Sit Down and Explore New Orleans!
When Fats Domino sung about “Walkin’ to New Orleans,” it sounded like a good idea, but what if you’re one of the 40 million Americans with arthritis or back or knee problems? Here are ten things you can do in New Orleans that don’t require a lot of walking.
1. Take a Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat NATCHEZ
One of the best views of New Orleans is from the river aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ, the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River. On these two hour cruises, you can visit the engine room, listen to the calliope, experience live jazz, get your fill of authentic Creole cuisine and drink in spectacular views. Make reservations here.
2. Explore the Louisiana Swamp
Just a short drive from New Orleans are a number of breathtaking cypress swamps, home to alligators, egrets, cranes and gorgeous swamp irises. Some companies have shuttles that will pick you up from your hotel. Learn more here.
3. Take a Streetcar Ride to See the Mansions on St. Charles Avenue
Experience all the grandeur of St. Charles Avenue on the historic St. Charles Streetcar, the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world. For just $1.25 you can go back in time. Note: Unlike the red streetcars, the green streetcars are not wheelchair accessible. Learn more about the magnificent mansions on St. Charles Avenue here.
4. Discover the French Quarter from a Mule-Drawn Carriage
See the French Quarter the way it was meant to be seen from your seat in a mule-drawn carriage. You’ll feel like Rhett Butler or Scarlett O’Hara as you clippity-clop through the streets of the Vieux Carré, listening to colorful stories from your professional driver who is also a licensed tour guide. Learn more.
5. Take in a Show at BB’s Stage Door Canteen
Take a sentimental journey back to the 1940s at BB’s Stage Door Canteen at the National WWII Museum. Choose from a number of unique acts, showcasing the songs and spirit of the Big Band era. Evening and matinee performances are available. See who’s entertaining now here.
6. Sign Up for a Cooking Demonstration
For nearly 40 years, the New Orleans School of Cooking has introduced visitors from around the world to the unique food and spicy culture of New Orleans. Classes are held seven days a week in their beautifully renovated 1830's molasses warehouse at 524 St. Louis Street in the French Quarter. Well-known chefs will show you how to make New Orleans specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya and pralines, seasoned with a pinch or two of trivia. Learn more.
7. Experience a Grayline Tour
Grayline offers six tours that don’t require very much walking. Their Super City Tour, a 2 ¼ hour experience that covers 40 square miles, is a great introduction to the Crescent City. They also offer a shorter City Express Tour. Learn more here.
8. Try Your Luck at Harrah’s Casino
Louisiana’s only land-based casino is right on the streetcar line at the foot of Canal Street. Inside you’ll find all the latest slots machines and table games, along with buffets and restaurants serving the food New Orleans is famous for. Find out more.
9. Hop a Streetcar to City Park
Take one of the bright red streetcar on Canal Street to City Park to see the 600-year-old live oak trees, the Botanical Gardens, the sculpture gardens and more. The park is also home to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which houses some 40,000 pieces of art, including works by Degas, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Renoir and Rodin. Note: Both the red streetcars and the museum are fully accessible to wheelchairs. Learn more about City Park here.
10. Listen to Authentic Jazz at Preservation Hall
Since 1961, folks have been experiencing intimate jazz concerts at Preservation Hall on St. Peters Street in the French Quarter. Here’s your chance to see some of New Orleans' finest performers. Like Louis Armstrong said, "Preservation Hall. Now that's where you'll find all of the greats." Learn more here.
Where to Stay
If walking is a challenge, we suggest you find lodging in the French Quarter where most of the attractions are. You might even book a room with a balcony on Bourbon Street so you can be a part of the fun without having to go anywhere. You’ll find some great hotel options here.
Streetcars, cabs, ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, pedicabs, mule-drawn carriages…New Orleans may be one of America’s most walkable cities, but we have a backup plan for people who need help getting around. Learn more here.