Take in new N.O. history bus tour, Aquarium after dark

Photo provided by New Orleans BusVision -- 'The Essence of Identity' tour features African-American history spots throughout the French Quarter.
Photo provided by New Orleans BusVision -- 'The Essence of Identity' tour features African-American history spots throughout the French Quarter.

Visitors to the Essence Festival can wrap up their trip to New Orleans with a new African-American tour.

Organized by BusVision specifically for the festival, “The Essence of Identity” tour is set to become a regular part of the company’s walking tour offerings.

Going beyond the well-known African-American neighborhood of Treme, the tour extends to the French Quarter, which was built by enslaved Africans. Almost a third of the property in the French Quarter was owned by free people of color. In front of the cathedral each Sunday, Senegambian dancers and drummers would celebrate a mandated day off. And in St. Louis Cemetery lie Marie Laveau, granddaughter of a slave, and Homer Plessy, founder of the Civil Rights movement.

The tour covers these topics and more, and is only available to those who purchase a New Orleans BusVision double decker, Hop-on, Hop-off tour ticket.

Tickets that include one “city loop” and “The Essence of Identity” tour are available online through BusVision at http://www.bus-vision.com starting at $44. For reservations, call (504) 339-1174.

Scales & Ales

Plans are underway at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas for its Scales & Ales event to benefit the Aquarium’s education programs and conservation efforts.

The fourth annual event is Friday, Sept. 20, and is the signature fundraiser for Audubon Aquarium, a once-a-year opportunity to support the education and conservation initiatives of Audubon while experiencing the sights and sounds of the Aquarium after dark.

Partygoers can enjoy Abita Beer tastings, wine, specialty cocktails, and cuisine from more than 30 local restaurants. Live entertainment includes Atlanta’s Simply Irresistible and the New Orleans Sirens.

Scales & Ales is an adult-only event running 8 p.m.-11p.m., with a Patron Party at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $45. Patron tickets are $100 per person. Sponsor packages start at $500. All food and drinks are included in ticket price. Call (504) 861-5107 for more information. To purchase tickets visit http://www.AudubonInstitute.org.

Audubon Aquarium and Entergy IMAX® Theatre will be closed all day Friday, Sept. 20, to prepare for the event.

N.O. museum honored

TripAdvisor┬«, the world’s largest travel site, has named the National WWII Museum as one of its Travelers’ Choice Attractions for 2013.

The awards are based on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor travelers.

The National WWII Museum was named the No. 7 museum in the United States and No. 14 worldwide for 2013. Other U.S. museums in the top 10 included the National Air and Space Museum, the National Naval Aviation Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

This year has brought unprecedented attendance to the museum.

On Monday, March 11, the museum set a new daily attendance record with 3,556 visitors. March was also a record-breaking month in which the museum welcomed 54,198 visitors, a 23 percent increase over the previous high of 44,800 in March 2012.

Construction is well underway at the museum on another new pavilion, “Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theaters,” which is slated to open in the summer of 2014.

For more information, call (877) 813-3329 or (504) 528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.

Agritourism workshop set

A workshop for landowners interested in starting an outdoor recreational business on their property will be held Tuesday, July 23, at the Wildwood Resort in Zwolle.

The morning session will start at 9 a.m., and topics will include revenue potential, a Wildwood Resort testimonial, liability and legal considerations, marketing and cost-share assistance programs.

The afternoon session will start at 12:45 p.m. with a tour of Wildwood Resort, presentations on fee-based hunting and fishing, nature trails, and wildlife and bird watching.

Registration is $25 per person or $30 a couple. Payment can be made to the LSU AgCenter and mailed along with a phone number and email address to LSU AgCenter, Hill Farm Research Station, 11959 La. Highway 9, Homer, LA, 71040.

The Wildwood Resort is located at 129 Wildwood Road.

Sponsors include the LSU AgCenter, Walton Family Foundation, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Sabine Parish Tourism Commission, Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Stations, Mississippi Farm Bureau, Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, MSU Forestry and Wildlife Research Center, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information, call Dora Ann Hatch at (318) 927-9654, ext. 229.

Club heading to London

The Big Easy Jazz Ambassadors, a non-profit travel club, is looking for truck float riders for the 2014 London New Year’s Day Parade.

The club is seeking “bead-throwers and second-liners” for the club’s trip to London and Paris Dec. 28-Jan. 6, 2014.

The group will spend five days in London and an extra five days in Paris sight-seeing. The trip is $3,675 per person, with everything included except lunches.

For further information, email gwood68@aol.com, call (504) 835-8310, or visit the parade website at lnydp.com.

Louisiana Travels is a biweekly column about travel destinations and events in Louisiana. Email items for Louisiana Travels to travel@theadvocate.com or jbergeron@theadvocate.com or mail to Judy Bergeron, News Features assistant editor, The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810.