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

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

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Safety measures
icon6 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


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.
  • Guided tours of Laura and St. Joseph plantations from New Orleans
  • Tour the gardens and historic slave quarters at Laura Plantation
  • Hear stories of St. Joseph's history and tour its active sugar cane farm with a family member or owner
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Transport by air-conditioned 14-passenger van, with exact pick up time provided
Guided tour of St. Joseph Plantation
Guided tour of Laura Plantation
Fun and historical live narration by our great driver-guide to prepare you for your experience
Food and drinks

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Please specify hotel at time of purchase. We pick up in New Orleans at any hotel, Bed & Breakfast or select Airbnbs, uptown (close to St. Charles Ave.), in (or close to) the French Quarter, and on the Westbank. We do not pick up by the airport, in New Orleans East, in Slidell, or on the North Shore. Supplier will contact you the day before your tour to give you an exact pick up time.
Choose the morning or afternoon for your historic plantation tour and enjoy pickup from your downtown New Orleans hotel. Once aboard the bus, settle into a comfortable seat and prepare for a journey back to the antebellum south, before the American Civil War shook the foundation of plantation life. Enjoy lively onboard commentary from your guide as you trace the shoreline of Lake Ponchartrain and Great River Road en route to your first stop—St. Joseph Plantation.

Arrive at St. Joseph Plantation, a Creole style, family-owned working sugar cane plantation since 1877. The tour gives 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 an ancestral home, grounds, and dependencies (including original slave cabins). The movie 12 Years A Slave was filmed there.

Next, a short ride through sugar cane fields brings you to Laura Plantation, a Creole plantation with distinctive and colorful architecture. Accompany your guide on a tour of the mansion, outbuildings and slave quarters, soaking up stories of Creole culture and West African folktales, said to be the inspiration for Br'er Rabbit stories. Meander through vibrant flower and vegetable gardens and marvel at the surrounding sugarcane fields—a lush backdrop and stark reminder of the site’s dramatic past.

Your tour ends with a drop‐off at your point of origin in the mid‐afternoon or evening.
Pass By:  
Lake Pontchartrain
Your trip back in time to the Antebellum South begins with pickup from your New Orleans hotel. Travel with your small group by van along the shores of Lake Ponchartrain as your guide shares facts and stories about plantation culture.
Stop At:  
St. Joseph Plantation
Arrive at St. Joseph Plantation, a Creole style, family-owned working sugar cane plantation since 1877. The one-hour tour gives 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 an ancestral home, grounds, and dependencies (including original slave cabins). The movie 12 Years A Slave was filmed there.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Oak Alley Plantation
Stop for a photo in front of Oak Alley's famous oak-lined esplanade.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Laura: Louisiana's Creole Heritage Site
A short ride through sugar cane fields brings you to Laura, a Creole Plantation with historic slave quarters surrounded by sugar cane fields. The guided tour transports you with dramatic detail into the charmed yet tragic lives of four generations of Creole owners and their slaves.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Child rate applies to all children and infants
  • Service animals are permitted. Please advise at time of booking to arrange accommodations
  • Tour cannot accommodate wheelchairs of any kind
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Tours by Isabelle
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans.

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Traveler Tips

  • "A tip though, have a large breakfast as neither have a cafe just snacks." See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews


310 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 310 reviews
Both plantations were...
, Aug 2022
Both plantations were quite beautiful. The guides were very knowledgeable and informative. The stories associated with the plantations were fascinating.
One of the best tour companies!
, Jul 2022
This has probably been one of the best tours I have ever been on in any city hands-down. Gisele was beyond a treat to spend the day with. She was one of the most knowledgeable tour guides I’ve ever met, and I have been on quite a few tours. She gave us so much information about New Orleans, the area surrounding, and just so much history about Louisiana. The plantations we visited, Laura and Saint Joseph, were nice to see as well. Laura plantation was with a larger group at a steady pace. Saint Joseph was a lot more laid-back which was nice. Giselle also gave us some terrific options to visit for dinner during our stay. This tour company & her are highly recommended!
Amazing History Lesson and Well Worth The Time and Money
, Apr 2022
What a great way to spend the day! We booked with Tours by Isabelle and John was our driver and guide for the day, he was the BEST! John made the whole experience educational, lighthearted and really made the day such a fun time. Crystal at the Laura Plantation was AWESOME- she was so knowledgeable on everything from the grounds to the generations of people owning and working this plantation. St. John was also very interesting from the perspective of the buildings and the history of harvesting sugar cane. The only tip is that's it's a long day with no food or snacks, would be a great idea to pack something to nibble on for your party. It's a missed opportunity for the tour co. or the plantations to not offer a boxed lunch or something for guests to add to their package.
Both tour guides were...
, Mar 2022
Both tour guides were perfect for the job, friendly and informed. One of the guides was a retired professor and the second was a local resident. They made the entire tour come alive.
A memorable plantations tour!
, Nov 2021
Today, we did a plantations tour with Ellen. She picked us up in a new, spotlessly clean van and gave us a great overview commentary of NOLA and the areas that we passed through. She also offered recommendations and answered all the questions we had regarding restaurant recommendations in the French Quarter and beyond. Merci bien, Isabelle and Ellen, for making our tour a fun and memorable day!
A Terrific Tour To Laura and Destrehan Plantations!
, Oct 2021
My wife and I contacted Isabelle, owner of Tours by Isabelle, the day prior to our scheduled Tuesday tour. Isabelle told us that she had been trying to reach us because there was only one other party of 2 that wanted to take a tour, but the tour was a different one than the one we scheduled. There was nobody else scheduled for the tour we were interested in. How sad it was to learn that! The Covid-19 coronavirus was obviously taking it’s toll on tourism in New Orleans. Isabelle then offered to provide us a private tour in her vehicle for an additional amount, rather than the planned 14-passenger van that we expected to be nearly full of fellow tourists. The additional amount was very reasonable so we agreed, and she told us she would pick us up at 11:30am the next day. Isabelle also told us that St Joseph Plantation was closed because of damage from Hurricane Ida, but she had booked another tour to Destrehan Plantation to go along with visiting Laura Plantation. That change was fine with us. Promptly at 11:30am on Tuesday, Isabelle picked us up at our hotel, showed us a large plastic-laminated map of the metropolitan area on one side and the locations to which we would be traveling on the other, and we were on our way. As we made the approximately one hour drive to Laura Plantation, Isabelle explained to us the types of industries, the types of vegetation, and a brief history of the areas we were passing through and answered our questions. Isabelle also told us something we had never heard before: The City of New Orleans is an island! When we arrived at Laura Plantation, we joined only one other couple in the tour of the plantation hosted by guides in period dress. The hour-plus tour began by describing the history of the plantation and its owners while we toured the main house where we saw several rooms with period furnishings. We then toured the grounds behind the main house and learned about the slaves that were on the plantation and also toured a small building that once housed slaves. We learned that in 1872 the plantation was renamed in honor of Laura Locoul, a great granddaughter of the original plantation owner whose “Memoires of the Old Plantation Home” describe the plantation and those who lived there. Isabelle then drove us for about 40 minutes to Destrehan Plantation where we had another guided tour hosted by guides in period dress and, with again, only one other couple. In the Plantation Home, we saw a number of rooms with period furniture and learned that the original Home was completed in 1787 making it the oldest Plantation Home in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Our small group also saw some other buildings and slave cabins on the grounds. The Destrehan Plantation property closed at 4:30pm, and Isabelle had us back to our hotel by 5:30pm as she had originally estimated. Isabelle then texted me 9 pictures of my wife and me in various situations while we participated on the two tours. What a nice surprise! We strongly recommend that anybody who wants to see 2 plantations in the Lower Mississippi River Valley in one day choose Tours by Isabelle. Isabelle has been a small business tour owner for over 40 years since she first arrived in New Orleans, and she knows the City of New Orleans and the surrounding area very well. Also, if Tours by Isabelle is an option for another Viator tour you are considering, we recommend you choose Tours by Isabelle. You will be very glad you did! If you want to take a tour in the New Orleans area, this would be a good time to do it. The crowds are small, but the locals, like Isabelle, are very eager and capable to provide visitors engaging and long-remembered experiences.
2 travelers found this review helpful
I’d definitely go again.
, Jun 2021
The whole experience was terrific!! Gazele was great!! The plantation were very clean and beautiful.
Two very different Experiences rolled into One
, May 2021
Rene our driver was great and so informative. Kristyn at Laura was incredible and so full of poise. Very informative. St. Joseph's was also informative but different since it was from a descendant's POV. Hard to hear the truth of the past but important to learn.
Pleasant and friendly tour
, Feb 2021
Isabelle was fantastic with communication in advance due to bad weather, and a wealth of knowledge about the area and history. Unfortunately we booked this trip specifically to visit Laura plantation and we found out during our tour that we will be visiting a different plantation (and only one, not two). Tour was cut short to less than 4 hours, although we stopped by in some areas in NOLA. I wish we were given a choice prior to this tour to participate in a shorter version or to cancel, especially since the price of the tour was significantly higher than other tours.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2021
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am glad you enjoyed our historical information, but I am so sorry your tour was cut short because of the weather. We were all set on that freezing Monday to go visit 2 Plantations, including the Laura Plantation. Reservations were indeed made prior to the tour to visit both. Once we arrived at the first Plantation, as it started to SNOW on us, I then received a text message from Jay, the General Manager at Laura Plantation, telling us they were closing upriver, due to sleet and roads icing over! We had no choice then but to return to New Orleans, since Laura Plantation was closing down and the River Road to access it had iced over, it was too dangerous to drive there. I am so sorry the unusually freezing cold weather forced us to shorten your tour. I did not know in advance Laura was going to close. Should you guys wish to come back to NOLA one day, just call me and I will give you both a 50% discount to go visit Laura Plantation (for sure!) on our 2-Plantation Tour. Isabelle C.
A must do!!
, Feb 2020
Excellent tour of two very different plantations! Guides are well-versed in the history, portraying the lives of both the “big house” and the “back of the house” in a respectful and illuminating the way of life of this time period!
Enjoy the plantations!
, Feb 2020
Madeline was our driver/guide on the bus, and she is fabulous. She knows her history and is spell-binding in how she tells her stories. The tours at each of the plantations were given by staff at each location, and were just okay. We had more time at Oak Valley, so I brought a bagged lunch that I enjoyed under the massive oaks.
, Jan 2020
We loved the tour to the plantations!! Muriel was a great guide!! Very informative and good natured!! The weather wasn’t cooperating at all!! Was a very foggy and dreary day!! So sad we could not see but a few yards in front of us!!
Gisella was awesome
Heather R
, Nov 2019
It was a great tour. It was nice to get to see two very different plantations . The guide at Laura was the best.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Really interesting and informative
, Oct 2019
The Oak Alley tour of the house is nice but exploring the grounds etc is even better. We would have liked more time here as there was so much to see and do. The Laura plantation was excellent and it was a lovely experience to do these tours with a small group.
Change of venue!
, Aug 2019
Although we had selected Oak Alley and Laura we were offered Wilson and St Joseph's rather than cancel. What great alternatives! Wilson had the history of the slaves (and the memorials), and St Joseph had an excellent tour of the plantation house (some by descendents). Great combination. A tip though, have a large breakfast as neither have a cafe just snacks. Don't let it put you off it was great and the trip there and back really informative too.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Thank you Ms KateA658 for this positive revue! We are so happy you enjoyed the St Joseph and Whitney Plantations combination! Yes indeed, being given a personal tour by the descendants of the former place is quite special, I agree! Please come back soon!
Excellent tour
, Jun 2019
Giselle, the driver for our Tours by Isabelle Plantation Tour was an excellent driver/tour guide. She was a lot of fun and provided quite a bit of the history of New Orleans and the plantations. Our 2 plantation tours were both excellent but if you can only do one it should be Laura.
A Great Tour Guide
, Jun 2019
While the visit to the two plantations were both beautiful and informative, it was our tour guide Gisèle that made the day more special. She is very knowledgeable of the culture and history of the area and loves her job. She was great!
The tour was coordinated by Tours by...
Jim H
, May 2018
The tour was coordinated by Tours by Isabelle. Our driver/guide was John - a very likable Cajun who provided plenty of local flavor and stories, although we did hear some of the same things on the way back to NOLA that we heard on the way to the plantations. We were scheduled to be picked up at 8:30. The day before we got a call that it was moved up to 7:50 because they had to pick up several other parties. It turns out that we were next to last to be picked up and some of the people were picked up as early as 7:30. On the way to the first plantation Laura, John is calling it to find out when it opens. He didn't know. It turns out it was 10:00 so we drove around to kill time before we got there. Isabelle needs to plan this better. The Laura tour was excellent. The tour is well planned with a thorough history of the plantation and plenty of stories about its owners, etc. It included the main house and several out buildings and provided a good picture of life in its heyday. Our guide was very good sorry- I don't remember his name. They have a small museum in the back of the gift shop that was chock full of good information. It is easy to miss, but check it out if you like that kind of thing. The Oak Alley plantation house was more impressive, but the tour was lacking. We were lead through several rooms in the house and then we were free to roam the grounds. Our guide sounded like a recording - as if she had recited this tour a hundred times. The tour was large and she would start her spiel in each room before everyone even had a chance to enter the room. When I asked her to wait for everyone, she was not interested. She said they could ask questions if they need to. I guess they were on a strict time schedule. The grounds were interesting and there was some very good information in the slave quarters that is worth seeing. John was really nice to return us to anywhere in NOLA that we wanted to be dropped off and even gave is a bit of a driving tour of the Jackson Square and Frenchmen Street areas before doing so. If you do this, be aware that lunch is not really planned and you will return to the city after 2:00. There is a little restaurant at Oak Alley where you can get a sandwich and you will likely to want to do that during the time you have to explore the grounds there.
We had a great time and our driver...
, Apr 2018
We had a great time and our driver was very knowledgeable about the history of NOLA as well as both plantations. It was a full day and worth the price on Viator!
Laura focused more on the story of...
, Apr 2018
Laura focused more on the story of one family and much about the history and life of the slaves. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable. Nice gift shop. Oak Alley was beautiful, home and grounds. Also nice restaurant and good food. More info about plantation life. Very informative and enjoyable. Don't miss.. Most enjoyable

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