Houmas House

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Houmas House: Our most recommended tours and activities

New Orleans: Houmas House Plantation Tour

1. New Orleans: Houmas House Plantation Tour

Visiting the Houmas House Estate is more than just a house tour. It's a fully immersive experience educating guests on the architecture, the culture, and the agriculture of this Louisiana Plantation and how the Mississippi River shaped the southern United States. Here you will get a glimpse into the life on a sugarcane plantation in the 1800s. Located on the lower Mississippi River, just an hour drive from New Orleans, the mansion has been beautifully restored to the antebellum era, reflecting the wealth this sugarcane farm boasted in the 1880s. A guided mansion tour, led by costumed guides, walks you through the 250-year history, showing the architectural evolution of this manor house and how it became a grand estate. Rare and period artwork and artifacts are displayed and used to explain plantation life. You can also take a self-guided tour of the expansive gardens, which is an adventure in itself. Water features, secret gardens, sculptures, and magnificent Live Oak trees are a photographer's dream. Plenty of sitting nooks and shaded area are available to rest and enjoy the scenery. For movie lovers, Houmas House was the location for the 1964 psychological thriller “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” starring Betty Davis and Olivia de Havilland. It was deemed the scariest movie of its time and was also famous for the fact that Joan Crawford was originally cast opposite Betty Davis, but left the movie, much to the delight of her costar. Also, most recently, it was the setting for a few scenes in the 2019 award-winning movie “The Green Book”. Those are just a few of the many movies and TV shows filmed at Houmas House. For those interested in ghosts, Houmas House and Gardens is the site of two very serious, inexplicable events: one precipitated by nature, the other by the very unnatural.

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

2. 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: 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

Other Sightseeing Options in Houmas House

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What people are saying about Houmas House

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 18 reviews

Very good getaway thanks to our guide René who is really great and funny!!! Perfect lunch in a magnificent restaurant surrounded by a sublime garden. In the morning, very good time on the airboat in the middle of alligators and pigs, thanks to our driver who showed us picturesque places! The 2 plantations were different and magnificent, personally a single visit would have been enough for the small culture but that's my personal opinion!! Well done and keep it up!

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.

Didn’t have to give a big thought to the details, just got to absorb the history of the plantations and the thrill of the swamp boat. The meal was fine too, especially the bread pudding. Our guide was lovely and very knowledgeable, through definitely like to hear himself talk. I highly recommend Isabelle tours.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and we saw lots of alligators. Was a lot of fun!!

This is heaven on earth. Hands down absolutely breathtaking.