Known as one of the most unique cities in the world, there truly is no place like NOLA. Which is why it’s not hard to find custom experiences tailored just to you. On your next visit to New Orleans, meet an endangered penguin, enjoy a private dining experience, or go behind-the-scenes of The National WWII Museum. Here are the top bespoke travel experiences the city offers.

Image Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Aquarium Penguin Encounter and Snorkeling 

Have you ever wanted to meet a penguin up close? Audubon Aquarium has just the experience for you. During Penguin Party (offered on Saturday mornings only), meet an endangered African penguin with up to four guests, six years of age and older. After learning about the penguins from an aviculturist, guest will be able to interact with a penguin and take pictures. If you’d rather take the plunge into the aquarium’s Great Maya Reef, the Maya Snorkel Adventure is for you. Come face-to-mask with over 30 species of marine life including cownose rays and hundreds of beautiful tropical fish. Offered Fridays and Saturdays only, this experience welcomes ages eight and up.

Photo courtesy of Sazerac House

Sazerac House Tasting 

While visits to Sazerac House are complimentary, upgrade your experience with a tasting. Tasting events are often seasonal and range from Tropical Cocktails to Whiskey Grid Tasting and Boos & Booze: A Spirited Cocktail Experience. Sample your way through spirits while learning the history behind each cocktail.

The National WWII Museum VIP Experiences 

There are a variety of VIP experiences available at The National WWII Museum. Beyond the Galleries gives visitors the opportunity to interact with genuine WWII artifacts from the Museum’s Collection that are not on display to the public. Into the Vault lets visitors step inside The National WWII Museum’s private Center for Collections & Archives and take an intimate two-hour journey into WWII history through rarely seen artifacts that give voice to the American experience in World War II. Read about all the museum tours here. Beyond the exhibits, visitors can book a ticket for Expressions of America, an unforgettable evening of music, special effects, and entertainment as 90-foot-tall projections transport you back in time.

Rebecca Todd

Studio BE Guided Tour 

Studio BE is a warehouse/ gallery in the Bywater centered on the Black experience. You can browse the exhibits yourself or purchase a ticket for a guided tour that includes the history of the “BE Trilogy,” the story of founder Brandan “BMIKE” Odums, and the ways in which prominent historical figures depicted at Studio BE have influenced our lives today.

Tijon Perfume Making Class 

Tijon is a luxury fragrance brand with a location in the French Quarter. Their Mix & Match class is the perfect bespoke experience, in which every guest leaves having made three perfumes and bottling the one they like best, along with a gift bag of Tijon products. It’s an activity that everyone can do together, while each developing a custom product that’ll last for months to come.

Wicks NOLA Candle Making Class 

Gather your group and let the candle making come to you via Wicks NOLA. During this two-hour experience, guests will learn to curate, mix, and pour their very own custom candle in two sizes, plus a room and linen spray. The experience also includes two party games and a gift for the host/hostess.

Photo credit: Valeriya Bezkhlebetskaya

Bespoke Dining Experiences 

Bespoke dining experiences are everywhere in New Orleans. Enjoy a multi-course tasting menu at Senegalese restaurant Dakar Nola or Cajun concept Mosquito Supper Club. Le Petit Chef at Criollo is an immersive dining experience featuring a seasonal five-course dinner and the cinematic 3D storytelling of TableMation Studios™. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Catch and Cook program allows for a day full of fishing followed by a meal prepared by a New Orleans chef. Want a hands-on dining experience? Consider booking a cooking class and learn from the experts. Simply looking for a private dining room for your party? See here for our favorite restaurants with private rooms.

Plan your Trip with a Travel Service 

Not sure where to start when planning your trip to New Orleans? Specializing in custom itineraries, Gulf South Travel Services offers bi-lingual step on guides, scavenger hunts, second line parades, and team building activities. Rey Royal can assist you in booking accommodations, transportation, events, tours, and much more. See here for companies offering private tours.