Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring a French Quarter Single-Hotel Stay, Mississippi River Jazz Cruise, Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana Bayou
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 3
Jambalaya, jazz and joie de vivre are featured on this new, comprehensive 6-day tour that features a single-hotel stay in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Become immersed in the “The Big Easy,” a soulful city that features a rich history, mouth-watering Cajun and Creole cuisine and an incomparable soundtrack! We’ll join local guides to explore the city in-depth and discover one of America’s most distinctive regions including the Louisiana’s bayou and Plantation Alley. So...Laissez les bon temps rouler and join us in search of bayous and beignets, jambalaya and jazz, alligators and antebellum mansions, and so much more!
Optional transfers from our departure points will have us at LAX for our scheduled non-stop flight arriving at the New Orleans International Airport this evening. Those guests making their own flight arrangements can request the group’s flight schedule (subject to change) to coordinate a flight arrival time that would allow them to be included on the complimentary transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, we’ll board a deluxe motorcoach and continue the short distance to our deluxe French Quarter hotel where we’ll unpack once and enjoy a five-night stay. This distinctive and upscale hotel features newly renovated rooms, a scenic outdoor pool, outdoor courtyard and is located in the heart of the French Quarter within walking distance of Bourbon Street, jazz clubs, restaurants and charming boutiques.
After an included breakfast, we’ll join a local guide for a leisurely, guided French Quarter walking tour. Sights along the way will include Bourbon Street, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, Pirate’s Alley and Jackson Square, where the iconic statue of Andrew Jackson rises above the majestic St. Louis Cathedral. At the New Orleans School of Cooking, we’ll learn how to make some of New Orleans’ most famous Creole and Cajun dishes and taste all of it while enjoying an included lunch. This afternoon we’ll visit The Sazerac House to learn how the Sazerac cocktail that gained fame in New Orleans in the 1850s became part of the customs, traditions, and culture of New Orleans. Return to the hotel late this afternoon with the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll join a local guide for a driving tour of New Orleans’ Garden District where we’ll drive through one of the best-preserved collections of Greek Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne Victorian mansions in the U.S. Traveling down stately St. Charles Avenue, we’ll follow the historic St. Charles Streetcar Line to Tulane University and Loyola University. Pass by Audubon Park and City Park – one of our nation’s oldest parks and the second-largest urban park in the country. We’ll admire the elaborate architectural tombs while visiting an above-ground cemetery, commonly referred to as “The City of the Dead.” This afternoon we’ll enjoy a Mississippi River Jazz Cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez. This two-hour cruise takes you back to when cotton was king and life was as slow and graceful as the current on the “Big Muddy.” Enjoy an included lunch, the sweet sounds of a jazz trio and live narration on this memorable cruise aboard an authentic steamboat. Return to the hotel this afternoon with the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
After an included breakfast, we’ll visit The National WWII Museum, recognized by Congress as our nation’s official World War II museum. This remarkable place illuminates the American experience during the WWII era with moving personal stories, historic artifacts, and powerful interactive displays. This afternoon we’ll visit Longue Vue House and Gardens, the magnificent estate on the outskirts of the city that features a Classical Revival-style mansion surrounded by eight acres of breathtakingly landscaped gardens. A docent-guided tour of this National Historic Landmark will showcase the fashionable, yet conservative, taste of wealthy Americans during the 1930’s and 40’s. This evening we’ll enjoy an included dinner at Mulate’s – The Original Cajun Restaurant, a place where Cajuns come to celebrate their heritage and the world comes to join them in their celebration. This legendary restaurant that is recognized throughout the world as the “King of Cajun Dine and Dance Halls” features authentic Cajun food along with live Cajun music and dancing. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel to the Louisiana bayou. On a narrated swamp cruise a native Cajun boat captain will provide narration as we travel through the narrow channels overhung with Spanish moss in this mystical and oftentimes otherworldly place. Stay alert on this real-life adventure that features fascinating plant life, turtles, alligators and a variety of birds including white egrets and herons. This afternoon we’ll follow the Mississippi River Road into Plantation Alley , where the Antebellum south comes to life in the plantations that line the Mississippi River. We’ll visit Oak Alley Plantation , the National Historic Site called the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road.” The quarter-mile canopy of giant live oak trees, believed to be nearly 300 years old, forms an impressive avenue leading to the classic Greek-revival style antebellum home. On a docent-guided tour of this stately mansion we’ll learn about life here before and after the Civil War, slavery, and Reconstruction. This evening we’ll enjoy an included Creole-style dinner at, The Court of Two Sisters, the legendary restaurant in the heart of the French Quarter. (Breakfast, Dinner)
After an included breakfast, we’ll enjoy beignets and café au lait at Café Du Monde, the Original French Market coffee stand established in 1862. We continue to Mardi Gras World for a guided tour that will take us behind-the-scenes of one of America’s most renowned (and most raucous) celebrations! Mardi Gras World isn’t a museum – it’s a warehouse, workshop and amazing fantasy factory where we can learn more about the festival’s history and wander through a maze of flamboyant floats, costumes and props used during New Orleans’ famous party. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon in the bustling French Market, “America’s Oldest Public Market,” which has been in the same site since 1791. Explore six blocks with over 20 unique retail shops, restaurants, cafés, a flea market and a farmers’ market featuring a diversity of food vendors. Late this afternoon we’ll return to the New Orleans International Airport to board a scheduled, non-stop flight arriving in Los Angeles this evening. Those guests making their own flight arrangements can request the group’s flight schedule (scheduled to change) to coordinate a similar flight departure time. Back in Los Angeles, those guests with pre-arranged transfers will be returned to their respective drop-offs. (Breakfast)
Guests on this tour should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances. Because of the historic and narrow French Quarter streets, guests will be required to walk 3-4 short blocks between the motorcoach drop-off and the hotel. The French Quarter walking tour is approximately 90 minutes and 1/4 mile.
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
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