Memphis TN, Baton Rouge LA, New Orleans LA, and Much More
March 19 @ 8:00 am - March 25 @ 5:00 pm
We inaugurated this tour in 2018 and it was such a success we have been asked by many to feature it once again. We have done just that with this itinerary. We have also added additional attractions and extended our time in New Orleans.
DAY 1: Saturday, March 19
8:00 AM – Depart Cedar Rapids Sam’s Club on Blairs Ferry Rd behind Burger King
– Additional pickup locations, Super Target on Edgewood Rd. and Walmart in Coralville
10:45 AM – Arrive at Fiddlestiks Restaurant in Hannibal, MO. Brunch on your own.
12:00 PM – Depart Hannibal, MO
2:00 PM – Rest Stop in Lake of the the Ozarks, MO
2:30 PM – Depart Lake of the Ozarks, MO
5:00 PM – TBD Rest Stop and Dinner
6:00 PM – Depart Rest Stop
8:30 PM – Arrive at Hyatt Place Memphis
Today is a travel day and some modification to our schedule may be made to facilitate everyone’s comfort.
DAY 2: Sunday, March 20
7:00 AM – Breakfast at hotel
8:00 AM – Depart Memphis
11:00 AM – TBD Rest Stop
1:00 PM – 2nd TBD REST STOP AND LUNCH
Approx. 2:30 PM – North of Baton Rouge we will pick up a guide. Location to be determined.
The guide will give a background history on Louisiana, including the differences between its Creole and Cajun heritage and the stories of Huey Long. Arriving in Baton Rouge the guide will continue the tour including a stop at the capitol building with its panoramic view of the city.
5:00 PM – Depart for the Inn at Houmas House and Gardens
Houmas House and Gardens – Address: 40136 LA-942, Darrow, LA 70725 Phone: (225) 473-9380
Located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, this circa-1840 Greek revival mansion & plantation includes gardens, lodging & elegant restaurants. The Houmas House Estate allows visitors to experience the life of wealthy plantation owners 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.
The guided mansion tour walks through the 250-year history, showing the architectural evolution of this manor house and how it became a grand estate. Rare and period artwork and artifacts are displayed and used to explain plantation life. The gardens are expansive and the most exquisite in Plantation Country. They are a lush 38-acre panorama of indigenous Louisiana plant life and stunning exotics. Many sitting areas have been provided around the property to invite guests to sit and experience the year-round grandeur of the ancient oak alley, the fragrance of spring and summer blooms and the sights and sounds of bird life, wildlife and plantation life of long ago. Each courtyard displays a dramatic water feature where exotic Lotus and Lily pads thrive. Large and colorful Koi friskily circle the ponds providing vibrant colors and a peaceful feeling.
The Inn at Houmas House is a collection of quaint cottages nestled along an alley of ancient oak trees and surrounded by lush gardens, allowing guests to get lost in the tranquility of the South. You will be staying in one of the 21 luxurious cottages. The Mighty Mississippi River is just steps away and a peaceful setting to watch the sun rise or set. The cottages depict historic structures that once graced Uncle Sam Plantation, which was located downriver from Houmas House. Comfortable and romantic, each room is decorated with old world furnishings, unique artwork and comfortable seating nooks.
Dinner is included at your leisure in The Carriage House. This restaurant redefines the luxury dining experience, combining intimacy and comfort in a breathtaking atmosphere. The cuisine in this restaurant takes a contemporary progressive approach to Louisiana cuisine, offering traditional Louisiana dishes with a twist. It has captured attention of food critics nationwide and been voted one of the top places to dine in the country. Golf cart transportation is available throughout your stay to take you to the various venues.
DAY 3: Monday, March 21
Breakfast is included in the Carriage house.
Morning is free to tour the Plantation House and visit the gardens
11:00 AM – A buffet lunch is included at Café Burnside.
Surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking a courtyard, you are able to enjoy the New Orleans style architecture while admiring the landscape.
Noon – Depart for Laura Plantation
Laura Plantation: Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site – Address: 2247 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090 Phone: (225) 265-7690
12:40 PM – Tour Laura Plantation, a Creole plantation built in 1804. Step into the lost world of Laura Gore and her Créole family. Take a journey beyond the myths of the American South and discover the compelling stories of 4 generations of Créole women, both free and enslaved. Learn about the unique characteristics of the Creole Culture. Explore the museum. Tour the Big House. Walk the grounds. Stand in an authentic 1840s slave cabin. Explore the compelling history of The Duparc Sugar Plantation.
2:30 PM – Depart for New Orleans.
3:30 PM – Arrive Hotel St. Marie – Address: 827 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone: (888) 626-4812
5:00 PM – Depart on a walking tour of the French Quarter.
The French Quarter is the city’s historic heart, famous for its vibrant nightlife and colorful buildings with cast-iron balconies. Crowd-pleasing Bourbon Street features jazz clubs, Cajun eateries and raucous bars serving potent cocktails. Quieter streets lead to the French Market, with gourmet food and local crafts, and to Jackson Square where street performers entertain in front of soaring St. Louis Cathedral.
Evening free for dinner (on own) and to sample variety of activities and eateries available in the French Quarter.
DAY 4: Tuesday, March 22
Breakfast is included at the hotel at Vacherie’s
9:00 AM – Depart for a tour of New Orleans including a mid-morning snack of beignets at the Café du Monde and a tour of the Cemeteries.
Founded in 1789 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Louis #1 is New Orleans’ oldest active City of the Dead. Ornate, crumbling, and entrancing, St. Louis #1 is eerily beautiful, even in the daytime. This New Orleans cemetery is the final resting place of the notorious Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau as well as many other colorful New Orleanians. Venture inside the vault lined walls of this historic New Orleans cemetery with your French Quarter Phantoms master storyteller / local historian and visit the New Orleans Musicians’ Tomb and the future tomb of Nicholas Cage.
St Louis #1 Cemetery is the oldest active New Orleans cemetery and the most haunted Cemetery in Louisiana! In one city block, you’ll find over 700 tombs, and over 100,000 dead! Join us on this fun, daytime cemetery walking tour and enjoy the history behind the unique burial customs that make this possible. We love New Orleans history and are eager to share it with you. Oh, the tales we can tell you! Lunch on own and the afternoon is free to explore the shops of the French Quarter and/or New Orleans.
5:45 PM – Depart for Jazz Cruise on the Mississippi. Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans skyline aboard the Creole Queen. Cruise Highlights:
- Breathtaking view of the city
- Enjoy casual buffet-style dining with a choice of two dinner seatings.
- Meals prepared fresh on board.
- Part of your experience is strolling the decks of this beautiful boat, ideal for photographs.
- Indoor and Outdoor seating
- Featuring live New Orleans swing style music by the Grammy nominated “Dukes of Dixieland”
- Museum quality Engine Room
6:00 PM Boarding begins for the Dinner Jazz Cruise.
7:00 PM Cruise departs.
9:00 PM Cruise returns to the dock.
DAY 5: Wednesday, March 23
Breakfast is included at the hotel.
TBD – Depart for Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour – Address: 6601 Leo Kerner Lafitte Pkwy, Marrero, LA 70072 Phone: (504) 293-2338
An unforgettable swampland journey! Located in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Jean Lafitte Swamp and Airboat Tours explore Louisiana’s back country along its meandering bayous abundant with wildlife and exotic plant life. Trained navigators escort you into the murky waters of Louisiana swamps where you will come face to face with the beauty and beasts of nature. Experience a real-life Cajun encounter on comfortable and spacious swamp boats as you meander deep into Louisiana’s mysterious and picturesque bayous. Explore moss draped cypress trees teeming with wildlife while the native captain and tour guide tells of the daring exploits of pirates and Native Americans, made famous through song and story. Learn about intriguing legends and lore of the state’s still untamed wetland wilderness during this adventure and discover the different species of plants and animals native to the swamp.
Lunch on own
12:30 PM – The National WWII Museum – Address: 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130— Phone: (504) 528-1944
Designated by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, The National WWII Museum is located in downtown New Orleans on a six-acre campus, where five soaring pavilions house historical exhibits, on-site restoration work, a period dinner theater, and restaurants.
4:00 PM – The movie “Beyond all Boundaries” is included in the Solomon Victory Theater in the museum. It is a dramatic 4D cinematic journey through the war that chanted the world. Elements of Beyond All Boundaries may aggravate certain medical conditions. These elements include loud noises, flashing lights, fog effects, and sudden chair movements. Stationary seating is available.
5:00 PM – Depart for Hotel.
6:00 PM – Depart for the New Orleans School of Cooking.
Pedicabs have been arranged and included to take you to the New Orleans School of cooking. After dinner you can either walk the 4 blocks back to the hotel or take a cab back to the hotel. The return has not been included.
6:30 PM – Dinner and a cooking demonstration is included at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
DAY 6: Thursday, March 24
Breakfast is included at the hotel.
8:00 AM – Depart for the Rural Life Museum
9:45 AM – Arrive at the Rural Life Museum – Address: 4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 Phone: (225) 765-2437
The LSU Rural Life Museum is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of materials from the cultures of 18th and 19th century rural Louisianans. Travel back in time and experience the lifestyles and life-ways of these remarkable people with the largest collection of artifacts and architecture from the period, all in a safe, outdoor rural landscape.
11:00 AM – Lunch and entertainment is included at the Rural Life Museum.
12:30 PM – Depart for the Hyatt Place, Memphis
6:30 PM – Arrive at Hyatt Place, Memphis
EVENING ON OWN.
Day 7: Friday, March 25
7:00 AM – Breakfast at hotel (included)
8:00 AM – Depart Memphis for Cedar Rapids, IA
10:30 AM – TBD Rest Stop
11:00 AM – Depart Rest Stop
2:00 PM – Lunch at Fiddlestiks – Hannibal, MO
3:00 PM – Depart Hannibal, MO
6:00 PM – Arrive in Cedar Rapids, IA
- 6 Nights Lodging
- 2 nights Memphis
- 1 night at the Inn at Houmas House, an historic Plantation & Gardens
- 3 nights at the Hotel St. Marie in the New Orleans French Quarter
- 9 Meals
- 6 Breakfasts
- Lunch and entertainment at the LSU Rural Life Museum
- Lunch at Houmas Plantation (currently they are not sure of the location)
- Gourmet dinner in the Carriage House at Houmas Plantation
- Cooking demonstration and dinner at the New Orleans School of Cooking
- Dinner Jazz cruise aboard the Creole Queen
- Tour of Baton Rouge including the State Capitol
- Admission to and tour of Houmas House, a circa 1850 Plantation
- Visit to the 38 acres of formal gardens at Houmas House
- Admission and tour of Laura Plantation
- Walking tour of the New Orleans French Quarter
- Guided tour of New Orleans including: o Stop at the Café du Monde for coffee and beignets. o Walking tour through the St. Louis Cemetery (another cemetery will be substituted if this is still not open)
- Boat tour of Jean Lafitte Swamp
- Pedi-Bike taxi from the hotel to the New Orleans School of Cooking
- Admission to the National WWII Museum including: o Ticket to “Beyond all Boundaries”
- Luggage handling at included hotels
$2375 pp,dbl.oc. Nobody can have more bang for the buck at $340 a day.
$2250 pp. Triple oc.