NEW ORLEANS WILL Brush Up on Its History with Walking Tour Classes

Having a firm grasp on this city’s past can be hard – established almost 300 years ago, New Orleans has a rich culture and history full of remarkable events, memorable architecture, and fun facts. Perhaps you’ve resolved to become a “tourist in your own city,” and finally participate in one of the several tours offered around New Orleans; you can also become a tour guide yourself thanks to the Friends of the Cabildo.


Madame John’s Legacy on Dumaine Street is the oldest surviving residence in the Mississippi Valley. Built in 1788, the house is one of many historic finds throughout the French Quarter. (Photo courtesy Wally Gobetz on Flickr)

For those interested in a crash course on New Orleans history or becoming a tour guide, the Friends of the Cabildo offers a Walking Tour Guide Training Program that provides intensive training focusing on both classroom and field experience. Led by Friends of the Cabildo Board Member Jane Molony, the program covers the history of Louisiana, with particular attention paid to the city of New Orleans.

Not only academic in scope, the Tour Guide Training Program also outlines best practices on presentation techniques and how to conduct tours in addition to on-the-street experience (each trainee will complete a shadowing experience with an official Friends of the Cabildo guide). In order to complete the course, students must pass a one-on-one tour and, if desired, a written exam in order to obtain a tour guide license.

If you decide to take part in the course, you can become a volunteer tour guide for the Friends of the Cabildo. Typically, volunteer guides provide tours one or two times per month and can host one of several tours offered by the organization. Each tour focuses on different parts of the city. Faubourg Marigny/Esplanade, Lower Garden District, and Lower Central Business District are just a few of the areas covered, in addition to offerings like the Music History, which focuses on cultural and historical aspects rather than a specific neighborhood.

The Friends of the Cabildo course costs $200 and classes begin in March. Contact Kaydee Nenninger at or call (504) 523-3939 for more information.