Last week, I spent a few days in New Orleans for a work trip. I was asked to give a presentation on social media on Tuesday, but I spent Sunday through Thursday in the city, which meant I had one major day of work and a lot of free time. I knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time on my own, and I wanted to find a fun and safe way to explore the city, so I opted to do a bike tour. A quick Google search led me to FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours, and I must say, they were amazing.
My tour guide’s name was Mike, and he did a great job of making little ole me feel right at home. There were just three of us in this tour, which was called Mardi Gras, Mansions, & Movie Stars. I wanted to go on the Creole & Crescent tour, but it was sold out, and I’m actually thrilled that it was. This was my first time riding a bike in a really long time, and if I was with nine other people (which is the max for their tours) and the tour guide, I think I would have struggled a lot more with keeping up on my bike. I loved just having the four of us together.
On the tour, we learned about the history of New Orleans and visited one of the most beautiful parts of New Orleans that I’ve ever seen, The Garden District. We saw some gorgeous mansions, many of which were decorated with Mardi Gras beads for the season. It was a lot of fun to do this tour while Mardi Gras season was in session. It was also interesting to see places where movies and TV shows had been filmed and see the houses mansions that celebrities call home.
We made a pit stop for refreshments at a coffee shop called Still Perkin’ during the middle of our tour. I enjoyed an everything bagel while exploring the little book shop in the shopping area. It was so cute, and I was tempted to buy many things, but I stopped myself because of my challenge and all.
We visited the Lafayette Cemetery, where I learned exactly how tombs work. It was definitely interesting considering many of the tombs had been there for so long.
On our way back to FreeWheelin’, we ran into a mini Mardi Gras parade with several elementary school students. It was the cutest thing. We also ran into a line of floats headed to be set up for the parades that would be happening later that night.
Mike told us about an artist that they call Banksy who sneaks around every once in awhile and pants murals on buildings. These murals are worth thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars, and we stopped to admire this one, depicting the Gray Ghost:
I loved exploring New Orleans on my bike and would love to take another tour with FreeWheelin’. Mike was an incredible guide, and he was so patient with me after finding out that I hadn’t ridden a bike in years. After the tour, I asked him for a recommendation of where to eat, and he suggested a place called The Royal House. I walked there and enjoyed impeccable service. Everyone was so nice, and one of the workers even talked to me about Shreveport because he had lived there for awhile.
I ordered a dozen raw oysters for lunch, and holy cow, they were so good. It was an oyster bar, so I figured I may as well go for what they’re known for, and they didn’t disappoint. I forgot how much I loved raw oysters. I also enjoyed a glass of moscato with my meal that was tasty and sweet.
On my walk back to the hotel, I spotted a cute little place called Cafe Beignet and decided to stop in. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Cafe du Monde this trip, but I still wanted to get my beignet fix. I’m so glad I made the stop, because the beignets were delicious and the perfect thing to fill my already mostly full belly. Plus, the place was so adorable. They had little heart chairs and brick walls. I loved it.
I’m so happy I decided to take a bike tour because it led to so many great things. I was able to explore parts of New Orleans that I know I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and I got a great recommendation for a lunch spot and an awesome surprise dessert on the way home. It was definitely a perfect solo travel day.
If you want to see my New Orleans trip in action, be sure to check out my latest vlog!
Have you ever been on a bike tour? What’s your favorite way to explore a new city?