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Jazz, Jambalaya and Joie de Vivre in New Orleans

Program No. 21665RJ
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.

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At a Glance

It’s the New Orleans of your imagination: the sound of Jazz drifting up Bourbon Street, a nearly miraculous bowl of gumbo, the charm of a Garden District mansion. Join us for an unforgettable stay in the Crescent City as you hear, taste and see all that New Orleans is famous for and learn about the intriguing side of the city that few outsiders know. Discover the literary landmarks of Tennessee Williams, visit the World War II Museum, learn the secrets of creole cooking from a local chef and much more. You’ll have plenty of time on your own to stroll Bourbon Street, walk the levee, eat beignets and Muffaletta sandwiches or ride a streetcar named Desire.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Amount of walking and standing varies with your level of exploration. Walking is on city streets and uneven surfaces such as cobblestones.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting substantial independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

What You'll Learn

  • Walk with an expert through the Garden District, then delve deeper into locales of your choosing via streetcar.
  • Enjoy a performance at a New Orleans jazz club as a primer on the city’s world-famous music scene.
  • Watch a cooking demonstration as you dine at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and get recommendations for further culinary explorations from experts and longtime residents.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. You may enjoy a more inclusive, easier-paced "Signature City New Orleans" (#2856) or "New Orleans at a Slower Pace: A City of History, Culture and Celebration" (#1475).
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Wolf Kassmeier
Wolf has enjoyed acting as a group leader since 2000, sharing time with guests in New Orleans, throughout Louisiana, and over-the-road ranging from National Parks in the West to Chicago. For approximately five years he served onboard Amtrak trains as a regional expert. A native Nebraskan, Wolf lived in New Orleans for thirty years.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Nellie Watson
Nellie Watson View biography
Nellie Watson’s love of architecture was born at an early age, growing up in the unique environment of New Orleans’ old neighborhoods. Studying architecture and design in college, her career began at two architecture firms before establishing her own company — Watson & Withrow, Inc. After working the Louisiana World Exposition in 1984, she founded Watson Models, working on major development projects around the world. Nellie gives workshops on the art of model making and enjoys sharing her love for the local culture and architecture.
Profile Image of Brian Altobello
Brian Altobello View biography
Brian Altobello is a native of New Orleans with a Master’s degree in U.S. History and 29 years of teaching experience. He is an Army veteran and author of three books, most recently “Whiskey, Women, and War: How World War I Shaped Jim Crow New Orleans” (University Press of Mississippi, 2021). Married to a travel writing teacher, Brian currently works as a curriculum specialist in the New Orleans area.
Profile Image of Angela Carll
Angela Carll View biography
Angela Mequet Carll is a native New Orleanian who was a writer for “The Times-Picayune” for 30 years. She holds a master’s degree in English with an emphasis on Southern Literature and is the author of “Where Writers Wrote,” a book about writers in New Orleans. She has taught at Tulane University, is a graduate of ITMI, and a licensed New Orleans exploration leader. Angela has been a group leader for Road Scholar since 2016 and brings a wide variety of experiences to her groups.
Profile Image of Milton Carr
Milton J. Carr View biography
Milton Carr was born in Tremé, a cultural center of New Orleans. After studying in San Diego, Milton returned home to New Orleans where he worked for Domino Sugars. During his 33 years at Domino, he became interested in sugar cane’s connections to slavery and the economic history of the city. Milton has been a licensed New Orleans guide since 2001, and is a one-of-a-kind expert on the city's unique music, history, culture and heritage.
Profile Image of Lyndel Brauninger
Lyndel Brauninger View biography
Lyndel Brauninger, a native New Orleanian, is a retired educator who taught in the metropolitan New Orleans area for more than 30 years. Besides leading Road Scholar groups, she leads walking “foodie” groups in the French Quarter, where she has been a licensed exploration leader since 1996. Lyndel enjoys experiencing and learning everything the Crescent City has to offer, particularly the architecture, history, music, food, and amazing theater. She is thrilled to share her passion for New Orleans with people from all over the world.
Profile Image of Wolf Kassmeier
Wolf Kassmeier View biography
Wolf has enjoyed acting as a group leader since 2000, sharing time with guests in New Orleans, throughout Louisiana, and over-the-road ranging from National Parks in the West to Chicago. For approximately five years he served onboard Amtrak trains as a regional expert. A native Nebraskan, Wolf lived in New Orleans for thirty years.
Profile Image of Robin Rocque
Robin Rocque View biography
Robin Rocque's favorite city to share with guests is her hometown of New Orleans. Its diversely unique culture and musical background provides a lovely backdrop during its introduction. Robin has happily led groups in many cities and several countries. Robin has been a licensed New Orleans tour guide since 2004, and a certified international tour manager since 2011. She is an alumna of Vassar College, and recently served as a board member of a nonprofit organization that provides community support in and around New Orleans.
Profile Image of Dave Roberts
Dave Roberts View biography
Dave Roberts was born in New Orleans and baptized in the same church as Louis Armstrong. He received his B.B.A. from Loyola University (New Orleans) and his M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. For many years he worked at Loyola University as the director of student finance. Dave started working as a New Orleans group leader in 1997. His expeditions are a blend of history, architecture, food, music, writers, movies, and current events.
Profile Image of Doreen Ketchens
Doreen Ketchens View biography
Doreen Ketchens is a musician whose primary interest lies in spreading the culture and traditional music of New Orleans all over the world through performances and education. As the leader of the jazz band Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, she has been called "Queen Clarinet," "The Female Louis Armstrong," and “Lady Louie” by critics who have heard her perform. Doreen's Jazz New Orleans has represented New Orleans around the world, performing in Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, South America, Russia and the U.S.
Profile Image of Nellie Watson
Nellie Watson View biography
Nellie Watson, a native New Orleanian, has always had a deep passion for the local environment. She has enjoyed sharing stories with Road Scholar for over 20 years, and is also a provider for aerial flightseeing tours of the endangered wetlands. With a background in architecture and a B.F.A. in environmental design, she began her career at two large international architectural firms, had her own residential design firm, and is currently is a professional model maker for major film productions like Marvel and Disney.
Profile Image of Barry Simon
Barry Simon View biography
Barry Simon is a New Orleans native. His work life was spent in pharmaceutical sales and as a surgical implant product specialist. He has extensive experience speaking before groups large and small including medical presentations as well as history presentations as a docent at the National World War II Museum. He has also been a speaker at Lunch Box lectures for the museum and in front of other groups including the American Legion, Kiwanis, and the local World War II history discussion group.
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