Located just 30 minutes from New Orleans, Destrehan Plantation is a historical gem along Louisiana’s Great River Road and shares the stories of the men and women who lived and worked there throughout its history. As the oldest documented plantation south of the Mississippi River Valley, Destrehan was established in 1787 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Slave cabins
Credit: Destrehan Plantation

Guided tours lead groups through a slave cabin, the antebellum plantation home, a folklife demonstration, and the lush grounds dotted with live oaks. Themed tours enhance the plantation experience and provide context for what visitors see along the way. “Groups enjoy our guided tours by costumed interpreters and like that we provide a balanced tour of the families who lived and worked on the plantation, free and enslaved,” says Melissa Monica, media and public relations representative for Destrehan Plantation. “They also like to view an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison appointing Jean Noel Destrehan, the second owner of Destrehan Plantation, on the territorial council. Groups also like to hear in-depth commentary on the 1811 slave revolt, the largest slave revolt in U.S. history and the role Jean-Noel and the plantation played in this revolt.” Special tours available to groups include:

  • The Unheard Voices Tour: This tour is provided by Dianne “Gumbo Marie” Honore, a descendant of Jean Baptiste Destrehan, and focuses on the plantation’s marginalized people, such as Africans, Native Americans, German farmers, and Acadians (Cajuns).
Dining Area
Credit: Destrehan Plantation
  • The Destrehan Plantation and Spuddy’s Cajun Cooking Combo Tour: Experience the plantation’s Life at Destrehan Plantation Tour and a cooking demonstration with Maitland “Spuddy” Faucheux, owner of Spuddy’s Cajun Foods and Cajun Cooking Experience, and a lunch or dinner in the plantation’s historic mule barn.
  • Life at Destrehan Plantation Tour and Sophisticated Southern Plates Lunch Buffet:Guests can enjoy the Life at Destrehan Plantation Tour and a lunch or dinner buffet in the historic mule barn.
  • Destrehan Plantation and Houmas House Combination Tour: Guests can experience two plantation tours that offer a glimpse into plantation life in the 1800s. Meal options are available.
  • Heritage Education Program: This program is designed specifically for students from primary education to formal education.

The plantation is also home to two educational exhibits: “The 1811 Slave Revolt” and “The Freedman’s Bureau, Rost Home Colony,” and staff can offer in-depth commentary on each exhibit for groups.

Guided tour experience
Credit: Destrehan Plantation

Destrehan Plantation can accommodate groups of up to 150 guests at one time. Groups should allow 90 minutes for the total experience but should plan to spend 4.5 hours if they’re scheduled for a tour and a dining experience. To learn more, tour operators can meet with the plantation’s director of sales, Leslie Brewer, and schedule a FAM tour.

Lead Image:
Destrehan Plantation
Credit: Destrehan Plantation