On the last day of our trip to New Orleans, we decided to tour the Garden District after we checked out of our resort. Since check out was at 10am, we had plenty of time before we had to head to the airport so a walking tour was perfect. We found a great deal on Groupon with Historic New Orleans Tours, so we purchased our tickets a couple days before.
The wonderful folks over at Kia gave me the opportunity to drive the new 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid sedan during our trip. Let’s take a pause for the cause – this car is definitely my style. It’s edgy and classy, sporty and chic, all at the same time. The Kia Optima Hybrid is one of the 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $40,000 of 2017, according to Kelley Blue Book. It also earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award in 2017.
Space wise, it was perfect for a solo traveler or up to a group of 4 people. There was plenty of room for the two of us and our luggage on this Baecation. Because we would not be returning to the resort, we packed everything up and kept it in the trunk until it was time to head to the airport. As you can see, we had plenty of space for our luggage.
The meeting location for the tour was about 30 minutes away from the resort. Whenever I’m driving in a place I’m not familiar with, I’m always nervous about making sure I do not exceed the speed limit. With the Kia Optima, no worries – the speed limit is displayed for you in dashboard screen.
We arrived to the meeting location for the tour with plenty of time to find a place to park. Since it was very hot and sunny, I was hoping to park under a tree for a little bit of shade but there were none in sight. There was a nice sized group of tour-goers, and we were excited to see the sites in the Garden District.
The first stop on our tour was the Lafayette Cemetery No 1. We learned about the aboveground tombs as well as burial practices and customs of New Orleans. Lafayette Cemetery #1 was where movies like Interview with the Vampire, Double Jeopardy, and Deja Vu were filmed.
Next up we really spent time learning about the homes in the Garden District. Our tour guide shared a lot about the architecture of these amazing homes, and how it changed over the years as New Orleans was developing. We got to see the homes of Anne Rice, Trent Reznor, Archie and Peyton Manning, Nicolas Cage, John Goodman and Sandra Bullock. During the tour we also saw the home where Jefferson Davis dies, and film site of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
Even though it was hot and sunny outside, the good news was that not only does the Kia Optima Hybrid have heated seats – it also has cooled seats. Trust me, it made a difference with the leathers seats! When it was time to roll out and head to the airport, it was easy to back out of our parking spot and get on the road with the dashboard camera.
The Optima Hybrid has an EPA-estimated 39 mpg in the city, 46 mpg on the highway, and 42 mpg combined—with an EPA-estimated range of up to 665 total miles. We were able to get to and from the airport, and around New Orleans for an entire week, and barely used a quarter tank of gas. As much as I hated to leave this car behind, we had to get back home.
If you want to check out this tour or the other tours they have, check out Historic New Orleans Tours. And if you want to ride of your life, check out all the details on the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid over at Kia. Have you ever taken a tour of the Garden District in New Orleans?