Mississippi River
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Mississippi River Outdoor Activities

New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

1. New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans and take a journey back in time aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez, the only authentic steamboat in New Orleans. Cruise along the Mississippi River, enjoying an optional delicious lunch, a brunch, or simply listening to the incredible live jazz band onboard. Your two-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter takes you back to a time when life was as slow and graceful as the current on the Mississippi. The tour will take guests to see New Orleans from the river, one of the world's most active ports. Visit our museum quality Engine Room to learn how steam powers this magnificent boat through the “Mighty Mississippi.” Add an optional Creole lunch, prepared fresh on board, and savor the tastes of New Orleans as you relax on your 2-hour cruise, before docking back where you started the tour. Sample Menu Lunch Monday - Saturday on 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM cruises Southern Fried Fish Red Beans and Rice Jambalaya Salad Du Jour Community Coffee and Iced Tea included Menu items are subject to change by season and availability.

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French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour

2. French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour

Take a walking and storytelling tour through New Orleans' famous French Quarter. See famous landmarks and learn about local history as you make your way from the jazz fountain to Jackson Square, hearing fascinating stories along the way. The night before the tour, your guide will send an email with their photo, contact information, and directions to the meeting spot. The tour begins at the jazz fountain at the intersection of Decatur and Dumaine Streets in the historic French Market district. These are small-group tours, making for a more comfortable, customized experience.  After a brief overview of New Orleans history, your guide will lead you around the oldest neighborhood in the city, and point out the locations that have made New Orleans famous: St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and the Mississippi River - and lesser-known treasures such as the French Market, an almost 300 year old convent, and courtyards hidden behind the 18th and 19th century buildings. Your guide will also be an enthusiastic storyteller, and the stories about this neighborhood are like no other. Established as a French colonial outpost in 1718, its earliest inhabitants were the quirky, gritty, fascinating types who are still attracted to it today. Every block has a story which will be shared with you. The tour concludes in or next to Jackson Square, but it is by no means over. Your guide is full of recommendations for enjoying the neighborhood and the city further. When you finish the French Quarter tour, you will be energized to go out and explore this jewel of a neighborhood even further, and the knowledge you gained walking with your guide will only deepen your understanding of New Orleans, and  stay with you long after you have left its quaint streets and alleys.

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New Orleans: French Quarter, Voodoo & Cemetery History Tour

3. New Orleans: French Quarter, Voodoo & Cemetery History Tour

Immerse yourself in New Orleans’ mysterious history on a guided city walking tour. Wander through the historical neighborhood of Tremé / Lafitte — the home of jazz — as you hear about local culture, burial rites, and voodoo practices. Meet your guide and start your tour with a stroll through the lively French Quarter. Learn about the neighborhood’s history and local African American culture as you make your way to Louis Armstrong Park.  Follows the paths through the park to the area formerly known as Congo Square. Discover the history of this place, where enslaved people would meet to socialize and dance on their days off. Continue onto the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 — the oldest of the city’s cemeteries. Learn why the dead are buried above ground, and how the vaults are built. Hear the history of a voodoo practitioner called Marie Laveau and other important residents and stories from your expert guide.

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New Orleans: Creole Queen History Cruise with Optional Lunch

4. New Orleans: Creole Queen History Cruise with Optional Lunch

Sit back and enjoy the views or a drink at the bar while journeying down the Mississippi river. Learn about New Orleans' complex, but interesting story, focusing on the critical Battle of New Orleans. Join a cruise narrated by a local guide and embark on a journey into the past as you head downriver to the Chalmette Battlefield at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. As you travel to the battlefield, learn about the settlement of New Orleans, its river, and the historical landmarks that line the banks of the Mississippi River. As you cruise, treat yourself to a traditional lunch on board. (If relevant option selected.) Stop at the battlefield and hear about the legacy of the area on a 1-hour guided tour along the shore with a talk by National Park Rangers. After, return to the starting point where your tour will end. SAMPLE MENU LUNCH: • New Orleans Style Shrimp Pasta • 10” Roast Beef Po-Boy • Creole Jambalaya • Crawfish Bread • Caesar Salad • Red Beans & Rice • Fresh Baked Cookies • Zapps Potato Chips (Menu items are subject to change by season and availability)

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New Orleans: French Quarter Walking Tour

5. New Orleans: French Quarter Walking Tour

This 2 hour long walk through the historic French Quarter starts at the Louisiana Welcome Center in the lower Pontalba Rowhouse in Jackson Square. Historically used as a parade ground, it is now full of musicians, tarot card readers, and street performers. You will then see the mighty Mississippi where steamboats dock and gigantic container and cruise ships pass. You will then walk downriver along the old French Market to the Ursuline Convent. This is the oldest building in the Mississippi Delta from Colonial times and housed some very adventurous and courageous nuns who came here in the early 1700s. You will pass the house of famous jazz player, Danny Barker who is legendary among the city's jazz musicians. You will then come to one of the many former macaroni factories of the lower French Quarter, proof of the major role that Sicilian immigrants played in the city's history. You will come across the house of Vincente Nunez, a Spaniard, whose carelessness caused a fire that destroyed 80% of the city in 1788. You will then see several of the city's former slave markets and learn about Jean Francois Merieult, an influential and powerful Creole businessman and slave trader. After a stop at Preservation Hall, the city's holy grail of traditional jazz, the tour ends in Jackson Square with a story about the famous Madame de Pontalba, a French baroness and businesswoman with an eye for beautiful architecture.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Mississippi River

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What people are saying about Mississippi River

The lines are long but move fast. The food was delicious! The drinks were delicious the Bloody Mary was great. The jazz band was a nice touch. The trip was also educational

Excellent way to learn something about the history and geography that formed the city of new Orleans, in a fun and relaxing way.

Deep and broad knowledge by the tour guide. Easy to understand explanations. Great tour to learn

The trip was great. I scheduled it for my bday and it was worth every penny

The cruise was great and the lunch was quite tasty!