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Destrehan Plantation

Destrehan Plantation: Our most recommended tours and activities

New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation Tour

1. New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation Tour

Upon arrival, enter through the Destrehan Plantation store and gift shop, and exit through the back door onto the grounds, where they will meet a personal interpreter to begin the tour. The interpreter will share stories about the people who lived on the plantation, both free and enslaved. See an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and to learn the significance of the document in terms of how it relates to Louisiana History. You may either choose to have a guided tour with a descendant of Jean Destrehan, to learn about the various peoples who shaped the "German Coast." After the house tour, view a folk-life demonstration and self-explore the dependency buildings, such as a slave cabin with an enslavement registry, an overseer's cabin showcasing the 1811 Slave Revolt and Rost Home Colony exhibits, an outdoor kitchen, a washroom, a trapper's cabin and the Legacy Room displaying original documents and artifacts from the family members.

New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation & Swamp Combo

2. New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation & Swamp Combo

Destrehan Plantation is an antebellum mansion, in the French Colonial style, modified with Greek Revival architectural elements. It is located in southeast Louisiana, near the town of the same name, Destrehan. This plantation is about 45 minutes away from downtown New Orleans.   Welcome to the New Orleans Swamp Tours and Wetlands Adventure. See the Cajuns of the bayou living and surviving in harmony with the swamps. Here, the waterways are their highways. From the relaxed comfort of the covered New Orleans Swamp Tour boats, you will drift slowly past a 2000-year-old Indian burial mound, a Cajun cemetery and fishing village. You may see the wildlife that made the Barataria swamps the crown jewel of the Louisiana Purchase. Here, birds, snakes, turtles, fur animals and gators are the king of the swamp and easily spotted in spring, summer and fall. Your captains are natives of the Barataria swamps with a background in gator hunting, fishing and trapping. They will entertain you and amaze you with their knowledge of the ecology of the swampland. They have lived the life. Pick up begins at 8:30am and return by 245pm. Ground transportation included.

New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation, Houmas House & Lunch

3. New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation, Houmas House & Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your enthusiastic historian driver-guide will narrate your scenic drive upriver to two historic plantations on the shores of the Mississippi River. On the journey, drive by the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and miles of cane fields extending from the Mississippi River to the back swamps. Learn about Louisiana's geography, geology, and incredible history en route.  The first stop is Destrehan Plantation the oldest documented plantation in the Mississippi River valley, constructed in 1787. Learn about the history of the site, see where Charles Deslondes led the 1811 Slave Revolt, and discover its dramatic outcome. Then you are driven further upriver on the old Mississippi River road, passing the ruins of the Tezcuco Plantation and hearing about its history. Soon afterward you will arrive at the "The Sugar Palace", more commonly known as Houmas House. Here, you will enjoy a gourmet Creole lunch in a grand dining hall. There are even refreshing Mint Juleps available for purchase if you wish to really experience the Southern Plantation life. After lunch, you will enjoy a guided visit to the Greek Revival mansion on this very opulent plantation. Your guides, in period dress, will lead you through rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork. Afterward, you will have time to stroll around the stunning gardens in the shadows of ancient oaks, before visiting the very gift shop. Sample Lunch Menu (subject to seasonal changes) Luncheon includes home-baked bread and butter, an iced tea or soft drink, a dessert, and coffee.  Choice of Entrees: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (gluten-free without croutons): Served with tender romaine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese Crown Jewel Hamburger: Grilled 7oz burger topped with cheese, bacon, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and onion served with French fries Shrimp Po Boy: Shrimp, crispy fried and served on New Orleans French bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and Creole mayonnaise Breast of Chicken (gluten-free without grits): Skin-on breast of chicken, served with stone-ground grits, roasted veggies and rum-spiked Houmas House beehive honey glaze Vegetarian Pasta: Veggies and baby heirloom tomatoes with fettuccine pasta and parmesan cheese Choice of Dessert: White Chocolate Bread Pudding Turtle Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake

New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation & Airboat Combo Tour

4. New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation & Airboat Combo Tour

Enjoy our Louisiana tour, which brings you from the historical sites of the Destrehan plantation to the remote swamps in Cajun Country. Narrated short scenic drive out of the city and along the shores of Lake Ponchartrain to Destrehan Plantation on the East bank of the Old River Road: a pilgrimage back in time to the Antebellum South. First you will be brought on a tour of Destrehan Plantation where guides in period costumes will bring to life the stories of generations who lived on and worked this rich land – both owners and slaves. They will share with you every detail of this mansion's history since 1787. Enjoy some free time to walk around under a spectacular canopy of live oaks around the mansion and the slave quarters. We then drive down to a remote swamp in Cajun Country for a thrilling high-speed 2-hour ride onboard 6-passenger airboats, comfortably gliding over marshes, deep into secluded bayous. You may even get to hold a baby alligator, feed giant catfish, or meet a nutria face to face.

From New Orleans: Tour of Destrehan Plantation

5. From New Orleans: Tour of Destrehan Plantation

Established in 1787 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Destrehan Plantation remains the oldest documented plantation home in the lower Mississippi Valley. After being picked up, take a short 35-minute drive to the plantation house for a 1-hour guided tour and then take 45 minutes to explore the grounds on your own. The plantation’s history consists of many notable people and events. The plantation served as a home to Marie Celeste Robin de Logny and her husband Jean Noel Destrehan, the most successful sugar producer in St. Charles Parish and one of the driving forces in Louisiana Statehood. The plantation exhibits an original document signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison, appointing Jean Noel to the Orleans Territorial Council responsible for creating Louisiana’s civil law of government.   Destrehan Plantation was the site where one of the three trials took place following the 1811 Slave Revolt, one of the largest slave revolts in U.S. History led by Charles Deslondes. During the Civil War, the Union Army seized the plantation and established the Rost Home Colony, where newly freed slaves learned trades enabling them to transition into a life of freedom.

Other Sightseeing Options in Destrehan Plantation

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What people are saying about Destrehan Plantation

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 45 reviews

We loved the informative plantation tour. We had 90 minutes to explore the property. 60 minutes for the house tour and another 30 minutes of free time to wander. An extra 45-60 minutes would have been ideal. We didn’t have enough time to really see all that the plantation had to offer. The airboat tour was fantastic. It was a chilly day, so our guide told us we might not see alligators as they are cold blooded reptiles; however, we saw several. I recommend renting the blanket for $10. Totally worth it. Also, make sure to eat a good breakfast before you go! Overall this was an incredible day!

it was the most interesting and informative tour that we took in New Orleans. Steve was great and very knowledgeable, especially about the origins of the food and the history of the area. We also appreciated that the bus was comfortable and not an icebox like other tour buses that we have taken. And the restaurant was very good.

This was an excellent tour. The plantation guide Clint was awesome and very knowledgeable. The swamp tour was great as well. Saw several alligators and our guide Matt was awesome as well. Will book this again on our next visit

I enjoyed the whole tour from the history lessons to the artifacts and most especially the presentation. Will recommend this tour.

Great tour with guide Rene. Loaded with information and the mansions are beautiful. Food was surprisingly good!