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New Year’s Bucket List Resolutions for the Young at Heart – New Orleans

New Year’s Bucket List Resolutions for the Young at Heart – New Orleans

Last week, we introduced our Kentucky Derby bus trip as part one of our New Year’s Bucket List Resolutions for the Young at Heart. This week’s tour destination is “The Big Easy” – New Orleans!

Your October vacation will begin on the road to one of the world’s most exciting cities well known for its nightlife, vibrant live-music scene, and spicy, signature cuisine that reflects its melting pot history of French, Creole, and Cajun cultures. This destination is sure to be unlike any city you’ve ever encountered with its beautifully unique architecture (from Shotgun Houses to Creole Cottages and Raised Center Hall Villas), fascinating history of a city founded by pirates, famous jazz music, and captivating personality. It is nearly impossible to walk down any street in the French Quarter without hearing live music being played either on the street by talented performers, or billowing out of their many bars and jazz clubs. Come fall in love with the character and passion of this lovely city!

Your hotel is conveniently located right in the French Quarter, a walkable series of streets filled with restaurants, music clubs, art galleries, unique shops, and plenty to see and do. On your first full day in The Big Easy, you’ll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the fascinating French Quarter, and the beautiful Garden District filled with stately mansions, some of which belong to famous movie stars! Of course, no trip to New Orleans is complete without experiencing some of the mardi gras magic for which the city is famous. Your vacation includes a visit to Mardi Gras World where you’ll learn all about this festive tradition, see former floats and decorations and get a sneak peek at the studio where the floats for the next Mardi Gras are being created. Photo opportunities abound! This evening, the New Orleans fun and tradition continues with a special dinner cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez! Experience the lively sounds of one of New Orleans’ best (Grammy-nominated) live jazz bands while enjoying a lavish buffet as the sweet Mississippi River breezes and the city skyline slips by. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture breathtaking views of the city from the water and be sure to visit their museum quality engine room.

Steamboat Natchez, Photo by Bald Eagle Bluff, Flickr

The following morning you’ll enjoy a live jazz brunch in the French Quarter courtyard of the award-winning The Court of Two Sisters. Once you’re all fueled up and ready to go, you’ll pay a visit to the National World War II Museum, a top-rated New Orleans attraction and the #1 thing to do in New Orleans according to TripAdvisor.com. “Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, The National WWII Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world.” The rest of your day is on own to explore all that the city has to offer.

Cajun Pride Swamp Tour

On your final day in New Orleans, you’ll leave the city for an epic adventure into a privately owned wildlife refuge for an authentic Louisiana swamp eco-tour where you’ll learn about the early days of Louisiana bayou and swamp explorations and have plenty of opportunities to view the unique flora and fauna as well as the abundant wildlife, including the American Alligator! You don’t want to forget your camera for this one! Your native Cajun Captain is chock full of knowledge and humor, making this excursion a wonderful, outside-the-norm, experience. Upon our return to land, we’ll head out to Oak Alley Plantation. View the beautiful canopy of giant oak trees lining the impressive avenue leading to the classic Greek-revival style antebellum home. Later, you’ll visit the New Orleans School of Cooking to learn about the wonderful food and rich culture of New Orleans and Louisiana from Creole and Cajun experts who teach New Orleans’ specialty dishes and season them with history, trivia, and folklore.

Oak Alley Plantation

As you make your way home on a comfortable Starr bus, you’ll be reflecting on all of the fantastic sights and experiences you’re taking with you – memories to truly last a lifetime!

So, join us in October for this truly remarkable vacation!

New Year’s Travel Resolutions For the Young At Heart – Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

This week we travel south to Mississippi where one of many highlights on your New Year’s Resolution vacation is your stay at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, but the great things about this trip don’t stop there. Take everything you would expect at a beachfront destination, add historic attractions, beautiful towns, delicious cuisine, and mix in a heaping spoonful of Southern hospitality. Now that’s a recipe for fun!

Beau Rivage Resort and Casino

You’ll stay at the luxurious waterfront Beau Rivage Resort & Casino located on the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, MS. A AAA Four Diamond Award recipient, this hotel overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and offers fabulous gaming, a large and diverse selection of shopping opportunities, and 12 options for dining with everything from a great buffet to fine dining and a 24 hour cafe.

Get the real southern coastal experience with a Shrimping Trip and Marine Adventure Cruise. “The pride and heritage of Biloxi comes alive aboard this unique and interesting cruise.  Learn everything you ever wanted to know about catching, cooking, and eating this delicious southern delicacy, Mississippi Gulf Coast Style. The crew will entertain and educate while dropping a 16 foot trawl and dragging the bottom of the Mississippi Sound for all of the delicacies she has to offer. Upon leaving the harbor, the shrimping net is set out with full details of how and what makes the net spread and operate correctly.”¹ The net will catch shrimp and other sea creatures in its path. You’ll have an opportunity to see one or all of the following: Blue Crabs, Flounder, Stingray, Oysterfish, Squid, Pufferfish, and numerous other species of local marine life.

Biloxi, Mississippi

Experience the city of Biloxi, one of the oldest communities in the country, settled in 1699. The city is a cultural melting pot set against a backdrop of sugar-white sand beaches, museums and historic sites, tantalizing seafood restaurants, and more. Our unique tour of Biloxi will take you back in time on an historical journey though Old Town Biloxi and the Hurricane Katrina devastated areas.  You’ll get to see Biloxi’s Visitor Center & Museum, Hurricane Memorials, Biloxi Town Green, and Biloxi Lighthouse.

Speaking of history, another highlight of this trip includes a visit to Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.  The beautifully restored Beauvoir house dominates the sprawling complex that includes antebellum outbuildings, a Civil War museum, a historic cemetery, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and nature trails.  You’ll also pay a visit to The Little White House Historic Site – the cottage where Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. Preserved as it was on the day he died, you’ll see original furniture, memorabilia & the portrait on which Elizabeth Shoumatoff was working on when the President suffered a stroke.

French Quarter, New Orleans

You’ll love New Orleans, yet another highlight on this vacation. Your New Orleans City Tour is a thorough and fascinating introduction to the endless variety of sights found in America’s most European city. Then, experience a wonderful Jazz Brunch Buffet at the Court of Two Sisters before having free time to explore the French Quarter on your own. See the famous architecture, gaze at the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square then head across the street for a famous beignet from Cafe du Monde. The French Marketplace isn’t far from here, and the French Quarter itself is teeming with art and antiques and unique shops. And then there’s the music… it is hard to go anywhere in the French Quarter without hearing some of that fabulous New Orleans jazz. This is a city that will keep you coming back for more!

The Gulf Coast is home to many special southern treasures and this is just a small sample of all that you’ll see and do on this vacation. Come with us and see what Mississippi’s Gulf Coast has to offer!


¹Biloxi Shrimping Trip