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Vacherie Culture & history

Our most recommended Vacherie Culture & history

New Orleans: Laura Creole Plantation Guided Tour

1. New Orleans: Laura Creole Plantation Guided Tour

Experience the disappearing world of Creole Louisiana on a 75-minute guided tour of the Laura Plantation main house, gardens and slave quarters. Located on the West bank of the Mississippi in the heart of Plantation Country – the main house dates from 1805 and has been restored to the time when it functioned as both a family home and the office for the sugar plantation. Visit the raised basement and galleries, men's and women's parlors, service rooms and common rooms. Walk through the 200-year-old sugar plantation homestead, including 3 gardens: Jardin Français, the kitchen potager & BananaLand grove. Continue the tour on the grounds with 12 buildings on the National Register, including animal barns, overseers' cottages and the 1829 Maison de Reprise. Hear intimate stories about four generations of free and enslaved members of the Creole families who lived here. Gleaned from handwritten memoirs and archival documents from the United States and France, each story told in the 1805 Maison Principale, on the grounds, and in the original 1840s slave cabins is a true, personal account of the women, children and men who spent their lives on this sugar farm. Spend time touring the onsite museum exhibit on your own after your tour ends. When Laura Plantation opened to the public in 1994, it became the first historic attraction in Louisiana to include stories of enslaved Africans as part of the tour. Today the permanent exhibit "From the Big House to the Quarters: Slavery on Laura Plantation" is dedicated to telling the authentic story of the enslaved community of this Créole farm.

New Orleans: Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour

2. New Orleans: Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Meet your guide in New Orleans, then leave the city behind as you travel back in time to the Oak Alley Plantation. Passing by the impressive Lake Pontchartrain. See the plantation's quarter-mile-long alley of oak trees, each over 250 years old, and the cypress trees which border the Mississippi River. Explore the plantation with your guide, and listen to stories of its history dating back to 1839. Learn about the site's former uses and residents, and visit the plantation's on-site exhibitions, Slavery at Oak Alley, Blacksmith Shop, and Sugarcane Theater, to learn more about its past.  Afterwards, travel past several of the area’s plantations as you head to the Manchac Swamp. Explore this privately-owned wildlife refuge, and hear about the legend of the Rougarou werewolf. Take a boat ride across the swamp, and get up close to alligators and other wildlife.

Louisiana: Laura, Oak Alley, or Whitney Plantation Tours

3. Louisiana: Laura, Oak Alley, or Whitney Plantation Tours

Choose to visit the Laura Creole Plantation and see The Maison Principale (Big House), The French Jardin, The Plantation Kitchen Garden, The Banana Grove, and the original 1840s Slave Cabins where The Legendary Tales of Compair Lapin (known in English as Br’er Rabbit) were first recorded. Take time to browse through local arts, crafts, and souvenirs in the historic gift shop. Visit the new museum exhibit and learn about the daily lives of free and enslaved people on the sugar plantation. Take the option to explore the Oak Alley Antebellum Plantation, named after the avenue of 28 giant oaks which leads up to the house. Step inside to gracious interiors that echo the romance of another era, where gleaming hardwood floors and shimmering chandeliers reflect both streams of sunlight, and the venerable history of this magnificent home. Discover the story of those who were enslaved on this sugar plantation from approximately 1835 to the end of the Civil War. See The Confederate Commanding Officer’s Tent exhibit and The Sugar Cane Theater which tells the story of sugar's impact on the people of Oak Alley, through video and exhibit. Or take the opportunity to explore the Whitney Museum Plantation, a site of memory, with the focus on lives of the slaves and their legacies. Experience the world of an 1830's sugar plantation through the eyes of the enslaved people who lived and worked here. Enjoy a 90-minute walking tour and gain a unique perspective on the lives of the enslaved people, learning their stories through the real oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers Project during the Depression. See the earliest and best preserved raised Creole cottage in Louisiana, all built by slaves. Admire the original structures and authentic representations nestled in a working sugar cane field.

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation and Swamp Cruise Day Trip

4. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation and Swamp Cruise Day Trip

Explore Louisiana with a visit to the Oak Alley Plantation, followed by a swamp boat tour. Enjoy a guided day trip from New Orleans for a day you won't forget. Begin your day with a pickup at your New Orleans hotel. Enjoy the views as you head out to the Oak Alley Plantation, where you will be led on a tour by guides in period costume. Explore the house and its grounds as you learn about the history of the plantation. Next, head out on a boat tour to explore the Louisiana bayous. Relax in the covered boat and tune in to your guide’s commentary about the local culture of the wetlands.  Cruise past a Native American burial mound, a Cajun cemetery, and a fishing village. Drift down narrow waterways and pass moss-covered trees. Be on the lookout for wildlife, including snakes and alligators. Back on dry land, you will board the bus to return to New Orleans, then you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Whitney and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

5. Whitney and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

Follow the guide off the beaten path, away from tourist crowds, on this unique pilgrimage for a trip back to the Antebellum South as you drive upriver along the Mississippi River to visit 2 unique Louisiana Plantations. A Scenic crossing of the Mississippi River on a high suspended bridge, then a short ride upriver brings you to Whitney Plantation: Museum of Slavery. Recently open to the public, it exposes the harsh realities and raw historical facts of this dark side of American history. Get a guided tour of the restored buildings and museum exhibits. The slave narratives and memorial artwork recreate the world of a pre-Civil War sugar plantation and the lives of the slaves there. A short ride through sugar cane fields brings you to St. Joseph Plantation, a Creole style family-owned working sugar cane plantation since 1877. Your tour guide will give you a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the many interesting people who have called this plantation 'home'. Many tours are guided by family members themselves. It is a relaxed, intimate visit to tour an ancestral home, grounds and dependencies (including original slave cabins). It is the location where the movie: "12 Years a Slave" was filmed.   * On Tuesdays, the Whitney Plantation is closed and replaced by the Evergreen or Laura Plantation.

Louisiana Plantation Country Half-Day Tour

6. Louisiana Plantation Country Half-Day Tour

Visit Plantation Country to view one of Louisiana's cultural and historic plantations. History, architecture, and stories can be found at each of the plantations that you will visit along the legendary River Road. Take a tour round Laura or Oak Alley Plantations and view a place of historical significance. The Oak Alley Plantation was built in 1837-39. It is famous for its alley of 28 evenly spaced live oak trees, believed to be at least 100 years older than the house itself. Each home is truly a part of historical Louisiana. The Laura Plantation was built in 1805. The “Memoirs of Laura” exhibit will tell guests about the lives of the enslaved men, women, and children.

From New Orleans: Swamp Airboat, 2 Plantation Tours & Lunch

7. From New Orleans: Swamp Airboat, 2 Plantation Tours & Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your enthusiastic historian driver-guide will take you on a scenic narrated drive out of New Orleans, preparing you for a pilgrimage back in time.  After crossing over the Mississippi River on a high bridge, you will arrive at a remote swamp to board a small airboat. With your Cajun boat captain, glide comfortably over marshes and deep into secluded bayous. Discover the swamp’s fascinating fauna and flora, including alligators, turtles, and exotic birds.  Next, you will drive upriver through sugar cane fields to arrive at Laura Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of this Creole plantation dating back to 1804. Hear the compelling stories of Laura's family saga, as well as stories of the West-African, enslaved people who worked on this sugar plantation. At the end of the tour, visit the museum exhibit dedicated to "Slavery on Laura Plantation" in a restored overseer's cottage. Back on the old River Road, you will pass by Felicity Plantation, where "12 Years A Slave" was filmed, and St Joseph Plantation, where the "Queen Sugar" TV series was filmed. Stop in front of Oak Alley Plantation to admire its parallel rows of centuries-old oak trees. After crossing over the Mississippi River on the Sunshine Bridge, you will arrive at the iconic "Sugar Palace", Houmas House Plantation. Lunch will be served in their elegant dining room, with genuine Cajun cuisine. Then, enjoy a guided tour of the mansion with a guide dressed in Antebellum costume. After the tour, enjoy some free time to stroll around the splendid gardens, before you return to New Orleans. Sample Lunch Menu (subject to seasonal changes) Luncheon includes home-baked bread and butter, iced tea or soft drink, 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: Single Plantation and Pontoon Swamp Day Trip

8. New Orleans: Single Plantation and Pontoon Swamp Day Trip

Take a guided narrative tour down to Plantation Country in a 14-passenger bus and explore Laura, Oak Alley, or Whitney Plantation. Enjoy a convenient pickup between 8:00 and 8:30 AM from downtown hotels and head out for a 90-minute tour of the plantation of your choice. At the Laura Plantation, awarded the title of top travel attraction in Louisiana, you’ll visit the Big House, the French Garden, the Kitchen Garden, the Banana Grove, and the original 1840s slave cabins. Take time to browse through local arts, crafts, and souvenirs in the historic Laura Plantation gift shop. Don’t forget to visit the new museum exhibit about the inhabitants’ daily lives on the sugar plantation.   Oak Alley Plantation includes visits to the gracious interiors of the Big House as well as to the Oak Alley exhibit, that shares the stories of those who were enslaved on this sugar plantation from approximately 1835 to the end of the Civil War. Learn about health care, punishment, and life after Emancipation, as well as sugar’s impact on the people of Oak Valley. Finally, visit one of the few remaining 1890s-era forges of its type in Louisiana.   Whitney Plantation is the site of the last surviving example of a true French Creole Barn, what is believed to be the oldest detached kitchen in Louisiana, and an excellently-preserved Creole cottage. Through restored buildings, museum exhibits, memorial artwork, and thousands of first-person slave narratives, Whitney Plantation gives a voice and respect to the slaves who lived, worked, and died here.   Finish your day with a Louisiana swamp tour. The Cajun Captains will navigate their way through the back swamp. Learn about Louisiana Wetlands, the inhabitants of the swamp, and the history of the Louisiana Bayou and swamp exploration days.

From New Orleans: St. Joseph and Laura Plantations Tour

9. From New Orleans: St. Joseph and Laura Plantations Tour

After being picked up from your hotel or B&B in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your historian driver-guide will narrate the scenic drive upriver to 2 historic plantations on the shores of the Mississippi River. On the way, drive along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, through swamps, and sugar cane fields.  After crossing the Mississippi River on a high suspended bridge, drive along the famous River Road and stop to admire the mansions, outer buildings, and oak trees in front of both Evergreen Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation. Your first stop is at St Joseph Plantation for a guided visit of this family-owned, working sugar cane plantation. Here one of the owners will show you around the home and farm which has been in operation since 1877. This plantation, and their sister property "Felicity Plantation" are also the location where "12 Years a Slave" was filmed. Then, continue downriver to Laura, a Creole plantation from 1804. Learn about the 4 generations of women who ran this plantation. Learn how the work of the West-African slaves influenced all segments of the Creole culture, best evidenced today in the local cuisine, music, family-centered traditions, architecture, and lifestyle. At Laura's Slavery Museum Exhibit, hear personal stories of individual men, women, and children who lived there, illustrating how the lives of the enslaved, both Créole and American, were intertwined with those of their owners. On your return drive back to New Orleans, pass by the famous Whitney Plantation, and old cypress swamp groves.

New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation, Houmas House & Lunch

10. 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

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What people are saying about Vacherie

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 266 reviews

This tour is a must-do for those who visit NOLA for the first time. It's well organized and of great value. The plantation is such a beautiful yet heart-wrenching place, which I think every American should visit once to have an idea of what it wasl like back then. The swamp tour was fun. We got to see lots of swamp animals like gators (lots of them because of the warm weather we got), turtles, cranes and racoons. Both John and Tom are knowledgeable and have a great sense of humor. I also want to shout out to the driver lady who got us there and back safe and sound. All and all, we had a great time and were glad we took this tour. It was the highlight of our trip so far. I highly recommend this tour and the guide.

Great visit. Highly recommendable. The site is very nice. The audioguide walks you through the site, sharing stories along the way. Very well done and very educative. It took me 1h30 to walk through the site at a slow pace.

I did what is known as the grand tour offered by Tours by Isabel. It was a small group tour and enjoyed it. The swamp boat ride through the bayou was a lot of fun and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the environment.

Our tour bus driver, Kindrell was the very best we had in our trip in New Orleans. Great stories of places we passed as we drove. Historical, cultural, agricultural-all with sensitivity and humor.

The whole tour was pretty emotional and informative. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a transportation and a day to spend.