Visit antebellum plantations along the Mississippi River and glimpse into the grace, grandeur and tragedy of early southern history on this six to eight hour tour from New Orleans. Gain an understanding of the socioeconomic and cultural factors that gave rise to slavery and why it become such a powerful institution throughout the south. Learn how industries such as oil, cotton, sugar, lumber, indigo and citrus allowed New Orleans to flourish into the city it is today and why it was such an important trading center before the outbreak of the Civil War.
Few images represent the antebellum south as powerfully as the southern plantation home. Paradoxically capturing the romanticism and poetry of Margaret Mitchell and the tragedy of slavery, an institution that placed millions in bondage and eventually led the nation to four years of bloody war, the plantation home represents both the southern traditions and painful history of a bygone era. Visiting one of these great mansions allows you to step back in time and imagine yourself in a past radically different from today, back when cotton was king and the fastest way to travel north was often through the help of a steam powered riverboat. Your all day plantation tour starts with a 9:00am pick-up from either the French Quarter or your centrally located New Orleans hotel. This tour has two options - the East Bank selection or the West Bank selection. Both options include visits to two different plantation homes and include a stop for lunch during the day. If you select the East Bank option, your private group will head out of the city and drive approximately 30 minutes before reaching your first stop, the Destrehan Plantation. Along the way, your guide will help you understand the history and socioeconomic factors that gave rise to the plantation system of farming throughout the southern states of America. After approximately 90 minutes visiting the Destrehan Plantation, you will head over to your second stop of the day, the grand Houmas House, where you will proceed through a tour that will last roughly one hour. From there, your group will decide on lunch - either a picnic if the weather is nice or a sit down stop at local restaurant that you pick with the help of your private, expert guide. If you select the West Bank option, you will drive one hour to the Laura House, where you will stay for approximately one and a half hours before stopping for lunch and then continuing on to Oak Alley in the afternoon. You should arrive at Oak Alley close to 2:00pm and depart around 3:30pm. Both tours return to the city between 5:00pm and 6:00pm and last anywhere from six to eight hours, depending on your choices for lunch and the selection you make.