Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ rich and conflicted past on a small‐group plantation tour. Take a journey through Oak Alley Plantation and Laura Plantation, spying other historic plantations as you travel the Great River Road. View stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantations’ fascinating—and somber—histories from expert guides.
Guided tours of Oak Alley and Laura plantations from New Orleans
See guides in period costume and gorgeous old oak trees at Oak Alley Plantation
Tour the gardens and historic slave quarters at Laura Plantation
Learn about Oak Alley, Laura and other local plantations from your guide
Choose the morning or afternoon for your historic plantation tour and enjoy pickup from your downtown New Orleans hotel. Once aboard the bus, settle into a comfortable seat and prepare for a journey back to the antebellum south, before the American Civil War shook the foundation of plantation‐life. Enjoy lively onboard commentary from your guide as you trace the shoreline of Lake Ponchartrain and Great River Road en route to your first stop—Oak Alley Plantation.
So named for the postcard‐perfect canopy of knotty oak trees that line its entry promenade, Oak Alley Plantation is a centuries‐old jewel of the South that has enjoyed a recent revival. Begin with a walk up the romantic yet imposing oaken path to the ‘Big House,’ a perfectly restored example of antebellum elegance and Greek Revival architecture. Meet knowledgable guides in period costumes and learn about the many lives that once occupied the plantation. Tour the opulent rooms of this classic southern home, the Civil War Encampment exhibit, and Slave Quarter exhibit, then take some free time to wander the enchanting grounds.
Then continue along Great River Road, catching views and stories of Whitney, St. Joseph, and Evergreen plantations along the way. Arrive next at Laura Plantation, a Creole plantation whose distinctive and colorful manor house starkly contrasts the reserve of Oak Alley. Accompany your guide on a tour of the mansion, outbuildings and slave quarters, soaking up stories of Creole culture and West African folktales, said to be the inspiration for Br'er Rabbit stories. Meander through vibrant flower and vegetable gardens and marvel at the surrounding sugarcane fields—a lush backdrop and stark reminder of the site’s dramatic past before heading back to town.
Your tour ends with a drop‐off at your point of origin in the mid‐afternoon or evening.
Although we had selected Oak Alley and Laura we were offered Wilson and St Joseph's rather than cancel. What great alternatives! Wilson had the history of the slaves (and the memorials), and St Joseph had an excellent tour of the plantation house (some by descendents). Great combination. A tip though, have a large breakfast as neither have a cafe just snacks. Don't let it put you off it was great and the trip there and back really informative too.
Thank you Ms KateA658 for this positive revue! We are so happy you enjoyed the St Joseph and Whitney Plantations combination! Yes indeed, being given a personal tour by the descendants of the former place is quite special, I agree! Please come back soon!
Giselle, the driver for our Tours by Isabelle Plantation Tour was an excellent driver/tour guide. She was a lot of fun and provided quite a bit of the history of New Orleans and the plantations. Our 2 plantation tours were both excellent but if you can only do one it should be Laura.
While the visit to the two plantations were both beautiful and informative, it was our tour guide Gisèle that made the day more special. She is very knowledgeable of the culture and history of the area and loves her job. She was great!
The tour was coordinated by Tours by Isabelle. Our driver/guide was John - a very likable Cajun who provided plenty of local flavor and stories, although we did hear some of the same things on the way back to NOLA that we heard on the way to the plantations. We were scheduled to be picked up at 8:30. The day before we got a call that it was moved up to 7:50 because they had to pick up several other parties. It turns out that we were next to last to be picked up and some of the people were picked up as early as 7:30. On the way to the first plantation Laura, John is calling it to find out when it opens. He didn't know. It turns out it was 10:00 so we drove around to kill time before we got there. Isabelle needs to plan this better.
The Laura tour was excellent. The tour is well planned with a thorough history of the plantation and plenty of stories about its owners, etc. It included the main house and several out buildings and provided a good picture of life in its heyday. Our guide was very good sorry- I don't remember his name. They have a small museum in the back of the gift shop that was chock full of good information. It is easy to miss, but check it out if you like that kind of thing.
The Oak Alley plantation house was more impressive, but the tour was lacking. We were lead through several rooms in the house and then we were free to roam the grounds. Our guide sounded like a recording - as if she had recited this tour a hundred times. The tour was large and she would start her spiel in each room before everyone even had a chance to enter the room. When I asked her to wait for everyone, she was not interested. She said they could ask questions if they need to. I guess they were on a strict time schedule. The grounds were interesting and there was some very good information in the slave quarters that is worth seeing.
John was really nice to return us to anywhere in NOLA that we wanted to be dropped off and even gave is a bit of a driving tour of the Jackson Square and Frenchmen Street areas before doing so.
If you do this, be aware that lunch is not really planned and you will return to the city after 2:00. There is a little restaurant at Oak Alley where you can get a sandwich and you will likely to want to do that during the time you have to explore the grounds there.
Laura focused more on the story of one family and much about the history and life of the slaves. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable.
Nice gift shop.
Oak Alley was beautiful, home and grounds. Also nice restaurant and good food. More info about plantation life.
Very informative and enjoyable. Don't miss..
This was an excellent tour. Our guide, John, was well informed and answered several questions as well as providing us with a good amount of information on the drive to the plantations. The two plantations are very different, but the plantation guides were wonderful. I would highly recommend this tour.