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Tunica, Baton Rouge & New Orleans
September 13 @ 8:00 am - September 20 @ 6:00 pm$1698 – $2275
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.Itinerary:
DAY 1: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
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 The Gold Strike Resort and Casino in Tunica, MS
Today is a travel day and some modification to our schedule may be made to facilitate everyone’s comfort.
DAY 2: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
8:00 AM – Depart Tunica.
11:00 AM – TBD Rest Stop
1:00 PM – 2nd TBD REST STOP AND LUNCH
Approx. 2:30 PM – North of Baton Rouge you will pick up a guide. 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
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: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
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 Tour Laura Plantation, a Creole plantation built in 1804. Step into the lost world of Laura Locoul 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
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: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Breakfast is included at the hotel
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. Either the Lafayette or the St. Louis Cemetery. Both are filled with the remains of notable characters of the old New Orleans era.
New Orleans is like a good memory that rests easy on your mind – the music is sweet, the food divine, that atmosphere captivating and the pace is definitely more leisurely. Join us as we explore all that makes New Orleans America’s most European city.
As you ride past beautiful Jackson Square, your tour guide will reconstruct the first days of the old French City. The sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River, St. Louis Cathedral, Cabildo and Pontalba buildings are just some of the highlights of this area. You will continue past the French Market and the U.S. Mint.
Next we will arrive on Esplanade Ave, the outermost boundary of the French Quarter, you will see a stunning display of the many fine Creole homes with delicate wrought iron fences and balconies. You’ll visit St. Louis III Cemetery , often called “the city of the dead” because of its above ground tombs. Across from Bayou St. John, you will see beautiful City Park with its lush greenery and scenic lagoons. Located on the park’s grounds is the New Orleans Museum of Art set among the overhanging Live Oak trees and Spanish Moss.
Your tour guide will give a “local’s” chronology of events leading up to Hurricane Katrina and the days immediately following. You will travel through Lakeview, one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans. You will witness the revival of our beautiful city by citizens who refused to give in. You will see Lake Pontchartrain and view the massive pumping station in the 17th Street Canal.
The next part of the journey will take us to the old town of Carrollton and the route of the St. Charles streetcar. You will pass Tulane and Loyola Universities as the ancient oaks of Audubon Park come into view. The heart of Uptown showcases some of the city’s lovliest neighborhoods, while the Garden District is distinguished by its Greek Revival architecture and splendid gardens.
Lunch on own and the afternoon is free to explore the shops of the French Quarter and/or New Orleans
6:00 PM – Depart for the New Orleans School of Cooking.
6:45 PM – Dinner and Demonstration at New Orleans School of Cooking
Menu Includes: Soup: Corn and Crab Bisque, Entree: Chicken Etouffee, Dessert: Bread Pudding, Lagniappe: Original Pralines
DAY 5: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
Breakfast is included at the hotel.
9:00 AM – Depart for Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour.
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.
12:30 PM – Depart for the World War II Museum
Designated by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, The National WWII Museum is in downtown New Orleans on a six-acre campus, where five soaring pavilions house historical exhibits, on-site restoration work, and restaurants. Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, The National WWII Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world.
Ranked the #1 attraction in New Orleans on Trip Advisor and recipient three years in a row of the Travelers’ Choice Award, the Museum brings history to life with moving personal stories and powerful interactive displays. Exhibits not only highlight the role of world leaders, but also the everyday men and women who found the strength and courage to accomplish the extraordinary.
4:00 PM – Your visit concludes with the film “Beyond all Boundaries.”
Shown exclusively in The National WWII Museum’s Solomon Victory Theater, it is a 4D journey through the war that changed the world. This Museum-produced experience is narrated by executive producer Tom Hanks, with Phil Hettema serving as show producer and creative director. Beyond All Boundaries features dazzling effects, CGI animation, multilayered environments, and first-person accounts from the trenches to the Home Front read by Brad Pitt, Tobey Maguire, Gary Sinise, Patricia Clarkson, Wendell Pierce, and more.
5:00 PM – Depart for your hotel. We may depart directly from the World Warll Museum to the cruise area where there is all types of shopping.
6:15 PM – Depart for a Jazz Cruise on the Mississippi River
7:00 PM – Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans skyline aboard the Paddle wheeler Creole Queen.
Appreciate the breathtaking views of the city as you enjoy a casual buffet. Step back into the glamour and romance of the riverboat and experience the lively sounds of the amazing Sullivan Dabney, Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band. After dinner enjoy the sweet Mississippi River breezes on the promenade deck as the city skyline slips by under a canopy of stars. This nighttime cruise is pure New Orleans.
DAY 6: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Breakfast is included at the hotel.
8:00 AM – Depart for the Rural Life Museum
9:45 AM – Arrive at the Rural Life Museum.
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 La Quinta Inn and Suites. West Memphis
3:30 PM – TBD Rest Stop
6:30 PM – Arrive at La Quinta Inn and Suites. West Memphis.
EVENING ON OWN. Walking distance to Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Day 7: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
8:00 AM – Depart West 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 at the Gold Strike Casino and Resort, Tunica Ms.
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
Lunch and entertainment at the LSU Rural Life Museum
Lunch at Burnside Café at Houmas Plantation
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
Tour of New Orleans including:
Stop at the Café du Monde for coffee and beignets.
Walking tour through the St. Louis Cemetery
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:
Ticket to “Beyond all Boundaries”
Luggage handling at included hotels.
$1698 pp. Tri.oc.
$2275 Sig. Oc.
Contact us to reserve your seat(s)