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ALA Annual Conference 2006ALA Annual Conference 2006
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New Orleans Tour Information

If you would like to make the most of your time in New Orleans, consider one of the many tour packages ALA has arranged. Tour information and a registration form is available (requires Adobe Acrobat). Online tour registration (free) is also available.

Policies for registration are detailed on the registration forms. Descriptions of tours are available below.



New Orleans City Tour
Friday, June 23, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, June 24, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Sunday, June 25, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
From the sultry history of the French Quarter to the majesty of St. Charles Avenue's stately mansions, this is a thorough and fascinating introduction to the endless variety of sights found in the “Big Easy.” Hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has suffered greatly and is now slowly rising from the ashes. Often referred to as “the city that never sleeps,” in the months since Katrina, the locals have joined together to prove that it is also a city that never dies. On a deluxe motor coach, you'll explore the historic French Quarter and Garden District, basically untouched by the storm. Highlights include famous landmarks such as Jackson Square with its old world flavor and its own colorful art colony, the Saint Louis Cathedral, Creole and American mansions and the unique above ground tombs of the city's cemeteries. From the River to the Lake, you'll travel through neighborhoods viewing several libraries hit hard by Katrina. All of the stories and facts will leave with you a real sense of New Orleans' true spirit, its special history and rich culture. Walking: Light.
Cost: $30.00

French Quarter Walking Tour
Friday, June 23, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
A must for every visitor to New Orleans is a walking tour of the world famous French Quarter. The original French and Spanish influences on this century's old city are evidenced by its beautiful and unique architecture. View the iron lace balconies, romantic patios, and quaint antique shops, providing the South's finest selection of European and American antiques as your guide tells fascinating tales of this historic city. Tour the Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden, where Confederate Army General Pierre G.T. Beauregard resided after the Civil War. This (Circa 1826) Greek Revival, Louisiana-raised cottage was later home to Frances Parkinson Keyes, author of Dinner at Antoine's. Keyes moved her doll collection, books, antiques and family heirlooms into the house, and they are on display in the former servant quarters where she actually lived and composed many of her books. Next, visit the Gallier House, a National Historic Landmark built in 1857. It is known as one of the finest examples of Greek revival architecture in the U.S. The bronze chandeliers in the building are originals. Deeply steeped in our history, this elegant home and its furnishings provide a glimpse into the taste and culture of mid-nineteenth century New Orleans. Walking: Heavy.
Cost: $32.00

Honey Island Swamp Tour
Friday, June 23, 1:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Forget about the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter and experience another kind of “wildlife.” Enter the land of swamps and marshes, home to hundreds of species of unique and interesting animals. Sit back and relax as you cruise through the backwaters of Honey Island, the second largest swamp in Louisiana and one of the wildest and most pristine river swamps in America. Your educated guide will talk about the ecosystem and the animals living harmoniously in Honey Island Swamp. Along the Cypress tree lined banks, you may catch a glimpse of any number of animals that inhabit the area: bald eagles, alligators, mallard and wood ducks, blue herons, snappin' turtles and water snakes. As your guide explains, “a swamp is like a zoo, but no animal is going to sit out there and wave at you; you have to spot them.” You might even spy the man-like creature that has been rumored to lurk behind the cypress trees! Walking: Light.
Cost: $44.00

Moonlight on the Mississippi
Friday, June 23, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sunday, June 25, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Hop on board the Cajun Queen, a replica of a 19th century riverboat, for a Jazzy Dinner Cruise. Join your friends on board and enjoy lively Jazz music and a Creole Buffet as you cruise the Mississippi and see the New Orleans skyline from a different perspective! Transportation is not included. Please bring your ticket and meet your group at the Canal St. Dock at Spanish Plaza. Special reserved seating for ALA guests. Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $56.00

Houmas House Plantation Tour
Saturday, June 24, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Houmas House Plantation, nicknamed “The Sugar Palace,” for its beautiful appearance and reference to its massive sugar production during the early 1800's, has recently been restored to its original grandeur. Refurbished with period antiques, fixtures and furnishings from the 1800s, the home now stands as a glorified example of a grand plantation of the South. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by docents attired in antebellum dress. Stories of life during the 1800's will peak your interest as you explore 16 exquisite rooms filled with Louisiana artwork and artifacts dating back to the original plantation. Then, take in the beautiful gardens, filled with flowing fountains and water lilies. The live oaks on the grounds are ranked among some of the oldest and most striking in the world. Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $42.00M

Braving the Bayou
Sunday, June 25, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Are you brave enough to venture deep into the swamps of Louisiana? On this combo tour, you'll take a relaxing cruise through the swamp followed by a thrilling airboat ride through the marshland. The tour begins onboard your Swamp Queen covered flatboat where you will experience the swamp at a leisurely pace, cruising through the meandering and mysterious bayous, once the site where the legendary Pirate Jean Lafitte stored his booty. Your captain, a native of the region, will provide an interesting narrative of the massive swampland as you may encounter alligators, egrets, raccoons, water snakes and many varieties of birds and flora. Next, you will speed along the bayou into the marshes of Louisiana. Your Cajun guide will stop along the way to explain the dynamic ecosystem, which supports many types of aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal life. Just as so much of New Orleans is culturally different and unique, so are its natural habitats. Walking: Light.
Cost: $86.00

San Francisco and Destrehan Plantations
Sunday, June 25, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Following the Mississippi, not far beyond New Orleans City limits, are two extraordinary plantations, each representative of great architectural vernacular and genre. San Francisco Plantation boasts its clever “Steamboat Gothic” style. In the 1860's, new Americana design blended old and new and Southern Gothic was the “in” architectural look where style of the Mississippi steamboats with their flying staircases, circular porches, colonnades and curved doors and windows was translated to the land. Built in 1856, San Francisco features vivid colors, incredibly ornate gingerbread fixings as well as five spectacular interior ceiling frescoes. This meticulously restored and furbished plantation inspired New Orleans writer Francis Parkinson's Keyes Steamboat Gothic novel setting. Destrehan Plantation, originally a 1782 French Colonial gem, was remodeled in the 1840's to a classic Greek revival. The stateliness and stature of the exterior columns and balconies are softened by the surrounding gardens and grounds. With its colorful history including a training ground after the Civil War, Destrehan is featured in New Orleans born writer Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire movie. Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $48.00

Nottoway Plantation Dinner
Sunday, June 25, 5:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Nottoway Plantation, a gem of Italianate and Greek revival styles, boasting 53,000 square feet, is an American Castle epitomizing the elegance of the Plantation era. Completed in 1859, ten years in the making, the plantation was saved from the destruction during the Civil War by a Northern Army General who had visited Nottoway years before. Entering through Nottoway's main gate you will proceed on an informal candlelit tour of the Great House, the South's largest plantation home, where docents, attired in antebellum garb, will detail the history and antiquities of Nottoway. Following your tour, a wonderful Southern dinner will be served at Randolph Hall, an elegant restaurant on the grounds of Nottoway Plantation. Evening tours will depart from and return to the New Orleans Marriott Hotel on Canal St. Please meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel. Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $92.00

Literary Legends Walking Tour
Monday, June 26, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Scores of professional writers have found the elegance and charm of New Orleans an inspiration. Enjoy an educational literary stroll through the French Quarter where your guide, a literary scholar in his own right, will introduce you to the famous and infamous antics of the many authors who worked and played in this city. Steeped in the atmosphere of the French Quarter, without walking far, you'll see the sights that daily met the writers as they went back home or out for drinks and dinner. In a Royal Street apartment, above the rumble of the streetcars, playwright Tennessee Williams got the necessary inspiration to write the final version of world renowned A Streetcar Named Desire. Williams is one of many famous writers who found a muse in New Orleans and made this city a spiritual home. William Faulkner came here to meet the writer Sherwood Anderson. Kate Chopin discovered a spirit of yearning for The Awakening in New Orleans. Novelist and social commentator Truman Capote often drank here. Anne Rice, Queen of chronicling all Vampires, was born and raised here. The ambience of the authors and their colorful histories make this tour a favorite among the literary circles of New Orleans. Walking: Heavy.
Cost: $38.00

Perspectives on Antebellum Life
Monday, June 26, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Take a journey to plantation country and experience two different perspectives of life in the Old South. Visit Laura Plantation, a true example of life on a Creole Plantation, and Oak Alley, which epitomizes the elegance of the American style Plantation home. While most antebellum homes evoke images of hoop skirts and white columns, Laura Plantation, built in 1805, presents a different view of Creole life. Your expert guide will provide an insider's perspective into a Creole household. Hear stories detailing daily life and major events of the inhabitants, both free and slave, including the discovery of the first written records of the American fable, Br'er Rabbit. And, view one of the largest collections of family artifacts original to a Louisiana plantation. Continue up River Road for a tour of Oak Alley Plantation, built in 1837. The Southern days of old are captured at one of Louisiana's most photographed Southern Mansions, which have been brought back to life in numerous Hollywood movies. Famed for its alley of live oak trees, the quarter mile avenue was already an impressive 100 years old when Oak Alley was built. This Greek revival style mansion was constructed with 28 fluted Doric columns to match the number of trees. Oak Alley is one of the finest examples of adaptive restoration on the Mississippi River. Lunch will be served at Oak Alley. Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $74.00

That Deep South Cuisine
Monday, June 26, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
“Creole,” the Spanish “criollas,” means the Children of the Colonies. In local New Orleans, Creole signifies a local specialty like tasty, juicy Creole tomatoes. Creole cuisine combines the best of both worlds: mix the French and Spanish classics and add what's fresh from the garden and swimming in the Gulf. Creole Cuisine reflected the culture - Monday was washday so the red beans and rice simmered all day. Tasty examples of Creole classics include gumbos, etouffees and grillades and grits. Your professional chef will take you into the heart of Creole Cuisine teaching you the basics of how to make a “roux” and offering explanations on the origins of many popular ingredients like “filé,” a Choctaw Indian root. Best of all, a great Creole meal will be created for you to eat and enjoy. Take home mementos including recipes, Creole cooking tips and your first-hand understanding of how New Orleans invented a brand new world-class cuisine. This is one class you don't want to skip!! Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $44.00

Ghostly Spirits and Scandalous Tales
Monday, June 26, 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Is it Urban Legend, or is New Orleans the most haunted city in the United States? Perhaps one of the most frightening ghost stories refers to the famous LaLaurie House in the French Quarter, where the ghosts of former slaves are said to reside. And, what is it about New Orleans that has caused scandal and corruption to permeate the city? As rumor has it, people used to adopt the identity of the deceased in order to vote in the city, thus given the name “ghost voters.” New Orleans has a dark and juicy past that is delicious to discover. This Port City took up the roguish and sensual customs of both the Spanish and the French and then added on incredible local legends. The unforgettable cast of characters includes eccentric outlaws, pirates, saints, sinners and famous Voodoo Queens. Strolling through the heart of the French Quarter, you'll see the most haunted sites of the city and hear stories of its legendary characters, from the Pirate Jean Lafitte to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and the Governors and visitors who consorted in the famous red light districts. Enjoy a delicious Creole dinner at Tujague's, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans. Evening tours will depart from and return to the New Orleans Marriott Hotel on Canal St. This is a walking tour only. Transportation is not included. Please meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel. Walking: Heavy.
Cost: $66.00

Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour
Tuesday, June 27, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Just as so much of New Orleans is culturally different and unique, so are its natural habitats. In a landscape marked by a temperate climate and fed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Louisiana swamp is a symphony of local critters. Alligators, nutria, egrets and herons abound. Boarding a specially designed canopy-covered pontoon boat, this excursion starts on a Bayou…local parlance for small rivulet or stream. A sense of difference is immediate as gnarled and twisted cypress stumps and branches are lushly draped with Spanish moss. The swamp reveals its hidden treasures as well as its historic camouflage capacity of hiding famous pirates waiting for their prey. On the water in the swamp you'll feel such a distinctive sense of Louisiana living as a history of pirogues, canoes and fishing boats have made the Swamp a part of daily life. Walking: Moderate.
Cost: $40.00


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