French Quarter Fest

August 24, 2022

The past weeks months have been busy, as festivals are finally started making a comeback after two years of lockdown. The good news is there will always be something going on over moving forward, so you will have something to celebrate no matter when you pay a visit. We ate, drank, and danced at French Quarter Fest. New Orleans is back with a vengeance and she’s not going anywhere.

However, we did have some festivals get canceled for 2023 (looking at you, BUKU). The horrible news had us make a beeline for the FQF website, where we found the dates for both 2023 and 2024. We are thrilled and cannot wait for next April. Look through our favorite 2022 food vendors and get your taste buds excited for French Quarter Festival 2023!

We are so happy about the return of French Quarter Fest and it was a blast! we can’t wait until fqf 2023.

Streetcar Downtown New Orleans

French Quarter Fest is Back!

With festivals making a comeback, New Orleans’s best restaurants brought their special festival dishes to French Quarter Fest. We missed festival food, and we’re sharing our festival culinary “plan” with everyone. Here’s what we were excited about eating this French Quarter Fest. Helpful Tip: bringing a group is the ideal situation so you can sample all these dishes!

Broussard’s Restaurant

Open in 1920, this French-Creole restaurant has withstood the test of time. Once you try their cuisine, you’ll understand why. We loved their crab cake sliders at their French Quarter Fest Jackson Square booth. We wanted more than the limited menu at their French Quarter Fest booth so we visited their stunning brick-and-mortar location, less than a ten-minute walk away from Jackson Square, featuring a beautiful courtyard for us to sit down, dine, and enjoy the beautiful day.

Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse

This French Quarter fine dining staple made its way to Jackson Square for French Quarter Fest as well, with a small menu of offerings. Here, at Airboat Adventures, we were excited about their barbecue shrimp po’boy. There is nothing better than New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp that is contained in its own bread vessel (boat pun intended) since we all love dipping French bread into the sauce accompanying this famous shrimp plate. There’s nothing better than a New Orleans classic, contained in bread, from this critically acclaimed restaurant. When we find ourselves craving more Dickie Brennan’s, we like to visit their French Quarter brick-and-mortar location, which is just a ten-minute walk away.

Galatoire’s

This fine-dining Creole restaurant, known for its Friday lunch, also offers a select few dishes in Jackson Square for French Quarter Fest. We were most excited about their festival exclusive fried sweet potato pie. When we crave than their festival menu, we go on over to their brick-and-mortar location on Bourbon Street, where we can eat in their beautiful dining room, adorned with high ceilings and slow paddle fans. A word of warning: arrive early as there are no exceptions to their famed first-come-first-served policy for their first-floor dining area.

Plum Street Snoballs

This classic Uptown neighborhood stand went downtown for French Quarter Fest! One of the best snowball stands in the city, they showed up, bringing many flavors, to help us beat the New Orleans heat. With unforgivable heat, we definitely kept this stand on our weekend’s radar.

Crabby Jack’s

Known for their fried seafood po’boys, this off-the-beaten-path joint on Jefferson Highway has been offering no-frills Cajun fare since 2002. We were excited that they were bringing their offerings all the way to French Quarter Fest and were anticipating their shrimp and grits, which is one of the menu items they brought along Downtown. Their Jefferson Highway location closes during French Quarter Fest, so we know they’re serious about offering their best at the festival. Their other restaurant, the famous Jacques-Imo’s also offered their fare at Jackson Square; the slow-roasted duck po’boy  was exquisite.

Parish Seafood

Crawfish season was in full swing, and Parish Seafood camped out at New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint with crawfish platters, including all the Fixin’s, with an option to add smoked sausage. We got our hands dirty and fed our crawfish craving at their US Mint tent.

The Court of Two Sisters

We went on over to the Jax Lot for a classy twist on creole classics from this spot known for its daily jazz brunch and whimsical courtyard. We were especially excited to try their berry glazed bacon & jalapeno duck poppers. We loved knowing that we could also head over to their nearby brick-and-mortar location and enjoy basking in their courtyard, adorned with wisteria vines.

Jack Dempsey’s

This beloved, casual Bywater eatery brought its famed fare to Jax Lot! Known for their huge portions of seafood, they did not disappoint at French Quarter Fest, as they brought their baked macaroni, fried shrimp, stuffed crab, and soft-shell crab po’boys to the French Quarter. Tip: bring your friends and appetite as choosing is going to be tough at this booth, we’re glad that we did.

Ms. Linda’s Ya-Ka-Mein

Found at many corner stores, Ya-Ka-Mein is one of the best-kept secrets that New Orleans has to offer. This soup, a blend of many cultures, is classic New Orleans comfort food, and it features meat, noodles, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, and a unique broth. Ya-Ka-Mein is a result of the blending of cultures, something a lot of New Orleans food has in common. It was highly recommended that we find Ms. Linda, known around New Orleans as The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady, and try out this classic. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to find her as she was at the Jax Lot all weekend.

Beaucoup Eats

This Mid-City eatery known for their Creole Comfort Cuisine served up some “dirty gumbo” and “voodoo mac” and we were very intrigued by this offering. Our curiosity peeked so we found ourselves lurking around their Kohlmeyer Lawn booth throughout the festival. It was delicious.

14 Parishes

One of our personal favorites posted up at the Palm Lawn. Their jerk chicken and juices are to die for. Their sweet plantains are some of the best that we’ve tried (this includes someone that otherwise dislikes plantains).

Looking for something else to do to hold you over until french quarter fest 2023? Check out our swamp tours! Looking for a place to stay? Look no further. We hope you enjoyed french quarter fest, we did.

New Orleans Swamp Tours: Everything You Need to Know

July 28, 2021

In this post-COVID era, travel is officially back in full swing. And Louisiana is one of the ideal destinations for families, celebrations, and impromptu trips. With the bustling city vibes of the French Quarter in downtown New Orleans, the peaceful calm of the swamps and rural surroundings, and everything in between, we’ve got something for every type of vacationer. 

That means people from all over the country are flocking to New Orleans for outdoor activities, unique sightseeing, and a little adventure to go with their Hurricane cocktails and po boys. 

If you’re planning to visit New Orleans any time soon, a swamp tour should be at the top of your list. It’s a picturesque way to see the Louisiana wildlife in its natural habitat, check out the unique world of the bayou, and even catch a cool breeze. 

We’ve pulled together some of the research for you, so you know exactly what type of tour to take, and what to expect once you get there. Here’s everything you need to know before buying your tickets for a New Orleans swamp tour. 

Are swamp tours open in New Orleans?

Yes, swamp tours are going strong in the summer of 2021. 

This open-air adventure is actually one of the safest activities you can book during your trip to New Orleans. You’ll be outside enjoying the fresh air, far away from the rowdy New Orleans crowds. Local Louisiana tour companies are also taking every precaution to ensure visitors are safe and confident taking their bayou tour. 

If you’d like to reserve a private boat for your group tour, give us a call and we’ll set up a private, guided tour experience.

Are swamp tours safe? 

Yes, New Orleans swamp tours are perfectly safe for people of all ages. Every boat is equipped with life preservers and safety gear, and led by a bayou-raised, local tour guide who knows the ins and outs of the bayou. 

Louisiana boat captains know the local wildlife better than anyone. They’re skilled at identifying alligators and wild boar from afar so they carefully approach the wildlife without alarming them, or you. Even when you encounter wild gators, you can rest assured that your tour guide is a pro at giving you the best view, without endangering anyone on the boat or disrupting the natural environment. So you can get that coveted alligator photo without ever worrying about your own safety. 

Airboat Adventures is also taking extra precautions to sanitize all surfaces on a regular basis. And since you’ll be in the open air for the entire tour, this is truly one of the safest activities you can book in New Orleans.

How much does a swamp tour cost?

Depending on the type of tour you take, tickets for a New Orleans swamp tour could cost anywhere from $30-$100. That’s a wide range, because you’ll need to consider what kind of boat you want to take a ride in, how reputable the tour company is, and whether you want to rent out a private boat for your own group. 

Airboat Adventures boasts some of the most knowledgeable captains in the area, and offer swamp tours starting at $55 per person. If you want to get even closer to the bayou wildlife, you can book a seat on a smaller airboat for $79 per person. For that ticket price, you’ll enjoy the unique experience of viewing the bayou from a small airboat with 6-8 passengers (faster and peppier than the typical pontoon boat). 

Are New Orleans swamp tours worth it?

Yes, your swamp tour is more than worth the price of admission: keep in mind that this is a one-of-a-kind adventure that you’ll only find in select parts of the country. It’s also much different from the more common New Orleans experiences, like walking Bourbon Street and taking historic house tours. (Don’t worry, there will be time for that after!). Need transportation? Don’t worry, Airboat Adventures also offers roundtrip transportation from downtown New Orleans for an additional $20 per person.

While on tour, you’ll sail past natural cypress trees that form the backdrop of breathtaking photos and life-long memories. And you can take advantage of your time with a local Louisiana native by asking your boat captain all your questions about Louisiana wildlife, history, and even culture.

After seeing real-life alligators, wild boar and other critters in their natural environment, a bayou tour is bound to be the highlight of your trip. Whether you’re traveling with a group, your family, or solo, swamp tours are truly worth the ticket price and travel time. 

What should I wear on a swamp tour?

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes that can withstand a splash here and there. Closed-toe shoes are recommended, so you can easily board the boat (and pivot fast to catch every alligator shot!). If you have it handy, toss in a bottle of bug spray and sunscreen to be safe (even if it’s overcast in the morning; the weather in Louisiana is notorious for changing by the hour). Also, don’t forget your sunglasses!

And otherwise, keep your packing light. You’ll need to stow away everything you bring under a seat on the boat so it doesn’t slide around or get wet. 

If you’re taking an airboat tour, remember that airboats pick up speed, so you may want to wear an extra layer in the fall and winter. 

What will I see on a New Orleans bayou tour?

You can expect to see alligators, a variety of bird life, and maybe even turtles and water snakes (from a safe distance!). An experienced guide will also point out the unique trees and plants that are native to the swamp environment. Depending on the tour, you may also see traditional Cajun fishing cabins where locals harvest crawfish and other seafood. 

You’ll see different types of wildlife at certain times of day or year. If you have any questions about what you’ll see on your swamp adventure, contact a local tour company

What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

You can easily tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile based on the shape of their snout: alligators have more rounded mouths, while crocodiles have longer, more narrow heads. 

But if you see any massive reptile floating through a Louisiana swamp, you can be sure it’s an alligator. Only gators are native to Louisiana bayous; not crocodiles. Alligators continue to grow throughout their entire lifetime. They can live into their 50’s, and have been known to reach up to 500 lbs!

How long is a swamp tour?

Most bayou tours last around 2 hours, which is just enough time to explore the swamp, relax, and take as many photos as you can. 

If you’re staying in downtown New Orleans, it will likely be a 45 minute drive to get out to the bayou depending on traffic, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your day. The tour itself is well worth the extra travel time, since you’ll see a whole other aspect of Louisiana that you won’t want to miss. 

What is an airboat?

An airboat is a flat-bottomed boat with a raised propeller. You can easily identify an airboat by the large, raised fan in the back that powers the boat forward. 

They’re ideal for navigating shallow waters. Airboats have become increasingly popular for ecotours, since they can reach relatively high speeds, and are safe for the local environment. They originally gained popularity in Florida, but now you can enjoy the Louisiana bayou by airboat, too. 

Should I take a swamp tour on an airboat or pontoon boat?

Some swamp tour companies specialize in airboat rides, while others offer tours in pontoon boats. The main difference is that pontoon boats are quieter and can’t go nearly as fast as airboats can. 

For Louisiana swamp tours, many travelers prefer airboats: they go faster, which means you may get to explore more of the swamp in a short period of time. You’ll also enjoy a cool breeze as you speed through the bayou, which is especially refreshing during a New Orleans summer. Your airboat captain will always slow down and pause so you can get up close to the alligators, so you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Which swamp tours have the best reviews in New Orleans?

Airboat Adventures is one of the most highly ranked tour companies in New Orleans. They’ve earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, as well as a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Google.

What are the best swamp tours in New Orleans?

Airboat Adventures offers some of the all-around best swamp tours in the area. They’re well-established, with a team of experienced boat captains who know exactly where to go to introduce you to alligators, wild boar, and more. You’ll learn all about the bayou, and the wide range of plants and animals that call Louisiana home. 

If you’re looking for a more laid-back tour of the swamp, another well-regarded tour provider is Adventures of Jean Lafitte, offering pontoon boat tours.

Swamp tours are one of the most popular New Orleans activities, so you have options when it comes to choosing a tour company. Regardless of who you choose, you’ll want to reserve a spot with a tour company that’s earned plenty of positive reviews and customer testimonials

Get ready for an amazing tour experience.

No matter what time of year you take your tour, what you wear, or what kind of boat you choose, a swamp tour will offer you a truly unique, Louisiana experience. Visitors and locals alike learn and see something new on every bayou tour. And a relaxing, guided exploration of the Louisiana swampland is a perfect contrast to the busy world of the French Quarter. 

If you have any more questions about what to expect on your swamp tour, give us a call. And laissez les bons temps rouler! 

New Orleans Swamp Tours

September 15, 2014

Louisiana has a unique landscape. A landscape as beautiful as it is inaccessible. The backwaters push into through tufts of sedge grass. The knees of the great cypress trees rise from the water picketing the barrier into the ancient swamps. Reptilian guardians as old as dinosaurs glide between the water woods to surface seldom as sentry to their old kingdom. As one of the last ecosystems to feel the full weight of human habitation, the wetlands of Louisiana host a vibrant breadth of life. Within only 30 minutes of New Orleans, Airboat Adventures is hosting swamp tours into these rich water ways, bringing the wonder of the marshes to visitors and natives alike.

New Orleans’ Culture Birthed from the Water

Tourists flock year round to the Crescent City. The exuberant festivals of the fall and winter mock the bounty of the warmer seasons. The fish, crab, crayfish, and oysters pulled from the swamps, gulf, and brackish waters grant a rich substance for world renowned chefs. The port of New Orleans supplies the rare spices and flavors creole, French, Spanish, Eastern European, Native American and West African traditions have blended into the gumbo pot of our rich pallet. But whether as a source of food or a means of transportation, the water surrounding the city has played a vital role in shaping every aspect of its unique culture. You can catch sight of this unique landscape through our custom made swamp tours.

swamp-view from swamp tour

You will catch sights of the beautiful birds of the wetlands, the egrets and ibis, brown pelicans and hawks. The nocturnal mammals that taught New Orleanians how to live the night life, the opossum, raccoon, and nutria, are sometimes caught hiding from the heat in the shade of the cypress trees. The ill-tempered alligators flash their razor backs at the airboats in warning of their solemn habitat. And the Airboats of our swamp tours can bring you to this unique sanctuary with only a thirty minute drive outside the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Swamp Tours Leaving Daily

Airboat Adventures offers tours multiple times a day. With tours normally lasting around two hours, and with multiple boats to choose from, we have time slots from morning to evening. If you would rather be back in town for an evening of Jazz and Hurricanes at the Famous Pat O’s, a round trip from your hotel and back could only take three hours after lunch. If you would like to make an evening with the family you will never forget, sunset tours are available upon request. We cater to the diverse groups traveling through New Orleans by offering different sized boats for all our swamp tours. For those families out on holiday, we have six- to eight-passenger boats that bring the action right up to the side of the vessel and fit a full family with a little room to spare. If you’re traveling with work or friends we have fifteen- to twenty-seven- seat boats so big groups can all experience the majesty of the swamps together.

Remember to bring your cameras. The wildlife is teeming with movement and there is just too much to remember. Grab some shots for your home that will have visitors asking questions for years.

Contact us for More Information or to Book a Trip

We offer tours seven days a week throughout the year. And seasonal changes in Louisiana often let us expand our services. So call ahead and ask for the time of day that is perfect for your group. Give us a call at 504-689-2005.