Welcome to the real, authentic New Orleans! Our adventure here will attempt to capture the heart and soul of this fabulous city while avoiding all the tourist traps and standard bucket list spots. You may feel out of your comfort zone at times and may even encounter a ghost or two but that’s all part of becoming part of the real New Orleans.
We’ll dive into the nitty gritty while experiencing all the charm and character of historic spaces. We’ll feel the soul of native jazz and blues and be taken away by delectable cuisine along with the natural beauty of the bayou and amazing artist creations.
There won’t be any museums, upscale restaurants with famous names, boat rides on the muddy Mississippi or pristine luxury accommodations. We’ll immerse ourselves in the N’awlins culture through wandering the various districts, never knowing what amazing thing we might find next!
Day One: Rathbone Mansion
After arriving in New Orleans, we’ll make our way downtown to check into our home for the next 4 fabulous nights at the Rathbone Mansion, along the lovely Oak tree-lined Esplanade Avenue.
Day One: Walking Tour
This evening we’ll wander out together towards Frenchmen Street, a smaller version of Bourbon Street with a calmer, cozier and less touristy kind of vibe. Different varieties of jazz and live music drifts from the open doors and windows of bars, restaurants, and clubs as you make your way towards the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, right on the edge of the French Quarter.
We’ll stop at a local specialty for an included dinner, then find your music of choice in your favorite place to relax the night away.
Day Two: French Quarter Wanders
Spend the morning and early afternoon wandering the French Quarter until your heart’s content before our descent into the beautifully primitive bayou.
Honey Island Cypress Swamp Boat Tour:
Don’t be scared, it’s not what you think! Picture Spanish moss hanging on gnarled cypress trees gently swaying in the breeze along crystal clear waters surrounded by the calm stillness of pure nature. As we travel through this pristine wilderness, we’ll hear swamp tales of pirates and even Big Foot as we catch sight of turtles resting on logs, cute, hungry racoons, native bird species and the occasional alligator swimming serenely by.
Treme Mother in Law Lounge:
A special N’awlins treat awaits tonight! A fun and fantastic live jazz show is on tap at Kermit’s Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge an authentic shrine to New Orleans music.
It’s always a surprise at what musician might sit it with Kermit Ruffins and his band and best of all, they’ll be serving up some homemade delicious red beans & rice for all to share.
Sit back and enjoy or stand up and dance!
Day Three: Houmas House Plantation
Put on your fancy Victorian hoop skirt with matching hat and parasol because today we’re headed to the Southern plantation Houmas House. This magnificent mansion has been restored to its antebellum era reflecting the opulence and wealth this former sugarcane farm once emanated.
The guided tour will walk us through 250 years of history as we pass by the rare period artwork and artifacts filling each room.
After an included lunch, take your time to wander through the expansive formal gardens along the striking walking paths with hidden seating nooks throughout, past tropical flowers and plants and amazing Live Oaks to the stunning ancient oak alley.
Optional Walk: St. Roche Cemetery
Once back in the French Quarter, you’ll have the night to roam as you please. Join us for an optional walk through the Faubourg Marigny District to the lesser known but equally magical St. Roch Cemetery where we may encounter its resident ghost dog or hooded spirit and perhaps visit the Gothic style chapel filled with interesting offerings of gratitude to the patron saint of the sick.
Day Four: Treme
We spend the day wandering the poetic, soulful and authentic district of Treme, a place whose back streets birthed a music that conquered the world and served as a cultural rendezvous between the worlds of white and black. We’ll begin our stroll up the hidden treasure Esplanade Avenue, one of the most scenic and historic streets in New Orleans that runs straight through the heart of the city.
Pagoda Cafe Lunch:
You’ll be amazed by the number of 19th century mansions still lining the streets as we make our way to the soulful, chill Pagoda Café for an included bite for lunch.
City Park's Sculptures:
We’ll continue our walk along Esplanade Ave to New Orleans City Park which houses the most spectacular hidden artistic gem imaginable. Hidden throughout the gardens of pines, magnolias, and live oaks bordering two lagoons, are beautiful sculptures that fit right in with their surroundings. It’s something that words can’t describe and can only be experienced.
The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as you please.
Day Five: Garden District
It’s time for exploring the Garden District! There’s so much to fill your senses in this charming neighborhood filled with stunning, grandiose mansions, leafy oak shaded streets, and colorful Creole cottages.
We’ll take a wandering tour through all it’s loveliness, stopping to pause by the eerily beautiful Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
The BEST Lunch:
then make our way to what we feel will be the best lunch you’ll ever eat at Heard Dat Kitchen. Get your taste buds ready for the surprise of their life!
It should be time to check into the magnificent Magnolia Mansion, a sort of shabby chic beauty filled with authentic character.
Feel free to roam on your own or just hang on the porch for some relaxation. There are many close by places to find a fantastic dinner on your own.
Day Six: St. Charles Streetcar
Today we wake up in the serene atmosphere of the alluring Garden District. Enjoy the morning on your own, then meet us for a ride on the charmingly historic St. Charles Streetcar that will rumble us through a tunnel of Live Oaks to laid back Carrollton.
An optional itinerary will stop at Audubon Park to see the spectacular Tree of Life, then onto the college vibe of Maple Street near Tulane, to vibrant Oak Street, a hub for art, music and food which is the perfect place to grab some lunch or wait to eat until we get to the lively Freret Street, an up and coming area that’s perfect for exploring and dining.
Spend as much time using the streetcar as you like but don’t miss our included dinner tonight before the local music just for us at the Magnolia Mansion.
Day Seven: Breakfast & Flight Home
We sadly say goodbye to this amazing place to make our way back home.
Pricing & Departures:
Air transportation is provided by United Airlines. A surcharge will apply if United Airlines increases the price of its airfare. One piece of luggage per person (baggage fee by United is not included) and one small carry-on are permitted. A valid, government-issued picture ID is required to board the plane.
Sunday, April 16: Flight #522 departs Newark at 2:29 PM and arrives in New Orleans at 4:41 PM
Saturday, April 22: Flight #2235 departs New Orleans at 7:42 PM and arrives in Newark at 11:43 PM
Price per person is $2,695 Twin & $3,295 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $350 per person. Make checks payable to “Group Tours & Travel”, and mail to our address above. Final payment is due February 1, 2023. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after February 1, 2023. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change the itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended, but not included. This tour will run rain or shine.
*Due to the changes in airline booking policies, airfare will need to be booked before the cancellation date, Once flights are booked, we cannot refund that portion of the tour unless you’d like to pay an additional cost for refundable tickets.
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
PO Box 632 Berwyn, PA 19312