Do you have family and friends in town for the holidays? If you need help with entertaining them, we can help! Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown New Orleans and come with us to these fascinating historical sites outside of the city. Our excursions to Cajun country have peaked the interest of locals and tourists alike, and if you are not already a native of New Orleans, we will be sure to make you fall in love with Louisiana! December is an especially nice time of year to visit plantations since many of the houses we visit, in addition to those you see along the drive are adorned in Christmas decorations, which highlight the spectacular architecture of these historic homes.
Oak Alley Plantation: appropriately named for its distinguished canopied path of centuries’ old live oak trees! One of the MOST popular plantations to visit.
Laura Plantation: a Creole sugar plantation commended for its historically accurate portrayal of 200 years of life on the plantation, thanks to the surviving memoirs of Laura Locoul Gore, the fourth mistress of the house.
Houmas House: also known as Burnside Plantation is known as The Crown Jewel of the River Road. Once you see it in person, you will understand this deserving title!
San Francisco Plantation: known for its extraordinarily ornate architecture, San Francisco plantation is known as the most opulent of plantations.
St. Joseph Plantation: here you will experience history in the making, as the family (owners) invite visitors for an intimate and authentic tour of their ancestral home.
Whitney Plantation: also known as the Museum of Slavery, Whitney Plantation tells the story of plantation life from the perspective of the slaves, and offers so much more history than just a story. You will be sure to get an education on this tour.
We find it’s best to see more than one plantation in the same day to make the long drive worthwhile, choose from one of our half day plantation tours, or spend a full day exploring Cajun country on our Grand Tour!
Reserve your places on our:
Oak Alley and Laura Plantation Tour
San Francisco and Houmas House Plantation Tour
Whitney and St. Joseph Plantation Tour
Grand Tour (Includes Oak Alley and Laura, plus lunch, and a swamp tour!)
As the weather warms up, the hibernating season for alligators is coming to an end! This means that guests on our swamp tours will be able to get up close to alligators in their natural habitat and maybe even get to hold one of the babies! The American Alligator is the largest reptile in the country and is the main attraction of our wetlands for tourists and locals alike. Louisiana actually has the highest population of alligators in the country, at almost 2 million! For the past 200 years, locals have been hunting alligators and grown an industry from products ranging from food to fashion. In the 1980s, alligator farms emerged as the industry become regulated to prevent extinction. The population of this fascinating animal once close to extinction, has multiplied exponentially thanks to farming and regulation. Today, Louisiana harvests only 2% of the alligator population!
Fun Fact: As an alligator’s teeth are worn down, they are replaced. An alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime!
With Hurricanes and an atmosphere that feels like a steam room, it’s not surprising that summertime is our slow season for tourism. But it is the most popular time of year for swamp tours! Our beautiful and peaceful swamps and bayous are the perfect escape from the wild goings-on downtown. Our friendly gators and Spanish moss covered trees will keep you mesmerized and forget all about Bourbon St. Besides experiencing the majestic landscape, you will learn generations worth of knowledge from local tour guides who are natives of the wetlands you will tour. The early settlers of Louisana used the landscape as shelter, the wildlife as food, and the waterways for trade and commerce, and you will learn not much has changed!?
A boat ride may not be your first thought of what to do on a rainy day. But even on a rainy spring day, the Bayou Boeuf swamp can be a peaceful and beautiful place… and how nice to see it in the rain especially since the boat has a roof!
Here is a fantastic reason to visit New Orleans in December: Holiday Home Tours! It is a rare occasion that visitors get to see the interior of some of the most spectacular residences in the U.S., but this weekend (Dec. 12 and 13), several of the most attractive homes in the historic Garden District will be open to the public for the annual holiday home tour! These historic buildings that we regularly drive by on our city tours will be looking their finest, adorned in holiday decor. The PRC (Preservation Resource Center) is a local non-profit organization responsible for the Garden District tour, a self guided tour of 8 open houses. The proceeds of this special event aid in the mission of the PRC to preserve and beautify New Orleans architecture and culture. Find out more info on the Garden District tour and the PRC here.
Whitney Plantation opened it's doors to visitors for the first time ever in 2014, and we are now offering tours to this historic place in combination with St. Joseph Plantation. Whitney is the first plantation/museum of its kind. Situated along the well-traveled River Road, Whitney Plantation is focused on telling the true story of slavery, an often taboo subject, especially here in the South. You can certainly expect an educational experience at this plantation/museum. You will learn about the history of the slave trade (a global development), what slavery was like in Louisiana, and even hear first-hand accounts from slaves themselves. Here are some of the sites you will see on tour at Whitney Plantation…(photos courtesy of our excellent guide, Katha!)
Click here for more info on touring Whitney Plantation with Tours by Isabelle.