New Orleans
Day Trips

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Our most recommended New Orleans Day Trips

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.

New Orleans: High Speed 16 Passenger Airboat Ride

2. New Orleans: High Speed 16 Passenger Airboat Ride

Embark on a high-speed adventure through the swamps and marshes just 35 minutes from New Orleans and experience the amazing scenery by airboat. Slow down or stop to take pictures and get a personal tour from your local captain. Avail of airboats with stadium-style seating so that the person in front does not obstruct your view. Be amazed as alligators come so close to the boat that you can stare into their reptilian eyes! Encounter magnificent birdlife, including bald eagles, pelicans, ospreys and owls. Every tour is unique and you never know what will be around the next corner! Reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, propelled by a huge fan that blows air from the back of the boat in excess of 200 miles per hour. Ride in shallow water and access areas where traditional boats cannot go.

From New Orleans: Whitney Plantation Tour

3. From New Orleans: Whitney Plantation Tour

In 2014, Whitney Plantation opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 262-year history, as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery.  Gain a unique perspective on the enslaved people who lived and worked here through museum exhibits, memorial artwork, restored buildings, and hundreds of first-person slave narratives. The early owners of Habitation Haydel, later known as the Whitney Plantation, became wealthy producing indigo before the plantation transitioned to sugar in the early 1800s.  Whitney is also significant because of the number of historic outbuildings which were added to the site over the years, thus providing a unique perspective on the evolution of the Louisiana working plantation. The Big House is one of the finest surviving examples of Spanish Creole architecture and one of the earliest raised Creole cottages in Louisiana.  The Whitney Plantation Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. As a site of memory and consciousness, this site pays homage to the slaves on the plantation itself and to all of those who lived elsewhere in the United States.

From Lafitte: Swamp Tours South of New Orleans by Airboat

4. From Lafitte: Swamp Tours South of New Orleans by Airboat

Climb aboard a unique airboat to explore Louisiana’s wetlands south of New Orleans in a truly unique fashion. Board an airboat just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans, and listen to informative commentary as you zip through the bayou and squeeze into tiny canals hidden deep in the swamp. For 105 minutes, the captains at Airboat Adventures share some of the most beautiful and secluded areas of Louisiana. Wildlife such as alligators, turtles, and birds are common sights, but you never know what else might come out to visit! Round-trip transfers are available from New Orleans for guests without a car. Upon arrival, check-in to the Airboats Adventures facilities, before departing on the airboat to zip across the swamps. Grab a snack at the gift shop, or check out Sugar and Flour, the only albino alligators on the bayou. Picnic tables are available both inside and out, where you can relax before your airboat departure. The boats can hold between 6 and 27 people. Opt for a small boat, with capacity for 6-8 passangers, for a more personal tour, when the captain can spend more time with each guest. But even the large boats, with capacity for 15-27 passengers allow an up close experience with the wildlife of the Louisiana swamps. Sit back and enjoy the ride through a unique landscape, and listen as you captain feeds you fascinating bayou facts. You never know; he might haul in a ‘gator if the opportunity arises, or even let you hold a baby ‘gator!

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Half-Day Tour

5. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Half-Day Tour

Feel the gentle breeze of Southern hospitality while being transported to the Old South. This half-day guided tour reveals the exclusive and fascinating stories behind the old historic New Orleans. Oak Alley is one of the most photographed plantations; it has been the setting for motion pictures such as “Interview with a Vampire" and “Primary Colors.” This visit is a fantastic educational tour to experience with friends or family. After exploring the plantation, treat yourself to a refreshing snack at the on-site café and ice cream parlor. End your tour whilst enjoying the views of live oak trees stretching from the mansion to the gently flowing Mississippi River.

New Orleans: High Speed 6-9 Passenger Airboat Tour

6. New Orleans: High Speed 6-9 Passenger Airboat Tour

Experience the best of both a swamp tour and an airboat ride. Travel at high speeds in the airboat then slow down and stop for pictures. Along the way, enjoy a personal tour by your local captain. The airboats have stadium seating so every airboat seat is great for experiencing the tour and viewing wildlife. Yes, gators will get close, real close. So close that you will be able to look into those reptilian eyes. Alligators do hibernate in the colder months, but your experienced captains know where to look for them. On average, during the winter, you have better than a 50/50 chance of seeing a gator. In the warmer months, you will see a gator. Every New Orleans Airboat Tour is unique and you never know what could be around the next corner. Tour an area that is a combination of swamp, marsh, and lake, spotting anything from a Bald Eagle to a Pelican, from an Osprey to an Owl. The airboats are driven by a 454 Chevy engine that will produce speeds of up to 35 miles an hour. They are propelled by a huge fan that will blow air from the back of the boat in excess of 200 miles an hour. These tours are truly a blast. They ride in inches of water and go where traditional boats can't. The boats were designed to take you to inaccessible areas of the swamp, places that you cannot reach by foot or car, ensuring a unique experience.

New Orleans: Daytime City Helicopter Tour

7. New Orleans: Daytime City Helicopter Tour

Hop aboard the helicopter at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, just 15 minutes from the French Quarter, and get ready to experience New Orleans from a new perspective. Choose between two different flight options. Choose the 15-mile option to fly over the city for approximately 12-15 minutes. Experience sites from above such as Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral, the French Market, and Bourbon Street. In addition to getting a close-up aerial view of the French Quarter, you will pass by the Central Business District, Canal Street, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and fly over City Park. This park is home to the New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana’s Children’s Museum, and the Bayou Oaks golf course. Next door is the Fair Grounds, home to the Louisiana Derby as well the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Choose the 30-mile option and get the opportunity to fly over both the city and the swamps for a total flight time of approximately 24 minutes. Fly over an abandoned theme park, see a NASA rocket building facility, and soar over the swamps along Lake Borgne. Flying back towards the city you will pass by the Chalmette Battlefield and follow the mighty Mississippi River back to the French Quarter and Central Business District to see all of the sights on the 15-mile tour as well. At the end of the tour the helicopter will land back at New Orleans Lakefront Airport.

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo Tour

8. 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.

From New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Tour

9. From New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in New Orleans, and then make your way to the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Oak Alley was named for 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 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. Be led by a guide wearing authentic plantation-style clothes and hear about the first example of Antebellum restoration along the legendary River Road.

Whitney and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

10. Whitney and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

Follow the guide off the beaten path, away from tourist crowds, on this unique pilgrimage for a trip back to the Antebellum South as you drive upriver along the Mississippi River to visit 2 unique Louisiana Plantations. A Scenic crossing of the Mississippi River on a high suspended bridge, then a short ride upriver brings you to Whitney Plantation: Museum of Slavery. Recently open to the public, it exposes the harsh realities and raw historical facts of this dark side of American history. Get a guided tour of the restored buildings and museum exhibits. The slave narratives and memorial artwork recreate the world of a pre-Civil War sugar plantation and the lives of the slaves there. A short ride through sugar cane fields brings you to St. Joseph Plantation, a Creole style family-owned working sugar cane plantation since 1877. Your tour guide will give you a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the many interesting people who have called this plantation 'home'. Many tours are guided by family members themselves. It is a relaxed, intimate visit to tour an ancestral home, grounds and dependencies (including original slave cabins). It is the location where the movie: "12 Years a Slave" was filmed.   * On Tuesdays, the Whitney Plantation is closed and replaced by the Evergreen or Laura Plantation.

Frequently asked questions about New Orleans Day Trips

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What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 949 reviews

My family and I had a wonderful time. The guide was friendly and personable. He talked to us about the environment and the native plants and animals as well as how the storms were effecting the swamp lands. But it wasn't just educational, it was fun. Tons of wild animals to see and find. We even were able to pet an alligator. Beautiful tour and an amazing company to go with.

This was the best tour of our whole week long vacation! Highly recommended!!! The guides really take their time with you and I never felt like a tourist or that my questions were dumb!

Ronnie our tour guide was funny and excellent. Tour arrangements was very good and everything was organized. It’s worth of money

Great trip, this was worth the view and history which was held during the boat ride!

Oak Alley staff are very knowledgeable. Beautiful and tragic location.