New Orleans is known for many things, not the least of which is her architecture. With an abundance of homes from the 19th century, many of which historic, and the secret gardens to complement them, it's no wonder why one of the favorite pastimes of visitors is to go on a tour of homes. What makes New Orleans home and garden tours so special is that most of our historic housing stock is privately owned and are lived in by New Orleans families. Every year different homes are opened for a rare chance to see inside. Here are some of the best tours.
Every year the private homeowners of several of the mansions in the Garden District of New Orleans open their homes for a good cause. The Preservation Resource Center, a group dedicated to preserving the unique architectural heritage of New Orleans, sponsors the Holiday Tour of Homes. The tour is self-guided and the homes are beautifully decorated for the holidays. The tour is in early December on a Saturday and Sunday and also includes a cafe and holiday boutique with many vendors. Taking the tour and buying gifts at the holiday boutique makes for a fun day in New Orleans.
Faubourg Marigny, the second oldest faubourg (neighborhood) in New Orleans sponsors two tours annually, one in spring and one in fall. These tours all start in Washington Square Park on the corner of Royal Street and Esplanade Avenue. They are guided tours of the area, which is the most Creole faubourg in New Orleans. It's a great chance to learn a little history as you walk. There is entertainment and a kids area set up in Washington Square Park to enjoy while you wait for the next tour. Ihe tour in spring takes you inside some of the Creole homes, while the tour in fall is longer, but usually doesn't go into the homes. Tickets usually run about $20. For dates and more information go to the official website.