Twenty-five minutes from New Orleans, explore Louisiana's back country along the meandering bayous abundant with wildlife and exotic plants. The folks at Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours sure know their crocks.
Even if you don't like drinking cocktails from three-foot-tall plastic cups, you have to be there to believe the strange things people are willing to do in public for a string of Mardi Gras beads.
Roberts Batson's Gay Heritage Tour touches on "the horrors, the hilarity, the homophobes, and the heroes" with a French Quarter stroll that brings gay New Orleans history to life. Get tickets at 504-945-6789 or at the booksore
Nobody heads to New Orleans to shop, but the French Quarter has plenty of great boutiques selling everything from gooey praline candy to reasonably priced antiques. Check out the many shops and cafes in nearby Marigny too. See Frenchquarter.com and Faubourgmarigny.org for details. The French Market, American's oldest city market, has shops, restaurants, music events and a flea market.
The streetcar used for the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire, the #922, still operating on the St Charles Street Line. Hop aboard for a ride at the corner of Canal Street.
Take a day on the Mississippi River aboard New Orlean's most luxurious excursion riverboat, the 1,000 passenger Creole Queen, with daily excursions, and dinner cruises.
Sure, the gumbo and jambalaya are tasty. But don't leave without a bite of a beignet, the donutlike pastry covered with mounds of powdered sugar. Cafe du Monde, (1039 Decatur), and Croissant d'Or (617 Ursulineis) are good bets for finding some.