When we first met up with my sister and her husband in New Orleans, they had just finished a bike tour of the city. They raved about all the sites they were able to see on their three hour ride and told us that this is the third tour they have done in various cities around the world. They claimed it was the best way to see a city and get the history of the area at the same time.
We’ve rented bikes on two of our vacations and did some sightseeing on our own, but we had never traveled with a group and tour guide. The last day of our New Orleans trip we went with their recommendation and tried a bike tour through the family owned, local company Freewheelin’ Bike Tours.
It was awesome. Our tour guide Andrew was not native to the area (in fact he was the only one who wasn’t from the company), but he was incredibly knowledgeable about the historical events in New Orleans. He had a true passion for the culture, history, and city which made the ride informative and fun. The bikes were custom made for some of the New Orlean’s cobblestone roads and were equipped with large cushioned seats, a wire basket, and a bell.
Our tour was the Creole and Crescent Tour which was a three hour guided tour for intermediate riders featuring The French Quarter, Frenchmen Street, City Park with beignets at Morning Call Cafe (see my blog post about these taste treats here), St. Louis Cemetery #3, Treme, The Marigny, Armstrong Park and Congo Square. It was a great showing of some of the unique parts of the city and the park was huge and beautiful.
After the tour, my husband commented on this being one of the best parts of the trip. I agree. We would’ve missed out on so much information had we chosen to walk around the same areas we were already familiar with from the previous days. The neat thing about this tour is that no one tour will be the same. Some of the things my sister told me–why the wires are used on top of the houses–never came up during our tour. Other things that she mentioned like the lady that sells home made pralines at the graveyard was also true during our tour. So, it really depends on your tour guide and group. Ask questions and explore. Taking another bike tour will be something I look at doing on our next trip to a new city. It was worth the time and money.