Oak Alley and Laura Plantation Guided Tour
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
- Guided plantations tour: Spend the day along the old Mississippi River Road, visiting Louisiana’s most famous plantations and engage with highly-knowledgeable guides, dressed in full antebellum-era outfits, who are ready to teach you the history and significance of these beautiful monuments.
- Laura, a Creole Plantation: Built in 1805, this historic landmark ran as a sugarcane plantation for 180 years, and has a unique history–stemming from the four women who owned it. Stroll through the “Big House”, slave quarters, and marvel at the glorious views.
- Oak Alley Plantation: Deriving its name from the spectacular quarter mile tunnel of 28 oak trees, that frame the plantation as you approach, this magnificent mansion is definitely a must-see destination with its stunning views of the Mississippi River.
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off included: You needn’t worry about getting lost! We pick you up from your hotel, and take you where you need to go. Simply let us know the name and address of your hotel, during booking, and we’ll make sure a GoBe guide is there to meet you.
- Bring the little ones: Tour is suitable for children of all ages, and children 3 and under are free and don't require a reservation.
About This New Orleans Tour
The Laura and Oak Alley plantations are two of the most beautiful works of architecture in Louisiana. They embody the easy charm and elegance associated with upper-crust estates in the 19th century American south. Both of these marvels of construction owe their existence to two different, yet intertwined factors.
The first is the sugarcane boom that hit the state around the beginning of the 19th century. In 1795, the French aristocrat Etienne de Bore came up with a method of processing sugar into granulated form. At the same time, competition in the well-settled Caribbean islands was pushing explorers to seek out new, fertile lands to grow cash crops.
The fruitful banks of the Mississippi River proved to be the perfect place. The barrels, axes, and plows you’ll see in Oak Alley’s farming museum were used to harvest the spacious green fields stretching before you. 200 years ago, this land was brimming with the tall stalks of the plant that produced “white gold,” Louisiana’s most important cash crop.
The second factor is a little darker: human slavery. African-Americans, American-Indians, and others of society’s lowest class were given the backbreaking task of cutting, hauling, and grinding sugarcane for their masters. The Laura plantation’s namesake, Laura Duparc, lived on this land with her immediate family, extended relatives, and their spouses and children – but slaves still accounted for 80% of the population here.
On this experience, you’ll see both sides of plantation life near New Orleans. For some, it was a time of great prosperity and fortune – in 1850, about two-thirds of America’s millionaires lived in plantations along the Mississippi. For others, it was a time of hardship and brutality, as evidenced by the slave registries, meager cabins, and long working hours that you’ll see and hear about on this tour.
Whichever way you look at it, one thing is clear: New Orleans plantations had a significant impact on early America, one that forever changed the course of a young country’s history.
A well-traveled rabbit
Br’er Rabbit is known in western culture as a cunning creature who outwitted his opponents in a series of fables popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The stories originated from the “trickster” characters of West African mythology, but Br’er’s American roots can be traced to Laura Plantation. In the late 19th century, folk historian Alcee Fortier visited with slaves in the same quarters you see here today and recorded the stories that would eventually become the Br’er Rabbit fables.
Please meet in the lobby/reception area of your hotel. Be sure to indicate the name of your hotel at check-out so we know where to meet you. Your guide will be holding a sign with GoBe or your name on it.
You will be visiting 2 different plantations. No food is included in this tour but you will have free time at each for snack purchases. As in many cities, keep your wallet or purse secured and leave the bling behind.
Prepare for approx. 2 miles of walking with an easy pace. Expect uneven surfaces, steps and inclines. All routes and venues may not be fully accessible. Bring a companion for assistance if your mobility is limited or you use a wheelchair.
Cultural Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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