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What We Do

The story of New Orleans begins here. No city celebrates life, or death, quite like New Orleans. Come learn about jazz funerals. Find out why most of our dead are buried above-ground. Hear tales of the famous soldiers, statesmen, musicians, and even Storyville madams who rest in our Cities of the Dead. Our tours are both historically accurate and entertaining. (You can’t make this stuff up!) Most importantly, proceeds from our tours go to preserving our unique cemeteries.

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St. Louis Cemeteries No. 1 & 2 and Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District are closed. We don't know when they will open again.



Stroll through Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery


Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery Tour
1.5 hours | Sundays at 10 am | Named by Forbes as one of ten of “America’s Best Cemeteries.”

The most stunning “city of the dead” is Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery. This picturesque cemetery boasts some of the grandest funerary architecture and sculpture in the US. Live oaks surround greek temples, gothic and Islamic style tombs, obelisks, and marble monuments with beautiful ironwork and stained glass.

The resting place of many of New Orleans' most influential and notorious citizens, Metairie Cemetery holds the graves of over 9,000 people on 65 landscaped acres. Nine Louisiana governors, seven New Orleans mayors, 49 kings of Carnival, and three Confederate generals rest alongside madams, brothel owners, bandleaders Louis Prima and Al Hirt, the future tomb of writer Anne Rice, and former Saints and Pelicans’ owner Tom Benson.

The cemetery was established in 1872 on a former horse racetrack and is the home of Save Our Cemeteries' annual Run Through History race fundraiser for preservation and restoration of New Orleans Cemeteries.

This is an easy walk. Wheelchair accessible. Tips for the Guide are appreciated. Please review us on Trip Advisor.

Sundays at 10 am 
Tickets $25, Kids under 6: free.


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Tour St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 near City Park


St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 Tour
1.5 hours | Starting Saturday, July 24

Just a short walk from City Park is St. Louis Cemetery No.3, on stately Esplanade Avenue. This beautiful Catholic cemetery near tranquil Bayou St. John was initially a cemetery for victims of leprosy. Today it is an ideal place to stroll among the tombs as you learn about the burial customs of New Orleans and hear the real stories of the famous and infamous that fascinate the world and locals alike. St. Louis No. 3 is the final resting place of notable architect James Gallier, Storyville photographer E.J. Bellocq, and New Orleans chefs Leah Chase and Paul Prudhomme. 

This is an easy walk. Wheelchair accessible.
 Tips for the Guide are appreciated. Please leave us a review on Trip Advisor and/or Google.

Saturdays at 10 am
Tickets: $25 Kids under 6: FREE

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Take our Garden District Tour


Garden District Tour
1.5 hours | Stroll Along Oak-Lined Streets

Often considered one of the best-preserved collections of historic mansions in the Southern United States, you’ll see the opulent homes of celebrities, sports stars, and historical figures as well as some film locations. Architectural styles of the homes include Greek Revival, Italianate, Swiss Chalet, Queen Anne, Beaux-Arts, and more. We will start the tour at the famed Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 across the street from the world-famous Commander’s Palace where you’ll see above-ground tombs and hear about burial customs and traditions; both past and present. Hear about the famous “residents” of this City of the Dead and the different types of tombs they reside in. Learn about the relationship between the cemetery and this neighborhood that had its beginnings in the 19th century while you stroll along the oak-lined streets.

Please note the sidewalks can be very uneven. Tips for the Guide are appreciated. Please leave us a review on Trip Advisor and/or Google.

Fridays and Saturdays at 10 am 
Tickets $25, Kids under 6: free.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Tours typically last one and a half hours. Please allow at least two hours to take our tours.
  • All tours leave on time, rain or shine.
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour begins, as our tour guides start their tours promptly at the scheduled times. DO NOT rely on the streetcars (trolleys) to run on time. You may be late and/or miss the tour.
  • Suggested items to bring: bottled water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, hats, umbrellas (to protect from rain and provide shade).
  • Please reserve your spot in advance. In busy months, tours can fill up quickly. On the other hand, if no one is signed up or there are less than 4 people signed up, the tour will be canceled. If you are booking online please reserve at least two hours before the tour begins. Otherwise, call 504-525-3377 to book.
  • New Orleans' Cemeteries are sacred grounds. They are "active", and funerals may occur during the tour. Proper respect is requested.
  • Marking a tomb is an act of vandalism and desecration of a gravesite. In addition to breaking the law and causing physical damage, the vandalism of any tomb or gravesite is extremely disrespectful to the families associated with the tomb and to the deceased themselves. Marking and scratching into the stucco causes permanent damage to the exterior and increases the structural vulnerability of a tomb. Removing brick pieces from other tombs to use as markers can completely destroy what is left of an already crumbling tomb. SOC asks that if you see vandalism occurring in any of the cemeteries, please photograph the tomb if possible and contact SOC and/or the cemetery owner/operators to report the activity.  
  • TA Best of the Best
    TA Best of the Best