New Orleans City and Katrina Tour
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM or 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
St Louis Cemetery #3
Katrina Devastation, August 2012
St Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square
London Canal Gates
This tour combines all of the traditional New Orleans sights with highlights of the Hurricane Katrina story.
Our Guide will pick you up in our 13 passenger Tour Van and begin with an overview of city: starting in the French Quarter, covering history and architecture of the old Creole city, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Pontalba row houses, Cafe Du Monde and an overall view of the Mississippi River, explaining the importance of the New Orleans Port.
Next you will pass the French Market and the old U.S. Mint. Through 'Faubourg Marigny' we head east towards the Industrial Canal to view the largest levee breach which destroyed the 9th Ward. Witness both the desolation and budding rebirth there, showing Harry Connick Jr.'s and Ellis Marsalis' restoration project: Habitat For Humanity's colorful Musicians' Village site, an island of hope and color in the middle of the Upper Ninth Ward still full of desolation and sadness. (We cannot go in the Lower 9th Ward as tours are forbidden in that area)
We return to the stately mansions along Esplanade Avenue and stop for a guided walking tour of historic St. Louis Cemetery #3 on Esplanade Avenue.
Riding along peaceful Bayou St. John, we view raised houses from the late 1700s and explain their architectural significance in a city below sea level.
Driving through City Park, we see the picturesque antique carousel and centuries old Louisiana live oaks.
We arrive at UNO’s campus along Lake Pontchartrain's shores, where our levee system is explained and the longest of all bridges, the Causeway, is seen from the van. Continuing on the Lakefront, we stop for a guided tour of the New Canal Lighthouse Museum, operated by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. Established in 1839, this historic 175 year old lighthouse now offers a unique narrative of the city’s relationship with natural disasters and storm surges, including the likes of Hurricane Katrina.
(On Sundays, the Lighthouse tour is replaced by a visit to the Gentilly area: "Reaching the London Avenue Canal, we see its 2 flood wall breaches and witness from the van the complete destruction they caused to the neighborhood of Gentilly as well as the hopeful rebuilding done with the help of private enterprise.")
Driving along the Lakeshore past the marinas, we show our fourth levee breach at the 17th Street Canal and see from the van the violent and utter destruction done by Katrina to the Lakeview neighborhood and the amazing come back of that area.
We continue through the Uptown district, viewing Tulane and Loyola Universities, the 180 year old Streetcar line, and St. Charles Avenue’s grand colonial mansions before moving into the Garden District to show famous (maybe haunted?) historic homes.
Downtown, we drive through the Arts District and the Warehouse Section as well as by the World War II Museum, going by the Superdome and through the heart of the business district as we return to your hotel.