Buses are the ideal mode of transport for tours, moving more slowly than an airplane so that riders can enjoy the sights, while eliminating the unwieldy aspects of traveling by tortoise-back. Take in the view from a comfortable wheeled coach with today's Groupon: for $22, you get a three-hour bus tour of New Orleans from Southern Style Tours (up to a $45 value).
Southern Style Tours gives first-time visitors and longtime residents alike a mind-stretching perspective of New Orleans heritage and culture from its fleet of small coaches, which seat no more than 25 people. The three-hour tour begins with an in-depth look at both the greenery-bedecked Garden District and the historic French Quarter, so named because it is shaped like a quarter. Southern Style's expert guides narrate the journey, cruising by important buildings and ethnic enclaves and getting special notice of celebrity homes, including those of Sandra Bullock, the Manning family, and all three Musketeers. The group eventually disembarks for a short walking tour of the St. Louis Cemetery #3 and its gothic, aboveground tombs.
The second half of the excursion takes tourists to the Lower Ninth Ward to witness the area most damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Trippers will learn about the impact of the flooding, as well as the repair work being undertaken by groups such as Brad Pitt's Make it Right 9, dedicated to rebuilding the area with eco-friendly, storm-resistant houses, and Harry Connick, Jr.'s Musician's Village, a collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
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