New Orleans is full of incredible food, great music, and interesting people. While all of that is great, it’s nice to escape and get out of the hustle and bustle for a day or two while you’re visiting. Steeped in history and surrounded by over 40 percent of the nation’s wetlands, finding an attraction outside of New Orleans is easy. On less than a tank of gas, you can explore the Louisiana bayou on an alligator tour before taking in the rich history of one of the great plantations near New Orleans. Combine these two, and you have the perfect day trip from New Orleans.
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Perfect Day Trip From New Orleans-Swamp and Plantation Tour
Louisiana Swamp Tour
Marty and I had our personal vehicle so we hit the road for the easy drive to our first stop, Cajun Pride Swamp Tours. If you don’t have your vehicle with you, or would rather leave the driving and planning to someone else, then head on over to Viator to book one of their awesome tours.
Immediately upon stepping onto the property, I knew we were in for quite a treat. Seeing the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence only solidified that I was right.
After checking in, Marty and I grabbed a cold drink before roaming the property to view the baby alligators and take selfies in front of the swamp.
After a few photos and a quick restroom break, Captain Danny was calling for us to board our boat. Now, Captain Danny will keep you entertained during your tour. His funny stories combined with his thick Cajun accent had me hanging on his every word, and trust me, he has a lot of words to share! LOL!
Take note and listen though, especially to the rules of the boat, they are there to protect you and the swamp. One young lady found out the hard way! Captain Danny had just warned us not to hold our phones over the edge of the boat to take pictures. Not 10 seconds later, we hear a plop and look up to see a pre-teen girl freaking out because she had just dropped her new iPhone into the murky swamp below. I guess she should have listened to Captain Danny!
During our tour in mid-March, the alligators were just beginning to come out from hibernation. The water, a cold 66 degrees, meant that the larger alligators were still in hibernation. We were happy to see several small gators out and they were delighted to just lay in the sun posing for our pictures.
After leaving Cajun Pride Swamp Tours, we headed about 20 minutes south to Destrehan Plantation. Being the history lovers that we are, Marty and I were so excited to discover that Destrehan Plantation is the oldest documented plantation home in the lower Mississippi Valley. Established in 1787 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, we just knew we had to see it!
We checked in at the gorgeous gift shop and then made our way to the plantation home for our tour. While waiting, we took the opportunity to snap some pictures of the gorgeous oak trees and the beautiful antebellum home. Like most plantation on River Road, the grand entry of oak trees has been shrunk to make way for the levee that now protects the area from the waters of the mighty Mississippi River.
Our guide, Jim, did an excellent job of balancing the stories of the slaves with that of the plantation owners. Advising that at one time, Destrehan had over 210 slaves on the property, and it was because of them that the plantation home existed at all, building it by hand in just three short years.
The history of the plantation, including the 1811 Slave Revolt, one of the largest slave revolts in U.S. history, was fascinating. Throughout the home, we were treated to artifacts and stories of the family associated with the pieces. One of the most treasured (and priceless I assume) is an original document signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison!
After the guided tour of the home, we were free to roam the grounds to view the other buildings on the site, including an old school house, slave cabins, and a museum.
*This is a sponsored post. Although Marty and I were provided free tours, all opinions are our own.
So what do you think? Would you enjoy this day trip from New Orleans? Comment below and let us know.
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