YMCA Impact Tours
Rebirth of New Orleans Impact Tour: See the City, Tour a Heritage YMCA, Enjoy Dinner at Cafe Reconcile (for early arrivals)
Monday, April 23
3:15 - 8:30 pm (Bus boards at 3:15 and returns to Hilton by 8:30 pm)
Fee: $75 (Includes city tour guide, Y tour, transportation, dinner)
Advance sign-up and payment required
Experience parts of New Orleans that visitors rarely see on their first trip to the city and learn much of its storied, 300-year history. The city tour begins with the sights and sounds of the oldest and most recognizable part of New Orleans - the famous Vieux Carre or French Quarter. Then you will travel to the shores of Lake Ponchartrain. The nearby area was the Dryades YMCA's Pontchartrain Park facility prior to Hurricane Katrina. Learn the history of the levee system so critical in a city built below sea level. Stop at the site of the most well known Katrina levee breach at the 17th Street Canal, that flooded City Park and neighborhoods. In City Park, one of the ten largest urban parks in the US, enjoy the beautiful 300-year old oak trees that survived. Follow Bayou St. John, once a shipping channel in the early 1700s, and the path of the St. Charles streetcar past the antebellum homes of the mid 1800s, where former Kings and Queens of Mardi Gras dined and danced. No tour would be complete without an explanation of New Orleans' unique burial systems which are above ground. Though the city tour ends at this point, the tour of the Dryades YMCA begins. A Heritage YMCA founded during the era of segregation as a place for African Americans, the Dryades Y played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, recovered from a devastating fire, and took a leadership role in the city's rebirth after Hurricane Katrina.
Next stop is dinner at Cafe Reconcile, a non-profit restaurant that operates a Life Skills and Workforce Development Program for at-risk youth in the local community. You will be dining in the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Hospitality Center, enjoying a buffet menu that includes some of New Orleans' signature entrees.