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Five New Ways to Tour New Orleans

A weekend isn’t enough time to see New Orleans. Heck, for some, a year isn’t enough time. Yet, if you’re only here for 36 hours, why not tour the city by way of the quickest – and most fun – ways to get around? For a fresh alternative to the French Quarter carriage ride or walking tour, which are classics in their own right, try one of these new twists to the common New Orleans tour.

New Orleans approved pedicabs for the city in 2011. (Photo courtesy of Need a Ride New Orleans)

Pedicabs

The New Orleanians with the strongest quads aren’t hanging out at the gym. They’re pedicab operators!  There are several companies that run pedicab operations in the city, but you’re most likely to see these three wheelers in the French Quarter or the Central Business District. Like their car counterparts, flagging down a pedicab is as simple as waving one down or calling a dispatch line. Rates are set by the city and cost approximately $1 per block, per person. Watch the GoNOLA TV episode on pedicabs to learn more.

Bike Tour

If you want to do the pedaling yourself, there are many companies in the city that offer day or weekend bike rentals. However, it’s hard to bike and balance a guidebook in your hand, so you may prefer the guided tours offered by Confederacy of Cruisers. They share the parts of the city they know best and offer tours that emphasize the food, drink and history of the city. Learn more about them in the Confederacy of Cruisers GoNOLA TV episode.

New Orleans Cruisers offer tours and the opportunity for joy rides. (Photo from Flickr.)

Cruisers

For a different kind of cruise experience, consider getting behind the wheel of a New Orleans Cruiser. Some might mistake you for a shriner in your two-person car, but you won’t care when you’re zipping down the small streets unnavigable to tour buses. New Orleans Cruisers allows you to take the Cruisers out on your own for what they call “joy rides,” and they also offer guided tours.

Kayak

If you’re in the company of a Cancer Scorpio or Pisces you may hear demands to seek alternates to land navigation.  But even for those among us who aren’t water signs, touring the city via kayak has great appeal. A kayak ride down the bayou takes you from the serene residential neighborhood of Bayou St. John out to the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. Rent a paddleboard  from NOLA Paddleboards or a kayak from Bayou Kayaks and see the city from the water. Watch the GoNOLA TV episode on Bayou St. John water sports to find out more.

Tour Bayou St. John from the water. (Photo courtesy of Kayakitiyat Kayak Tours)

Segway

New Orleans will likely be at full capacity during Superbowl weekend or other popular travel times like Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest. Looking to part the sea of traffic? Approach the crowd on a segway. New Orleans City Segway Tours include orientation so you can learn how to balance yourself on this 21st century marvel. The company offers tours in the daytime and nighttime, so you have the chance to glide through the French Quarter as the sun sets.