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Plantations or Garden District

NYC, NY
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Plantations or Garden District

I am planning to be in NO in April. I would appreciate any advise on whether a trip to the plantation area is too similar to the Garden District to be worth adding an extra day that I imagine it would take to get to and explore the plantation area.

Also, are the Greyline tours of the Garden District worth the price or would a self guided tour from a guide book, like Frommers be equivalent?

Are the Greyline tours equivalent to Isabelle's?

Thanks for the help.

B-Lynd

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Garden District
Garden District
7,424 Reviews
New Orleans, LA
Magic Tours
Sightseeing Tours
Flambeaux Bicycle Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Bike Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, City Tours, Cultural Tours
Plymouth...
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1. Re: Plantations or Garden District

I think the plantation option will add a different dimension to your trip and recommend it. FYI, there are two within 20 minutes of the city (Destrehan and Ormond) that you might be able to fit in without adding more days. You could see both in an afternoon and be back in you hotel by dinner, no sweat. Can't advise on the Grayline tour, but you can easily customize your own itenerary from info in Frommer's and here on TA.

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New Orleans...
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2. Re: Plantations or Garden District

I would also vote for adding the plantations. Other than the fact that some of the properties are of the same era, these are really two different experiences. Aside from the rural vs urban aspect, most homes in the Garden District are still occupied residences that you cannot go into unless you do the Holiday Home Tour before Christmas or other special functions, whereas the major tourist plantations obviously allow you inside.

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Garden District
Garden District
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New Orleans, LA
New Orleans...
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3. Re: Plantations or Garden District

I live in the Garden District and take my out-of-town guests to see plantations from time to time. The 2 are totally different experiences. You can probably do 2 plantations in one day, but it will make for a long day. If you are really into plantations and history, you could look into staying overnight at one of them, like Nottoway. Another one used to have a restaurant for lunch, too, but I can't remember the name. I've stayed overnight at Texcuco, but that has burned down alas! I've also stayed at Butler Greenwood, but that is about 1 1/2 - 2 hours outside of New Orleans, whereas many others are about 1 - 1 1/2 hours away. I've never done a Greyline or an Isabelle's tour, but I imagine if you don't have a car or don't want the hassle of driving it yourself, they are worth it.

Also, in April, depending on which weekend you come, there are a variety of festivals and other things going on in the city. There is usually 1 weekend in conjunction with the NOMA (Museum of Art) that offers a tour of homes Uptown/Garden District. I did that several years ago and had the opportunity to see about 6 giant and fancy homes, or rather mansions, in the city, right off of St. Charles. It was quite enjoyable to have the chance to peek into someone else's rich and fancy mansion!!! I think it was 6 homes for $25. Sometimes there are similar tours in the French Quarter. I have always meant to do the "Gardens of the Vieux Carre" tour, but I'm not sure when it is.

Other things going on in April: there is the French Quarter festival 1 weekend in the middle of the month and JazzFest starts the last weekend of the month.

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Garden District
Garden District
7,424 Reviews
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans
New Orleans
Louisiana
Hamilton, Canada
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4. Re: Plantations or Garden District

not sure when you are going in April, but the first weekend (4,5th) there is the Spring Fiesta event going on. On the 4th they offer a Garden District home tour, where you can tour inside some Garden District homes, and on the 5th, they have a French Quarter home tour, where you can tour inside 5 homes in the French Quarter. If you will be down that weekend, it'd be a great idea. Tickets are $22 in advance or $25 upon arrival.

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Garden District
Garden District
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New Orleans, LA
NYC, NY
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5. Re: Plantations or Garden District

Thanks for all the info, it will be a big help planning this trip. I really look forward to my first trip to NO!

B-Lynd

Atlanta, Georgia
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4,036 posts
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6. Re: Plantations or Garden District

I wouldn't recommend the Grayline tours, as I'm not a fan of these huge "bus" tours. Personally, I feel Tours by Isabelle are much more intimate and higher quality, so I would go with them. They are not as "touristy," and you get more of an authentic feel to the tours.

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Tours by Isabelle
Tours by Isabelle
1,519 Reviews
New Orleans, LA
7. Re: Plantations or Garden District

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