Jazz, Jambalaya and Joie de Vivre in New Orleans

Get to know New Orleans as you explore the French Quarter and Garden District, take in a jazz performance, learn to cook Cajun-style and enjoy plenty of time to explore on your own.
Rating (4.97)
Program No. 21665RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
10 meals
4 B 1BR 2 L 3 D
Check-in, Program Registration & Orientation, Welcome Dinner
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Hotel check-in 4:00 p.m. Easy walking inside hotel; at your discretion if you’d like to go out.

Afternoon: Program Registration & Orientation: 4:30 p.m. 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. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. As a special bonus, we will provide voucher to use at a popular jazz club as well as the Cabildo and Presbytère, part of the Louisiana State Museum. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: 6:15 p.m. In the hotel, we will enjoy a plated and served welcome dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Live music fills the Carousel Bar & Lounge overlooking Royal Street right inside our historic hotel — a French Quarter landmark since 1886. The Carousel evokes a spirit of fun with the renowned Merry-Go-Round, the city’s only revolving bar. Have a welcome drink on us! Live music continues on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

New Orleans History & Culture, Free Time, Voucher for Jazz
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking to meals and according to personal preference during free time.

Breakfast: Buffet in hotel

Morning: In this introduction to New Orleans, we’ll learn about the city’s history and culture, traditions, celebrations, people, and what it means when we say, “It’s a New Orleans thing.” 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.

Lunch: Enjoy delicious New Orleans cuisine at one of the city's top restaurants and order from a select menu.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. An opportunity to experience nightlife in the French Quarter. If you’re a music aficionado, there are lots of options. We have provided voucher (drink included) for Fritzel’s European Jazz Club. The Quarter has something to offer for almost every interest and taste.

Garden District Field Trip
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Walking up to 6 blocks in Garden District.

Breakfast: Hotel Buffet

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach and continue our delightful introduction to New Orleans as our instructor points out significant sites and reveals more about the city’s people, traditions, and unique culture. We’ll have some stops along the way (depending on timing and weather).

Lunch: 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.

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 in these lush settings. After our field trip, feel free to stay in the area on your own or go back downtown via streetcar.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy more of the New Orleans night life, music and culture you like. If you haven’t used them yet, remember we’ve provided voucher (drink included) for Fritzel’s European Jazz Club.

National World War II Museum, Free Time
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking in museum, walking according to personal preference during free time.

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 will 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. We’ll also 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: Buffet lunch at the hotel. Musical surprise.

Afternoon: You may spend as much time at WW2 Museum as you wish. At approximately 12:30 p.m., the motorcoach will drop off at the hotel for lunch. You may stay at WW2 instead of returning to the hotel if you wish. Food is available there.

Dinner: At the world-famous New Orleans School of Cooking, learn how to cook Creole and Cajun as a local chef demonstrates a traditional dish and dine on the creation. For dessert, sample the best pralines in town.

Evening: At leisure. Experience more New Orleans night life, music, and culture as you like. Remember, if you haven’t used them already, the voucher we have provided give you entrance and a complimentary drink for Fritzel’s European Jazz Club. The Quarter really does have something to offer for almost every interest and taste.

New Orleans Authors, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach.

Breakfast: Hotel Buffet

Morning: We’ll be joined by an expert from the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival whose love of writing and New Orleans is evident in her enthusiastic lectures. We’ll learn about some of the famous writers who lived in and wrote about the French Quarter including William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, John Kennedy Toole, and more. The rest of the day is free and open for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in endlessly fascinating New Orleans. If you haven’t done so already, we recommending using the vouchers we have provided 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. You could also stroll along Royal Street with its antique shops, visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, go for a ride on the paddlewheeler “Natchez” — last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi — or any of the may other opportunities to experience our people, cultures, and celebrations.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy many options and many types of cuisine. Try a New Orleans Po-Boy, a famous Muffaletta, or have a picnic on the Moonwalk by the mighty Mississippi. The choice is yours.

Afternoon: Free Time. Another opportunity to see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: At a fine New Orleans eatery, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. A chance for a last blast of New Orleans Jazz and “What it means to miss New Orleans.” Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Jazz Brunch, Program Concludes
New Orleans, Louisiana

Activity note: Walking 4 blocks to 9:00 a.m. brunch and back.

Brunch: At the celebrated Court of Two Sisters, we’ll settle in for a true New Orleans delight, the Jazz brunch. The elaborate buffet offers tasty hot and cold New Orleans favorites from eggs any style to Creole jambalaya, grits and grillades, gumbo, classic desserts, and much more; coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase. Tap your toes to the music of the restaurant’s resident Jazz trio. Enjoy this final dining and musical experience with a broader and deeper understanding and appreciation of our city, the one and only New Orleans. 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!

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