We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: This town was made for walking. Even at the height of the humid summer months, when everyone’s main motivation is to laze in the shade and sip cool drinks, you can still flit between air-conditioned restaurant and air-conditioned museum.

With every step in undeniably unique New Orleans, there is something extraordinary to marvel at and commit to memory, in your mind’s eye or on your phone: a gorgeous building more interesting than the last, a “colorful” character, a tuba-lugging musician in formal wear.

Stroll along the city streets, or the banks of Bayou St. John, turning when it strikes your fancy. You might have a street to yourself—or share it with a fleeting ghost? Imagine it 100 years ago, without the cars and overhead wires: It wouldn't have looked much different than it does now.

The French Quarter, Garden District, and Bayou St. John each have their own distinct appearances, fascinating history, and a bit of mystery—and all are easily manageable on foot. So put on some good walking shoes, breathe in that Southern breeze, and mosey. Go slow. Take it (big) easy. Admire the lacy ironwork. Peek through French Quarter gateways, where simple facades hide exquisite courtyards with elaborate fountains and thick foliage. Gawk at the mighty oaks, some dripping with swaying Spanish moss.

These self-guided walking tours provide a solid introduction to what is simply one of the most beautiful cities anywhere, and answer some “That looks interesting—what the heck is it?” queries.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.