7 Day New Orleans & Cajun Country
7 days with
Gate 1 Travel
DAY 1, Monday - Arrive in New Orleans
Arrive in New Orleans, birthplace of jazz and home of the first Mardi Gras parade, lovingly referred to as the "Big Easy". Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your fellow travelers, followed by an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the wonderful adventure that awaits you. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7PM on the day of arrival. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 5PM on Day 1 of the itinerary or earlier, if possible.
DAY 2, Tuesday - French Quarter Tour
Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans on your walking tour of the iconic French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in the city. Stop at historic Jackson Square to see the city's lovingly preserved historic buildings, including St. Louis Cathedral. Visit the unique Presbytere, with a colorful past of its own, built on the residence of Capuchin monks. Enter the museum with its exquisite collection of Mardi Gras artifacts and memorabilia; the story of New Orlean's Mardi Gras tradition is dynamically told by a high-tech interactive exhibit. The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring this vibrant city, perhaps see the open-air French Market, reminiscent of lively European markets. From food and music to arts and crafts, this market is a shopping experience that is uniquely New Orleans. Or, join the optional afternoon tour to the Laura Creole Plantation, a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of an 18th-century plantation, with a dramatic and in-depth look at one Creole family. Tonight's Welcome Dinner toasts your arrival in New Orleans. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Optional: Half Day Laura Creole Plantation (PM)
DAY 3, Wednesday - Highlights of Baton Rouge
This morning travel towards Baton Rouge, the jewel of Louisiana and its capital city. Built on the hunting grounds of Native Americans and ultimately settled by French explorers, it's a city of extraordinary history and contrasting cultures. Upon arrival, have lunch on your own before you visit the new Louisiana State Capitol Building; its main entrance displays symbols of all of the States in order of their admission to the U.S. From the 27th-floor Observation Deck, see the panorama of the city and the storied Mississippi River. Continue to the Capitol Park Museum to see the unique thematic multimedia presentation that presents Louisiana's diverse history. Tonight, perhaps try one of the restaurants in the city center for dinner, with cuisine ranging from French to Creole and Cajun. Or, a truly unique experience awaits you on the optional tour to the Nottoway Plantation that includes dinner in a turn-of-the-century dining room with splendid views. This grand "White Castle" survived the Civil War to become the largest remaining antebellum mansion in the South, now restored to her days of glory. (Breakfast)
Optional: Nottoway Plantation with Dinner
DAY 4, Thursday - Boat Tour in the Atchafalaya Basin, Lafayette in Cajun Country
Your day begins with an exciting Swamp Boat Ride through moss-draped trees in the magical Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland in the U.S., with countless different species of birds and native wildlife. While you coast along this tributary of the Mississippi, perhaps you'll spot some of the local alligators that call this home. Afterwards, on to the living history museum and folklife park of Vermilionville on the banks of the Bayou. Here, the culture of the Acadian, Native American, and Creole cultures from 1765 to 1890 are preserved. A delicious Creole lunch is served before you tour the many attractions and restored homes. Stop to watch demonstrations by local artisans of essential crafts practiced by early settlers. Then, on to the famed Martin Accordions Company where the family displays their distinctive accordions along with a lively musical performance. Continue to Lafayette in the heart of Louisiana's Cajun Country. Evening is at leisure to explore on your own or join the optional Cajun Dinner with Entertainment at a popular restaurant that raises its own crawfish and grows fresh herbs. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Cajun Dinner with Entertainment
DAY 5, Friday - Avery Island, New Orleans
Today drive to Avery Island, the source of the world-famous Tabasco sauce. At the Visitor's Center, taste this peppery sauce, learn how it's made and packaged, and leave with recipes to take home. Return to New Orleans where the remainder of your day is at leisure. Tonight is the perfect opportunity to listen to jazz at Preservation Hall, see the nightlife on Bourbon Street, shop for souvenirs, or indulge in a superb dinner at a trendy restaurant. (Breakfast)
DAY 6, Saturday - Full Day New Orleans
On your last day in New Orleans, leisure time to soak up the magic of this city independently, or join a fantastic optional full day tour that surely will enhance your Louisiana experience. This morning, partake in a unique behind-the-scenes look at New Orleans Mardi Gras; see the hard work and planning that goes into this grand event. Visit the massive studio that houses the astonishing parade floats and learn more about the history of this festive tradition. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is one of the greatest parades on earth! You will have plenty of opportunities for photos with props or in a costume, so bring your camera! Enjoy lunch at local New Orleans restaurant. Afterward, an authentic paddle-wheel steamboat cruise ends your day on the colorful Mississippi. You'll be whisked away to a bygone era! Enjoy live jazz music while viewing the amazing panorama of New Orleans' skyline! Tonight, a very special evening starts with a cooking demonstration that will reveal the secrets of preparing classic New Orleans specialties. After, take part in a Farewell Dinner and share wonderful memories together with your newfound friends. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Optional: Full Day Mardi Gras Experience with Jazz Cruise*
DAY 7, Sunday - Return Home
Depart New Orleans to return home. (Breakfast)
*The optional Full Day Mardi Gras Experience with Jazz Cruise will not be available on all departures.
All This Included
6 nights accommodations
Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
9 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
Services of English-speaking local guides
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
Walking tour of the iconic French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans
Visit the unique Presbytere with its exquisite collection of Mardi Gras memorabilia
Tour of Baton Rouge, the jewel of Louisiana, a city of contrasting cultures
Swamp boat ride in the magical Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland in the U.S.
Visit Vermilionville, a folklife park and living history museum on the banks of the Bayou
Tour the Visitor Center and pepper sauce factory of the world famous "hot" Tabasco sauce on Avery Island
Visit the open-air French Market, a uniquely New Orleans shopping experience
View some of New Orleans distinctive neighborhoods including the historic mansions
New Orleans: Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown/French Quarter
Baton Rouge: Hilton Baton Rouge
Lafayette: DoubleTree by Hilton Lafayette
It is recommended that passengers select flights that arrive no later than 5 pm on Day 1.
This moderately active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from two to three hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, and you will encounter some uneven or wet surfaces.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
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The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.