Come See for Yourself
Four days / three nights
The terrible, unprecedented events of Hurricane Katrina devastated an area that is not only a world cultural center, but one that is very dear to the history of Heritage Tours. This is where we first started taking travelers in 1992, to explore the priceless treasures that are New Orleans and the Mississippi River Plantations. We feel a strong kinship to the history, people, and culture in the area, and we share a responsibility to support the region and its tourism industry in this period of severe economic hardship.
The French Quarter, much of the Garden District, and most areas frequented by tourists were unharmed by the Hurricane. The plantations upriver, to the west of the worst of the storm, were pretty much undamaged except for some lost trees. However, the economic disaster that followed has been worse than the storm itself, as an excruciatingly small number of tourists is presently going to New Orleans and the River Road.
Therefore we are presenting a most unusual tour to “America’s Most European City” and the Plantations to support them at this time. However, it is not enough for us to offer a tour simply to be there and help them out, noble as that may be. To make it a worthwhile and appealing trip, we have a designed an itinerary that will appeal to those who have been to Now Orleans before as well as first time visitors. We have included a number of new, different, and highly intriguing activities that should attract most anyone.
This “Come See for Yourself Tour” will show you:
- The damage done by Katrina to the neighborhoods of LAKEVIEW, GENTILLY, the LOWER NINTH WARD, and the CHALMETTE area (subject to local conditions and approval.) Plus, we will see the repair work being done to the levees that failed the day after the storm and caused the flooding of the city. You can assess for yourself whether or not they will be strong enough the next time.
- That, yes, MARDI GRAS will continue, as we view the artisans at Mardi Gras World actually making the floats that will appear in the parades, and dazzling structures used in past years.
- The Algiers neighborhood across the River from the Quarter.
- These heartwarming and thrilling improvements to the River Road Plantations:
- LAURA – The house is almost completely rebuilt after the horrible fire of several years ago.
- L’HERMITAGE -The owners will lead us on a “hard hat” tour through their private, historic showplace, explaining their massive renovation work on the 1814 house. What a chance to see into the skeleton of one of the most significant antebellum mansions!
- OAK ALLEY – You can see for yourself what the storm did and did not do to the Queen of the River Road Plantations, as we tour and enjoy lunch here.
- ST. JOSPEH’S – We will be received by the owners inside this spacious Raised Cottage next door to Oak Alley, open for the first time in its 200 year history! Plantation enthusiasts have been waiting all their lives to see this home, made a present by the famous and tragic VALCOUR AIME to one of his daughters.
- HOUMAS HOUSE – The fantastic, eye-popping renovations here by new owner Kevin Kelly have joyfully stunned all those in the plantation loving world, and now you can see them for yourself. Houmas House, formerly an elegant gem in black and white, is now ablaze with authentic color, gorgeous furnishings, and enormously extended gardens. The grand finale to our day “Gone With the Wind” will be a private dinner inside Houmas House itself, with an incredible meal prepared by award-winning Chef Jeremy Langlois.
Tour Can Include
In addition to the tours listed, the package includes these important and superb elements:
- Three nights accommodations in the Quarter.
- Jazz Lunch at THE COURT OF THE TWO SISTERS.
- Dinner at a major Quarter restaurant.
- Free time to sightsee, shop and soak up New Orleenz on your own.
- Reading Packet and detailed historical and architectural commentary by our Heritage Tours experts.