New Orleans is a city unlike any other. We are lovingly referred to as "The Northernmost Part of the Carribean" due to our sub-tropical vibes, and sometimes people even compare New Orleans to The Disneyland (for adults)! With so much to see and do, it can be pretty overwhelming as a first-time visitor but have no fear, Royal Carriages is here to discuss 5 Reasons Why A Carriage Tour is the Best Way to See New Orleans!
Learning the lay of the land is important when visiting New Orleans. It's a pretty big...but also a pretty small city. It's an extremely walkable place to visit but you should always look where you step since there are lots of uneven sidewalks and of puddles (that's what you get for putting a 300-year-old city in the swamp). Most of your time will be spent exploring the French Quarter, which is the main historic district and original part of this old city. The French Quarter, approximately 1-mile wide and 1/2-mile deep, has endless bars, restaurants, and boutiques. There is also quite a few free museums and hidden gems that are extremely easy to miss, especially if all of your time is spent bellied up at one of the local bars on Bourbon Street.
Local businesses in New Orleans offer more than enough ways to explore the French Quarter and surrounding areas, but by far the most common tours are 1) Bus Tours, 2) Walking Tours, and 3) Carriage Tours.
Now, bus tours and walking tours are available in most every city! There isn’t anything unique or special about that! Few cities across America have carriages, but most provide just rides and transportation. Only a few carriage companies combine the ride with a fantastic tour, and this is something that we do extremely well in New Orleans. Keep reading to see just why!
Large tour buses are actually only allowed on certain streets in the French Quarter, and basically only provide hotel-pick-up services. Once seated inside the tour bus, it’s pretty hard to look out of the window and embrace that beautiful architecture, the sounds of the street performers, and the smell of roasted garlic rolling out of the restaurants. Plus, what if you get a guide who talks over the intercom like Ben Stein, the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller?!”
Walking tours of the area give you the opportunity to experience just that, however, imagine what it’s like to walk on narrow sidewalks with a group of 28 various travelers for two hours. It can get pretty crowded and distracting, not to mention the fact that you’re going to go crazy just standing around certain areas for so long. Some people in the group walk fast, some walk slow, and you are stuck in the middle of it all. Walking tours are really challenging for tour guides and typically refer to the experience as to “herding cats!”
So, why are carriage tours the best way to see New Orleans?
Carriage Tours with Royal Carriages combine authentic mule-drawn carriage rides of the historic French Quarter District with professional tour guides who are energetic and passionate about sharing the story of New Orleans with its many visitors! These guides are top-rated by thousands of TripAdvisor Members!
Unlike tour buses, our carriages can roll wherever they please, and frequently visit areas outside of the French Quarter that just aren’t obtainable with a walking or bus tour. Our carriage passengers usually feel like we are giving them a little lagniappe (that means something extra in Creole) when we tour them the various Creole Neighborhoods outside of the Quarter like the Faubourg Marigny or Treme, home of jazz music! You’ll get to see “where the locals go” for live music and see so many more colorful Creole cottages and shotgun homes! It’s truly incredible how much you can see in just 1-hour with Royal Carriages.
Our larger mule-drawn carriages seat between 6-8 passengers in each, ensuring that you won’t get lost in the crowd since it’s more of an intimate small-group experience. No microphones are needed since all carriage passengers are within 6 feet of the carriage driver who speaks loud enough for everyone to hear. Passengers have the opportunity to have conversations with the tour guide, asking various questions that may help him or her better understand the topic of discussion. At the end of the ride, most carriage passengers feel as if their tour guide is now their New Orleans’ friend! You are always welcomed to come back and find us, and we can continue answering questions and give you fantastic tips and suggestions! Royal Carriages is always eager to please!
In just 30-minutes, our carriages cover more ground and more information than a 2-hour walking tour! It’s true! Our 1-hour specialty carriage tours are basically combining 4-hours of walking tours into a 1-hour mule-drawn adventure of the historic downtown, without having to walk! Let’s face it when on vacation, time and money are precious! It’s best to spend both wisely.
Lastly, you’re not walking or standing around in one single area for an extended period of time! You know how it feels to be standing in a large group with someone speaking at your for a long time…your feet and legs get tired, your mind gets’s distracted, and you start playing on your PHONE! The carriage helps solve all of those problems! As the carriage slowly rolls past all of these amazing historic restaurants and businesses, you’ll be learning exactly why they are so important to the city of New Orleans and its history, all while seated comfortably on a carriage and supporting a 75-year-old family-owned business that employs and cares for over 68 precious carriage mules! You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take great photos and videos. You may have so much fun that you forget to pull out your phone all together! Our goal at Royal Carriages is to help you time-travel back to the good old days!
We hope you that you've enjoyed reading this article and realise why a carriage tour is the best way to discover New Orleans.