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How to Spend 2 Days in New Orleans

How to Spend 2 Days in New Orleans

With two days in New Orleans, you’ll be enchanted by its top-notch restaurants, charming neighborhoods, historic streets, and intriguing ghost stories. For a taste of it all, spend a day exploring the city, then day trip to the surrounding Cajun Country. Here are a few ways to maximize two days in and around the Big Easy.

Day 1: Explore the City

Morning: Get to know the French Quarter, the historic heart of New Orleans. Explore the narrow streets, marveling at the Spanish architecture and soaking in the history at major sights such as Jackson Square, the French Market, and the riverfront. Be sure to try Café du Monde’s famous beignets and café au lait. A hop-on, hop-off tour is a great way to access the city without wasting any time.

Afternoon: Discover the leafy Garden District on a walking tour. Just upriver of the French Quarter, this area is home to stately mansions and lovely architecture. There’s history here, too, at places like Lafayette Cemetery #1, where the eerie above-ground tombs house some of the city’s most famous residents.

Night: Eager for ghost stories? This notoriously haunted city has them in spades. Nighttime ghost tours wend through the Garden District and the French Quarter, offering a peek into the city’s creepy past. You’ll learn plenty of history this way, too, as you tour haunted mansions, bars, and restaurants.

Day 2: Get to Know Cajun Country

Morning: Rise early and take a leisurely ride over the Mississippi River and into Cajun Country, a short drive from New Orleans. The vibrant Cajun culture comes alive here as you spend the day on a Cajun country tour learning about the region’s food, music, history, and natural environment.

Afternoon: Step aboard an airboat with a Cajun guide for a wildlife-spotting expedition in one of the area’s cypress swamps. Learn about native birds, healing plants, and the swamp’s most famous reptile, the massive alligator. You’ll hear plenty of colorful stories from your native tour guide along the way.

Night: End your day with a tour of a nearby plantation, one of the engines of the South’s pre–Civil War economy. Options include the Laura Plantation and Oak Alley, both of which stand as stately tributes to the antebellum age. Learn about this important piece of history as you tour the homes, view the slave quarters, and walk the verdant grounds.

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13 Tours and Activities

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Small-Group Airboat and Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans
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Small-Group Airboat and Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans

star-4.5
1020
Go beyond the French Quarter and discover the unique Cajun and Creole cultures of New Orleans during this full-day swamp and plantation tour. Venture deep into the bayous, with a small group limited to 12, to see Cajun living and spot wildlife like alligators and pelicans on your high-speed airboat ride. Then, admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the history of Houmas House and Laura Plantation. Gourmet, unlimited buffet lunch at Houmas House is included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$230.00
From
$230.00

New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Airboat Ride

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1394
Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride. This boat tour winds through the mossy cypress swamp close to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named for the 19th‐century pirate and smuggler. While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from a native guide as you admire lush, forested shoreline and spot local wildlife.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.00
From
$59.00

New Orleans #1 Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, & Vampire Tour

New Orleans #1 Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, & Vampire Tour

star-4.5
4668
Exploring New Orleans in the evening can seem like an intimidating quest on your own, but this ghost, voodoo, and vampire walking tour takes you to the city’s most eerie sites at night in the safety of a group with a knowledgeable guide. Stop by top attractions such as the LaLaurie Mansion and New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, all while listening to your guide’s detailed stories of the paranormal and beyond.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$26.99
From
$26.99

City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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2249
Discover historic New Orleans in an open‐top double‐decker bus on this hop‐on hop‐off sightseeing tour. With either your 1‐or 3-day ticket, design a personal itinerary with several stops, including the French Market, Jackson Square, and the Garden District, plus available walking tours, depending on the option you buy. Enjoy unobstructed views and fun onboard commentary as you soak up ‘The Big Easy’.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.00
From
$39.00

Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour from New Orleans
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Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour from New Orleans

star-4.5
513
Experience the civilized and the wild on a plantation tour and educational swamp boat ride from New Orleans. On this full-day journey, visit Oak Alley Plantation where you'll learn about antebellum life and stroll down its iconic tree-lined esplanade. Next, head into the marshy swampland for a boat ride and some wildlife spotting. Enjoy guided commentary as you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes and native birds.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$109.00
From
$109.00

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option

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1393
Get more from the city by exploring New Orleans’ food culture with a guide. Stop by some of the French Quarter’s most famous restaurants for some of the area’s most delicious food. Enjoy tastings that could include seafood gumbo, Creole brisket, and beignets. Learn fun facts from your guide as you walk along the city streets, and if you choose, upgrade to a small-group tour with no more than 12 guests.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.50
From
$69.50

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Boat Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Boat Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

star-4.5
761
Discover the mystique of the swamps and bayous on a sightseeing boat tour from New Orleans. Travel deep into the secluded bayous across the Mississippi River to witness Cajun life and spot native wildlife. Your guide will provide commentary on Cajun culture and the myth‐laden swamps while you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes, turtles, and native birds.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
From
$55.00

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans

star-4.5
295
Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ rich and conflicted past on a small‐group plantation tour. Take a journey through Laura Plantation and St. Joseph Plantation, spying other historic plantations as you travel the Great River Road. View stunning architecture and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantations’ fascinating—and somber—histories from expert guides.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$128.00
From
$128.00

Small-Group Half-Day Airboat Swamp Adventure & Plantation Tour from New Orleans
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Small-Group Half-Day Airboat Swamp Adventure & Plantation Tour from New Orleans

star-4.5
128
Take a wild ride through the bayous of Cajun Country on this airboat adventure from New Orleans. In a small group, wind through tree‐lined swampland and spot abundant local wildlife, including nutria, alligators, and giant catfish, and stop at Destrehan Plantation to get a taste of the elegant antebellum south.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$165.00
From
$165.00

New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
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New Orleans Garden District Walking Tour Including Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

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694
Step back in time on this historic walking tour of New Orleans’ Garden District with an experienced guide. Learn about life and death in the city and its unique above-ground crypts and gravesites. Walk shady avenues lined with antebellum homes, and hear how a small riverside settlement grew into a lavish, wealthy city. See a wide range of architectural styles in the elegant Garden District neighborhood then get local tips on the city’s best places to enjoy New Orleans' finest music, food, and drink.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$27.00
From
$27.00

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

star-4.5
658
Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ antebellum south on a half‐day tour of Oak Alley Plantation. Take a journey through time to the manicured estate and into the gorgeous home, built in 1839. View stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantation’s fascinating – and often somber – histories from expert guides.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.00
From
$69.00

Whitney Plantation Tour
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Whitney Plantation Tour

star-4.5
420
Visit the Whitney Plantation Museum, a former indigo and sugar plantation on the River Road now dedicated to promoting an understanding of slavery in Louisiana. Learn about the realities of plantation life through museum exhibits and recorded narratives as you explore the restored structures and historical slave cabins. Download the Whitney Plantation app for the self-guided tour of Whitney Plantation Museum.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.00
From
$69.00

French Quarter History Tour with Cafe Du Monde Option in New Orleans

French Quarter History Tour with Cafe Du Monde Option in New Orleans

star-4.5
56
Discover the magic of the Vieux Carré in the morning on this historic walking tour. Accompany your friendly guide on a stroll through the French Quarter to view signature architecture and learn about the convergence of ethnic influence on this famous neighborhood, from cloistered courtyards and intricate ironwork to po’ boys and jambalaya. If option selected, end with a sugar-dusted beignet and café au lait at Cafe du Monde, a classic New Orleans institution.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$15.99
From
$15.99