New Orleans and Plantation Homes Questions

Old Jul 30th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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New Orleans and Plantation Homes Questions

My wife and I went to New Orleans about 20 years ago, but haven't been since then. My daughter (age 16) really wants to see the Plantation Homes along the river between Baton Rouge and N.O. I am considering a trip over Fall Break Mid-October. We would basically have a full day to view the homes. Perhaps spend the night in Nottoway or Oak Alley for a night or two. We could see N.O., but would only have a day there. Really nothing interests us there other than food. Was considering the Garden District, but not sure at this time of year or not was worth doing. Not really sure exactly what it is anyway. Also was considering doing a Segway Tour there. Of course, we would walk down Bourbon Street. Any other suggestions?

Basically we would have a full day on Friday and Saturday, but would drive home on Sunday. We are in Oklahoma and it is about an 8 hour drive. We would drive down on Thursday.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2010, 07:08 PM
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There are half day tours out to the plantations, so you might consider that. We went on one to Laura and Oak Alley. It was very good. On another trip we drove out and saw Houma House and San Francisco. Houma and Laura were my favorites.

Because you only have 3 nights, I'd be inclined to spend them all in New Orleans and so a day or half day trip out to see some plantations. On the otherhand, if nothing interests you in New Orleans other than the food, you might be happy with one evenning there. I'd do some research first though before I made up my mind on that though.

Bourbon Street is kind of fun, but it isn't my favorite part of New Orleans, or even my favorite part of the French Quarter. And there certainly isn't much there for a 16 year old - mostly just bars, some strip clubs, souvenier shops, and a few restaurants - at least on the part that most people think of as Bourbon Street. There is so much more to New Orleans than that. It really is an interesting city.

The Garden District, which you mentioned, is an old neighborhood upriver from the French Quarter. It is full of beautiful old homes with large trees and nice gardens.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 05:06 AM
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If you have a car, you're much better off using it to see the plantations. There are various plantation tours offered, but the only ones in my experience that reliably go out are to Oak Alley and Laura (either separately or in combo). Tours of this type have minimums, and they usually don't know if they'll meet them until the day before. Some plantation tours offered by companies haven't actually been done in years, though they still sit there offered on websites.

You should be able to see three or four plantations in a day if you have a car. I've been to Oak Alley, Laura, and Nottoway, and very much liked them all -- and they're very different from each other.

The Garden District in NOLA has several lovely homes, though none are open for tours that I remember. Most major guidebooks suggest a self guided walking tour of the area. You can do such self guided walks in a couple hours time. Feel free to check out my trip reports for NOLA:

See the end of the latter thread for the trip report.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 01:22 PM
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I'd recommend you take your daughter to Oak Alley, Laura Plantation, and Nottoway. Walk around the French Quarter (even though you may not like New Orleans, she probably will find it fascinating). Eat beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Walk along the Riverfront. There are a few great bike tours (check tripadvisor as I believe the #1 attraction is a bike tour). I believe a 16 year old would like that.

The Garden District is a great place to stay and you could take the St. Charles Streetcar to get to the French Quarter. If you need restaurant recommendations please let us know.

By the way, October is prime tourist season in New Orleans do to the great weather that time of year - book hotels now!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:35 PM
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My favorite plantation is Oak Alley. It is located amidst the beautiful oaks along the Mississippi River in Vacherie.

There is so much to do in New Orleans that would be fun for your daughter. The streetcar ride along St. Charles Avenue, the boat and ferry rides along the Mississippi River, Preservation Hall, St. Louis Cathedral, Royal Street, Audubon Park,... My son and daughter enjoy viewing the unique architecture and experiencing the rich culture that we find so special.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:45 PM
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We visited Nottoway, Houmas, stayed at Madewood, Laura and San Francisco. Our favorites, by far, were Houmas and Laura. Houmas had a fabulous tour guide in costume and in character and she imparted so much information. Laura was fascinating because, being Creole, it was different from the others and we learned so much. We had a terrible guide at Nottoway and the tour was so poor they actually gave us our money back when we complained. San Francisco was fine but I would skip it if you don't have a lot of time.

We did a very enjoyable walking tour of the Garden District with Historic New Orleans (we also did their French Quarter walking tour and their Katrina rebirth tour).
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:35 AM
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theatrelover, sorry to hear you had a poor tour guide at Nottoway. It can happen at many such places if you get the bad luck of the draw on available tour guides (and often they're volunteers at places like this, so an outside imposed incentive to do a great job usually isn't there if the guide lacks it). Fortunately, the one I had was fine.

But even with a below average tour, I'd still say see this plantation, as it's very ornate and large (if what I've read is correct, it's the largest plantation house still standing), well worth experiencing from an architectural standpoint.

I'll also second metry2. New Orleans is a unique city in terms of feel and architecture, well worth the experience on at least some level.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Well i can assure you that there is a lot more to do in New Orleans than bourbon st. From your question sounds like you are only coming here to walk down bourbon and eat food. Sounds like you don't like New Orleans to much!! Bourbon is the most awful thing about New Orleans! It will be dead during the day and will be boring. At night tourists get drunk and that is usually as far as they go in new orleans.

If you had more time i would say to do some of things on my list of my favorites.

The best po boy sandwich is Domilise's a little family owned place outside of the quarter and is cash only. Love this place the family is super nice and remember my mother by first name from when she used to go in after school during high school. This is a best kept secret.

My favorite drinks is the Planters Punch at Pat O's, Pimms Cup at the Napolean House, and bloody mary at the avenue pub uptown, Obituary at Lafittes, and Sazarac at Galatoises!

Check out what festivals are happening.

Things to do: ( If i can remember anything else i will let you know)

Attractions: Jackson Square, St Louis Cathedral, Cafe Du Monde, Steamboat Natchez Riverboat Cruise(don't eat there the food is terrible),Moonwalk on the Mississippi, Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, Zoo/Aquarium Cruise, Imax, Audubon Insectarium, Royal St. Antiques, Magazine Street Shopping and Julia St Art Galleries, Check out the Architecture in the Garden District, Airboat Swamp tour in the Atcafalaya basin or honey island swamp, Mardi Gras World, Ride the Streetcar, New Orleans School of Cooking, Carriage Ride, City Park has rides for the kids, Preservation Hall in Quarter serves no alcohol and is no smoking so it a jazz hall for all ages it is great for everyone to enjoy. don't forget to check out the arcitecture in the quarter and the garden district. A 16 yr. old would love to go shopping on magazine st.!

Plantations- Oak Alley, Madewood Plantation, Nottoway Plantation, Beauregard House at Chalmette Battlefield, Destrehan & Ormond Plantations

Museums- Historic New Orleans Collection, Ogden, Dday, the cabildo, Pharmacy, Confederate Museum, US Mint, Conti Wax Museum, Historic New Orleans Collection, Childrens Museum

Haunted Places;Le Petit Theater, The Pontalba, Pirates Alley, The Lalaurie House, Lanaux Mansion, St. Louis Cathedral, Lafittes Blacksmith shop, The Pharmacy.Go see the ghost table at muriels, LaLaurie House, St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, Voodoo Cemetery Gates Of Guinee -- The Voodoo Gates to Hell on Earth, Columns Hotel, Place de Armes Hotel, Yo mamas bar and grill, Pat O's, O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub, Octoroon's House - 734 Royal Street, Hotel Monteleone, Brennans, Le Pavilion Hotel, Arnaud's Restaurant, Canal Street at City Park Avenue, Cafe Lafite in Exile, The Sultans Palace, Gardette-LePrete Haunted House, The Beauregard-Keyes House, Marie Laveau's House at 1020 St. Ann Street, The Creole Lady of Faubourg-Marigny at 734 Royal St, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and 2, Greenwood Cemetery, St. Roch Cemetery,

My favorite Restaurants:

Jaquimos( Best Alligator Cheesecake and blackened red fish),
Rio Mar
Commanders Palace(MY FAV), Muriels(Turtle Soup, Goat Cheese Crepes, and Pecan crusted drum),
Coffee Pot (FAVORITE RED BEANS and breakfast),
Upperline( TURTLE SOUP and FISH PIQUANTE USA todays best dish)
Galatoise- Very famous and very good
Napolean House( Great. LUNCH SPOT),
One on Hampson( BEST DUCK GUMBO
Crepe Nanou,( Love their crepes and grilled AMBERJACK)
Tommys Restaurant,
Brigtsens ( Everything is AWESOME),
Yo Mamas Bar and Grill- Best Hamburgers and Boil Crawfish during the season.
Domileses(awesome poboys),
Cochon( BEst cochon du lait)
Favorite coffee- Cafe du monde
Favorite dessert- Commanders

Drink in the Quarter! Pat O's, Lafittes Blacksmith shop, Absinthe House, Carousel Bar at the Monteleone hotel, bombay club
favorite FQ BAR- Lafittes and Pat o's,
Goldmine- place to dance in the quarter

Bars not in the quarter- Victorian Lounge at the Columns, Bridge Lounge, Delachaise, fat harrys, Bull Dog, Balcony bar, rendezvous, Lucys retired surfers bar

Frenchman street has a lot of music clubs!!(snug Harbour, DBA, Spotted Cat)
Tipitinas has cajun dancing every sunday night as long as there is no special events going on
Maple Leaf Bar- Rebirth plays every Tuesday night and it right next door to the local favorite restaurant jaquimos!!!!Great music plays here!
Le bon temps rouler- Soul rebels every Thursday
House of Blues
Vaughns- Kermit Ruffins plays here a lot.
Howlin Wolf-
Hi Ho Lounge- Hall- Serves no Alcohol so all ages are allowed to go in.
Rock n Bowl-(kids allowed)…
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for the info on the plantation homes...we will be going in December, and this saved me a lot of research!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Seems like everyone has a different pick for the Plantation homes

We for sure are going to see Oak Alley and we are spending the night at Nottoway and will see it. Now I think I will have time for one more. Either San Fran, Houma, Destrehan, or Laura.

We plan on spending Saturday at NO and staying at Richilieau
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