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New Orleans

Architecture Tours

Our most recommended New Orleans Architecture Tours

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Swamp Cruise Day Trip

1. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Swamp Cruise Day Trip

Experience 2 typical Louisiana features—plantation homes and bayous—on a guided day trip from New Orleans with hotel pickup. Tour Oak Alley Plantation, with entry tickets, included, and look out for wildlife on a boat trip through the swamplands. Start with a pickup from your French Quarter hotel. Head out of New Orleans and travel to Oak Alley Plantation, one of the best-known in the area. Built in 1837-39, the plantation is famous for its alley of 28 evenly spaced live oak trees. Take a guided tour of the historical plantation and gain an educational insight into the times of slavery. Afterward, enjoy a fully narrated boat tour of the swamps. Keep a lookout for alligators, turtles, water birds, and other local wildlife. Listen as your captain tells stories of local Cajun and Creole history, and the people who live in the Bayou area. Finish your tour with the return journey to New Orleans, where you’ll be dropped off at your French Quarter hotel.

From New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Tour

2. From New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Explore New Orlean's history on a guided our of Oak Alley Plantation. Learn all about plantation life from your traditionally-dressed tour guide and see antique farm machinery up close. Marvel at the long-standing and impressive 28 oak trees that line the road leading up to the main plantation house. Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in New Orleans, and then make your way to the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie for your guided walking tour of its grounds. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Oak Alley was named after the 28 huge oak trees that line the road leading up to – and pre-dating – the plantation house. Admire the Greek Revival architecture of the main plantation house, built in the 19th century for one of the wealthiest families of the South. See original features, including antique farm machinery, and avail of amenities such as a restaurant and souvenir shop. Throughout your tour, be led by a guide wearing authentic plantation-style clothes and hear about the first example of Antebellum restoration along the legendary River Road.

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo Tour

3. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo Tour

Discover Louisiana on a guided day trip from New Orleans to the historical Oak Alley Plantation, with entry tickets included, and a bayou airboat ride. Benefit from round-trip transportation from your New Orleans hotel. Start your experience with hotel pickup, and relax on the drive to Oak Alley Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of the plantation home by guides in period dress while you hear and learn about the times of slavery.  Take in the house's Greek Revival architecture, the antique farm equipment exhibits, and walk around the grounds where 28 evenly spaced, huge oak trees grow. Browse the blacksmith shop and souvenir shop, or stop for a snack (at your own expense) in the restaurant. Continue onto Barataria Basin for an airboat tour of the bayou swamplands, where your local captain will guide you through the swamps, marshes, and lakes. Travel at high speeds for an exciting ride, then slow down to spot local wildlife on this exciting airboat experience. Look out for alligators, birds, and other animals. Every airboat tour is unique, so you never know what you’ll see. Even in winter — when alligators hibernate — you’ll have a good chance of spotting these reptiles.  Back on dry land, return to the bus for the drive back to New Orleans, where you’ll finish off your trip with a convenient drop-off back at your hotel.

French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour

4. French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour

Take a walking and storytelling tour through New Orleans' famous French Quarter. See famous landmarks and learn about local history as you make your way from the jazz fountain to Jackson Square, hearing fascinating stories along the way. The night before the tour, your guide will send an email with their photo, contact information, and directions to the meeting spot. The tour begins at the jazz fountain at the intersection of Decatur and Dumaine Streets in the historic French Market district. These are small-group tours, making for a more comfortable, customized experience.  After a brief overview of New Orleans history, your guide will lead you around the oldest neighborhood in the city, and point out the locations that have made New Orleans famous: St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and the Mississippi River - and lesser-known treasures such as the French Market, an almost 300 year old convent, and courtyards hidden behind the 18th and 19th century buildings. Your guide will also be an enthusiastic storyteller, and the stories about this neighborhood are like no other. Established as a French colonial outpost in 1718, its earliest inhabitants were the quirky, gritty, fascinating types who are still attracted to it today. Every block has a story which will be shared with you. The tour concludes in or next to Jackson Square, but it is by no means over. Your guide is full of recommendations for enjoying the neighborhood and the city further. When you finish the French Quarter tour, you will be energized to go out and explore this jewel of a neighborhood even further, and the knowledge you gained walking with your guide will only deepen your understanding of New Orleans, and  stay with you long after you have left its quaint streets and alleys.

New Orleans: Houmas House Plantation Tour

5. 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.

New Orleans: Garden District Food and History Tour

6. New Orleans: Garden District Food and History Tour

Visit three food stops that highlight Cajun and Creole flavors and history on this guided walking tour of New Orleans. Delight your senses with a full meal of Cajun and Creole specialties that is spread out over 3 local eateries. Sip on a beverage with your food.  Start at the Lafayette cemetery, and listen as your guide tells you the unique funeral customs and traditions of New Orleans. Explore the architecture of the Garden District, home to historic mansions, colorful shotgun houses, and beautiful oak trees.  Check out local shops on Magazine Street before arriving at your first food stop which include an indulgent taste of Creole fusion and the multicultural influences that shaped the 300-year-old city. Learn about Cajun people and Find out what influence they had on the culinary culture of Louisiana. The first two food stops include either a choice from a menu of craft beers from local breweries, a cocktail, house sangria, a mimosa, or a non-alcoholic beverage.  Along the way, visit locally-owned shops and an art gallery before finishing on a sweet note at the dessert stop for specialty, filled beignets, and a cafe au lait. Finish with plenty of recommendations for local fun and flavors. 

New Orleans: Drunk History Walking Tour

7. New Orleans: Drunk History Walking Tour

Visit cultural landmarks and walk the streets of the Vieux Carre on this guided tour. Hear about the history of voodoo and ghost stories in New Orleans, and see where the Louisiana Purchase was signed, the famous St. Louis Cathedral, and other historical sites. As you walk around New Orleans, find out where the most predictable ghosts and vampires lurk. Visit the most haunted house in the city and hear stories about voodoo, ghosts, and vampires. Listen to your guide explain how the practice of voodoo came to New Orleans. Learn about Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen, and visit the property given to her as payment for her magic. You’ll also see locations where voodoo ceremonies were held. Then, check out some of the French Quarter’s friendliest and most historic bars. This tour passes dozens of bars at every turn. Feel free to stop in and refill your cup.  Have a blast on this tour especially if you are a boozer, history buff, or paranormal enthusiast. Rewrite history by putting your own spin on some of New Orleans’ most talked about historical events and haunted locations. This tour is for all ages (although some locations do not allow children inside). If this is the case, the tour guide will wait outside by the door while the adults go inside to get refills on drinks.

New Orleans: 2-Hour French Quarter History and Voodoo Tour

8. New Orleans: 2-Hour French Quarter History and Voodoo Tour

Follow your licensed guide, a master storyteller, through New Orleans' French Quarter. Learn about the neighborhood's interesting past and travel through its adventurous history as you discover what makes the French Quarter one of the most unique and friendliest places in the United States. Meet your guide and begin touring at Congo Square where you'll learn about the history of voodoo, the slave trade, and the indigenous peoples of New Orleans. Hear the story of the infamous Voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau, and visit the site of her former home. Afterward, stop at the historic Supreme Court building for tales about Louisiana politicians and court cases such as Huey P. Long, Edwin Edwards, and Plessy vs. Fergusson. During your tour learn about the city's music, food, architecture, culture, literary history, and Bourbon Street. Your tour ends at Jackson Square where you can admire even more of the city's architecture and see St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytère, and the Cabildo.

New Orleans: Garden District Tour with Elms Mansion Access

9. New Orleans: Garden District Tour with Elms Mansion Access

Immerse yourself in the opulence of the Old South in this tour of New Orleans’ prettiest neighborhood with an expert local guide. Your historic Garden District tour begins on a sweet note with a behind-the-scenes visit to an old praline-makers shop. Here you will learn how New Orleans’ most famous confection was brought to the city from Europe, and will even be able to taste one hot out of the copper pots. Next, you’ll hop onto a street car with all-inclusive tickets and zip down St. Charles Avenue, en-route to the Garden District. This area of grand mansions and wide, tree-lined streets is home to some of the best-preserved, pre-Civil-War mansions in America, as well as a slew of celebrity homes. Your guide will introduce you to the history of the area, as you see the grand mansions built by wealthy plantation-owners and now owned by famous people such as Beyonce and Sandra Bullock. Along the way, you’ll stop off at one of America’s most unique graveyards, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. You’ll also learn about the practical difficulties of running a cemetery below sea level. For the highlight of the tour, you will step inside the Elms Mansion, a 150-year-old Italianate home that is one of the most impressive in the city. As you tour the opulent rooms, you will learn about the businessmen and plantation owners who built these stately residences, and the wealthy world that they created in New Orleans before the Civil War. Your tour ends in the mansion’s beautiful garden, with an ice cold glass of lemonade or sweet tea in the shade of the largest magnolia tree in the south.

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

10. 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

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What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 797 reviews

I did this tour on 07/25 with captain Bishop Keller for the swamp tour. The guy was amazing. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the boat ride haha. Very dry humor and lots of dad jokes. We saw tons of gators and even got to hold a baby one (Bishop was very mindful about it and made sure no one was mistreating it)! After, we went to oak alley, which was very interesting. I imagined it bigger but the story wasn’t less moving. Our bus driver “Big Joe” also did an amazing job telling us all kinds of interesting information about everything we saw on the way to the actual tour.

Everything about this excursion was excellent and so easy. Booking to pick up and drop off . We were picked up right on time and driven to the swamp tour which was fantastic . The guides there were so Knowledgeable . Saw lots of alligators and some other wildlife . The air boat is fun . Then off to the plantation which was such a beautiful place . There we had a tour for 30 minutes and then could go on our way to a sec tour . There’s a place to grab a bite there as well .

A perfect tour, If you’re seeking just a short walking tour that covers an all round introduction on New Orleans and its rich history

The young man who was captain gave an entertaining and informative tour. Lots of fun. Beautiful views, lots of gators.

Great and convenient day trip from New Orleans to have the full NOLA experience.