French Quarter Walking Tours
Tours are conducted seven days a week at 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m., and begin at the 1850 House Museum Store, 523 St. Ann Street on Jackson Square. Reservations are not required. Tickets: $20; Students/Seniors/Active Military $15
Our French Quarter walking tours are conducted by city licensed guides and emphasize the history, architecture, and folklore of this fascinating city.
Tour and store proceeds benefit Friends of the Cabildo, a non-profit volunteer group organized in 1956 to provide support for the Louisiana State Museum.
In addition to other cultural institutions throughout the state, there are five museums in the New Orleans French Quarter that are operated by the Louisiana State Museum. The Cabildo traces the history of Louisiana, while the 1850 House shows life as it was in mid-nineteenth century New Orleans.
The Presbytere houses a Mardi Gras Museum and the new, interactive multimedia exhibit Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond. The Old U.S. Mint houses coinage, Preservation Hall at 50 Years and the state-of-the-art Louisiana State Museum Historical Center and Madame John’s Legacy is an architectural landmark and home to The Palm, the Pine and the Cypress: Newcomb Pottery of New Orleans.
Shop at the 1850 House Museum Store before or after your tour for great books and local mementos of your visit to New Orleans!
Please call the store about tour availability during New Years, Mardi Gras, French Quarter Fest, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Neighborhood and Cultural Tours
Put on your best walking shoes, bring a bottle of water and a good camera, and join us for a special walking tour! Tickets are limited to 15 spots for each tour, and no tickets are sold the day of the tour. Don’t miss out. Reservations are required. Please see our events calendar for dates and ticket information. Tours are $25, or $20 for Friends of the Cabildo/Louisiana Museum Foundation members.
Battle of New Orleans
The Battle of New Orleans was a defining event in America’s national identity. The Friends of the Cabildo Battle of New Orleans tour offers a fascinating look at the battle away from the battlefield, from lost locations of forts that protected the city, to Jackson’s headquarters, to events in the French Quarter related to the unfolding battle. First developed for the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, the tour continues to draw historians, locals, and guests for a unique perspective on this turning point in American history. The Battle of New Orleans tour departs from the Old U.S. Mint (Barracks Street gate, across from the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen).
Faubourg Marigny was one of the City’s earliest suburbs, located immediately downriver from the Vieux Carré on land subdivided from the plantation of Bernard Marigny de Mandeville, one of New Orleans most colorful historical figures. Today, the Marigny is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a city-designated historic district, due to its preservation of Creole cottages and many ornamented shotgun dwellings. Initially, Esplanade Avenue was designated by the French as a commons. In later years, both the French and Spanish built fortifications there. After the Louisiana Purchase, grand townhouses and mansions were built on this European style boulevard with palatial townhouses and mansions flanking a wide neutral ground with stately live oaks. The Creole Neighborhoods tour departs from the Old U.S. Mint (Esplanade Avenue gates).
Garden District — NEW!
Most residents and visitors alike know of the Garden District as a stunning neighborhood full of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture, bounded by Jackson, St. Charles, and Louisiana avenues, and Magazine Street. But do you know who established the Garden District? What part did the NO & Carrollton Railroad play? Why do we always hear tour guides reference “Lafayette” and “Livaudais?” Discover the answers to those questions and more when exploring the Garden District with the Friends of the Cabildo. As we unveil the Garden District’s incredible architecture, and the influence of culture, climate, political events, and famous figures on the area, you will see these grand residences as more than just beautiful houses; they are the enduring statements of mid-nineteenth century Americans in New Orleans. The Garden District tour departs from 1452 Jackson Ave. (riverside corner at Prytania St.).
Faubourg St. Mary (Central Business District)
Walking along the busy concrete sidewalks of the Central Business District today, it is difficult to imagine that the streets now shaded by skyscrapers were originally part of Belair, the plantation of city founder Bienville—part of his 1719 land grant which stretched to the present-day Jefferson Parish line. The Friends of the Cabildo Faubourg St. Mary walking tour reveals the history behind the present day commercial district, from the plantation beginnings through the explosive American growth during the 1800s, to the present day revival. This tour provides a historic backdrop for a new appreciation of the American Sector. The Faubourg St. Mary tour departs from Firestone Tire (corner of Julia and Camp streets) and will end at Lafayette Square.
Most New Orleanians have enjoyed a sloppy roast beef poboy at a legendary Irish bar off Magazine Street, or caught cabbages, potatoes and carrots at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But not everyone has stopped to consider the history of the immigrant populations who lived and worked near the docks along the Mississippi River, their culture and traditions forming the foundation of the area we now know as the Irish Channel. The Friends of the Cabildo’s Irish Channel Tour explores this diverse home of working class immigrants, natives and free people of color. From famous churches to Irish bars, unique architecture, famous historic figures and notable festivals, the Irish Channel Tour reveals the many facets of this neighborhood beloved by locals and visitors alike. The Irish Channel tour departs from the St. Vincent’s Guest House (1507 Magazine Street).
Lower Garden District
Nineteenth century residential life in New Orleans comes alive through the Friends of the Cabildo Lower Garden District Tour! The district’s extensive collection of 1800s residences- primarily side hall, double-galleried homes in the Greek Revival and Italianate styles – will capture your imagination with both the romance and realities of life in these grand homes in the age before modern conveniences. Bounded by the Crescent City Connection, Mississippi River, Jackson Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, the Lower Garden District was developed as six different faubourgs, and it known for its many irregularly shaped parks. You will gain a new understanding of the history and culture of the area through a review of its architecture, geography and famous residents. The Lower Garden District tour departs from the Muses statue, at the intersection of Prytania and Terpsichore street.
New Orleans Music History
Experience the storied history of New Orleans music with the FOC’s New Orleans Music History Tour. Begin at the Old U.S. Mint and travel throughout the French Quarter, hear stories and visit locations that have defined the New Orleans music scene for over 100 years. Musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, George Lewis and Danny Barker will be discussed as well as famous music venues such as Preservation Hall and the Palm Court Jazz Club. The New Orleans Music History tour departs from the Old U.S. Mint’s Barracks street entrance (across from the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen).
South Market District
A booming area of revitalization at the intersection of the Central Business District, Medical District, and the sports/entertainment corridor of downtown, the South Market District is experiencing a renaissance placing it squarely in the up-and-coming areas of the city. But what was the historical significance of South Market before the construction projects? What are the stories behind the buildings being redeveloped as apartments, condominiums, hotels, and restaurants? Join the Friends of the Cabildo as we examine the fascinating mix of adaptive reuse, historic preservation, and new construction in the “Old CBD.” This one-time tour of rapidly transforming South Market will provide a unique snapshot of techniques used to resurrect this district while preserving its historic character. The South Market District tour departs from Rouses at 701 Baronne St. (corner of Girod and O’Keefe).
This walking tour of Treme provides a rich, detailed perspective on one of the city’s oldest and most storied neighborhoods. Originally known as “back of town,” the old Creole feel of Treme makes it easy to imagine the early 1800s multicultural community formed by immigrants, free people of color, and refugees from Saint-Domingue. An important center of the city’s African-American and Creole culture, Treme is the cherished home of fourth and fifth generation residents who strive to maintain the area’s cultural and social traditions. We will trace the origin and development of Treme through the amazing nineteenth century architecture (including Creole cottages, townhouses, and shotgun houses), geography, and urban influences dating from the subdivision of this land by Claude Treme in the 1790s to the present day. The Treme tour departs from the Basin Street Station at 501 Basin St.