The next time that you visit New Orleans, allow for some extra time to visit New Orleans Plantation Country. You will find that each plantation has a unique story to share and style in the way that they present its history. You will also discover great Cajun food and area adventures.
If you are flying into New Orleans and don’t have a vehicle, I would suggest renting one so that you can visit the plantations at your own pace, or you can opt to join a group tour company.
Lunch Stop at Spuddy’s Cajun Foods
2644 LA-20, Vacherie, LA
Our first stop in New Orleans Plantation Country was a visit to Spuddy’s Cajun Foods.
Spuddy’s is a great local dining option for before or after a Plantation tour.
Offering a great selection of Cajun favorites, Spuddy’s uses their own homemade Smoked Sausages and Andouille in their Gumbo and Jambalaya and they also sell a variety of smoked meats.
We learned more about how andouille sausage is made from Spuddy and he also gave us a kitchen tour.
Spuddy’s offers a 3 hour Cajun Cooking hands-on Experience where guests are taken back to the kitchen to learn how to make andouille sausage, cook jambalaya, how to make a roux, and gumbo with the main rule of having fun!
The Cajun Cooking Experience lasts around 3 hours and includes cooking, eating and drinking.
This is a great way to experience being Cajun for a day… or at least eating like one.
During our visit, we were given a tour and introduction to sausage making by Spuddy himself! Through our conversation, I discovered that Spuddy had a connection to my local church.
Spuddy does some of the catering for the Crossroad’s GO NOLA trips that partners with Habitat for Humanity and other local non-profits.
My favorite part of our kitchen tour was when Spuddy showed us the smokers that he uses for the final stage of the sausages and then he gave us a sample straight from the smoker. It was sooooo good!
After that tasting, I had to order an Andouille Po Boy. Spuddy’s daily menu consists of their daily Plate Lunch, Chicken/Andouille/Sausage Gumbo, Salads, and their Seafood Potato made with shrimp and crawfish.
After you finish your meal, make sure that you spend time walking around the dining area at Spuddy’s.
The walls are filled with black and white photographs that show you how much the area has changed over the years. If Spuddy is available to chat, it’s worth asking him about them.
Take a Guided Tour of Laura Plantation
Next, we toured Laura Plantation located less than 5 minutes away from Spuddy’s Cajun Foods.
You will want to arrive 15 minutes before the start of your tour and I would highly recommend booking a tour ahead of time because the tours fill up quickly.
Laura Plantation is known as Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site and was the former location of Guillaume Duparc’s sugar farming complex.
Our guide, Joseph Dunn, was a fantastic storyteller and really did a great job of helping us envision what life was like for all who lived at Laura Plantation and what the culture was like during that time period.
I found the personal photographs on the wall of Laura Locoul to be really interesting as I envisioned what her life was like when she lived at the plantation.
Make sure that you also pay attention to the details that the guide points out along the way such as why there are markings by the beams in the ceiling.
Our tour ended inside former slave quarters which also helped us visualize how different life would have been for those who did not have their freedom.
110 Frenier Rd, Laplace, LA
If you want to see a lot of gators in the wild, I highly recommend Cajun Pride Swamp Tours! Reservations are strongly recommended because the tours sell out quickly.
Our Swamp tour lasted about 1.5 hours and guests are requested to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time.
While you wait, there is plenty of time to look at some of the animals, check out the gift shop and use the restroom…but beware of the pet cats!
The peaceful tour takes you on their privately owned swamp with a native Cajun captain who is the perfect blend of knowledge and humor. He shared more about the swamp ecosystem and was available to answer any questions from the tour guests.
During our tour, gator sightings were really common, in fact, I think we lost count after a while. It was amazing to see alligators in their natural habitat.
You can opt for a swamp tour, plantation tour, or a combo ticket. If you want an experience that is more intimate, they offer a 16 passenger Close Encounter VIP tour.
This is a great tour for families of all ages with scenic wildlife, hands-on learning, and lots of photo ops which included an opportunity for guests to hold a baby alligator.
Tour Destrehan Plantation
13034 River Rd, Destrehan, LA
Destrehan Plantation is the closest plantation home from New Orleans located about 30 minutes away and 10 minutes from the New Orleans International Airport.
I know that each plantation home is uniquely beautiful but I’m always also fascinated by their trees. I loved the way the tree limbs twisted out and to the ground on this one at Destrehan Plantation.
I recommend trying not to visit too many plantations in one day to avoid tour fatigue especially if you are traveling with kids. We visited one plantation each day which allowed each individual plantation story to sink in more and retain their attention span.
The plantation was originally used for indigo and then transitioned to sugarcane instead due to crop failures. Our tour was guided by a costumed historical interpreter who guided us throughout the plantation home.
She did a great job of pointing out details of the home and interesting events that happened on site and more about the lives of those who lived there.
Check out this amazing marble bathtub on the second floor. I can’t imagine how hard it was to install when they were building the plantation.
Speaking of building, the plantation was designed by master builder, Charles Paquet, who was a “Free Man of Color.” The tour will point out the craftsmanship and intentional design along the way.
There is also an exhibit on the 1811 Slave Revolt that you will want to see and a record of all who were enslaved on the property which was really interesting. Make sure that you also allow time to view the document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Great Places to Eat Around New Orleans Plantation Country
In addition to Spuddy’s Cajun Foods, I’ve got a few more dining recommendations in the area.
A Relaxing Dinner at Bec’s at the Lake Restaurant and Catering
105 Gary Rd, Laplace, LA
For dinner our first night, we ate at Bec’s on the Lake. Bec’s is a popular place to eat for locals and tour groups.
The lower level of his restaurant allows him to cater to large groups and the upper level still has plenty of room for the rest of the restaurant patrons.
The atmosphere is laid back and the food is great! The restaurant is located within close proximity to Lake Pontchartrain, thus the name, if you are enjoying a day on the water or want to watch the sunset.
Restaurant owner George Bec shared several of his favorite menu items and he has such a passion and joy when he speaks of his family-owned business.
We started with a giant sampler of popular appetizers that included egg rolls, shrimp, and wontons.
For dinner, my son tried the Soft Shell Crab Pasta Acadian. We had to double check with the waitress for the best practice for how to eat it because it’s not a common menu item in the Midwest. We didn’t know that you could eat every part of the soft shell crab…now we know!
I ordered the Grilled fish served with Mason sauce and grilled shrimp on top.
We also tried two different desserts the bread pudding with rum sauce and the apple praline cobbler ala mode. Both were delicious but the bread pudding was our favorite without any leftovers.
14386 River Rd, New Sarpy, LA
Located about 15 minutes from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, The Seafood Pot is another great spot to stop for lunch or dinner. The Seafood Pot was our last chance to enjoy local seafood before departing for the airport.
We started with their delicious jalapeno hushpuppies and then enjoyed a soft shell crab Po Boy sandwich and a shrimp wrap.
The Seafood Pot also has a great variety of drive-thru daiquiris. You can read more about my fascination with those here.
Beignets at the Airport
We completed our visit with some beignets at the New Orleans airport at West Beignet – Coffee and Beignets…because you can never have too many beignets when you visit New Orleans.
Where We Stayed
4281 US-51, Laplace, LA
During our visit, we stayed in a studio with two queen-sized beds at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Laplace.
If you are visiting on a budget, you can easily prepare meals for a family with the full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, stovetop, oven, stocked with a kitchen with plates, utensils, and basic cookware with a table for 4 people.
You can find discount rates on hotel rooms here.
You can find more information on New Orleans Plantation Country from their New Orleans Plantation Country
Thanks again to New Orleans Plantation Country for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own.
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