Adventure Activities in New Orleans -- Try if You Dare

Adventure Activity New Orleans

Getty Images

New Orleans, La., is a city known for paddle boats, Creole, gumbo and jazz music -- pretty tame stuff, really. Luckily for the thrill-seeking bayou-bound traveler, there are plenty of adventures to experience in The Big Easy besides Mardi Gras.

Here are five adventure activities in New Orleans, La. that we dare you try:

1. Explore gator territory

When people hear the word "bayou," the word "Louisiana" is most likely to follow. If not, then it will be the word "alligator." In a state that holds approximately 40 percent of the U.S. wetlands, New Orleans is home to an array of wildlife, including this giant, carnivorous reptile.

To venture into the bayou to get a better look at these creatures, take a boat tour of the Manchac Swamp with Cajun Pride Swamp Tours. With gators measuring over 19 feet in length known to be found in these waters, this is no swan boat ride in the park. Visitors can get an up-close, and almost too personal, look at the alligators, giant bull frogs, snakes and other native animals that glide through the water alongside the boat. They are familiar with the tour boats in this area, so they are not afraid to approach the boats. To help educate guests about the American alligator, guides take you right into the habitat and breeding ground of this cold-blooded creature, hopefully, not while the alligator is around.
Location: 110 Frenier Road, LaPlace

2. Enter the swamp -- at night

For thrill-seekers who want to raise the bar and would rather be the hunter than the hunted, a must-try adventure activity in New Orleans is bow fishing. Travel a short 20 minutes south of the city to embark on an adventure with Deep Delta Bowfishing, where you can ride close to the surface of the swampy, alligator-infested waters armed with a bow and arrow and hunt for fish that can be upwards of 40 pounds -- and do it all in the dark.

If you think the swamp can be eerie during the day, how about at night? We dare you to float through the murky waters illuminated only by the boat's floodlights that attracts glowing eyes of all kinds.

Location: Belle Chasse, La.

3. Have an eerie experience

Locals and visitors alike have always been aware of New Orleans' spiritual presence. The city's voodoo culture dates back to when the city was founded in 1718, and there are believed to be spirits, ghosts and other non-living beings still residing in New Orleans. We dare you to explore these hauntingly historical locations by taking a tour with Haunted History Tours. They can guide you through some of the most haunted areas in New Orleans.

Tours include the Haunted Garden District Tour, which includes the house of the Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, where he died in the middle of a cold December night in 1889. It is said that he still dwells in the house watching over the beloved city that he gave his life to defend. The Cemetery Tour allows you to view the above-ground tombs that hold the bodies of past New Orleans residents including the "Queen of Voodoo," Marie Laveau. To find out more about the legend of this woman's magic, take the Voodoo Tour, where you will be guided to sites where this dark craft was practiced, hear stories of the voodoo practitioners and also visit a voodoo shop to get a look at the relevance of voodoo in a modern world.

If you are not interested in ghost stories and are more intrigued by the stories of the undead, then the Vampire Tour is for you. The website even says, "encounter the legend of the famous New Orleans vampires, real and fictional." Real? This tour will give you the chance to learn and uncover the myths of these blood-sucking civilians. Even if you aren't a believer, we dare you to delve into the past and find the truth for yourself.

Haunted History Tours

4. Dine on pig tails

For an authentic New Orleans food experience that will stay with you long after you eat it, be sure to stop at one of the many restaurants that serve up soul food. Traditional Creole soul food usually consists of chicken and/or pork neck pieces and bones.

One of the places known for soul food, is the Two Sisters Kitchen, which with its home-style cooking, dishes out this specialty to locals as well as visitors. Neck bones are typically from a chicken, pig or cow and accompanied by collard greens and rice or in stew form. Don't forget the corn bread, boiled pigs feet and pig tail. We are not talking about the kind you find on the head of a cute, little girl. Need I say more? We dare you to look past the typical and experience this true Creole cuisine.
Location: 223 N. Derbigny St.

5. Take on others in a massive urban dare

This is another adventure activity in New Orleans, you may want to try. Test your physical and mental strengths when you participate in a city-wide adventure race and scavenger hunt. Urban Dare conducts these team trivia hunts in cities across the country. They bring the excitement to New Orleans on Oct. 23rd, 2010. Your team of two, or family team of three or four will cover over five miles while competing against other teams to solve clues, reach checkpoints and take on physical challenges. Be sure to bring your digital camera; you will be documenting your challenges and stops along the way. Run, walk, or ride and don't worry about not being very familiar with the layout of the city; there is no rule against asking the locals for help as you go.

The team that solves all the 12 clues first will win free entry to the Super Dare Cruise that takes you on a three-day hunt through the Bahamas, giving you a chance to win $5,000. We dare you to take on this fun challenge that allows you to see New Orleans as you have never imagined.

More New Orleans Articles From Our Partners
Read Full Story

From Our Partners