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linda Sep 12th, 2002 04:45 PM

The best swamp,city,and plantation tours in New Orleans
8 of us going to New Orleans in October. Which tour companies should we use? Will be there three days any advice on what to see? We have reservations at Emeril's good choice or bad. Suggest other restaurants?

T Sep 12th, 2002 05:05 PM

We went on three tours with Cukie's Tours (city tour, cemetery tour, and plantation tour). All were excellent. Also went on a ghost tour with Gray Line, it was fun. Did a ghost tour with New Orleans Ghost Tours and did NOT enjoy it. Would recommend a meal at Irene's.

Rose Sep 12th, 2002 06:05 PM

The Red Fish Grill was excellent. Don't miss the double chocolate bread pudding. My husband had oysters on the half shell at Acme. For a change of pace from Cajun and Creole, we had an Italian lunch (for $10!!!!) at Bacco. It was also very good.

Alan Sep 13th, 2002 04:34 AM

Hi, Linda!<BR>I can't tell you which is the best city or plantation tour, but the best swamp tour is a shoo-in for Mr Denny. That's Dennis Holmberg, with whom we have travelled twice, and each time it was one of the highlights of our across-USA tours. The reason his tours are different from the others is that he doesn't use power boats which scare off the wild life before you get a chance to glimpse it; he takes you in by canoe, and he explores the smaller channels where the power boats can't go. You will have to do a bit of work to find Mr Denny... he operates out of nearby Slidell, and since he's a one-man operation, he doesn't have a lot of glossy brochures. I only know of one place to pick up his brochures, and that's a tourist office in the street going away from the river from the Cafe du Monde... about half a block from the cafe. He also has a website, but I find that he never looks at his email (he'd sooner look at alligators), so if the website contains a fax number, that's the best way to contact him. He will come out to NO to collect you if you wish, or you might save money by taking the morning Greyhound bus to Slidell and meeting him there. You will be glad you took this tour, but do book in advance because with eight of you -- two canoe loads -- he will have to get his young offsider to man his stand-by canoe so everyone can go at the same time.

Donna Sep 13th, 2002 07:08 AM

Try Tours by Isabelle for your plantation tour. When I was there we saw 3 plantations and had lunch in one of them.

J Correa Sep 13th, 2002 08:04 AM

For walking tours, we went with the Historic New Orleans Walking Tour Co and had a great time. The guide was very knowledgable and was very good about answering questions. <BR><BR>I agree with Rose about the Red Fish Grill. We had a great meal there. The service was good, casual atmosphere and it wasn't very expensive.<BR><BR>Another restaurant we enjoyed was Remoulades. It shares a kitchen with Arnauds, which is very fancy, and serves the same food, but Remoulades has a casual atmosphere and costs a lot less. <BR><BR>I have heard good things about Mr. Denny's tour and we will probably check it out next time we are in NO. Last time we went with Capt Nick's Wildlife Safaris and had a great time. He takes groups of 2-8 out through Bayou Barataria in Lafite. He was very knowlegable in the social and political history of the area, and fairly knowledgable about the ecosystems. One of the reasons I chose his tour was that he does not attract alligators by feeding them marshmellows or chickens like a lot of operators do. We did see a couple alligators while we were out. <BR><BR>For plantation tours, we went with Spinato Tours, which was very good. I have heard that Spinato and Tours by Isabelle are very similar. We went to Laura Plantation and Oak Alley. Our group had about 10 people, and on the ride out to the plantations, the guide told us a lot about the history of the area, and on the way back he told us a lot about the restaurants in the area. One tour that both companies offer which I think would be cool is a plantation/river boat tour. They take you out to a plantation and send you back the the Quarter on a river boat. We will probably take that tour next time.

Veronica Sep 13th, 2002 12:53 PM

Tours by Isabelle is very good but expensive. Still a good value.

susan Sep 13th, 2002 01:05 PM

I'd advise you to steer clear of all three of Emeril's restaurants. He's turned their management over to someone else and the quality has taken a dive. There are lots better options.

Angelo R. Sep 15th, 2002 08:15 PM

Hi Linda. I would highly recommend the New Orleans Ghost Tour. I took the ghost tour twice and the cemetery one just once. I had a really great time and everyone treated us like we were their best friend. The people were friendly and easy to deal with, plus the drinks at the bar where it starts (The Morgue Bar) were cheap. We also shot some pool after the tour there one night and had a kicking good time!

Dan Sep 16th, 2002 04:13 AM

At this point, I would have to NOT recommend the New Orleans Ghost Tour because of their unethical business practices, i.e., advertising when they know it's against the rules.

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