New Orleans City Tours: French Quarter

Considered the historic heart of New Orleans, the French Quarter is known for its eventful night life and its wide variety of colorful buildings decorated with cast-ironed balconies. Visitors can often find themselves surrounded by both the past and the present, whether it be by exploring the reimagined French Market, searching through modern boutiques, or wining and dining at a variety of restaurants.

History

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Image credit: https://www.callancontemporary.com/

The French Quarter is also known as Vieux Carré, meaning “Old Square” in French. It is one of the oldest residential communities in the United States, becoming a National Landmark officially in 1996. It was founded in the year of 1718, and it currently inhabit the same area originally laid out as the City of New Orleans in 1722. While founded under French rule, ownership was eventually transferred to Spain in 1762. Although the Spanish ruling only lasted for four decades, their influences can still be seen in the city to this day, predominately in their architecture. The Quarters most known characteristics, such as wrought-iron balconies and walled courtyards, are all heavily influenced by their previous Spanish rulers. Today, over 4000 residents are able to call the French Quarter home, their beautiful homes often drawing the attention of visitors passing through.

The French Quarter and its residents are no strangers to hard times. They have withstood several disasters, starting with massive fires in 1788 and 1794. Both of these, unfortunately, destroying over 80 percent of the French Quarter’s buildings. It was able to recover and stood strong during both the Battle of New Orleans and the American Civil War. In 2005, the city was able to escape the devastating flooding from the infamous Hurricane Katrina, but only narrowly. Due to all of this, the French Quarter is often seen as a sign of strength and considered one of the most resilient cities in America.

St. Louis Cathedral

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New Orleans is one of the few cities that is easily identifiable by a single piece of architecture. The Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the most well-known landmarks in New Orleans and is considered one of the tallest and most imposing structures of the French Quarter. It has been featured in hundreds of movies and television shows, making it one of the most recognizable structures to visitors.

Originally built in 1727, the Saint Louis Cathedral is the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. Unfortunately, the original structure burnt down in 1794, but it was rebuilt and completed in the 1850s. The Cathedral features a towering center spire, which is complimented by two smaller spires on each side and a pedestrian-only plaza entrance. Although it is a house a worship, its rich and beautiful history of design calls to visitors of all religious beliefs and nationalities.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

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William Faulker once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. It’s not even past”, and no place is more evident of that than St. Louis Cemetery No.1 located in the city of New Orleans. Built in 1789, St. Louis holds the title for the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. Known as the “city of the dead”, it’s stacks of above-ground graves and tales of those who now reside there, including the well-known Marie Laveau, attract more than 100,000 visitors each year.

Café Du Monde

Established in 1862, Café Du Monde is one of the most popular establishments in the New Orleans French Market.  It is open to guests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, closing only on Christmas Day and when a threat of a hurricane appears.

While it is a traditional coffee shop, there is another menu item that has gained its own claim to fame. Guests travel from far and wide to get just a taste of their famous beignets, French-style doughnuts that are shaped as a square and covered in powdered sugar.

Experience the Quarter Yourself

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The possibilities in a place like New Orleans are endless. In a city with adventure waiting around every corner, guests can never fully be sure what they will discover in the French Quarter. Cajun Encounters allow visitors to see first-hand the locations and attractions that make the French Quarter so unique, including the Saint Louis Cathedral and Cemetery, the French Market, City Park, and so much more. Cajun Encounters allows those seeking a more comfortable experience to enjoy uninterrupted views from inside climate-controlled buses, guaranteeing a relaxing, educational trip. 

 

Cajun Encounters City Bus Tours offers tours at three different times of day. The morning tour includes daily pick ups at 8:30 am and offers guests a look into that historic cities, including the experience of coffee and beignets for breakfast.  The mid-day tour begins at 11:15 am daily and offers a complete city tour, including a drive through the 9th ward. The afternoon tour begins daily pick ups at 2:30 pm and offers a full city tours, lasting for two and a half hours.

Visitors can experience first-hand the famous neighborhoods that make New Orleans so well-known, including the French Quarter and the Garden District, but the tours do not end there. Cajun Encounters also offer a look at well-known attractions, including the St. Louis Cathedral and Cemetery No.1, the French Market, and World War II. Those interested in the interesting history that surrounds New Orleans can see the famous St. Charle Avenue Street Car,  several jazz clubs that assisted in cementing NOLA  in musical history, and the damage left over from Hurricane Katrina that is still being rebuilt. 

Routes includes stops that allow guests to have a closer look of certain locations. 

 

To ensure guests safety during these trying times, Cajun Encounters has reduced tour sizes and lessened tour times  to allow for proper disinfection between tours. High touch surfaces, such as seats and railings, are sanitized multiple times per day. Hand sanitizer is provided on location, and masks are worn by each staff member and are available for guests who wish to wear one.

 

Buy your tickets and start exploring today by visiting https://www.cajunencounters.com/tours/city-bus-tour/ or calling 504.834.1770.

Book a tour with Cajun Encounters today by visiting www.cajunencounters.com or calling 504.834.1770 or begin your walkthrough New Orleans by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or calling 504.503.0199

Alligators in the Honey Island Swamp

While travelling down the Honey Island Swamp, guests are guaranteed to encounter a variety a species, including pigs, birds, and deer. One of its main and most known inhabits, however, is the large aquatic reptile known as the American alligator. Those travelling with Cajun Encounters are able to experience these creatures first hand and are able to see all of their characteristics up close.

Appearance

Head shape and color plays a major role in distinguishing American alligators from the American crocodile. Alligators tend to possess a broad, rounded snot and when their mouths are closed their lower teeth are no longer visible. They are covered in armored plates known as scutes and have vertically flattened tails. Colors can vary throughout adult and juvenile alligators. Adult alligators are often dark grey in color with a lighter colored underside, and juvenile alligators use light colored strips on their sides in order to camouflage themselves with their surrounding environment.

Contrary to popular belief, Alligators are not green in color. This misconception stems from the environment alligators are found in, typically involving green algae and floating vegetation that can stick to their backs. In terms of length, female alligators are usually 10 feet or less, but males do have the ability to grow larger than that.

Behavior

Alligators are typically opportunistic feeders with diets that involved prey species that are often abundant in numbers and accessible in nature.  Juvenile alligators are known to primarily feed on insects, amphibians, small fish, and other invertebrates. Adult alligators feed on slightly bigger prey, including fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.

 

Alligators are ectothermic, otherwise known as cold blooded, and they regulate their body temperature by staying in sunny areas with warmer water. They are the most active in areas where the temperature reaches between 82 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the temperatures drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, alligators stop feeding, and by the time it is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit they are completely dormant. During the colder times of the month, they are often tucked away in burrows, but they do occasionally emerge to bask in the warm weather.

Threats

The main threat that the American alligator faces in the destruction and degradation of wetland habitats. The Honey Island Swamp works hard to ensure that these reptiles can live freely and safely by protecting approximately 34,869 of its 70,000 acres by making it government sanctioned as a permanently protected wildlife area.

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Book a tour with Cajun Encounters today by visiting www.cajunencounters.com or calling 504.834.1770 or begin your walkthrough New Orleans by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or calling 504.503.0199

New Orleans November 2020 Events

Fall is a time for family and festivities. While the introduction of COVID-19 has significantly changed how society is allowed to celebrate, New Orleans is keeping the spirit alive by hosting events both virtually and in-person. Below, you will find a list of activities that you and your family can experience throughout the month of November.

1. 31st Annual New Orleans Film Festival

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Image credit: https://neworleansfilmsociety.org/how-to-fest/

Spanning over three weeks from November 4thto 22nd, New Orleans Film Society is hosting their 31stannual New Orleans Film Festival. Emerge yourself into over 160 diverse stories told by filmmakers from the South and around the globe. Guests can partake in a variety of experiences, including premieres, exhibitions, panels, and workshops.

In accordance with the City of New Orleans’ safety regulations, open-air screening with be limited to 50 people per screening and virtual options are available.  

2. Virtual Concert: Quarantunes

Searching for that New Orleans sound from the comfort of your own home? Visit the New Orleans Jazz Museum’s Facebook page and enjoy the Quarantunes. Beginning every Friday at 2 PM, music fans from around the world can listen to a mix of talented Jazz musicians performing from their home.  

This is a free online series that will be available until October of 2021, highlighting the rich musical history of New Orleans.

New Orleans November fall family fun Events Activities Cajun Encounters

While virtually experiencing New Orleans is fun, those who wish to experience it physically can travel down the Honey Island Swamp with Cajun Encounters. Guests are able to experience the beauty of one of the most untarnished ecosystems in America first-hand, and, if that is not enough, there are plenty of educational opportunities to learn about the plants and animals that inhabit it.

Guests are guaranteed the best educational experience possible with trained experts serving as their guides. Cajun Encounters is working hard to ensure not only the satisfaction but also the safety of its visitors by implementing proper COVID-19 protocol.

New Orleans November fall family fun Events Activities Cajun Encounters

New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours is the perfect place to see the best that the city has to offer historically and culturally. With tours through the French Quarter, cemeteries, and Garden District, visitors are able to immerse themselves in an experience that only the Crescent City has offer.

Guests can learn more about the city of New Orleans from certified tour guides, ensuring historically accurate and informative information with an entertaining twist. Similarly, to Cajun Encounters, New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours takes its visitors health and safety as their top priority. As a result, they have also implemented COVID-19 protocol to ensure their visitors can experience the best without fear. 

Book a tour with Cajun Encounters today by visiting www.cajunencounters.com or calling 504.834.1770 or begin your walkthrough New Orleans by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or calling 504.503.0199