Steamboat Natchez#15 in Best Things To Do in New Orleans
The only steamboat in New Orleans, Steamboat Natchez launched in 1975 and is a traditional sternwheel steamboat that takes visitors on a tour of the Mississippi River. The tours aim to cultivate an atmosphere that transports guests to another era, with the captain shouting through a hand-held megaphone and old-time music lingering in the air. Steamboat Natchez offers a few tour options, including a dinner jazz cruise, a harbor jazz cruise, a Sunday jazz brunch cruise and select special event cruises. The tours last about two hours and include a concert, a narration of historical facts and an optional meal, and a gift shop and bar are also available on board. Indoor and outdoor seating on the boat is available.
Many travelers raved about their adventure on the steamboat, saying it was a unique and entertaining way to see the city and the river, and that the staff members were friendly. Passengers say you must be sure to take a tour of the engine room. However, a few warned that the music was loud during boarding and that the tour tends to attract an older crowd.
Reservations are highly recommended and tickets start at $34 per adult and $13.50 per child. Prices vary by cruise and whether or not you'd like a meal included. Boarding begins half an hour before departure and all cruises depart and return to the Steamboat Natchez Lighthouse Ticket Office, at Toulouse Street and the Mississippi River. For additional information, including exact prices and booking information, visit the Steamboat Natchez website.
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#1 Frenchmen Street
If you want an authentic New Orleans experience more removed from the touristy areas of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, head to the lively Frenchmen Street. A popular spot for locals, Frenchmen Street is a four-block stretch of live music, bars, restaurants, night clubs and art galleries. Here, not only will you find fewer crowds (albeit not by much), but you'll also encounter cheaper eats and drinks, and better music – it's kind of like Bourbon Street's hipper, trendier cousin. If you don't consider yourself a night owl, the Palace Market (open daily 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.) is a shopping haven where locals sell homemade art and jewelry.
Recent visitors agreed that a trip to New Orleans isn't complete without stopping by Frenchmen Street. Some even suggest skipping the more crowded and touristy Bourbon Street and instead meandering along Frenchmen Street where you'll find live music, specifically jazz, and great bars. Travelers and locals alike love The Spotted Cat, Three Muses and d.b.a thanks to their extensive beverage selections, fun atmospheres and, of course, talented musicians. "Frenchmen Street is what Bourbon Street used to be ... it's about four blocks of more laid-back, old-style jazz clubs. Nothing fancy to them, very local with great music. A much more laid-back area to stroll from bar to bar and listen to music," said Isabelle Van Bockel, a concierge at the JW Marriott New Orleans for 10 years.
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