Think tours are for members of AARP? Not in New Orleans. A city tour can help you get your bearings while visiting for the Jazz & Heritage Festival and supply a quick history of this great American treasure. More focused tours are just plain fun, creepy, delicious and fascinating whether you're interested in voodoo or voluptuous food and drink.
Related: Read more on the all-AXS Jazz Fest Guide
If you'll be spending most of your time at the Jazz & Heritage Festival but still want to get a sense of the city, consider a comprehensive three-hour tour from this company that even picks you up at your hotel. The New Orleans City Tour whisks you through the French Quarter, Garden District, St. Louis Cemetery #3, City Park and the 9th Ward all aboard a small 25-passenger, air-conditioned coach. You'll be able to tell your mates where John Goodman and Sandra Bullock live, about Harry Connick Jr's Musicians' Village in the 9th Ward and about the eerie above-ground cemeteries. Book in advance and pay $40 for adults and $25 for kids 12 and under.
What's odd about New Orleans? Take any of the adult-oriented tours from this quirky company and be entranced by the underbelly of New Orleans. Tours cost $25 to $49. Daily Strange True Tour covers pirates, loose women, slavery, Presidential assassins and the New Orleans Mafia. The City of the Dead Cemetery Tour walks you through St. Louis #1 Cemetery, the oldest continuously operating cemetery in New Orleans, at the edge of the French Quarter. Hear about those "buried" here including Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and jazz legends and see where the LSD scene in "Easy Rider" was filmed. The Ghosts, Legends & Lore Tour offers documented history, myths, suppositions and ghost tales spun by master storytellers. Tour de NOLA Bike Tours ride through neighborhoods most tourists never see as well as the Bywater for personal accounts of Katrina. The Women of New Orleans Tour (dubbed "Not a Sappy Chick Flick") regales with stories of ball-busting madames, female gunslingers and other various and sundry sassy gals that walked and ruled the streets.
Choose among different tours that blend New Orleans culture, culinary arts and cocktails. Calling itself "the funkiest social tour experience in our magically cultured city," Creole PubCrawl offers a three-, five- or seven-course culinary crawl at historic venues; celebratory crawls for a group stopping at iconic bars; a 2.5-hour historic crawl hitting Lafayette Square, St. Patrick’s Church, Julia Street, Lee Circle and sites in the Arts and Warehouse District with sips along the way; and custom crawls for whatever you want.