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The Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Are you looking for the best plantation to visit in New Orleans? In this article, we share our Best New Orleans Plantation Tours reviews. The best plantations tours provide important context about the history of slavery and enslaved people forced to work on these plantations. They show the brutal conditions of life of enslaved workers. It’s worth visiting some of them to learn about this important part of history. We made several tours like the famous Oak Alley Plantation, Laura Plantation, Whitney Plantation, and more. What is the best plantation to see in New Orleans? We share our opinions, photos, and tips from our favorites of the best New Orleans Plantations tours. This will help you decide which plantation tour to choose during your visit.

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Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

New Orleans Activities

New Orleans is a wonderful city that mesmerizes with its charm, architecture, flavors, and music. We’ve described it in depth in two other articles that you can check out if you plan to visit New Orleans. We have prepared a New Orleans 3-day Itinerary and Mardi Gras Festival Itinerary. We recommend places worth seeing in NOLA and activities in NOLA that are worth taking advantage of.

But Louisiana also has a dramatic history of slavery. A past where people were enslaved and forced to hard work on plantations. It is a history of the pain and suffering of slaves, working in harsh, inhuman conditions, being beaten cruelly, and being humiliated. It is worth facing this complex history and getting to know it. It is possible during some plantation tours.

Here we focus only on the best New Orleans Plantations Tours, during which you can get to know the history of slavery. So, check our reviews, photos, and tips.

New Orleans Plantations

Visit NOLA will not be complete without New Orleans plantations tours. The history of Louisiana is difficult, often touching to tears. And if you want to really learn the history of slavery, go on a guided New Orleans plantations tour. Only this way, you have a chance to understand the history and get to know how this dark system of racial segregation worked and how it finished. All people should learn slavery history for a better perspective on everyday life.

Below, we describe and present our pictures of the best, in our opinion, plantations near New Orleans. We hope our reviews help you select which plantation tour best fits your interests and needs. And most important – we visited these places, and we recommend only what we checked.

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation New Orleans

In our opinion, Oak Alley Plantation is the best plantation to visit in New Orleans. It is also the most famous and popular plantation, so book your Oak Alley Plantation tour well in advance. Especially now, in times of a pandemic.

Unfortunately, due to its popularity, the plantation can be crowded, so with a guided tour, you will save time and won’t wait in line.

History of Oak Alley Plantation New Orleans

Oak Alley Plantation is located among the Great River Road sugar plantations alongside the Mississippi River. It’s famous due to its 300-year-old oak trees. The Oak Alley Plantation features 28 towerings of oak trees. It was originally called Bon Sejour Plantation and was established to grow sugar cane. The Greek Revival architecture of the Big House was built in 1837-1939. The mansion was restored in 1925.

The luxurious mansion, striking entrance, oak alley made the property the perfect setting for films and TV shows. Oak Alley, you can see in the movie Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles and on the first season of True Detective.

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Oak Alley
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Oak Alley

The best Oak Alley Plantation tours from New Orleans

A half-day trip to Oak Alley Plantation from New Orleans is a perfect choice. During this trip, you will tour the mansion with a costumed guide. The interior of the plantation property makes a great impression.

On the plantation, you will also visit the interiors of a dozen of slave houses. You will see under what conditions they lived and how terrible their fate was. You will see a blacksmith shop and exhibits on slavery and the Civil War.

However, the Oak Alley is the fame and popularity of this plantation. Alley of centuries-old oaks leading up to the antebellum Big House. The alley is impressive. Photogenic, green oaks spread their branches over a huge space, giving shade to visitors.

Due to the size of the plantation, the number and the variety of exhibits, the richness of the mansion house’s interior, it is one of the best New Orleans plantation tours.

One of the reviews on this trip is: “The house was lovely and you get a good feel for the antebellum lifestyle. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us excellent information on the history of the home. The slave quarters were eye-opening and gave a look at the slavery lifestyle on the plantation too. But the most beautiful thing of all was the majestic 200+-year-old oak trees….breathtaking! I would highly recommend this tour”.

You can check more reviews and photos from Oak Alley Plantation on TripAdvisor or book it here.

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Oak Alley
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

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Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Whitney Plantation New Orleans

History of Whitney Plantation New Orleans

It was one of the most significant and touching museum experiences in our lives. Whitney Plantation is a museum of slavery on a historical sugar, rice, and indigo plantation established in 1752. On your tour, you will learn about the lives of people held in bondage for over 100 years. Whitney Plantation Tour was most touching for us.

In 2014, Whitney Plantation opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 262-year history – the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. You will see memorials honoring over 100,000 people held in slavery in Louisiana, original slave cabins, outbuildings, and an owner’s house built in 1790.

But most touching in Whitney Plantation is children’s slave statues and the history of children slavery. Whitney Plantation owner John Cummings commissioned artist Woodrow Nash to create a series of sculptures that represented the former slaves who lived here. The statues – modeled using original photos – are set in the church, sitting on porches and outside of buildings. You shudder as you look into their empty eyes. You can imagine the suffering of slaves.

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation

The best Whitney Plantation tours from New Orleans

We can highly recommend Whitney Plantation Tour from New Orleans. It’s a guided tour that has huge knowledge and introduces you to slavery and Louisiana plantation history. Pack a tissue for rubbing the tears.

This tour and plantation are a bit different from Oak Alley Plantation. Whitney Plantation presents a lot more in-depth history from the perspective of the slaves. It is a very emotional and informational tour. In our opinion, it is one of the best New Orleans plantation tours which touching you deeply.

On the way to the Whitney Plantation, you will see the marsh of Lake Pontchartrain and an elevated expressway going through the Louisiana swamp.

One of the reviews of this trip is: “This was an excellent tour. It is self-guided with a device and headphones but I loved that because I could go at my own pace. Our bus tour guide John was awesome and told us so much about New Orleans! Definitely recommend this place to visit.”

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Whitney Plantation

Laura Plantation New Orleans

History of Laura Plantation New Orleans

Laura Plantation is named after its owner, Laura Locoul. She lived to almost 100 years old. Originally purchased by Laura’s family in 1804, this over 200-year-old sugar plantation has 3 gardens, creole architectural accents, and colors. The Laura Plantation Big House is full of antiques, artwork, and decorated rooms. Four generations of one Creole family lived here, with four generations of women running the plantation.

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Laura Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Laura Plantation

The best Laura Plantation tours from New Orleans

If you want to visit this plantation, choose Laura Plantation Tour with Transportation from New Orleans. This Creole plantation is notable for its colorful manor house. It is one of the best historic plantations in the region. You can admire unique Creole architecture, gardens, and sugar cane fields.

Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Laura Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Laura Plantation
Best New Orleans Plantation Tours - Laura Plantation

Combo New Orleans Plantation Tours & Swamp Tours

If you only have one day for additional trips during your visit to New Orleans, combine the plantation tour with a swamp boat trip. We described and showed photos of alligators, raccoons, turtles from the swamp tours in this article. It’s a fabulous wildlife adventure.

So, you can consider Whitney Plantation and Swamp Tour Combo or Oak Alley Plantation and Large Airboat Swamp Tour. Depending on which plantation you want to see.

Our choice is Whitney Plantation and Swamp Tour Combo because you have an additional stop at Evergreen Plantation, where Django Unchained was filmed. Moreover, it’s a place where Queen Sugar, the miniseries on the Oprah Winfrey Network, was filmed. In our opinion, it is one of the best New Orleans plantation tours combine with Louisiana swamps.

Plantation
Swamp Tours

How to prepare for plantation tours?

Most of the time, plantation tours are outside, so we recommend preparing for the weather appropriately. Take comfortable walking shoes, a light windshall jacket, or a hoodie. Also, pack an umbrella or raincoat. During summer visits, also remember about sunscreen, sun hut, and bug spray.

During a pandemic, mouth and nose coverage is mandatory, so bring and wear good quality KN95 face masks and take travel-size hand sanitizer. Use it often for your safety. Bookings during a pandemic are mandatory.

New Orleans plantation homes make a great impression. These places will remain in your memory forever. For sure, they are a must-see during the New Orleans trips. If the history of slavery interests you, is also worth visiting The Historic New Orleans Collection. THNOC is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South.

A list of plantations in Louisiana and plantation houses in Louisiana that are National Historic Landmarks, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or are otherwise significant for their history can check here.

Whitney Plantation

17 Comments

  1. Now I am going to have to admit, about twenty years ago plantation and similiar places like this did not interest me in the slightest. Then my youngest brother moved over to the USA to work at a plantation (we are from the UK), I visited it whilst he was there and got a tour and I was amazed! It is so much different (and bigger) in the states. This plantation I would certinaley do a visit when I eventually get to New Orleans (it is on the list), but here, there is more history. I know slaverly can still be a hot topic and it is something I would want my young children to know, why it is wrong and why it is part of the history of the UK/USA, the lessons to learn from it. It is a huge subject, but to understand something like this, I always say you learn more at the places where events took place or in museums (much better than stuck at a desk in a classroom). I can understand what you felt when you saw the children slaves here, the only experience of this I have had (but not slaverly), was at Auschwitz in Poland and seeing photos of children at the death camps and reading what they experienced and what the Nazi Doctors did to them still haunts to me to this day. Great blog post and would love to explore here.

  2. Wow, I think visiting a plantation is a wonderful idea for self-education on racial injustices that occurred not too long ago. It must have been a very emotionally moving journey. So great that New Orleans keeps these tours available for long-standing public education. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The swamp tour sounds very interesting. I am certainly going to watch True Detective and The Vampire Diaries now. The children’s statues are heart wrenching though. The plantation looks beautiful but the slavery past is a little overwhelming.

  4. I have always wanted to visit New Orleans one day, but to be honest I never thought of visiting a Plantation. It’s definitely something I feel a bit hesitant about visiting, but at the same time I think it is important that people are educated about the dark history of slavery and the lasting impacts that it has had. 

    On the other hand, the swamp tour sounds really interesting, that would be so cool to see an alligator up close!

  5. Those old houses in New Orleans are quite similar to many old Victorian houses and buildings here in Australia. It is amazing that New Orleans has preserved these places. So much history that tells a story, that needs to tell the new generation and not to forget.  

  6. As someone who loved public street art & sculptures, I’m really intrigued by the ones here in New Orleans, depicting the difficult past of the region and the people. Oak Alley Plantations is indeed picturesque. No wonder it was used for filming movies. The Children Slave Statues are just so touching indeed. The imagine the difficulties that they have endured, it is just so heart-wrenching. 

  7. Learning about the slavery past pained me quite a lot. But this destination is otherwise fabulous. Being inside a plantation area has it’s own charm and I can feel it right here. Reminds me of our visit to a tea plantation although the experience was a whole lot different. Would love the Swamp tour which would be a good change as have never experienced anything like this before.

  8. Woah! I did not realize there are many plantation tours available in New Orleans. I am particularly interested in visiting the Oak Alley Plantation and see those centuries-old oaks. Thank you for sharing these. 

  9. I’m in the southern US, but I haven’t even been to New Orleans. I need to change that! It’s so good that they honor the slaves by teaching the history. It’s so important to focus on them b/c they were such a huge part of daily life. I also had no idea you could take a swamp tour – so fun! 

  10. I had no idea there were so many plantations available to tour in NO.  I love your photos and how they help to tell the story of the dark time in our country for slaves.  

  11. I have never been to New Orleans and would love a chance to visit to learn more about the history. Thank you for making recommendations on places as well as tips for visiting. Very thorough post.

  12. We have not yet taken a plantation tour on our visits to New Orleans.  But those views certainly bring up echos of Gone With The Wind in my mind.  A great way to get a glimpse of a different era in the south.  I would love to do a combo tour although I may be too freaked out about the idea of alligators to be that close to the water in the swamp.

  13. My first trip to the US was to the so-called Deep South and the still existing ‘segregation’ was quite shocking for a European. Since I wasn’t all wrapped in the gone-with-the-wind-feel but was mainly interested in how ‘the other half’, hence the slaves, lived, I go asked if I was doing studies. Yet, New Orleans was one of the less rassist cities on that trip – and I also went on a tour to the plantations and the bayous. No matter what – inspiring memories.

  14. Those tree tunnels are so iconic! I have not been to Louisiana yet, but it’s high up on my list. Definitely going to visit for the food, and also to learn about the history, even though it’s sad I feel that it’s important in the history of our country. 

  15. I love plantation tours. And New Orleans seem to have quite a lot of them! A comprehensive guide I must say!

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