1475
New Orleans
Signature City New Orleans: America's City of History, Culture and Celebration
Discover artistry and heritage in New Orleans as you explore the city’s historic districts, learn about Cajun cooking and attend a performance at the Jazz National Park Museum.
Rating (4.95)
Program No. 1475RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
949
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
New Orleans, LA
D
Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown Superdome

Activity note: Easy walking inside hotel; at your discretion if you’d like to go out.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, check the message board for the location to register with the Road Scholar program staff, which is also where the Orientation session will take place. You’ll receive a welcome packet with your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. As a special bonus, you will have vouchers to use at a popular jazz club as well as the Louisiana State Museum. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances including weather. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, our plentiful dinner buffet includes coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase at the bar.

Evening: In this introduction to the French Quarter, learn about our history and culture, traditions, celebrations, people. The entertaining class is taught by a humorist who has lived here all her life. She exudes the “joie de vivre” that makes New Orleanians distinctively memorable.

DAY
2
New Orleans History, City Field Trip, Antics & Incidents
New Orleans, LA
B,L,D
Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown Superdome

Activity note: Walking a few blocks in park and cemetery; option to remain on motorcoach at these stops.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes many choices.

Morning: Lecture: History of New Orleans. We’ll begin our day with a virtual walk through history, from the founding of the city in 1718 to present day. Our instructor is a native New Orleanian who knows its past and present inside and out.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll order from a select menu.

Afternoon: We’ll take a field trip via motorcoach with expert commentary for an overview of the city. We’ll make stops at highlights such as Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou St. John, City Park with its magnificent oak trees and Sculpture Garden and one of the famed and mysterious above-ground cemeteries where the departed — from pirates to voodoo queens — are interred.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll order from a select menu.

Evening: During a presentation by our educator, learn about antics and incidents involving some of the most famous — and infamous — characters associated with New Orleans.

DAY
3
New Orleans Authors, New Orleans Music
New Orleans, LA
B,L
Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown Superdome

Activity note: Walking in museums.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll have a presentation on authors from and of New Orleans. Learn about writers past and present who wrote about the fictional and non-fictional New Orleans. Get the scoop on their personal lives, where they gathered, what they ate and drank, as well as their literary personas — which were often one and the same!

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A local professor who is also a musician will use vintage clips and soundtracks to introduce the music of New Orleans. We’ll learn about the many cultural influences that have gone into music that spread worldwide, including the roots of Jazz and its evolution. We’ll then go to experience a Southern musical history performance at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Hear local musicians doing what they do best. The remainder of the afternoon is for your personal independent exploration. You’ll have vouchers to explore the Cabildo and Presbytère flanking St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. All were constructed during the Spanish period (1795-1799). The Cabildo was the center of government. The Presbytère, built on the site of what had been the residence of Capuchin monks, was used for commercial purposes. Both are now key components of the Louisiana State Museum. The Cabildo displays artifacts of American history as well as rarities such as Napoleon’s death mask. The Presbytère’s interactive exhibit on Mardi Gras traces our annual celebration from its origins to the present day with an exquisite collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Another exhibit expresses Louisiana’s saga of resilience in the face of disasters.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. If you have something special in mind, we recommend making reservations in advance.

Evening: At leisure. If you’re a music aficionado, there are lots of options. You can use your voucher for Fritzel’s European Jazz Club, or go on your own to one of the other great choices. You might like to take a stroll along Bourbon Street to see some of the colorful locals and occasionally even more exotic tourists. Or just relax at the hotel. The French Quarter has something to offer for almost every interest and taste.

DAY
4
Architecture Lecture, Cabildo, Music Performance
New Orleans, LA
B,L,D
Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown Superdome

Activity note: Walking 6 block walk through Garden District; option to remain on motorcoach.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll have an introduction to the architecture and diversity of New Orleans. Architecture is an expression of culture. We’ll learn how different nationalities and ethnicities — such as immigrants from Europe and the West Indies — influenced local architecture and contributed to the “gumbo” of our society.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll order from a select menu.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll set out on a walking field trip with a local architect in the aptly named Garden District, one of the loveliest neighborhoods in the country. It was laid out in 1832 for incoming, well-to-do Americans who were not interested in mingling with native New Orleanians. The feeling was mutual! Grand houses were built on large lots that encouraged the development of beautiful gardens. After the field trip, you can return to the hotel by motorcoach to freshen up and relax, or stay out and explore on your own. There will be a pick up in the French Quarter before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, choose what you like from the extensive dinner buffet.

Evening: We’ll return to the hotel for a musical surprise!

DAY
5
WWII Museum, Cooking Class
New Orleans, LA
B,L,D
Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown Superdome

Activity note: Walk at your own pace through World War II Museum; benches available. Walk at your leisure in the French Quarter.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Formerly known as the D-Day Museum, the National World War II Museum was founded by eminent historian Dr. Stephen Ambrose, author “Band of Brothers” and other best-sellers. A self directed exploration takes us through three buildings that house exhibits highlighting the role of participants from world leaders to the everyday men and women whose contributions helped to win the war, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Many items in the vast collection — such as uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, medals, diaries, letters, artwork, photographs, and other mementos — are on display while thousands of records and archives are available to scholars for ongoing research. See the film “Beyond All Boundaries” narrated by Tom Hanks. Through first person accounts and amazing special effects, we’ll take a journey through the war that changed the world.

Lunch: At the National World War II Museum, we’ll have vouchers for lunch in the restaurant.

Afternoon: You may spend as much time at WW2 Museum as you wish or you may return to the hotel to freshen up or brought to French Quarter for more exploration on your own. Use your vouchers to the Cabildo and Mardi Gras section in the Presbytere.

Dinner: At the world renowned New Orleans School of Cooking, an expert local chef will teach us how to cook Creole and Cajun, and explain the difference. We’ll see the preparation of a traditional dish, then have it for dinner. Recipes will be supplied so that you can take some New Orleans cuisine “home” with you.

Evening: Returning to the hotel — tired but full of new ideas! — the remainder of the evening is free. Prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
All About Mardi Gras, Program Concludes
New Orleans, LA
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: For our closing session, we’ll have a presentation on the “real” Mardi Gras by a native New Orleanian who will dispel the myths and misconceptions you’ve read and heard about. We expect to finish by 10:30 a.m. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!