New Orleans & Cajun Country

Southern Cuisine & Hospitality along the Mississippi River

  • Date

    September 8-12, 2019 | Sun / Thu – 5 Days

  • Location

    New Orleans | Avery Island | Lafayette | Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Overview

Think of Cajun Country and immediately New Orleans comes to mind. Stay in the historic French Quarter, the city’s oldest neighborhood where lacey cast iron balconies hang over cobblestone streets. Known for its mix of cultures — from French/Canadian (“Cajun”), Spanish, Caribbean, and African (“Creole”) to Native American, Italian, and others, New Orleans’ intimate and unique ambience has cast its spell over artists, writers, and visitors since the early 1800s.

You’ll visit some of the famous landmarks around the Crescent City, and a little lagniappe (“something extra”) with a demonstration lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Visit the National WWII Museum, where exhibits tell the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.

On Avery Island, explore the botanical treasure of Jungle Gardens and tour the Tabasco factory to learn how the world’s most favorite hot pepper sauce is made. Take a Swamp Tour in the Atchafalaya River basin to see indigenous plants, alligators, egrets, and other wildlife. Live music and Cajun food to follow!

Tour the antebellum mansion at Oak Alley Plantation, the “Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” With so much to see and taste, you’ll be “gar-ron-teed” a good time!

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • City tour of New Orleans
  • Creole Queen Jazz Cruise Dinner
  • Demonstration lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking
  • Oak Alley Plantation tour
  • Swamp tour by boat
  • Visit Laura Plantation
  • Tour of the Tabasco factory and Jungle Gardens
  • Tour Acadian Cultural Center and Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park
  • Visit the WWII Museum

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Escorted
  • 4 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling

NOTE:

This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.

Itinerary

Sun, Sep 8: Depart Indianapolis and fly to New Orleans, Louisiana. Take a trip to the past with a visit to the National WWII Museum, where exhibits explore the lives of American men and women who took part in World War II through letters, recruitment posters, weapons, models, and film. The National WWII Museum is now the top-rated tourist destination in New Orleans, the #2 ranked museum not only in the USA, but in the world, and an unforgettable way to experience World War II — from industrial efforts on the Home Front to the combat experience of the American soldier abroad. Check in to your French Quarter hotel for two nights. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the French Quarter with dinner on your own.

Mon, Sep 9: After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a guided tour of the city. See historic cemeteries, stately mansions, and the world-famous Garden District. At the New Orleans School of Cooking, watch skilled chefs prepare a classic Cajun/Creole lunch as you learn about the vibrant history of New Orleans cuisine. Enjoy free time this afternoon before rejoining the group for a Jazz Dinner Cruise aboard the Creole Queen. A lavish Creole buffet on a historic paddle wheeler while cruising the Mississippi River to the lively sounds of jazz caps off your stay in the Crescent City. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Tue, Sep 10: Depart New Orleans for Avery Island, and stop at Laura Plantation along the way and stroll through the 200 year old sugar plantation homestead. See what Lonely Planet Travel has called “the best history tour in the United States.” Avery Island is also the home of the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco pepper sauce. Learn about the company’s history, see how they make their world-famous pepper sauce, and have time to enjoy lunch on your own in their Tabasco-themed restaurant and gift shop prior to touring their spectacular 170-acre nature preserve, Jungle Gardens. Depart Avery Island for Lafayette, Louisiana and check in to your hotel for two nights. (B)

Wed, Sep 11: In Lafayette, visit the Acadian Cultural Center on the grounds of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, to discover stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns) of Louisiana. While here, visit Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park, with portrayals of the Acadian, Native American, and Creole peoples. The property includes seven restored original homes and more than a dozen local artisans. Next, see Cajun Country from a different perspective — by boat through the swamp! Meander a beautiful, cypress/tupelo swamp that is sure to ignite your imagination. Along the way, spot alligators, egrets, and other wildlife as your guide narrates this insightful journey. Transfer to Scott, Louisiana and visit Martin Accordions for a fantastic demonstration of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music styles played on these wonderful instruments. Learn all about the Martin family history, along with how and why their accordions are still handmade to this day. Savor famous local fare and enjoy live musical entertainment during dinner at popular Prejean’s Restaurant. (B,L,D)

Thu, Sep 12: Leave Lafayette and head to Oak Alley Plantation, located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Vacherie. Movies filmed here include “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” with Bette Davis, “Interview with a Vampire,” “Primary Colors” and “The Long Hot Summer,” a television movie with Don Johnson, Cybil Shepherd and Ava Gardner. Tour the Big House, completed in 1839 and restored. See the reconstructed slave quarters and learn about sugarcane and the impact it had on society and plantation life. Stroll the magnificent alley of 300-year-old live oak trees that lead down to the river. There will be free time to explore the grounds and enjoy lunch. After your tour, depart for the New Orleans airport and return to Indianapolis. (B,L)

Hotel

Hotel Provincial, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and locally owned by the Dupepe family since 1961, this architectural gem with modern amenities is located in the French Quarter. Highlights: in-room mini-refrigerator • complimentary high-speed internet and Wi-Fi • restaurant • bar/lounge • two swimming pools.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Parc Lafayette, Louisiana.

Centrally located in the heart of Lafayette, this new hotel is close to restaurants and shopping. Highlights: in-room kitchenette with coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and utensils • complimentary high-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access and wireless printing • complimentary beverage area • fitness center • outdoor pool • snack shop.

PRICING

  • Package with Air
  • Double P/P – $1,999
  • Triple P/P – $1,819
  • Single – $2,309
  • Land Only
  • Double P/P – $1,549
  • Triple P/P – $1,369
  • Single – $1,859

Reserve Your Spot

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