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New Orleans Family Travel Guide: The Walking Tour

This is the third part in our New Orleans family travel guide series

Before we departed the bus and the lovely guides, we asked about places to eat. I was hoping for some hole in the wall places but all of the guide’s suggestions were popular tourist spots and honestly they were all great. So if you want to have the hole in the wall food experience I really don’t have those places for you, my food places are were most tourists go and they are all located in or very close to the French Quarter. We took our guide’s suggestion and ate at the Gumbo Pot located alongside the Mississippi on Decatur.
New orleans family travel guide
On a nice warm day I would suggest to sit outside and enjoy the view but being that it was sunny, windy and 54 degrees we decided to sit inside. The restaurant decor was reminiscent to a Bubba Gump Shrimp. With pictures, boiling pots, old cigarette machines and stoves, it was to give you the illusion that you were dining in a shack on the bayou.
New orleans family travel guide
When we arrived around 4pm we were the only ones in the restaurant. Once we received our food, the place had a line out the door. The food in my opinion was awesome.
New orleans family travel guide
My mom and I shared their Shrimp Po boy and Gumbo while my children ordered off the kids menu (again NOLA is very child friendly yay).
New orleans family travel guide
My son wanted Shrimp and French fries while my daughter spaghetti. That’s right they actually had non Creole food too. Being that it was a touristy place they offered burgers, chicken, pasta as well as the signature meals. Once we were done with our late lunch/early dinner we decided to go and book our walking tour. We followed the map that was given to us by the bus guide and ended up finding the tour with no trouble. New Orleans is very easy to maneuver with a map in hand. People were already lined up for the 6pm tour and after speaking to the walking guides we decided upon the 6pm Ghost Tour instead of the 8pm Ghost and Vampire tour which was a bit darker and scarier.
New orleans family travel guide
Here are some tips for your walking tour:
Tip 1 – Go to the bathroom before the 2 hour tour begins
Tip 2 – Have good shoes on
Tip 3 – Stay up close to the guide so you can hear everything
Tip 4 – If you want to purchase tour tickets first check out the local city’s Yelp and Groupon to see if they offer any deals.
Tip 5 – If you are older and get tired easily, don’t worry you can always sit on the curb or stoop like my mother with Rheumatoid arthritis did.
Tip 6 – A lot of people, who travel to New Orleans, like to drink so there may be some loud drunks in the tour, just stay up front with the guide and don’t let the drunks ruin your fun.
New orleans family travel guide
Now back to the Walking Haunted New Orleans experience. Known as the country’s most haunted city, there was no shortage of offerings for ghost tours in the area and as you are guided through the quarter you will see the various groups. Most guides are gracious and avoid the same routes whereas others walk up right next to your tour and try to ruin the experience. Luckily we didn’t have that experience but once our tour was done I did notice it with two groups as we were heading back to our hotel. When we lined up for the tour, at first, we were a little worried because there were so many people there, but it turns out the large group was broken into smaller groups, about 25 people each. The group still felt a little big to me, but our tour guide Liz did a great job of keeping us together and speaking loudly enough for all to hear.
New orleans family travel guide
Liz was full of great information and plenty of dry humor – although I imagine most of her jokes are written into the script. She gave a little bit of personal experience on one of the more dark stories, about previous tour experiences which helped really bring it to life. She was a great guide and I would definitely be happy to take another tour with her in future. Each building, each residence, in the French Quarter has a story behind it.
New orleans family travel guide
Some are rather humorous but some are so morbid that you cannot imagine it to be real. Before the tour I had told my children that we would be going on a ghost tour and that all the stories that they were telling us were just stories scare us.
New orleans family travel guide
That actually did work and if it got to gory, our tour guide would warn us and we would cover the ears of the children on the tour. The architecture and colors of the buildings are so beautiful in the French Quarter and I recommend taking snap shots throughout the walk, who knows you might even capture a ghost in one.
New orleans family travel guide
Talking about ghost experiences, half way through the walk we stopped by on Bourbon Street to visit the famous Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar.
New orleans family travel guide
Why is the bar to famous? Well for one it is the oldest continually occupied bar in the United States and secondly it is suggested to be one of the more haunted bars in the French Quarter. Now for my ghostly experience; while in New Orleans one must drink the world famous Hurricane and where else to have a Hurricane but at one oldest bar in America.
New orleans family travel guide
As I stood in line waiting to order my Hurricane, I felt some push me aside from the right to cut in front of me. A bit dazed, I realized that there was no way anyone could have tried to push past me because I was standing next to a wall. So there you go, I had a ghost try to cut in front of me to get a drink or I may have been tired at this point of the evening and imagined it, either way it makes a great story. Side note the Hurricanes at Lafitte’s are really intense so if you aren’t a drinker then water it down or take one sip and breathe fire like I did. As the tour slowly came to the end we made one final stop and I have to say this is the stop that still makes my skin crawl.
New orleans family travel guide
What happened in the LaLaurie Mansion is what horror stories are made of. I won’t go into details but let’s just say that when the last owner, Nicholas Cage, took the walking tour to find out why all these tours stopped by at his new home, he never stepped foot in his house again.
New orleans family travel guide
Once the tour ended we tipped our guide and headed back to our hotel. It was close to 10 and after walking around for nearly 12 hours we were ready for bed. On our way back to the hotel we kept seeing paintings of this adorable blue dog sitting in various settings.
New orleans family travel guide
It wasn’t until we came back home that I learned more about the dog and the artist who made him famous. The artist was Louisiana born George Rodrigue and in the mid-1990s he started painting the Blue Dog which was based on a Cajun legend called Loup-Garou.
New orleans family travel guide
Following Hurricane Katrina, George founded the Blue Dog Relief and devoted his efforts to a series of original silkscreen prints designed to raise money for Gulf Coast humanitarian, education, and arts needs following Katrina. The first of these pieces was We Will Rise Again, a print that raised significant funds for the southeast Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross.
Blue_Dog_George_Rodrigue_We_Will_Rise_Again_Hurricaine_Katrina_2005
I regret not buying a poster of this dog and plan on doing so on my next visit. We made it back to our hotel and we already for bed. Right as I was about to turn off the lights my kids asked so what are we going to do tomorrow.

To be continued…

I’m an OC mom of two and photographer. I love living in Southern California and want to expose my children to all that it offers. I love taking my kids on adventures and capturing their every moment so much so that my kids find it odd if I don’t take their pictures. You can see my work on facebook.com/photosbynaz.
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