Enjoy an informative and entertaining walking tour through the French Quarter of New Orleans. Your tour will begin with the birthplace of New Orleans, the Mississippi River. You will continue through the French Market, the oldest open-air market in the nation. Next, you will visit the Jean Lafitte Blacksmith Shop to hear the dramatic tales of legendary pirate Jean Lafitte and his “Baratarians,” determining what is fiction and what is fact. After a stop at the famous Café Du Monde for coffee and beignets, your tour will take you to historic Jackson Square with its splendid architecture, including St. Louis Cathedral, focal point of the Crescent City and one of the country’s oldest places of worship.
Take a journey into the swamplands of Louisiana. Picture the moss hanging on gnarled cypress trees as you travel into one of the wildest and most pristine river swamps in America. As your boat drifts through the waterways, you will learn about the Louisiana Wetlands, the inhabitants of the swamp, particularly the life and habits of the American alligator. You may also see turtles, otters, herons, hawks, ibis, egrets, minks and even a bald eagle!
Get ready to experience a special, panoramic view of “The City That Care Forgot.” Today, AASA members and guests will explore the unique architecture, history and folklore of the colorful city of New Orleans as you board your personal deluxe motor coach with an informative and entertaining tour guide. Begin the tour in the heart of the City, the “Vieux Carré” (old square). The French Quarter is like a rich gumbo, created with just the right combination of ingredients — charm, history, unique architecture and a pinch of “joie de vivre” thrown in for good measure. Next, you will proceed down fabulous Esplanade Avenue past its many historic mansions. Esplanade is where you will tour one of the city’s famous and hauntingly beautiful cemeteries, with above ground tombs and ornate statuary. Then, you will head north through lovely Mid-City to the majestic City Park and Lake Pontchartrain. Your route back towards the river will follow historic St. Charles Avenue, which is lined with magnificent 19th century mansions designed by famous American architects. Prepare to be entertained and educated as your experienced, licensed tour guide shares with you a great knowledge of history, architecture and folklore.
The popularity of Cajun and Creole cooking is sweeping across the United States, and after this exciting class AASA guests will be able to join this culinary bandwagon! You’ll laugh and learn while watching the preparation of some of the wonderful foods of Louisiana. A highly skilled and entertaining chef will share the secrets of preparing and seasoning flavorful local favorites Chicken Andouille Gumbo, Spicy Jambalaya, delicious Bread Pudding and Pecan Pralines. Not only will you learn the secrets of New Orleans cooking, but you will also partake of generous portions during a taste-tempting lunch following the class. The cooking demonstration will be easy for you to duplicate at home with the complimentary recipes and cooking tips you’ll receive at the end of the class.
Get ready for an exciting adventure! Take a thrilling, wind-felt ride through the swamps and bayous of Louisiana, accessible only by airboat. The captain, a native of the area, will offer a colorful history of the Cajun way of life. You’ll come face to face with alligators, snakes and other native creatures while touring their neighborhood. Sandwiches and soft drinks will be available for purchase.
The Garden District is gracious and stately — an elegantly adorned window to a bygone era. Developed mainly between 1840 and 1900, it comprises one of the best preserved collections of historic mansions in the South — if not the entire country. The Garden District is a brilliant tapestry of architectural styles and period designs. The spacious home sites and rich, garden-ready soil immediately began attracting wealthy New Orleanians — particularly the many well-heeled Americans that had flooded the city after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Disdained by the old French Creole gentry in the French Quarter, these new arrivals thumbed their noses at the Creoles by constructing sumptuous mansions, and the Garden District was born. Your tour will include a stop at a private home on St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District that dates back to the late 1800s. Right on the streetcar line, this charming residence is replete with English and French antiques. The home’s owner will be on hand to greet AASA guests and share her passion for art, as her home is a treasure trove of Louisiana artists. Refreshments and snacks will be served.