Oak Alley Plantation Day Trips from New Orleans

Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, this place has been the scene of movies, royal romances and an important part of the history of the United States.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

10 min read

Oak Alley Plantation Day Trips from New Orleans

Oak Alley, Vacherie, United States | ©Ron Dauphin

Oak Alley is an almost magical place, essential in your list of things to see and do in New Orleans, you can not miss it to make your trip complete.

To get to know it and get the best impression, the ideal is to hire one of the tours with specific stops at the most interesting places. For the bravest, a complete experience includes the famous swamps and an approach to its huge lizards. It can also be visited independently and there are several ways to get to this wonderful place.

1. Enjoy a complete tour and get to know the beautiful Oak Alley Plantation

Destrehan Plantation| ©macironman
Destrehan Plantation| ©macironman

To get to know this beautiful plantation, the ideal is to opt for a guided tour of the plantations of New Orleans, learning more about these landscapes that have been the setting and inspiration for many movies and stories.

The best thing about going on a tour of this type is that you will not have to worry about transfers or tickets, but just enjoy the experience.

The land tour usually starts at the hotel. The guide will explain along the way the history of the plantation and the era of the great sugar mills.

Upon arrival, you will be taken on a tour of the Great House, where characters dressed in period costumes will add to the charm of the tour. Finally, you can stroll through the magnificent outdoor areas and visit the souvenir store.

Don't forget to make a stop at the old slave houses and observe the curious agricultural machines and the blacksmith's shop.

Before finishing, you can probably taste some of the typical dishes of this area of New Orleans in the plantation's restaurant.

Details of interest

  • Price: just over 60 ¤ per person
  • Duration: about 5 hours and a half
  • Transportation: bus
  • Advantages of this option: it gives you the chance to visit Oak Alley without having to worry about anything
  • Disadvantages of this option: you only visit the plantation

Book your visit to Oak Alley Plantation from New Orleans

2. Oak Alley Plantation Tour with swamp tour

Swamp Afternoon in New Orleans| ©dustinpsmith
Swamp Afternoon in New Orleans| ©dustinpsmith

For the more adventurous, we recommend the tour with a boat ride. In addition to the tour of the emblematic gardens of Oak Alley, you will be able to enjoy a ride at full speed through the swamps, knowing its fauna, especially the crocodiles.

In this way, you will be able to do in one day two of the most recommended activities in New Orleans: visit the plantations and take a tour of the swamps.

Expert guides will take you to inaccessible places with vehicles so that you will have the best souvenir photos.

Again, the tour usually starts at the hotel, where an air-conditioned vehicle will take you to your destination. The first thing to do is to take a speed boat and go through the swamps to observe the local fauna and learn even more about the incredible vegetation of the area.

In addition, you will pass near a cemetery and see a Cajun village up close, giving you a glimpse into the life of the locals.

The next stop is Oak Alley, where you will have plenty of time to admire its attractions and discover what life was like for the plantation's former inhabitants. The tour inside the Great House, whose architecture is as imposing as it is beautiful, is one of the best experiences of the trip.

Book a tour to Oak Alley Plantation with swamp tour from New Orleans

Details of interest

  • Price: from 119 €
  • Duration: 8 hours, approximately
  • Transportation: bus and boat, although there is another option that uses a quieter boat
  • Advantages of this option: in addition to seeing the plantation, you will be able to tour the swamps of New Orleans in a single day
  • Disadvantages of this option: it is possible that the boat may cause some participants to get seasick.

3. See the Oak Alley and Laura plantations in one day.

Touring Oak Alley Plantation| ©Adams
Touring Oak Alley Plantation| ©Adams

A great way to experience two different points in U.S. history is to visit two of its most iconic plantations.

Oak Alley is known for its incredible beauty and antiquity, as well as its excellent state of preservation. Laura Plantation, on the other hand, offers a very different, yet equally beautiful, setting.

At Oak Alley Plantation the centerpiece is the imposing natural bridge formed by the ancient trees, which are guardians of a house that has much to tell and has witnessed 300 years of history.

In the Laura Plantation Laura Plantation reigns a very distinct color, with an architectural cut that betrays its French influence.

Among its 200-year history, the great house was home to folklorist Alcée Fortier, who wrote about African slaves in 1870. It was also the setting for Joel Chandler Harris' Tales of Brer Rabbit.

Details of interest

  • Price: about 105 €
  • Duration: 8 hours, approximately
  • Transportation: minibus
  • Advantages of this option: you will visit two different plantations, which will give you a better perspective of how they were
  • Disadvantages of this option: although it is very interesting, you will have to dedicate a full day to the tour, so it is not very suitable for those who are only going to be in New Orleans for 3 days.

Book a tour to Oak Alley Plantation and Laura Plantation from New Orleans

How to get to Oak Alley Plantation on your own?

Oak Alley Plantation| ©dwjones46
Oak Alley Plantation| ©dwjones46

There are five ways to get to Oak Alley Plantation. Of course, each has its advantages and details to consider. First of all, you should take into account the times of each proposal and the price before making a decision.

Remember also that you will have a schedule for the guided tours inside the Big House, as these are limited, and you must purchase your tickets at the time of arrival.

Although ticket sales are open until 4:00 p.m., many people arrive as early as 8:30 a.m. and reserve their place. If you do not arrive early, you run the risk of missing the opportunity to enjoy this part of the tour.

In total there are five transportation options to get to Oak Alley on your own. Two include bus, one the train and the last two, cab or private vehicle.

We must consider that the first three do not reach the plantation, so it will be necessary to complete the trip with a cab. Here is a comparison between each of them.

  • Bus and cab
  • Departing from Greyhound to Thibodaux
  • Approximate price: 70$ to 91$.
  • Travel time: 2h 20 min.
  • Bus and cab
  • Departing from Greyhound to Laplace
  • Approximate price: 80$ to 100$.
  • Travel time: 1h 20 min.
  • Train and cab
  • Departing from Sunset Limited to Schriever
  • Approximate fare: $85 to $115.
  • Travel time: 2h 12 min.
  • Taxi only
  • Departing from New Orleans to Oak ALley
  • Approximate cost: $120 to $160.
  • Travel time: 1h 9 min.
  • Private car
  • Departing from New Orleans to Oak ALley
  • Approximate cost: $5 to $8. (Gas only, does not include rental fees)
  • Travel time: 1h 9 min.

Is it possible to spend the night in Oak Alley?

Oak Alley Plantation| ©Mick Haupt
Oak Alley Plantation| ©Mick Haupt

There are a variety of accommodations in the vicinity of Oak Alley, many of which even offer some tours, with tours of the area's plantations and wetlands. The advantage of staying a few days in these places starts with the ease of getting to the sites of interest in a shorter time, some even walking.

The cost of these accommodations is around $100 per night, with some off-season offers. In general, they all offer breakfast and the best amenities, and have an excellent recommendation from guests.

The Oak Alley Plantation Restaurant & Inn is one of the most recommended accommodations, not only to enjoy the plantation and its surroundings, but also to get to know all of Louisiana. It consists of renting a quaint cabin that has been fitted out to offer the best modern comforts.

What will you see at Oak Valley Plantation?

Oak Alley| ©JamesDeMers
Oak Alley| ©JamesDeMers

The first thing that will catch your eye when you arrive at Oak Alley is a road or alleyway that is enclosed by a magnificent row of oak trees, which in turn creates a wonderful tunnel that leads to the historic mansion in the background. Its impressive architecture and surrounding landscaping made it a National Historic Landmark.

The planted oak trees have been there since the 18th century, much longer than the house, which was rebuilt in 1925. The property, once a sugar cane plantation, later became a large estate and today is an important site that tells part of the story of New Orleans planters.

The plantation is as important in the city as the famous tours through the famous French Quarter, which by the way, you should also write down in your list of interesting places to visit during your visit.

Among the attractions of this tour are a restaurant, a historic blacksmith shop, the family cemetery of the Stewarts, who were the last owners before the property was donated to the Oak Alley Foundation, The Great House and the unforgettable free trails through the 25 acres of land.

Some interesting facts

Oak Alley Plantation, Oak Alley| ©Simon
Oak Alley Plantation, Oak Alley| ©Simon

Before visiting Oak Valley Plantation I recommend reading a little about its history. Although the guides are more than willing to answer all your questions and tell you much of its past, this property is over 200 years old.

As you will see, the length of the visit would not be enough, at least not if you go only once, so some prior knowledge will help you enjoy it even more.

A curious fact you will find in the famous "paper shell walnuts", a novelty of walnut cultivation achieved by a slave named Antoine in 1846. The gardener managed to create a graft between the trees of the plantation, resulting in a fruit whose shell could be broken with bare hands and without effort.

What life was like for the slaves during this period of history, the houses where they lived and other details are part of the incalculable information that tourists often find in Oak Alley.

Just as the plantation is recognized as one of the places with more legends, among the many that you can meet in a ghost tour of New Orleans.

In addition, both the surrounding swamps and the Big House itself have been locations for movies such as Interview with the Vampire and The Long, Hot Summer, and famous series such as True Detective.

Things to consider

  • Duration of the visit: the complete tour lasts 2 hours, with or without including the Big House.
  • Hours: Open daily from 8:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon. But tickets can be purchased until 4:00 p.m. Closed during New Year's, Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • To visit the Great House: Tickets must be purchased in advance, as it has limited capacity. In addition, a visiting schedule is assigned, keeping in mind that you must be on site half an hour in advance.

When is the best time to visit Oak Alley?

Oak Alley Plantations| ©RENE RAUSCHENBERGER
Oak Alley Plantations| ©RENE RAUSCHENBERGER

In addition to its historical significance, Oak Alley's main attraction centers on its magnificent natural scenery.

The charm of walking among the towering trees and being able to take the best photographs and enjoy the delightful weather and the fresh scent of nature. For that reason it is of great importance to carefully choose the best time to travel.

The best months to visit New Orleans are April, May and June, at least in terms of weather.

In the case of a tour of Oak Alley, the recommendation points to the month of June, when the rains have achieved that the greenery is at its maximum and the tunnel of oaks, which is one of the main icons of this place, is shown in its maximum splendor.

In addition, it is also a good time to take an exquisite gastronomic tour of New Orleans and taste some local recipes.

During this month the warm temperatures ensure greater wildlife activity, so the sighting of crocodiles is totally assured.

Is this a suitable tour for children?

Oak Alley Plantations| ©Simon
Oak Alley Plantations| ©Simon

Visits to OAK Alley Plantation are suitable for all ages so you can safely add it to your list of things to see and do in New Orleans with kids.

In fact, it's stroller accessible almost everywhere except for the garden spots where the terrain is more rustic. Children under 3, who can ride on their parents' lap, are free on most tours.

The green areas are amazing and will leave young children delighted, with plenty of room to play outdoors in a true paradise. But I don't recommend you sign them up for the tour inside the house, as it can get a bit monotonous for them. On the other hand, there is plenty to explore outside, so it is still a highly recommended visit.

For older children it is a perfect opportunity to learn a lot of valuable details about the slavery era in the United States, the management of the large plantations and much more about the history of this country.

They will enjoy the inside tour and will have the opportunity to ask questions to the guides, who will be happy to answer them, so be sure to sign them up!