Tues.-Sat. at 9:30. Tours depart from the French Quarter Visitor Center; passes for the walks become available at 9 and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours are limited to 25 people. Phone (504) 589-2636, ext. 1.
The Friends of the Cabildo, (504) 524-9118, conducts 2-hour guided tours of the French Quarter. Tours begin at the 1850 House (The Lower Pontalba Building) daily at 10:30 and 1:30. Fee $20; $15 (ages 65+ and students and active military with ID); free (ages 0-12 when accompanied by a family member).
Save Our Cemeteries, which helps to preserve and promote the city's historic burial sites, offers regular guided tours of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. The non-profit organization also offers tours of other area graveyards seasonally; phone (504) 525-3377 for more information.
Self-guiding ToursThe compactness of New Orleans makes it a natural city to explore on foot. Self-guiding driving and walking tour brochures are available at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau at 2020 St. Charles Ave.; phone (504) 566-5011 or (800) 672-6124. Notable structures include the Civil Courts Building, the State Supreme Court Building, 11-story City Hall and the New Orleans Public Library. The U.S. Custom House, 423 Canal St., was once the site of old Fort St. Louis. Built in 1848 under the guidance of Gen. Pierre G. Beauregard, it combines two revival styles—Egyptian outside and Greek inside. The building now houses the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.
The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Visitor Center has multiple brochures organized by neighborhood about notable sites related to jazz history. Audio cellphone tours also are available. Phone (504) 589-4841, or (504) 613-4062 for the audio tour.
Remember that New Orleans is a port city with many types of people and all of the problems inherent in such urban areas. Be safe on your trip. Wandering should be tempered with the same awareness and common sense appropriate in any large city: Limit it to daylight hours and well-traveled routes, leave conspicuous wallets and handbags in your hotel safe and do not go alone.
New Orleans, LA
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Louisiana's statewide sales tax is 5 percent; an additional 5 percent is levied in the New Orleans metro area, and Orleans Parish has a .5 percent tax on food and beverages. The city has a 14 percent lodging tax, plus an occupancy tax of $1-$3 per night. The state's car rental tax is 3 percent.
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Ochsner Medical Center, (504) 842-3000; Touro Infirmary, (504) 897-7011; Tulane Medical Center, (504) 988-5263; University Medical Center New Orleans, (504) 702-3000.
1221 Elmwood Park Blvd. Suite 411 New Orleans, LA 70123. Phone:(504)731-7083 or (877)572-7474
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is about 21 miles west of downtown New Orleans in Kenner and is served by nearly all major domestic and foreign carriers.
New Orleans is served by several major car rental agencies. Arrangements should be made before you leave on your trip. Your local AAA club can provide this service or additional information. Hertz, (504) 568-1645 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Amtrak uses the Union Passenger Terminal at 1001 Loyola Ave. Daily service is offered. Phone (800) 872-7245 for further information.
The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus terminal is at 1001 Loyola Ave.; phone (504) 525-6075 or (800) 231-2222 for schedule and fares.
Cabs are plentiful in the main business and tourist areas. Average fare is $3.50 initially and $2.40 for each additional mile and $1 for each additional person. The largest companies are Carriage/Yellow/Checker, (504) 207-7777; Metry, (504) 835-4242; and United, (504) 522-9771. Information about taxi service also can be obtained from the Taxicab & For Hire Bureau at (504) 658-7176.
Transportation by bus, streetcar and ferry is available in New Orleans.