Start your experience in the Basin Street Station, the crossroads of culture and economic activities that represent this city. You are just outside of the French Quarter when you begin your jaunt and, after a little introduction, a perfect gateway to the St. Louis Cemetery #1, established by the Spanish in the late 1700s. In the early 1800s this became the first above-ground cemetery in the city. And just a block away, you will be introduced to Storyville, the legal prostitution district which started in 1897. The government decided it would close the prostitution area in 1917, not a surprise. These two "innovations" make New Orleans a city of firsts.
The 1800s was a difficult time for the city as a yellow fever epidemic ravaged the city. Our Lady of Guadelupe became the designated Mortuary Chapel for the last rites for yellow fever victims. This church still operates and is the oldest of the functioning churches in the South.
Not far down North Rampart Street you will see and learn about Congo Square/Armstrong Park, sacred ground to African Americans and Native Americans. In a city famous for its musical traditions, perhaps no other single location claims as much musical and cultural history and importance. The park is dedicated to Louis Armstrong, one of the city’s most celebrated native sons and to the tradition of jazz in the city. The park is located in the Tremé neighborhood, birthplace of many of New Orleans' most famous jazz musicians. Within the park confines is historic Congo Square. Formerly known as Place de Negres, it took its name from the tradition of slaves who gathered there on Sundays, their day off, to sing, beat drums, sell home-made goods, and celebrate.
Now you will enter the French Quarter, such a famous location, yet only 6 by 13 blocks in size. The "Quarter" is more than a historic district; it is a residential neighborhood just as it was from the start of the city's development. Walking through the colorful streets of the area you will have a conversation about the influence of the 26 different nationalities that peopled this area, starting with the French explorers in the 1600s.
Both Catholicism and voodoo have played significant roles for these residents. Visiting a voodoo shop is almost like being in a museum. You'll also see Jackson Square, a historic park that was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. In 2012, the American Planning Association designated Jackson Square as one of America’s Great Public Spaces. And the Mississippi River, which is the whole reason that this city exists, is another conversation in itself.
This is not a normal walking tour of this city as it is lead by passionate guides who love where they live.
Departures: 09:00 AM, 02:00 PM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - Dress comfortably for the weather.
- Shopping along the way is encouraged!
- If you are in a wheelchair, there are ramps at each stop.