New Orleans Bicycle Tours: An Affordable Option

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has a uniqueness all its own. With so many different cultures influencing the city over the centuries there seems to be a bit of everything here and there. The usual vacationer comes for Mardi Gras, a football game, or one of the many conventions that occur in the city. To truly see and experience the people, culture, and history of New Orleans you have to be a part of it. Here is some insight to a popular way to take it all in.

Tour The City

There are many ways to tour New Orleans, but one of the best ways to really get close to everything is to take a bike tour. Bike tours let you see things at your own pace. Whether you choose a self-guided tour or travel with a guide who knows the area intimately, you’re sure to see things that would have been overlooked if you had toured the city any other way.

A Professional Tour at a Reasonable Rate

Choose the parts of the Big Easy that you’re most interested in, and focus on the sights to be found there. Bicycle tours cost far less than taking a tour bus and take in a lot more area than a walking tour can manage. This is the best of all worlds, allowing you to experience the city in a close, personal way, stopping to take a closer look or snap some photos at interesting sights along the way.

New Orleans has over 100 miles of bike ways, giving bike tours access to places others can’t go. Cyclists can pedal through some of the city’s classic, iconic neighborhoods, the famous French Quarter or ride along the Mississippi River and watch as the river traffic sails past.

Family posing for photo during bike tour – Courtesy of FreeWheelin Bike Tours

Tour with or without a Guide

How you see the sights of New Orleans is up to you. Self-guided bicycle tours are a very affordable option, perfect for the traveler on a budget or who just likes to see things on their own. For a more complete tour, take the professionally-guided tour and travel the city with a knowledgeable expert.

What’s Involved in a Guided Tour?

For people who want an in-depth look at the city, a professional guide is a great option. This choice still offers a discount over what other types of tours cost while providing an unparalleled personalized experience. The guide leads a group of travelers on pre-determined routes in and around some of the most interesting parts of the Big Easy, making sure that everybody gets to see all the things they were hoping for.

A guided tour is a bike tour where you are accompanied by a professional guide. This is someone who knows the area well and who will work hard to make sure that you have an awesome experience as you discover different parts of the city. A guide is able to answer many questions that people have about various aspects of the city, including its history and the people involved in making it what it is today.

Group posing for photo during New Orleans bike tour – FreeWheelin Bike Tours

What is a Self-guided Tour?

Self-guided bicycle tours are similar to professionally-guided tours in some ways, especially in that the tour route has been created to take cyclists past many of the most interesting parts of the city. The tour is set up by a professional guide, and the information provided includes not only a travel route but also many interesting facts about the different points of interest on the tour.

This option is less expensive than a professionally-guided tour, as there is no tour guide to pay for. It’s perfect for those who wish to control more of their travel experience as well as for those on a tight budget.

What about Renting a Bike?

A third option that many people choose is to skip the tour part altogether and simply rent a bike for all or part of a day. This is even less expensive than a self-guided tour and can offer significant savings to people trying to spend as little as possible. The American Bicycle Rental Company is the oldest and most established bike rentals business in New Orleans.

The downside of renting a bike without taking a tour is that it’s easy to miss many of the amazing sights in and around the area. People unfamiliar with the city may see interesting buildings but not be aware of their historical significance or of the quirky or unusual stories behind them. However, a good city guidebook can help to fill that gap and make even a day out biking an unforgettable travel experience.

How to Choose the Best Option

When choosing a bicycle tour in the city of New Orleans, consider the factors that are important to you when deciding the best option. If money is your main concern, rent a bike and travel the city on your own, looking at all of the unique sculptures and architecture as you pass.

If you are a bit more flexible with your budget and don’t want to miss anything, a self-guided tour might be the ideal option. There are many bicycle services available. Here you can take advantage of a route someone else has already planned out, allowing you to see as much as possible during your time in the city.

To tour the city in first-class style, a professionally-guided tour is the best option. It’s more expensive than the other cycling choices, but typically far less expensive than other types of tours. You’ll get to learn about the city from an expert, plus you’ll get your questions answered along the way.

Whatever option you choose, hopping on a bike and getting out into the city will give you a view of things that you won’t be able to get any other way. It will make your trip unforgettable.