March 22-26, 2015
New Orleans’ antebellum splendors, gracious interiors, lush private gardens, fascinating people, and enduring legacy of historic preservation take center stage on this custom-designed An Ode to New Orleans tour operated by National Trust Tours. Explore how New Orleans’ strong ties to French, Spanish, and Caribbean cultures have contributed to her rich and singular architectural and cultural legacy. Hear how the city’s African and Cuban influences laid the groundwork for an astonishingly rich musical heritage, from ragtime to Dixieland, R&B to funk, and most famously made it the birthplace of jazz. The tour will also examine the city’s dramatic struggles and transformation since Hurricane Katrina ten years ago.
- Tour the French Quarter with a longtime local preservationist.
- Meet a well-known author and local preservationist who will show you her important historic home in the Garden District.
- Contrast Garden District and Irish Channel architecture during a second private home visit.
- Delight in VIP tours at New Orleans' most important cultural institutions.
- Savor gourmet meals at fine restaurants.
- Stay at the Hotel Monteleone, a member of Historic Hotels of America and a four-star hotel in the heart of the French Quarter.
- Enjoy the academic leadership of popular National Trust study leader John Meffert.
The five-day stay in New Orleans will be made all the more memorable with accommodations in the four-star Hotel Monteleone, member of Historic Hotels of America and a sparkling jewel in the heart of the French Quarter.
Study Leader Information
Frequent study leader and historian, John Meffert is a long-time proponent of preservation. As former director of the National Trust's Southern Office, John now serves as a consultant on heritage conservation services in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, where he has also served as the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston preserving the historic resources of the city.
March 22 - Sunday - Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Independent arrivals at the landmark Hotel Monteleone, in the heart of the French Quarter. At 4:00 pm, meet in the hotel's Bonnet Carre room for a lecture by favorite study leader John Meffert on the history, ecology, and personalities of "the Big Easy." Enjoy an orientation walking tour of the French Quarter, including a visit to the iconic Jackson Square where iron fences, benches, and Parisian-style landscaping remain intact from the original 1851 design. See the three significant 18th- century buildings that flank the square: the St. Louis Cathedral; the Cabildo, the former city hall and location of the Louisiana Purchase signing; and the Presbytère. Savor a welcome dinner at one of the French Quarter's best restaurants.
March 23 – Monday - The Soul of the Crescent City
Begin with a guided tour of the Faubourg Tremé neighborhood, home to the largest pre-Civil war community of free people of color with a rich and vibrant history. See Congo Square, formerly an open-air market where "Creoles of Color" brass and symphonic bands performed, providing a foundation for the birth of jazz. Continue to Longue Vue House and Gardens, an opulent 1939 Classical Revival mansion with original furnishings, including a remarkable collection of English and American antiques and furniture. Ellen Biddle Shipman designed the eight acres of manicured formal gardens, which are considered her masterpiece. Following a lunch of Cajun specialties, learn about the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing recovery efforts during a visit to Ward 9. Conclude the day with a remarkable visit to a private collection dedicated to the Mardi Gras Indian, "the still vibrant but century-plus-old tradition wherein black New Orleanians create ornate suits and parade the streets." The evening is at leisure.
March 24 – Tuesday - Cemeteries and Wars
See why New Orleans is one of the country's hot spots for preservation with a leisurely expert-led tour of the elegant former City of Lafayette, established by the Americans in the 1830s to rival the Creole-dominated Vieux Carré. Visit the area's two designated historical districts: the Irish Channel, the working- class riverfront neighborhood where first- generation Irish and German immigrants settled before the Civil War; and the Garden District, where wealthy immigrants from Great Britain and the North came and made their fortunes on cotton. In contrast to the dense development of the French Quarter, gracious suburban villas are set on quarter-square lots, surrounded by lush landscaping. Stroll through Lafayette Cemetery #1, which exemplifies the city's tremendous cultural diversity, and see the 19th-century St. Alphonsus Church, a National Historic Landmark with gorgeous fresco ceilings and mosaic floors. Following lunch, meet a curator from the incomparable National World War II Museum, which emphasizes the American experience in World War II through powerful images and extraordinary artifacts.
March 25 – Wednesday - Plantations and Art
Visit the Pitot House Plantation, an 18th-century Creole country home that showcases American and Louisiana antiques from the early 19th century. The house was saved from destruction by the Louisiana Landmarks Society in 1964 and restored to its original splendor. The garden at the Pitot House grows plants traditional to the time period when the house was built. Continue to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the city's oldest fine arts institution for a guided tour of collection highlights. With more than sixty sculptures spread across five-acres, NOMA's garden is considered one of the nation's most important sculpture installations. Return to the French Quarter for an independent afternoon. Bid au revoir to "the Big Easy" at a memorable farewell dinner.
March 26 – Thursday - Farewell New Orleans
Spend the morning exploring further the French Quarter, including a visit to the Hermann-Grima House, a splendid Federal mansion and house museum that accurately depicts the gracious lifestyle enjoyed by prosperous 19th-century Creole families. The museum houses a remarkable American Empire and early Victorian furniture collection. Independent transfers to the New Orleans airport for return flights home.
Land Only, Per Person: $2,995
Single Supplement: $595
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and Conditions
*Tour price is per person based on double occupancy, with a minimum of 18 paying participants. Land prices are calculated as of August 2014 and are subject to change. Participants are responsible for all aspects of their air arrangements, round-trip to/from New Orleans.
Included in tour cost: 4 nights in the luxury Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, including breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 2 dinners; access to beautiful private homes; academic leadership of John Meffert; services of ISDI Tour Manager; land transportation by private bus; gratuities to local guides and drivers; entrance fees to sites per itinerary; wine or beer with dinners.
Not included in tour cost: Airfare, airline taxes, and fuel surcharges; individual transfers to and from the airport; excursions, activities, or meals marked optional on the itinerary; personal items; personal services; travel extensions; personal insurance for health, baggage, and tour cancellation; any other items not specifically included in the itinerary.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.