New Orleans Spouse and Guest Tours Celebrate City's Spirit

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This year's Congress of Cities spouse and guest tours in New Orleans will both inspire and celebrate the spirit of this unique American city.

The tours will highlight the indomitable culture of the people of New Orleans and will give a glimpse into the post-Katrina rebuilding process. The tours will prove to be both entertaining and informative and give participants a taste of the flavor that is New Orleans.

Devastation & Hope Tour

This educational tour is designed to provide a first hand-look at what occurred in August of 2005. Visit sites where massive failure of engineered canals flooded the surrounding neighborhoods and eventually 80 percent of the city. See how the Army Corps of Engineers is re-engineering these structures, and tour neighborhoods in the process of rebuilding.

Travel through neighborhoods such as Lakeview, Gentilly, New Orleans East and the Ninth Ward and see how Hurricane Katrina devastated these neighborhoods. Witness the hope these neighborhoods have for rebuilding.

Sunset on the River Jazz Dinner Cruise

Prepare to take a journey back in lime on the Mighty Mississippi aboard an authentic steamboat.

The personalized cruise will travel from the heart of the French Quarter through the second busiest port in the world. You will enjoy a dinner buffet of traditional New Orleans Creole cuisine and dance to the sounds of a lively jazz band.

Historic Tour of New Orleans

Explore the unique architecture, history and folklore of the colorful city of New Orleans as you board your personal deluxe motor coach with an entertaining tour guide.

Begin the tour in the heart of the City, the "Vieux Carre" (French Quarter), and proceed down fabulous Esplanade Avenue past its many historic mansions, Then head north through Mid-City to the majestic City Park and Lake Ponchartrain. Your route back will follow historic St. Charles Avenue, which houses some of the city's grandest mansions.

French Quarter Homes Tour

The beauty and the mystery of the French Quarter are best discovered behind the walls of its most historic homes, This tour will reveal the history of the French Quarter's most beautiful treasures such as the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley, the Old Ursuline Convent. You will also see the oldest apartment building in America, the Pontalba.

Taste of New Orleans Cooking Class & Lunch

A highly skilled and entertaining chef will share the secrets of preparing and seasoning flavorful local favorites such as chicken and andouille gumbo, jambalaya, delicious bread pudding and pecan pralines.

Partake of generous portions during a taste-tempting lunch following the class, and receive complimentary recipes and Cajun cooking tips at the end of the class.

New Orleans Literary Tour

The streets of the "Vieux Carre" (French Quarter) will come alive on this walking tour designed by a prominent professor of New Orleans literature.

Begin in Pirates Alley, the New Orleans home of William Faulkner, now home to Faulkner Books. …