Touring the New Orleans French Quarter on foot can be hot and tiring during the warmer months (April through October). Touring the French Quarter by car is difficult, because of the availability of parking and restrictions. A long time favorite alternative is to tour by horse-drawn carriages, which carry six to nine passengers at a time. To say the very least, the horse carriages definately fit the local architecture and charm of the French Quarter.
For decades, these carriage tours have been operating in the French Quarter. The horses, often wearing straw hats and big sunglasses, have amused countless tourists over the years. The carriage operators are licensed tour guides, and will show you the French Quarter's historical and interesting landmarks, with a good portion of history, local culture, and fascinating folklore. During the casual pace of the tour, you have the opportunity to ask questions, something that is more difficult when you are part of larger tour groups. Taking photographs is much easier than from an automobile.
Royal Carriages is one of several horse carriage companies, and many of the carriage drivers have been doing this for years. Some of the drivers have become legends themselves, with people returning year after year to ride with them again. Two long-time traditional locations for starting your tour are on St. Louis Street, between Chartres and Royal and on Decatur Street, right at Jackson Square. The tours operate from early morning through late evening, seven days a week, giving you a choice of how you want to see the French Quarter. They will bring you back to these locations after your tour is finished.
Like riding the streetcars, a tour in a horse-drawn carriage is a New Orleans "must do" for visitors.