New Orleans tour companies offer a stress-free way to see the city. And luckily, there are a million different types, from the convenience of hop-on-hop-off buses to group walking tours around the city’s most historic and famous neighborhoods. But if you’re looking for a non-traditional tour option that goes under the radar and off the beaten path, New Orleans has that in spades as well. Picture: eating your way through the city on two wheels, an adults-only brothel history tour, an architecture tour by kayak…and that’s just scratching the surface. Here are a few unconventional New Orleans tours worth checking out on your next visit.
Paddle your way down Bayou St. John with Kayak-iti-Yat. Great for first-time kayakers, you’ll explore the history of the bayou and architecture throughout the neighborhood as you navigate the serene waters of this urban oasis, located just a few short minutes from Downtown New Orleans. You may see a hint of wildlife while out on the bayou. This tour is open to all ages and in the warm season, the tour goes out during the romantic twilight hours.
There are plenty of Black history tours in New Orleans, but you can see how that history has been preserved through 2nd Line Tours’ Urban Culture Tour. Visit historic places and iconic locations such as Congo Square and the Lower Ninth Ward. 2nd Line Tours also offers a Celebrity Tour with stops at the birthplaces of Lil’ Wayne, Louis Armstrong, and Birdman. Choose the Combo Tour to experience the best of both worlds.
Two Chicks Walking Tours uncovers an important part of New Orleans history in their one-of-a-kind brothel tour. Trace the world’s oldest profession from the founding of New Orleans through the infamous Storyville district during this adult-only French Quarter walking tour. Visit well-known landmarks and stop at two bars along the way. You’ll leave with stories from both the past and the present.
Known as the “eating tour,” the New Orleans Culinary Bike Tour is a fun way to see and taste New Orleans. This laid-back bike tour from Confederacy of Cruisers will have you slurping up snowballs, gumbo, frozen Irish coffee, and other New Orleans delicacies. Plus, you get a mini workout in biking all around town, which means there’s always room for more eating.
More than just a cocktail tour, Drink & Learn is all about the history behind those cocktails as well as the drinks themselves. Experience the French Quarter’s most famous landmarks while sipping on the Sazerac, Hurricane, St. Charles Hotel Punch, and praline liquor. Notable stops include the Pharmacy Museum, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Port of New Orleans.
Ghost tours are a dime a dozen in New Orleans, but Gray Line takes it to the next level with the addition of augmented reality. This walking tour will take you to historic spots in the French Quarter. There, you’ll be able to scan a QR code with your mobile phone camera lens and wrap your arms around Marie Laveau or jump into the Great Fire of New Orleans from 1788. You can even snap a photo to commemorate the experience.
For even more New Orleans tours, see here.