Things to do in New Orleans

Glide over the Louisiana swamps

Flanked by lakes, swamp and sea, there are plenty of water-based activities to be enjoyed in New Orleans. Joe Rugs Water Adventures (tel: +1 504 621 3858; offer the most, from airboat swamp tours and fishing trips, to kayaking and sunset cruises. They also operate a convenient shuttle service to and from the French Quarter.

Play chef at a Louisiana cookout

Whatever you enjoy about Louisiana food, whether it’s the Cajun hit in a crawfish dish, a traditional Creole jambalaya (meat, vegetable and rice dish) or just the lively names, a cookery school can help the holiday linger even longer. At the New Orleans School of Cooking (tel: +1 800 237 4841;, pupils can get hands on with a gumbo or just watch an open demonstration.

Climb in a kayak for a history tour

Leave the madness of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter behind and explore New Orleans’ serene side from a kayak. Bayou St John runs through the city, so paddle along with Kayak Iti Yat (tel: +1 985 778 5034;, past St Louis Cemetery and the charming Spanish Custom House, whilst guides explain the local history.

Take a paddle steamer back in time

A dying sight, take a cruise on one of the Mississippi river’s few remaining paddle steamers. Steamboat Natchez (tel: +1 504 569 1401; departs from the French Quarter for a two-hour cruise of the Port of New Orleans. Passengers can see inside the engine room as well as enjoying live jazz and even dinner.

Have one for the road with a cocktail tour

With Hurricanes, Brandy Milk Punch and the pleasingly potent Absinthe Frappé, New Orleans is as famed for its libations as much as its food. Slurp your way through a selection of the best, with Drink and Learn (tel: +1 504 578 8280; as your guide. Be warned though: you have to find your own way home.

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