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Four free walking tours in New Orleans, La.

Jackson Square on a beautiful day
Jackson Square on a beautiful day
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

There are many tours offered by several different companies in New Orleans that all charge a fee for their services. However, Free Tours by Foot, offers 100% free walking tours of New Orleans highlights for visitors and tourists. If you would like to make a donation at the end of the tour of what you think the tour is worth or what you can afford, it will be accepted, but not required.

Free Tours by Foot have knowledgeable tour guides that point out all of the major tourist attractions in your tour and also give a brief history of the attraction.

In order to go on a tour offered by Free Tours by Foot in New Orleans, LA, you must first make a reservation by booking online. Free Tours by Foot also offers group tours, bus tours, food tours and private tours.

Walking Tours offered by Free Tours by Foot are as follows with a description of each tour: French Quarter Walking Tour, New Orleans Ghost Tour, St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour, and the Garden District Tour.

French Quarter Walking Tour

The French Quarter Walking Tour offers tourists an up close look at the famous Bourbon Street and all the various "characters" they will encounter along the way. Musicians frequent the sidewalks and corners playing their instruments for coins tossed in their pail or hat. You may also encounter a magician performing magic and enchanting the crowd for donations.

The French Quarter Walking Tour also allows for tourists to enjoy the architecture of the old buildings in the French Quarter. A melding of Spanish, French, Caribbean and current architectural trends make the French Quarter a unique little city nestled along the Mississippi River.

The French Quarter Walking Tour will visit the following sights on the tour:

  • Jackson Square
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • The Cabildo
  • The Presbyetere
  • Pirate Alley
  • William Faulkner House
  • Tennessee William House
  • Bourbon Street
  • Lafitte Blacksmith Shop
  • And more!

The Garden District Tour

The Garden District Tour takes you through what was once known as "Lafayette City," and takes on a whole new appearance and style. You will find many of the old 19th century mansions still standing and just as grand as they were 100 years ago. The streets are lined with ancient oak trees that contribute to the magnificence of the grand homes. These homes or mansions are now snatched up by Hollywood actors and actresses.

The Garden District Tour is highlighted by the tourist guide's accounts of past legends and history, hauntings and the movie starts who now call the Garden District their home or home away from home.

The Garden District Tour includes the following sites:

  • Colonel Short's Villa
  • Briggs-Staub House
  • Commander Restaurant
  • Toby's Corner
  • Manning House
  • Brevard-Mahat-Rice House
  • Rosegate
  • Payne-Strachan House
  • Lafayette Cemetery, and more.

New Orleans Ghost Tour

The New Orleans Ghost Tour is very popular during the month of October, but run throughout the year for tourists visiting New Orleans. This tour offers the history of the Creoles; some of the first to settle in New Orleans in what Free Tours By Foot describe as "super scary."

You will also explore the French Quarter after dark while your tour guide tells you stories of its haunted past. Some of the sites included in this tour include:

  • The Morgue
  • The Pharmacy Museum
  • Pirates Alley/Torture
  • The Octoroon Mistress
  • Yellow Fever
  • The Hotel Montelone
  • Modern True Crime Stories

St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour

St. Louis Cemetery #1 has been called the "City of the Dead" for centuries. The cemetery is located just a few blocks away from the French Quarter and is the burial site of Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. St. Louis Cemetery was founded in the late 1800's and is home to many wandering spirits in the famous graveyard.

St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour includes stories, people and topics on the following:

  • Homer Plessy's tomb
  • Mayor Dutch Morial's tomb
  • Marie Laveau's tomb and voodoo
  • Iconic "oven" wall vaults
  • Civil rights in New Orleans
  • Jazz funerals
  • The Italian Mutual Benevolent Society Tomb (Easy Rider Tomb)
  • Bernard de Mandeville de Marigny
  • Benjamin Latrobe Marker
  • Musson Family Tomb
  • Daniel Clark and Myra Clark Gaines tomb
  • The Musicians tomb

Sources:

Free Tours By Foot

Personal Experience

NOTE: This article was previously published on the Yahoo Contributor Network Voices which recently closed.