Southern Gardens & Plantations of New Orleans, Louisiana and Texas

This tour has proven to be exceptionally popular and is currently filled. If you are interested in putting your name on our waiting list, please contact us at 435-882-6797.

We’ve waited many years to take a group to the wondrous treasures of Louisiana and Texas.

This area has some of the most interesting history and culture because unlike most of the rest of the U.S., this area was settled by the French. They left behind their Cajun descendants, their language, their food and unique culture. Other treasures are antebellum plantations with centuries-old live oaks draped with graceful Spanish moss. More than half the millionaires of that era made fortunes in these rich lands where cotton was king and sugar cane, tobacco and indigo flourished. Stroll gardens and mansions where winsome Southern Belles flirted with their beaus.

Experience the Louisiana Bayous; home to the Acadians, French Canadians who arrived in the late 1700’s. These Cajuns have developed a unique heritage, distinct dialect and spicy cuisines.

After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Bayous are reviving quickly. Taste the culture and visit beautiful sites, homes and gardens in this unique area.

Day 1 Travel

Fly from Salt Lake City to New Orleans.

Day 2 Thursday Swamplands & Gardens

Step back to 18th century Acadian life at Vermillionville, a 23-acre village of meticulously recreated homes. Learn from costumed staff that demonstrate arts, crafts and live Cajun music.

Enjoy lunch, sampling the tastes of Cajun and Creole cooking at La Cuisine de Maman.

You’ll love Avery Island, which is not an island but a salt dome which provided salt for Tabasco Sauce. See 20,000 herons and egrets that nest each spring at Bird City, a private sanctuary for the once-endangered snowy egret. The swamps are also home to alligators and other wildlife.

Jungle Gardens is a haven for subtropical flora, live oaks, mirror pools and thousands of camellias and azaleas. A gully was transformed into a beautiful shaded sunken garden. A 1000-year-old Buddha sits in the Chinese garden among stands of bamboo.

On Jefferson Island in the Bayou, visit Rip Van Winkle Gardens, home to silent movie star, Joseph Jefferson, acclaimed for his role as Rip Van Winkle. His southern mansion is surrounded by 350-year-old oaks amid beautiful interlocking gardens that bloom all year. Legend says pirate Jean Lafitte buried treasures under giant live oaks here.

Day 3 Friday Antebellum Plantations

Houmas House in restored antebellum glory, was the setting for Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, Longstreet and more. A 38-acre panorama of Louisiana plant life and stunning exotics surround the mansion. Walk through the Hampton Garden, Neptune Pavilion, Lawn and Fountain Courtyard and other gardens.

Visit Nottoway Plantation, spared in the Civil war and considered a wonder of the antebellum South. See the magnificent, palatial home of sugar cane planter John Hampton Randolf. See the views of the river, lawns, wonderful spring gardens and old live oaks through 200 windows and then stroll the grounds of this lavish estate.

Day 4 Saturday – Gardens of the French Quarter

Spend today in the beautiful homes and gardens of the famous French Quarter of New Orleans with its from a tumultuous past and never-ending parties.

Relish the history and beauty of Longue Vue House and Gardens with its classical revival buildings and fabulously manicured landscape. Featured on America’s Castles¸ Longue Vue gardens feature a Spanish court, broad lawns, offset with geometric parterres, magnolia trees, brick planters and terraced fountains. Find statues, and 22 fountains surrounded by masses of exotic plants stunning spring blooms, dogwoods, azaleas, and bulbs

Browse the religious majesty of the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis, King of France. One of the oldest and most photographed churches in the US, it features modified Spanish style steeples and a Greek revival portico remodeled in 1794. The delightful St Anthony’s Garden featuring beautiful trees and flowers is a memorial to an 18th century Capuchin Father. Oddly enough, this good father’s garden is notorious as the most popular dueling ground for young aristocrats. 

Stroll the New Orleans Botanical Garden with magnificent garden rooms featuring fountains, statues, azaleas, bamboo, camellias, magnolias palms and roses. A delightful train garden presents New Orleans in miniature. See the conservatory, a showcase of tropical and living fossil exhibits.

See the three centuries of history and romance in our fascinating city of New Orleans City Tour. Retrace the routes taken by carriages of yesteryear and see the lovely architecture. See the sights and sounds of the French Quarter, visit one of the historic cemeteries known as Cities of the Dead and more.

Day 5 – Sunday – Louisiana Plantation Life

Visit our nation’s tallest Capitol building overlooking the city of Baton Rouge. Its front steps are flanked by statues of “The Patriots and “The Pioneers” and gardens.

Afton Villa’s enchanting grounds are especially lovely in the spring. Enter this most unusual garden beneath a half mile of live oaks arched over an avenue bordered by pink and red azaleas. Garden terraces, statuary, and moss-draped live oaks grace the crumbling brick walls of the ruined villa. Spring bulbs and blossoms grow within. Bask in the peaceful mood of this tranquil place.

Rosedown Plantation’s French gardens were inspired by the Gardens at Versailles. Exotic Asian azaleas and Japanese cedars imported decades before the Civil War still grow there. Boxwood, camellias, hydrangeas, and crape myrtles grace herb, flower, and classical French parterre gardens and statuary.

Day 6 – Louisiana Countryside and roses

More than 700 acres of wild naturalized and cultivated spring beauty await you at Hodges Garden. Old roses collected from across the country include varieties from as long ago as the 1700’s. A 225 acre man-made lake provides water for the myriad pools, fountains and waterfalls of this don’t-miss garden.

You’ll be surrounded by roses at the American Rose Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is home to All-American Rose Selections which conducts nationwide tests of new roses for superior varieties. See the best of the best 20,000 rose bushes in the beautiful gardens.

Day 7 – Tuesday Fun and Gardens of Dallas

Take a nostalgic tour of Southfork Ranch, home to Dallas, an unmatched T.V. legend. When filming began with the fictitious Ewings, J.R. Lucy and the rest, the real owner and his family still lived there.

After a tour of the ranch, enjoy Texas style western dining at our Ewing Barbecue lunch.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Center is a don’t-miss treasure-trove of flowers, garden displays and trees. You’ll delight in the afternoon you’ll spend his vast, picturesque don’t-miss garden. See the Women’s Garden’s enclosed sanctuary, wind-activated harps and reflective basin. The Texas Pioneer Garden takes you back to the time of sod houses, cabins, teepees and covered wagon. Much more awaits at this beautiful garden.

Day 8 – Wednesday – Gardens of Ft Worth

What fits Texas better than western and American art? See works by Georgia O’Keefe, Frederick Remington, Winslow Homer and Charles Russell in the Ammon Carter Museum. This museum is known for one of country’s foremost collections of American paintings, watercolors, photos and prints. View downtown Fort Worth through a glass front wall overlooking the landscaped plaza.

The immense Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in Texas, is home to more than 2400 species of native and exotic plants. A 10,000 square foot conservatory, water conservation garden, Japanese garden, perennial trial garden, fragrance garden and four season garden are among their fabulous displays.

After browsing the museum and gardens we will wing our way back to Salt Lake City.

This Tour Includes:

Airfare, luggage, luxury coach transport, tips, fees, taxes, excellent lodging, admissions to listed tour sites, breakfast daily, and 7 meals on this escorted tour.

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Brochure Deep South 2011