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Lake Pontchartrain

Lake Pontchartrain: Our most recommended tours and activities

New Orleans: Luxury Bus Tour

1. New Orleans: Luxury Bus Tour

Get an introduction to the sites of New Orleans on a 2.5-hour guided bus tour. Benefit from pickup at your hotel in the French Quarter and visit the Garden District, the 9th Ward, and more. Travel through the beautiful French Quarter, and make your way down lively Frenchmen Street, where live music pours from every venue. Arrive at the alternative Marigny district as you make your way towards the 9th Ward. Enter the Musicians' Village and continue to Tremé. Travel down Esplanade Avenue to City Park and Lake Pontchartrain, and then learn about Creole culture at Saint Roch Cemetery #1 and St. Louis Cemetery #3. See the oldest streetcar in the world on St. Charles Avenue as you move on to Tulane and Loyola universities. Enter the Garden District to look at some of the celebrity homes. Continue along Magazine Street to arrive at the Warehouse District and Arts District before getting dropped off at your hotel.

New Orleans: Swamp Zipline Tour

2. New Orleans: Swamp Zipline Tour

Travel to the banks of Lake Ponchartrain, in the quaint historic town of Frenier, to see the Maurepas swamp from a unique perspective. Suspended above it on this zipline tour, admire the animals of the swamp and the panoramic views. Start the day with a transfer from your hotel in New Orleans, if the option is selected. Upon arrival, meet your host who will provide safety equipment and instructions for the day’s activities. Use the lockers provided to store loose items. Begin the adventure from atop a 60-foot start platform. Marvel at the views of the magnificent Maurepas Swamp and Lake Ponchartrain. View the historic town of Frenier and the New Orleans skyline. As you traverse the course, take on five separate zip lines, two suspension bridges, and a one-of-a-kind spiral cypress tree staircase. The swamp zipline course is roughly a half-mile long, and it takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete. Become immersed in nature. As you soar through the course, you may see alligators, turtles, snakes, whitetail deer, wild boar, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, egrets, herons, and much more from the comfort and safety of the treetops.

New Orleans: 2.5-Hour City & Cemetery Tour by Bus

3. New Orleans: 2.5-Hour City & Cemetery Tour by Bus

There’s so much to see, so much history to soak in. You’re probably worried you won’t have time to see it all. That’s where this tour can help. For two hours, you will go on an air-conditioned ride throughout some of the most famous neighborhoods in New Orleans. You will see the landmarks you don’t want to miss, as your guide shares stories you’ll love to hear. You will go from the Treme to the Garden District, the 9th Ward to the back streets of The French Quarter. Your guide will tell you where the best crawfish are, or where to get the coldest beer. t’s your guide's mission to make sure that when you step off the bus you’re in love with this great city as well. Come experience the best two hours of your vacation today.

New Orleans: Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour

4. New Orleans: Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Meet your guide in New Orleans, then leave the city behind as you travel back in time to the Oak Alley Plantation. Passing by the impressive Lake Pontchartrain. See the plantation's quarter-mile-long alley of oak trees, each over 250 years old, and the cypress trees which border the Mississippi River. Explore the plantation with your guide, and listen to stories of its history dating back to 1839. Learn about the site's former uses and residents, and visit the plantation's on-site exhibitions, Slavery at Oak Alley, Blacksmith Shop, and Sugarcane Theater, to learn more about its past.  Afterwards, travel past several of the area’s plantations as you head to the Manchac Swamp. Explore this privately-owned wildlife refuge, and hear about the legend of the Rougarou werewolf. Take a boat ride across the swamp, and get up close to alligators and other wildlife.

City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour

5. City of New Orleans and Katrina Recovery Tour

Take in the highlights of New Orleans on a 3-hour city tour. Visit the historic French Quarter, and see Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, and more. Continue to areas that were hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, including the 9th Ward. See Harry Connick Jr.'s Musicians’ Village and the work by Habitat for Humanity. Visit one of New Orleans' historic cemeteries, where you'll see the unique above-ground tombs. Head to New Orleans City Park, and pass by Lake Pontchartrain – the largest lake in Louisiana. In the Garden District, see the iconic streetcars and historic mansions. The tour ends with a visit to the central business district.

From New Orleans: Swamp Airboat, 2 Plantation Tours & Lunch

6. From New Orleans: Swamp Airboat, 2 Plantation Tours & Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your enthusiastic historian driver-guide will take you on a scenic narrated drive out of New Orleans, preparing you for a pilgrimage back in time.  After crossing over the Mississippi River on a high bridge, you will arrive at a remote swamp to board a small airboat. With your Cajun boat captain, glide comfortably over marshes and deep into secluded bayous. Discover the swamp’s fascinating fauna and flora, including alligators, turtles, and exotic birds.  Next, you will drive upriver through sugar cane fields to arrive at Laura Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of this Creole plantation dating back to 1804. Hear the compelling stories of Laura's family saga, as well as stories of the West-African, enslaved people who worked on this sugar plantation. At the end of the tour, visit the museum exhibit dedicated to "Slavery on Laura Plantation" in a restored overseer's cottage. Back on the old River Road, you will pass by Felicity Plantation, where "12 Years A Slave" was filmed, and St Joseph Plantation, where the "Queen Sugar" TV series was filmed. Stop in front of Oak Alley Plantation to admire its parallel rows of centuries-old oak trees. After crossing over the Mississippi River on the Sunshine Bridge, you will arrive at the iconic "Sugar Palace", Houmas House Plantation. Lunch will be served in their elegant dining room, with genuine Cajun cuisine. Then, enjoy a guided tour of the mansion with a guide dressed in Antebellum costume. After the tour, enjoy some free time to stroll around the splendid gardens, before you return to New Orleans. Sample Lunch Menu (subject to seasonal changes) Luncheon includes home-baked bread and butter, iced tea or soft drink, dessert, and coffee.  Choice of Entrees: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (gluten-free without croutons): Served with tender romaine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese Crown Jewel Hamburger: Grilled 7oz burger topped with cheese, bacon, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and onion served with French fries Shrimp Po Boy: Shrimp, crispy fried and served on New Orleans French bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and Creole mayonnaise Breast of Chicken (gluten-free without grits): Skin-on breast of chicken, served with stone-ground grits, roasted veggies and rum-spiked Houmas House beehive honey glaze Vegetarian Pasta: Veggies and baby heirloom tomatoes with fettuccine pasta and parmesan cheese Choice of Dessert: White Chocolate Bread Pudding Turtle Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake

From New Orleans: St. Joseph and Laura Plantations Tour

7. From New Orleans: St. Joseph and Laura Plantations Tour

After being picked up from your hotel or B&B in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your historian driver-guide will narrate the scenic drive upriver to 2 historic plantations on the shores of the Mississippi River. On the way, drive along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, through swamps, and sugar cane fields.  After crossing the Mississippi River on a high suspended bridge, drive along the famous River Road and stop to admire the mansions, outer buildings, and oak trees in front of both Evergreen Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation. Your first stop is at St Joseph Plantation for a guided visit of this family-owned, working sugar cane plantation. Here one of the owners will show you around the home and farm which has been in operation since 1877. This plantation, and their sister property "Felicity Plantation" are also the location where "12 Years a Slave" was filmed. Then, continue downriver to Laura, a Creole plantation from 1804. Learn about the 4 generations of women who ran this plantation. Learn how the work of the West-African slaves influenced all segments of the Creole culture, best evidenced today in the local cuisine, music, family-centered traditions, architecture, and lifestyle. At Laura's Slavery Museum Exhibit, hear personal stories of individual men, women, and children who lived there, illustrating how the lives of the enslaved, both Créole and American, were intertwined with those of their owners. On your return drive back to New Orleans, pass by the famous Whitney Plantation, and old cypress swamp groves.

New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation, Houmas House & Lunch

8. New Orleans: Destrehan Plantation, Houmas House & Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your enthusiastic historian driver-guide will narrate your scenic drive upriver to two historic plantations on the shores of the Mississippi River. On the journey, drive by the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and miles of cane fields extending from the Mississippi River to the back swamps. Learn about Louisiana's geography, geology, and incredible history en route.  The first stop is Destrehan Plantation the oldest documented plantation in the Mississippi River valley, constructed in 1787. Learn about the history of the site, see where Charles Deslondes led the 1811 Slave Revolt, and discover its dramatic outcome. Then you are driven further upriver on the old Mississippi River road, passing the ruins of the Tezcuco Plantation and hearing about its history. Soon afterward you will arrive at the "The Sugar Palace", more commonly known as Houmas House. Here, you will enjoy a gourmet Creole lunch in a grand dining hall. There are even refreshing Mint Juleps available for purchase if you wish to really experience the Southern Plantation life. After lunch, you will enjoy a guided visit to the Greek Revival mansion on this very opulent plantation. Your guides, in period dress, will lead you through rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork. Afterward, you will have time to stroll around the stunning gardens in the shadows of ancient oaks, before visiting the very gift shop. Sample Lunch Menu (subject to seasonal changes) Luncheon includes home-baked bread and butter, an iced tea or soft drink, a dessert, and coffee.  Choice of Entrees: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (gluten-free without croutons): Served with tender romaine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese Crown Jewel Hamburger: Grilled 7oz burger topped with cheese, bacon, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and onion served with French fries Shrimp Po Boy: Shrimp, crispy fried and served on New Orleans French bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and Creole mayonnaise Breast of Chicken (gluten-free without grits): Skin-on breast of chicken, served with stone-ground grits, roasted veggies and rum-spiked Houmas House beehive honey glaze Vegetarian Pasta: Veggies and baby heirloom tomatoes with fettuccine pasta and parmesan cheese Choice of Dessert: White Chocolate Bread Pudding Turtle Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake

New Orleans: Traditional City and Estate Tour

9. New Orleans: Traditional City and Estate Tour

New Orleans has an incredibly vibrant soul that can never be kept down. Today, you will experience its heart with a combo city tour that will take you deep into the splendor of the French Quarter, and then out towards the levee system along Lake Pontchartrain before heading back through the mansions around town. It is sure to be a delight! We first stop by the French Market, for a taste of New Orleans' rich culinary history. We'll then head out to the old U.S. Mint and the stately mansions along Esplanade Ave. Here you can dream of what life must have been like 100 years ago, and see the vibrancy that still remains. Next we'll walk into St. Louis Cemetery #3. One of the fascinating things about a New Orleans cemetery is that everything is above ground, since the city technically lies below sea level. For this reason, St. Louis is a fascinating journey into the quirks about this city, and you will see some famous residents as well. Riding along peaceful Bayou St. John, we view houses from the late 1700's. Driving through City Park, see the antique carousel and centuries-old live oaks. Stop to explore the Besthoff Sculpture Gardens at City Park. This exquisite 8 acre park is definitely worth the time. Stroll along meandering walking paths and water features amid centuries-old, moss-draped live oaks surrounding two lagoons. Along Lake Pontchartrain's shores our levee system is explained and the longest of all Causeway bridges is seen. Then we'll head uptown to Carrolton, the Tulane and Loyola Universities, the 160-year-old streetcar line and St. Charles Avenue's grand colonial mansions. Finally, we'll head back downtown around the Superdome and through the heart of the business district before returning to your hotel. You will see how vibrant and exciting New Orleans is again today, and we look forward to sharing our home with you.

Available activities

  • Guided tours
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Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Pontchartrain

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What people are saying about Lake Pontchartrain

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 945 reviews

Our Guide Charlotte was funny, informative, and made sure our crew had a great time. Our Driver Cory was excellent at maneuvering the tight streets. Make sure you bring cash along for cafe Du Monde.

This tour is a must if you want to get out of the French Quarter to see everything New Orleans has to offer. Excellent tour guide.

Sean provided great information. Tour gave good overview for first time visit!

Excellent Tour.. our guide was so knowledgeable. I really enjoyed!

Great learning all the fun facts about New Orleans.