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Top Day Trips from New Orleans

Top Day Trips from New Orleans

There's plenty to do in the heart of New Orleans, but for repeat visitors or those with extra time, a day trip offers a broader Louisiana perspective. Whether you take a paddle wheel voyage down the Mississippi, an airboat swamp adventure, or visit a historic plantation, here are some top ways to go beyond the Big Easy. 

The Louisiana Swamps

The jazz clubs and cafes of the French Quarter seem a world away in Cajun country, where the only sounds are of birds and insects chirping in the mangroves at the water’s edge. Explore wildlife-rich wetlands including Honey Island Swamp, Manchac Swamp, and Atchafalaya Basin on a swamp tour from New Orleans. Options include eco-cruises led by naturalist guides and high-speed airboat rides that whisk you along snaking estuaries.  

River Road Plantations

The 70-mile stretch of the Great Mississippi River Road, dotted with many of the state’s former sugarcane plantations, offers a look back at Louisiana history. These once-grand estates showcase the contrasts of plantation life, with stately mansions and elaborate gardens standing alongside slave cabins. The best-preserved plantations include Houmas House, Oak Alley, Laura, and Destrehan, while the Whitney Plantation is fully dedicated to the memory of enslaved people. 

Mississippi River Cruises

New Orleans remains a busy port, so get a new perspective on river life with a cruise down the mighty Mississippi. Most cruises depart directly from docks right in the French Quarter and last about two hours, leaving plenty of time for other adventures. Book a jazz brunch or dinner cruise to pair your voyage with Creole cuisine and live music. 

Baton Rouge

Located about 1.5 hours upriver from New Orleans, Louisiana’s capital city offers an urban slice of life in the American South. Get your culture fix at museums such as the Louisiana Art and Science Museum, test your puzzling skills on a scavenger hunt, or take the kids for a day of seasonal splashy fun at the Blue Bayou Water Park.

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13 Tours and Activities

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Small-Group Airboat and Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Small-Group Airboat and Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans

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Go beyond the French Quarter and discover the unique Cajun and Creole cultures of New Orleans during this full-day swamp and plantation tour. Venture deep into the bayous, with a small group limited to 12, to see Cajun living and spot wildlife like alligators and pelicans on your high-speed airboat ride. Then, admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the history of Houmas House and Laura Plantation. Gourmet, unlimited buffet lunch at Houmas House is included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$230.00
From
$230.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Airboat Ride

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Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride. This boat tour winds through the mossy cypress swamp close to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named for the 19th‐century pirate and smuggler. While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from a native guide as you admire lush, forested shoreline and spot local wildlife.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.00
From
$59.00
Taking safety measures

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

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Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ antebellum south on a half‐day tour of Oak Alley Plantation. Take a journey through time to the manicured estate and into the gorgeous home, built in 1839. View stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantation’s fascinating – and often somber – histories from expert guides.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

Whitney Plantation Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Whitney Plantation Tour

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416
Visit the Whitney Plantation Museum, a former indigo and sugar plantation on the River Road now dedicated to promoting an understanding of slavery in Louisiana. Learn about the realities of plantation life through museum exhibits and recorded narratives as you explore the restored structures and historical slave cabins. Download the Whitney Plantation app for the self-guided tour of Whitney Plantation Museum.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Boat Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Boat Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

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750
Discover the mystique of the swamps and bayous on a sightseeing boat tour from New Orleans. Travel deep into the secluded bayous across the Mississippi River to witness Cajun life and spot native wildlife. Your guide will provide commentary on Cajun culture and the myth‐laden swamps while you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes, turtles, and native birds.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$55.00
From
$55.00
Taking safety measures

Oak Alley and Laura Plantation Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

Oak Alley and Laura Plantation Tour with Transportation from New Orleans

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Steep yourself in American history on this half-day tour of Oak Alley and Laura plantations that comes with convenient transport from downtown New Orleans. Both 19th-century plantations offer fantastic views of the Mississippi River. Snap shots of the famous canopied path of southern oaks that give Oak Alley its name, and gain insight into the women-run Laura plantation, where slave cabins still stand.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.97
From
$101.97
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans

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Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ rich and conflicted past on a small‐group plantation tour. Take a journey through Laura Plantation and St. Joseph Plantation, spying other historic plantations as you travel the Great River Road. View stunning architecture and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantations’ fascinating—and somber—histories from expert guides.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.00
From
$128.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Louisiana Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans

Small-Group Louisiana Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans

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63
Experience the elegance of New Orleans’ antebellum south on this full-day historical plantation tour. In a small group, visit Destrehan Plantation, then Houmas House Plantation, where you’ll view stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and former slave quarters while hearing fascinating – and often somber – pre‐Civil war histories from expert guides.  You'll also enjoy a private, unlimited gourmet buffet luncheon, served exclusively for your group at Houmas House.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$169.00
From
$169.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure With Pickup

New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure With Pickup

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Lose yourself in the atmospheric depths of the New Orleans swamps and wetlands on an exhilarating 2-hour boat tour, led by a professional guide. Cruise past ancient wonders and listen to legends surrounding a 2000-year-old Indian burial mound and an atmospheric Cajun cemetery. Scour the Barataria Swamps for sightings of fascinating wildlife such as snakes, turtles and ferocious alligators, and learn about the area’s history and geology from your knowledgeable guide. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation by luxury vehicle fro your New Orleans hotel.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
From
$52.00
Taking safety measures

Full Day Oak Alley Plantation and Swamp Boat Tour from New Orleans

Full Day Oak Alley Plantation and Swamp Boat Tour from New Orleans

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91
Soak up the atmosphere of the bayou on this 8-hour cultural tour from New Orleans. Visit the Oak Alley Plantation House, dating from 1837, and view the stately row of 28 evenly spaced mature oaks that line the driveway. Follow your guide, dressed in period costume, through the mansion, the blacksmith shop and the onsite restaurant. Then, learn about life in the bayou's waterways aboard a swamp and wetlands boat tour. See the amazing variety of flora and fauna native to the area and hear about life in the Barataria Swamps from your native guides. Round-trip transportation from New Orleans is included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$115.00
From
$115.00
Taking safety measures

Laura Plantation Tour

Laura Plantation Tour

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389
Discover four generations of Creole history at the Laura Plantation with an informative tour of this well-preserved estate. Located just an hour from New Orleans on the Great River Road, Laura Plantation was founded in 1804 and provides a vivid window into Louisiana's Creole past. Learn about the family and slaves who lived here during a guided tour of the manor house, slave quarters, sugar fields and gardens.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Self-Transport Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour

New Orleans Self-Transport Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour

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Discover one of Louisiana’s last preserved wetlands on a Honey Island Swamp boat tour. After making a short drive to Slidell, travel deep into the secluded swamp across Lake Pontchartrain to view native wildlife and witness a remote Cajun village only accessible by boat. Enjoy guided commentary on Cajun culture and the lush swamps as you spot alligators, wild boar, snakes, and native birds. This tour does not include transportation.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.99
From
$33.99
Taking safety measures

Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Historic Mississippi River Cruise

Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Historic Mississippi River Cruise

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424
Sail down this Mississippi River on a classic Paddlewheeler boat on this New Orleans river cruise. Enjoy illuminating narration from a licensed historian and stop part-way through the trip to learn about the Battle of New Orleans. Then, get back aboard the vessel and enjoy a cash bar while admiring the views.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.00
From
$36.00
Taking safety measures