Rathbone Mansions
Historic New Orleans Hotel, Steps From the French Quarter
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Insiders Guide of things to do, eats and drinks in New Orleans

Rathbone Mansions Insiders Guide

With its unique, vibrant history, award winning chefs, craft cocktail bars, and party atmosphere, there's no wonder NOLA is consistently ranked one of the best cities to visit. We've got you covered with insiders' tips on the best places to visit, eat and drink during your stay. Click through our blog for suggestions, current events and truly experience New Orleans like a local.

New Orleans has a unique, vibrant history, award winning chefs, craft cocktails galore, and a low-key, Southern fun atmosphere. There's no wonder NOLA is consistently ranked one of the best US cities to visit.  We've got you covered with tips on locals' favorite spots to check out during your stay. Scroll through our blog for suggestions, current events and truly experience New Orleans like a local.

 

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Go on a Ghost Tour

I think we’re all intrigued by the idea of ghosts – it’s a topic that gets everyone’s attention – from the junior set all the way up to lively seniors. 

Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop has a long haunted history. It is reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the US.

Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop has a long haunted history. It is reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the US.

It’s often said that New Orleans is the most haunted city in America – plus it’s a place where the dead refuse to rest. Why? It’s very simple: there’s no solid ground to hold them. New Orleans is famous for its voodoo queens and vampires, witches and ghosts of every description. It has also been the location and backdrop for spooky films and TV shows. You shouldn’t leave The Big Easy without a visit to its eerie sites with their grisly histories.

 

So what’s the best way to do this? I think signing up for a tour is your best bet. Of course, you could go by yourself or with a pal. But if you’re on a dark, deserted street and suddenly feel a chill in the air and an invisible hand on your back – don’t say I didn’t warn you. There’s bravery in numbers!

 

When I was researching this piece I was amazed at how many options there are. Briefly, you can go on a tour during the day or at night (my preference if I ever took one) plus there are variations on where to visit, e.g., the St. Germaine House and the LaLaurie Mansion, which for 150 years, has been considered the most haunted and frightening house in the Vieux Carré.  

 

Marie Laveau

Marie Laveau

Or you can visit the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and view the final resting place of Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. To see our take on New Orleans cemeteries CLICK HERE.  



Most tours go two hours (or slightly less) and involve a fair amount of walking. However, there is one tour that involves riding in a bus that goes beyond the French Quarter to quieter, less-visited neighborhoods. It even includes a quick stop at a coffee shop named “Morning Call” for beignets and coffee.

 

As far as drinking goes there are a number of options: One tour states, “Your guide allows time for you to purchase drinks at bars along the way” – don’t worry about finishing your drink – you’re in “GO CUP COUNTRY.” To read about the  idiosyncrasies of New Orleans CLICK HERE.

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One thing that all the tours seem to have in common is this: the leaders take their jobs seriously. Each one seems to be very well versed in the myths and lore of ghosts in New Orleans and they are quite willing to give as much info as possible with a dash of humor and goodwill. Here’s a small sampling of comments by participants.

 

  •   “We really enjoyed our tour. It was on a very hot day in mid-August but the guide made a real effort to keep us in the shade as much as possible.”

 

  •   “This was a great group tour. Our guide was absolutely delightful! She shared a wealth of information about the town she loves to call home. We stopped for drinks at a local bar and it was a great experience.”

 

  •   “Be aware that you will do a good bit of walking and there is no opportunity for a pit stop for an hour-and-a-half.”

 

  •   “Fred was very well-informed. He even told us the history of some places that weren’t on the tour. It’s always a pleasure to be with a guide who is passionate about what he or she does.”

 

Shaun Nelson-Henrick