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Experience Miami and New Orleans before setting off for an Authentic Deep South Drive, to visit some of the finest Louisiana’s plantation homes.
From cosmopolitan Miami to the Deep South and New Orleans to experience the grandeur of a bygone era as you enjoy an overnight stay in some of the most renowned Plantations of the south. These majestic marvels and their manicured gardens will provide an unforgettable experience! This journey takes you from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, through St. Francisville and Natchez before traveling into Mississippi for ample plantation splendour. Along the way back to New Orleans you will have the opportunity to enjoy a taste of nature and the music of the South… Blues.
Day 1-2: Miami
Step onto South Beach in the city’s Art Deco District and see what the ‘American Riviera’ is all about. Enjoy a Caipirinha cocktail in an al fresco café while you people watch, then shop along upscale Collins Avenue one block from the beach and nosh on Cuban fare (food tours abound here) before dancing the night away in a Latin-themed club. Soak up the sunshine on Key Biscayne beach – just 40 minutes away, but so tranquil it feels like another world - or venture to North Miami Beach. Go exploring in Wynwood Art District and Little Havana for exciting culture or catch a Marlins baseball or Dolphins football game.
Suggested Experience: Get to know Miami beyond South Beach & venture to off-the-beaten-path places for curious eaters. Join us to taste some of the best Cuban bites in Miami. Tours of Little Havana exploring history and culinary delights! Meet in Little Havana, a lively, family-friendly neighbourhood, and begin a guided edible journey through one of Miami’s oldest neighbourhoods.
Day 3-4: New Orleans
Arrive at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) and proceed to your hotel for check-in. Bienville House is a boutique hotel located in the heart of the French Quarter, three blocks from Harrah’s Casino and walking distance to antique shops, nightclubs, historic shops and restaurants. New Orleans is known world-wide for its multicultural and multilingual heritage, cuisine, architecture, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual Mardi Gras and other celebrations and festivals. Depending on your time of arrival visit the French Market and find treasures of food, antiques and crafts. Make sure to sample a beignet, the state doughnut of Louisiana. At night stroll down famous Bourbon Street, where the heart of jazz lives in New Orleans.
For the next two days you can ride on the legendary St. Charles Streetcar Line for an amazing view of the city’s architectural wonders. Along its route you will also pass through the Garden District, the second largest historic district in the country. This elegant neighbourhood is home to lovely southern homes and lined with parks and cafes. Some of the historic homes are available for touring. Enjoy a riverboat excursion on the Mississippi, a swamp tour through the famous bayou, or a carriage ride tour of the French Quarter. Visit the Presbytere Museum for an insider look at Mardi Gras from its origins to the present day. In the evening, you must visit Pat O’Brien’s for their world-famous hurricane cocktails in the beautiful courtyard and sing-along in the patio bar. Another important stop is at the legendary Preservation Hall for some traditional New Orleans Jazz.
Suggested Experience: Let your own ‘local expert’ unravel the mysteries of America’s oldest and most unique living neighbourhood! Follow in the footsteps of historic figures as you stroll along the Mighty Mississippi, through the French Market and Jackson Square, and down the banquettes (sidewalks) of quaint streets named for saints and sinners from our European past.
Day 5: Baton Rouge
This morning after your breakfast and a leisurely stroll around French Quarter you should pick your rental car up after lunch and leave the capital city behind. Make stops at Nottoway and Longwood Plantation, each offering its own version of southern antebellum splendour, as you drive towards Baton Rouge for a one-night stay at the historic Houmas House Estate. The Estate allows visitors to experience the life on a sugarcane plantation in the 1800’s. The mansion has been restored to the antebellum era, reflecting the opulence and wealth this sugarcane farm boasted in the 1880’s. Enjoy the unforgettable grandeur and gracious hospitality offered by this unique lodging experience and end your day with an elegant dinner at The Latil’s Landing Restaurant, offering classic Creole-inspired Louisiana cuisine. Located in the original French House dating back to the 1770’s, guests dine in one of three intimate rooms overlooking the gardens and lighted fountain.
Day 6: St. Francisville and Natchez
Have an early breakfast this morning and join the 9:30 am guided Mansion tour for a bit of culture and a lot of history. Get to know this historic antebellum mansion with its collection of period furnishings and the pristinely manicured grounds. Shortly after, depart toward Natchez, stopping in St. Francisville as you leave Baton Rouge. This charming town is known for its historic downtown district and the numerous structures on the national historic registry. Pickup a “Walk Through History” brochure at the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum to learn all about this Historic District’s cultural and architectural history. Continue to Natchez where your stay has been arranged at the historic Monmouth Plantation. End your day with an elegant dinner and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres at the Quitman Lounge and Study before dining.
Day 7: Vicksburg
Start your day by having a full breakfast and get ready to take the tour of the Monmouth Plantation this morning at 10:00 am. This historic antebellum home contains many original Quitman pieces and is surrounded by formal gardens. The appeal of Monmouth lies in its carefully calculated balance, symmetry, and proportions, as well as the subliminal impact of the bold lines of the Grecian mode. After having lunch, travel to Vicksburg for a one-night stay at Corners Mansion Inn; this fine Antebellum Estate is a true southern mansion with original parterre gardens and a view of the Mississippi. While in Vicksburg make sure to follow the markers of the “Mississippi Blues Trail” and find facts you didn’t know, places you’ve never seen, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the area that gave birth to the Blues, the single most important root source of modern popular music. In the afternoon, all Corners Mansion Inn guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea and cookies on the front porch swings with views of the rivers, or in the glassed-in (and air-conditioned) back veranda which looks onto lush gardens with 100-year-old crape myrtles.
Day 8: Natchitoches
Wake up to a Southern Plantation Breakfast followed by a tour of this unique area. Request a Vicksburg free visitors guide and plan a Vicksburg museum tour. You will find five museums to explore in historic downtown Vicksburg. Visit the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum and find out how this beverage began being bottled in 1894. Remember to check out the Old Courthouse Museum and The Old Depot Museum, as well. Your visitors guide has plenty of suggestions for you in Vicksburg. After the tour you may want to enjoy lunch and depart to Natchitoches for a stay in the beautiful historic district. From here it is easy to set out on foot to experience Cajun history in the numerous Creole Plantations that abound this area. You may also want to visit Alligator Park which offers visitors a glimpse at an authentic Cajun countryside, complete with Cajun music, genuine Cajun cuisine, and plenty of gators.
Day 9: Alexandria, Lafayette, Raceland
Today, after a delicious breakfast, depart Natchitoches and make a stopover in Alexandria, known as the heart of Louisiana. Here, historic plantation homes offer an authentic look at plantation life, and cultural art museums and galleries are a must-see. Continue your journey to Lafayette. Located in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country, Lafayette offers excellent cuisine, music, festivals, history, culture, shopping, architecture, arts, outdoors, and wildlife. You may choose to spend some time here before continuing on to Raceland for your overnight stay at the Chateau on the Bayou Bed & Breakfast. Ready for relaxation? Your B&B is located on the banks of Bayou Lafourche, so grab a rocking chair or a hammock and enjoy the natural surroundings and the bayou that gently flows. If you are up for some more exploring, you are just minutes away from airboat and swamp tours, and plantation homes.
Suggested Experience: Take a Boat Tour along Louisiana’s Atchafalaya, North America’s largest river swamp. It ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the United States. On any given day one can expect to encounter beaver, nutria, otters, mink, deer, squirrels, and other mammals, as well as up to 38 species of birds, including some which are endangered. And of course, alligators!
Day 10: New Orleans
This morning, have a leisure breakfast. It is time for some last-minute tax-free shopping in New Orleans before your afternoon flight back to the UK. But do not worry, if you want to extend your holiday. We can add a couple of days in New Orleans or perhaps arrange a visit in Houston. Maybe some beach time on the golden sands of Gulf Shores or Alabama? The choice is yours!!
Total Price: £2598 Deposit: £399pp
Includes: Flights, Transfers, Accommodation
Departs: London Heathrow