Why you should visit New Orleans Plantation Country when you are in NOLA

Why you should visit New Orleans Plantation Country when you are in NOLA

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 a car.

That way you can visit the plantations at your own pace, or you can opt to join a group tour company.

Spuddy's Cajun Foods

Lunch Stop at Spuddy’s Cajun Foods

2644 LA-20, Vacherie, LA

Spuddy's Cajun Foods

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.

the smoker at Spuddy's Cajun Foods

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.

cooking class at Spuddy's Cajun Foods

Cajun Cooking Experience at Spuddy’s

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.

Nedra McDaniel and Spuddy from Spuddy's Cajun Foods

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.

sausage from the smoker at Spuddys Cajun Foods in Louisiana

My favorite part of our kitchen tour was when Spuddy showed us the smokers. Spuddy uses the smoker for the final stage of the sausages.

He gave us a sample straight from the smoker. It was soo good!

Andouille Po Boy at Spuddy's Cajun Foods

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, and salads. Their Seafood Potato is even made with shrimp and crawfish.

dining area at Spuddy's Cajun Foods

After you finish your meal, make sure that you spend time walking around the dining area at Spuddy’s.

dining area at Spuddy's Cajun Foods

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.

Laura Plantation

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.

tour of Laura Plantation

Laura Plantation is known as Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site and was the former location of Guillaume Duparc’s sugar farming complex.

tour of Laura Plantation

Our guide, Joseph Dunn, was a fantastic storyteller. He really did a great job of helping us envision what life was like for all who lived at Laura Plantation.

Joseph also gave us context for what the culture was like during that time period.

photos of Laura Locoul during a tour of Laura Plantation

I found the personal photographs on the wall of Laura Locoul to be really interesting.

They helped me envisioned what her life was like when she lived at the plantation.

ceiling beams tour of Laura Plantation

Make sure that you also pay attention to the details that the guide points out along the way.

During the tour you’ll learn why there are markings by the beams in the ceiling.

slave quarters at  Laura Plantation

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.

Cajun Pride Swamp Tours in Louisiana

Cajun Pride Swamp Tours

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.

swamp tour cajun pride tours

Our Swamp tour lasted about 1.5 hours and guests are requested to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time.

two alligators Cajun Pride Swamp Tours

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!

funny cat sign

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.

scenic view Cajun Pride Swamp Tours
scenic swamp view Cajun Pride Swamp Tours
large alligators Cajun Pride Swamp Tours

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.

alligators Cajun Pride Swamp Tours

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.

hold a baby alligator at Cajun Pride Swamp Tours

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.

front of Destrehan Plantation

Tour Destrehan Plantation

13034 River Rd, Destrehan, LA

Destrehan Plantation is the closest plantation home to New Orleans located about 30 minutes away.

It’s also only about 10 minutes from the New Orleans International Airport.

oak tree at Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana

Each plantation home in the area is uniquely beautiful. 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.

Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana.

I’d recommend trying not to visit too many plantations in one day to avoid tour fatigue. This is especially important 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.

porch at Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana

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.

tour guide at Destrehan Plantation

She did a great job of pointing out details of the home and interesting events that happened on-site.

We also learned more about the lives of those who lived there.

bathroom with marbel tub at Destrehan Plantation

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.

architect at Destrehan 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.

slave quarters at Destrehan Plantation
slave quarters at Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana

There is also an exhibit on the 1811 Slave Revolt that you will want to see.

inventory of slaves at Destrehan Plantation
inventory of slaves at Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana

The record of all who were enslaved on the property was a really interesting and sobering reminder of the generations of slaves who lived there.

Make sure that you also allow time to view the document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

appetizer at Becs on the Lake Restaurant and Catering

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.

Bec’s at the Lake Restaurant and Catering

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!

view down the road from Bec’s at the Lake Restaurant and Catering

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.

an appetizer at Becs on the Lake Restaurant and Catering

Menu Items at Bec’s

We started with a giant sampler of popular appetizers that included egg rolls, shrimp, and wontons.

soft shell crab Becs on the Lake Restaurant and Catering

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.

It’s definitely 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!

grilled fill mason sauce Bec’s at the Lake Restaurant and Catering

I ordered the Grilled fish served with Mason sauce and grilled shrimp on top.

dessert at Becs on the Lake Restaurant and Catering

We also tried two different desserts the bread pudding with rum sauce and the apple praline cobbler ala mode.

bread pudding Bec’s at the Lake Restaurant and Catering

Both were delicious but the bread pudding was our favorite without any leftovers.

outside the Seafood Pot restaurant

The Seafood Pot

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.

Seafood Pot jalepeno hushpuppies

We started with their delicious jalapeno hushpuppies and then enjoyed a soft shell crab Po Boy sandwich and a shrimp wrap.

wrap at the Seafood Pot
soft shell crab Po Boy at the Seafood Pot
The Seafood Pot in Louisiana

The Seafood Pot also has a great variety of drive-thru daiquiris. You can read more about my fascination with those here. 

West Beignet Coffee and Beignets New Orleans Airport

 Beignets at the Airport

We completed our visit with some beignets at the New Orleans airport at West Beignet – Coffee and Beignets.

You can never have too many beignets when you visit New Orleans!

Hotels and Airbnbs near LaPlace, LA. Book your stay now!

room at TownePlace Suites by Marriott Laplace

Where We Stayed

4281 US-51, Laplace, LA

seating and dining area TownePlace Suites by Marriott Laplace

During our visit, we stayed in a studio with two queen-sized beds at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Laplace.

kitchenette at 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. 

More Information

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. 

More Area Related Articles

You can read more about our road trip to the region in the articles below.

Fun Things to do in Houma Louisiana

Why you need to visit the Secret Coast

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Why you should visit New Orleans Plantation Country when you are in NOLA

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