New Orleans & Plantations of the Delta: A Journey of the Food, Rhythms, & Soul of the South

The Big Easy! Come on down for some southern cooking, music from the soul, learn about the history of the area, see plantations and classic antebellum homes, and much more!

Duration
10 Days /9 Nights

Group size
25-35

Customization
Available!

Tour Pricing Estimated Inclusions: 9 nights' hotel accommodation; 9 breakfasts; 7 lunches; 10 dinners; admissions, entrance, and guide fees as stated in the itinerary, including taxes & gratuity. Except gratuity for guide fees is not included on adult tours unless otherwise requested.


Highlights Include:
  • Mississippi Civil Rights and History Museums
  • Tour of Jackson, Mississippi
  • Malaco Records
  • Eudora Welty House & Gardens
  • Natchez Tour
  • African American Museum
  • Nutt's Folly
  • Cotton Plantation
  • Oak Valley Plantation
  • The Carriage House
  • Gator Farm
  • Mardi Gras World
  • Jazz Dinner Cruise

Day One: 
  • Arrive to Jackson, Mississippi Airport. Depart for the capital of Mississippi, Jackson, called “The City of Soul” because it has seen many historical events that have shaped the country from Civil Rights to Civil War, to music, to world class museums.
  • Enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants located in the historic Founders District including barbecue, New Orleans style seafood, or at an old-time drugstore soda fountain.
  • This afternoon, visit two of Jackson’s world-renowned museums: The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi History Museum.
  • Enjoy our evening meal in an historic Colonial Revival mansion, circa 1908.
Day Two: 
  • After breakfast, meet our local Guide who will take us on a Discovery Tour of Jackson. We’ll see such sites as the Medgar Evers House and the Greyhound Bus Station.
  • Enjoy a tour of the Governor’s Mansion and tour Malaco Records, one of the country’s largest gospel, blues, and contemporary Southern rhythm and blues music recording studios.
  • Lunch is on own before our last tour experience for the day: a visit to the Eudora Welty House and Gardens, the home of a writer of international acclaim whose novels and short stories earned numerous literary awards, including the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Optimist's Daughter.
  • Return to the hotel to prepare ourselves for dinner at a top Jackson restaurant given 5 Stars by Open Table reviews. Housed in a historic 1898 building that once was a grocery store, this farm-to-table menu promises to be one of the best you’ll ever experience.
Day Three: 
  • After breakfast at the hotel and checking out, we’ll depart for Natchez.
  • Enjoy lunch in the Carriage House, followed by a tour of Stanton Hall, an Antebellum classical revival mansion and one of the most opulent mansions to survive in the Southern United States. Meet our Guide and enjoy a tour of Natchez. Pass by many Antebellum homes in this charming and beautiful town.
  • Stop at several interesting locations such as First Presbyterian Church and the African American Museum. Check in to Natchez Grand Hotel on bluffs that look out over the beautiful Mississippi River.
  • Enjoy dinner included in one of the most magnificent Antebellum Mansion found anywhere in the South.
Day Four: 
  • Enjoy breakfast before our touring today. Our first stop is Longwood, also known as Nutt’s Folly. The historic Antebellum octagonal mansion is a fascinating house with an equally fascinating history.
  • Then we’ll visit the Delta Music Museum where a guided tour will enlighten us. Learn how Conway Twitty became a baseball star, and why Aaron Neville wears a St. Jude earing. Located in Ferriday, Louisiana, home of Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Mickey Gilley, the museum endeavors to educate the public on the musical heritage of the Mississippi River Delta Region.
  • Meet our Guide and depart for a tour of a working farm and cotton plantation to learn both old and new cotton farming methods. Selected by Rand McNally as a ‘must see site’, it is one of the Top 3 attractions in Arkansas, Louisiana, & Mississippi.
  • Learn the history of Gospel and Jazz and enjoy a musical performance including “Ole Man River”, and more. Enjoy a boxed lunch at the plantation.
  • Later this afternoon, return to your hotel and enjoy the evening on your own to explore local restaurants and taste the flavors of Natchez.
Day Five: 
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel prior to checking out, then tour Longwood, followed by lunch included at Oak Alley Plantation, a historic sugarcane plantation on the west ban of the Mississippi River, named for its distinguishing canopy path.
  • A Journey of the Foods, Rhythms & Soul of the South created by a double row of southern live oaks. Tour Oak Alley. Then, learn how to make Gumbo and Andouille Sausage at our Cajun Cooking Experience, a hands-on Louisiana kitchen, here you will enjoy a Louisiana Gumbo dinner and dance to a live Zydeco band before checking in to our hotel.
Day Six: 
  • After breakfast, tour historic San Francisco Plantation, one of the most architecturally distinctive plantation houses in the American South, with opulent, Creole open-suite style.
  • Enjoy lunch on own at the home of the famous Cajun burger, plus Fege brownies and GumBo.
  • Tour Houmas House & Gardens, a circa-1840 Greek revival mansion and Antebellum plantation that includes gardens, lodging and elegant restaurants. See the Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road!
  • Enjoy dinner included at one of the most beautiful dining rooms in America, for classic Southern Plantation dining at its best.
Day Seven: 
  • After breakfast, visit a Gator Farm for a tour where you can learn the history of Louisiana swamps and find out how alligators are part of your life. Enjoy an included lunch at the Gator Farm, then tour a local Seafood Company and hear about and see demonstrations to learn about their trade.
  • Visit Ardoyne Plantation, built in 1894 and listed as possibly the largest and most elaborate examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in Louisiana.
  • Enjoy dinner included at a local favorite Seafood Restaurant, where traditional boils are the specialty at this down-home, friendly Cajun staple.
Day Eight:
  • After breakfast, check out of hotel and head for New Orleans. Visit the National WWII Museum and enjoy lunch on own while visiting.
  • Tour Mardi Gras World, a warehouse where floats are made for Mardi Gras parades, located along the Mississippi River.
  • Board the Mississippi River Jazz Dinner Cruise on the Creole Queen. Step back into the glamour and romance of the riverboat era with a cruise aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen!
  • Experience the lively sounds of the amazing Sullivan Dabney, Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band while enjoying a lavish Creole Buffet in our elegantly appointed dining room.
  • After dinner, and maybe a little dancing, enjoy a classic New Orleans cocktail and sweet Mississippi River breezes on our promenade deck as the city skyline slips by under a canopy of stars. This nighttime cruise is pure New Orleans.
Day Nine: 
  • After breakfast, depart on a Guided tour of the 134-acre Garden District neighborhood, where oak-shaded streets line a diverse mix of homes from single-story cottages to grand historic mansions and lavish gardens of St. Charles Avenue, on the Mardi Gras parade route.
  • Lafayette Cemetery is filled with ornate, 19th-century tombs, while boutiques and antique shops sit alongside fine restaurants,  casual cafes and bars of Magazine Street, where Audubon Park provides expansive beautiful green space.
  • The air’s opulent with the scent of jasmine and a slower, grander age. Enjoy a walking and orientation tour of the French Quarter with your guide. Explore and enjoy lunch on own in the French Quarter. Don’t forget to get a beignet at Café du Monde.
  • Later, arrive to Preservation Hall and enjoy a concert at this jazz venue in the French Quarter. Return to the hotel to refresh before enjoying a Farewell dinner in a French Quarter courtyard.
Day Ten: 
  • After breakfast , enjoy a free morning in New Orleans before departure.

*Base rate does not include motor coach transportation, airfare, airport transfers, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, (student groups exempt) or any upgrades or add-ons unlisted from itinerary as stated. Personalized itineraries with custom pricing and/or additional transportation can be created and added based on client needs and upon client’s request. Estimated prices may vary based on day of arrival, time of year, and other conditions. MARS will customize quotes or personalize itineraries for FREE.


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