If you’re heading to New Orleans, then chances are you’re already planning a tour on the Mississippi River on the Steamboat Natchez, because it’s really an amazing tour of New Orleans, the River and just the thrill of being on a real Steamboat! If you’re not, this can probably change your mind because it’s such a great cruise, and it may even encourage you visit the Big Easy, when you see just how much there is to do with kids!
We arrived Late Monday Night the week of Thanksgiving for our week in New Orleans, and first thing Tuesday we were up and ready to explore the French Quarter and see the Mississippi River! First things first, of course, was a visit to Cafe Du Mond to get some beignets! Luckily, Cafe Du Mond is a short walk away from the Talouse Street Wharf for the Steamboat Natchez, and we had a perfect November day for the cruise! Fall is the absolute best time to visit New Orleans!
While you can buy tickets at the harbor, I’d really suggest buying online because it sells out quickly, especially on holiday weekends! We did the 2 hour Harbor Jazz Sightseeing Cruise, and skipped the lunch option. I was really okay with that because we I felt we would have missed so much of the tour if we had been inside eating! If you really want to include the meal, get as early of a dining time as possible.
Arrive early enough to get a good seat, because you’re not going to want to miss any of the tour! I’d suggest being on the West side of the boat, the side facing New Orleans. Most of the things to see are on this side, and on the way back they only play music.
After you secure your seating, which is first come, take a walk back to see the big paddlewheel!
From the back of the boat we watched as we left the wharf. That’s the big Crescent City Connection Bridge in the background, that crosses the Mississippi River on Hwy 90 Business. They are the last bridge to cross the Mississippi River before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico!
During the cruise, the Duke Heitger’s Steamboat Stompers plays in the dining room!
The City of New Orleans looks so different from the river!
The Rice Mill Lofts in the Bohemian section of the city known as Bywater. Tenants in the building sign a contract not to deface any of the graffiti inside the building; an artistic remnant from when the building stood vacant. Built in 1892, it was once a huge rice processing plant!
Once you’re back on dry land, you’ll definitely want to check out Bywater and Marigny Neighborhoods for their great restaurants and music scene, especially Frenchman’s Street! Cute, refubished Creole caottages on VRBO on where to stay here.
The Mississippi River and Port of New Orleans is a major shipping lane, so you’ll get to see some big ships, too, heading out to the Gulf of Mexico or all the water up to Memphis or St. Louis!
In Chalmette we saw the Domino Sugar Company Plant which has been in operation since 1909. New Orleans has always been a huge growing region for sugar cane, and south of New Orleans you can tour some of the amazing Sugar Cane Plantations that once lined the Mississippi! St. Bernard is one of the most historic of New Orleans Neighborhoods, and you can visit the Chalmette Battlegrounds, or the great local restaurants and shops.
As the steamboat began to turn around, we headed down to tour the steamroom, which is like a working museum!
Back on deck, we could see Downtown New Orleans coming into view as we made the big turn in the river, which is where the city gets it’s nickname, Crescent City!
That big blue glass building is the Audubon Aquarium of the Anericas, part of the Audubon Nature Institute which also includes the Insectarium on Canal and the Audubon Zoo in the Garden District.
As we landed back at the wharf it was so nice to see happy families and couples enjoying Woldenberg Park on the beautiful day!
Things To Do (With Kids) in New Orleans
The Audubon Aquarium is a located in the French Quarter, right on the shores of the Mississippi River! Click HERE to read more!
Ranked by Trip Advisor as the #2 Museum in the World, the National World War II Museum is a must-see! Click HERE for more information.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum is a fun play to take the kids to play and learn, located in the nearby Warehouse Museum District. Enjoy the day or enroll the kids in one of their camps to attend while you explore New Orleans for a day! Click HERE for more information.
During this visit, we stayed at the Hilton Riverfront Hotel, located just next door to Fulton Alley! The hotel offered two heated swimming pools, and a large workout facility with tennis courts and much more! It also has a terrific location, right on the river, and adjoining the Riverfront Mall and Carnival Cruise Lines port! Click HERE for more information.
400 Talouse St., New Orleans
Click HERE to visit their website.
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