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Azaleas, Plantations & Cajun Country Search Tour Calendar
Featuring New Orleans, Plantations, Baton Rouge, Natchez Spring Pilgrimage, Vicksburg

Tour Dates: March 24 - 30, 2019

7 Day Package
12 Meals Included

$1599 Per Person / Double Occupancy
$2099 Per Person / Single Occupancy

Immerse yourself in the grace and elegance of the antebellum South on this journey that highlights the plantations, spring blooms, Cajun cuisine and famed southern hospitality of both Louisiana and Mississippi. From the magic of New Orleans’ French Quarter and a journey through Louisiana’s bayou, to a Civil War battlefield, the stately plantation homes along the Mississippi River and the Spring Pilgrimage in Natchez, each day of this journey provides insider experiences that bring you closer to one of America’s most distinctive regions.

Tour Highlights:
  • Stay two nights in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter and tour with a local guide to see the French Quarter, Garden District, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and more
  • Travel the Mississippi River Road and tour three grand Civil War-era plantations including Houmas House, Oak Alley and Nottoway
  • Tour Louisiana’s Cajun Country in Baton Rouge with a docent-guided tour of the Louisiana State Capitol building
  • Visit Natchez during the annual ‘Spring Pilgrimage,’ and tour the Antebellum man-sions, enjoy a carriage tour and dine in a lovely historic private residence
  • Take a guided tour of the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg National Military Park and visit Vicksburg’s Old Court House Museum

  • Embark on a swamp boat tour in search of alligators and other wildlife
Fine Hotels / Great Locations:
  • Nights 1-2: Bienville House – New Orleans, LA
  • Nights 3: Drury Inn – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Nights 4-6: Natchez Grand Hotel – Natchez, MS
Day By Day Itinerary:
Day 1
Sunday, 3/24/2019 - Arrive in New Orleans
Our journey begins with optional transfers from home or our departure points this morning to LAX for a nonstop flight to New Orleans, Louisiana. Those passengers not taking advantage of the optional group air, should arrive at the New Orleans Airport by 3:30 p.m. if they want to be included on the complimentary transfer to the hotel. Upon our arrival in New Orleans a deluxe motorcoach will be waiting to transport us for the next seven days. New Orleans is a soulful city that abounds with rich history, mouth-watering Cajun and Creole cuisine and is known as the “Jazz Capital of the World.” We’ll check into a boutique hotel located in the heart of the historic French Quarter for a two-night stay. This truly distinctive establishment which just underwent a multi-million dollar renovation has a sense of style and grace only to be found in America’s most interesting city. Join your fellow travelers for an included welcome dinner at The Court of Two Sisters – a New Orleans legend. 

Day 2
Monday, 3/25/2019 - New Orleans
Enjoy an included breakfast at the hotel before we join a local guide for a comprehensive tour of “The Big Easy.” We begin with a leisurely walking tour of the French Quarter including Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and the majestic St. Louis Cathedral. We’ll continue on to the bustling and exotic French Marketplace to explore Pirates Alley. As we travel along stately St. Charles Avenue in the lovely Garden District, you’ll gaze upon the decadent and exclusive homes in what is one of the best-preserved collections of southern mansions in the United States. Then, a visit to one of New Orleans’ unique above-ground cemeteries, commonly referred to as “Cities of the Dead” for their elaborate architectural tombs. The afternoon is set aside for you to explore New Orleans at your leisure. Our hotel is in a prime location and within walking distance of the city’s finest antique shops on Royal Street, Bourbon Street, jazz clubs, world renowned restaurants, museums and voodoo shops. Grab a po’ boy or some fresh beignets and a café au lait at Café du Monde. Perhaps visit the National World War II Museum or test lady luck at one of the local casinos. Take a stroll down Bourbon Street or a leisurely walk along the Mississippi River… laissez les bon temps rouler!
Day 3
Tuesday, 3/26/2019 - Cajun & Plantation Country
After an included breakfast this morning, we’ll depart New Orleans and head into Louisiana’s Cajun Country for an included lunch at a unique restaurant that has to be seen to be believed. Traditional Cajun fare awaits – fried stuffed crabs, fried catfish fingers, baked chicken, green beans, dirty rice, cornbread, buttermilk pie, and bread pudding. This afternoon we begin our exploration of Louisiana’s Plantation Country as we travel along the Mississippi River Road. Although other states have their own River Roads, perhaps none is more evocative or famous than this one. Louisiana’s fabled “Great Mississippi River Road” stretches approximately 70 miles from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and is home to the most famous and monumental plantation mansions –      most built by wealthy sugar planters in the Greek Revival style. This time of year generally brings an explosion of spring blooms and fragrances. At the Oak Alley Plantation we’ll marvel at the canopy of 300-year-old live oak trees. Known as the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road,” you’ll learn about the lives of the plantation owners on a guided tour conducted by a docent dressed in period costume. We’ll then visit the Houmas House Plantation, known as the Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road. Experience the southern splendor of this grand antebellum estate on a docent-guided tour of the 16 rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork. Enjoy the breeze off the Mississippi River and navigate through the shadows of ancient oaks as you explore the 38 acres of lush gardens featuring azaleas that are likely in bloom this time of year. This evening we arrive in Louisiana’s capital city of Baton Rouge for an overnight stay. Enjoy an included dinner this evening at a locals’ favorite.  
Day 4
Wednesday, 3/27/2019 - Cajun Country, Plantations
Following an included breakfast this morning, we’ll join a docent for a guided tour of the Louisiana State Capitol Building and learn about the state’s most influential political figure, Governor Huey Long. Later we’ll arrive at Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest remaining antebellum mansion. This “American Castle,” recently underwent a dramatic multi-million dollar renovation to restore her to her days of glory. We’ll enjoy a docent-guided tour and an included lunch here. This afternoon,  we journey to lovely Natchez, Mississippi, the first settlement on America’s great river. Founded by the French in 1716, Natchez was home to a flowering of antebellum culture and to this day it personifies the grace and elegance of the South with its preserved antebellum mansions. We’ll enjoy a three-night stay at a hotel conveniently located in downtown Natchez adjacent to the Mississippi River and within walking distance of several restaurants. 
Day 5
Thursday, 3/28/2019 - Vicksburg
Following an included breakfast this morning we’ll follow the Natchez Trace Parkway through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history to Vicksburg. This National Parkway operated by the National Park Service was used by American Indians, “Kaintucks,” settlers, future presidents and played an important role in American history. General Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, James Audubon and Meriwether Lewis (who died on the Trace in 1809) are among the famous Americans who have traveled the route you will travel today. Upon our arrival in Vicksburg we’ll visit the historic Old Court House and Museum. The Old Court House, built in 1858, stands today as Vicksburg’s most historic structure. Within the museum you’ll find Confederate flags (including one that was never surrendered), the tie worn by Jefferson Davis at his inauguration as Confederate President, fine portraits, china and silver, exquisite antique furniture, and an original Teddy Bear given to a local child by Theodore Roosevelt. Following an included lunch at a locals’ favorite in Vicksburg, a licensed National Park guide will join us as we tour the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg National Military Park. The Military Park commemorates the campaign that took place here 150 years ago and its significance as a critical turning point of the Civil War. We return to Natchez with the balance of the evening at your leisure. 
Day 6
Friday, 3/29/2019 - Natchez Spring Pilgrimage
Following an included breakfast this morning, we take part in an annual Southern tradition, the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage – a celebration of spring at the time of year when the azaleas and other blooms are most likely. During the Pilgrimage approximately 30 antebellum mansions – most of them private residences – open their doors to visitors. Within the mansions, costumed guides relay stories that are as real as the bricks and mortar in their hearths. Each house is unique with 18th and 19th century furnishings, porcelain, silver, clothing, tools, documents and diaries. We’ll tour two of these Antebellum homes and take a guided carriage tour through historic Natchez. Enjoy a memorable farewell dinner this evening in a lovely privately-owned antebellum plantation home.
Day 7
Saturday, 3/30/2019 - Final Farewell
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel south towards New Orleans with a stop in Bayou Country to go deep into the mysterious bayous and swamps haunted by alligators and lined with moss-draped trees on a guided “authentic” swamp boat tour. Your knowledgeable guide will point out the alligators, birds and other wildlife in this remote area. We return to the New Orleans Airport in the late afternoon for our scheduled nonstop return flight to Los Angeles. Those passengers not taking advantage of the optional group air, should plan to depart the New Orleans Airport no earlier than 6:00 p.m. Those with pre-arranged transfers will be returned to their respective drop-offs. Memorable experiences of spectacular southern hospitality, spring blooms and spectacular sights not soon forgotten. 

Tour Inclusions:

  • 6 Nights deluxe hotel accommodations
  • 12 Meals: 3 dinners, 3 lunches, 6 breakfasts
  • Services of a professional Good Times Travel tour director
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with local guides 
  • Admissions per itinerary
  • Transportation aboard a deluxe touring motorcoach
  • Roundtrip airport-hotel transfers (with purchase of group air)
  • Luggage handling throughout the tour

Additional Information:
  • Join this tour from home or one of the following departure points: CON, FV, LHS, SBL, or meet the group at LAX
  • A deposit of $250 p.p.+ airfare (if purchasing the group airfare) is required to reserve space
  • Balance payment due 60-90 days prior to departure
  • Roundtrip group airfare available from $495 p.p.
  • Optional LAX transfers available from $69 roundtrip (home pickup available call for a quote)
  • Travel protection/cancellation insurance is available and highly recommended
  • Tour Pace: On-the-Go (visit our common questions page for details on activity levels)
  • Activity Level: High (visit our common questions page for details on activity levels)
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