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“Waste of time”

Destrehan Plantation
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Destrehan
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Owner description: Built in 1787, this is the oldest plantation house in the Lower Mississippi Valley.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

After visiting Laura plantation and enjoying it so much, this place was such a let down. Maybe Laura was just so great and we had our expectations high, but this place was really bad in comparison.

The tour started with a blacksmith demonstration on how they make nails. It wasn't really why we went there but sure we sat down and watched the demonstration. One issue with this was there was no safety precautions taken as the blacksmith hammered on the anvil, I turned away when he was hitting the hot iron, because I could just see a piece of hot metal flying into my eye. A small piece actually did hit my wife's arm. While it wasn't a major injury by any means, it could have been prevented in my mind. So his demo ended but the guy kept going on and on. I thing he knew a lot about blacksmith in that era, but he had a monotone voice that just made it boring.

So poor start, but let's get into the plantation. Well, it didn't get any better. The tour guide wasn't very good. He didn't seam passionate about what he was doing and was just terrible. We started in a poorly lit room, because there was some historic documents, which I understand light could damage them. However, he just did a terrible job at explaining what those documents were and I have no idea why it was important. The tour didn't get any better. We watched a video, which at Laura everything was explained. We went through, he explained some things, but I didn't get many crucial pieces of the workings of the plantation. Questions were asked, and I think the tour guide made things up, and when pushed, made up different stories until he finally admitted he didn't know. One wasn't a hard question. Someone just wanted to know were the artifacts original and how were they saved when a company used the property as offices and through when it was vandalized before restoration. With a better tour guide, I may have given a better rating.

As far as the grounds, it wasn't guided and explore on your own. The other plantation we went to, Laura, had a guided tour of the grounds as well. Since we were the second to last tour, we were told we can look, but as soon as that tour ended, the grounds were closed and pushed out the gates. I felt the grounds should have remained open past the tour at least a half hour to explore.

Also, the gift shop was closed when we were leaving, which I think they are losing money by not keeping it open until the end. I really don't think this place cares.

So one tip is if you really want to see this place, don't go on the 3:30 or 4:00 tour. You will only get to see part of the plantation. Also, hope there is a better tour guide then the one we had and I would recommend going to Laura and trying your luck at other places before you go here.

2  Thank jandthud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 29, 2013

On a cold December day, my wife and I toured Destrehan Plantation. The main house was quite large, as you would expect, and our tour guide was dressed in period costume. She was quite friendly and knowledgeable and encouraged interaction with the group she was leading. We went into a locked room with dim lighting that contained a significant document signed by Thomas Jefferson but, for obvious reasons, were unable to take photographs there. There were several buildings in addition to the plantation home, but we didn't spend much time going through these, although I'm sure it would have been interesting. The gift shop had lots of neat souvenirs for sale and decent bathrooms.

3  Thank psychprofessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We have been to the other plantations in the area so Destrehan Plantation was the last one of the list.
The tour is informative and interesting and the tour guide was entertaining and knew the history and background of the plantation and area. The plantation seems to have been brought back to what it was like in its heyday as any of the ones around the area.
The grounds behind the plantation have a lot of different areas to explore and if you get there at the right time people to demonstrate what a plantation was like in it prime. However, we happened to get there right after an elementary school had just been over the grounds and it seems that the staff were off doing something else after their tour.

Thank hawkedd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

This plantation is the first you come to driving from NOLA . Get off the highway and turn left, it's right there. We did not tour as a school group was there but the gift shop is very nice and has ladies dressed in period attire that talk about things. Well worth a stop.

Thank PamCooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

As a resident of the Greater New Orleans Area, I have driven past this plantation often and have always wondered about it. I knew it was beautiful from the outside but have always been interested to see the inside and learn about it. So we decided to be tourists in our own state and check it out and are glad we did.

Our tour guide, Judy, did a good job explaining the history of the house and the property. I had no idea that an oil company owned it at one point and, sadly, that for a while it was in disrepair and that vandals took everything out of it except a huge tub that is on the second floor today. That part of it's history was truly dissappointing, but the house has been restored and has items and furniture in it to help you imagine what it would have been like when it was in its true splendor. One of my favorite parts was standing on the upstairs gallery and looking out over the grounds; I wish we would have had a little more time to do that and take pictures from that standpoint.

At one point on the tour, we watched an 8 minute video that I would have preferred not to have had to watch. Judy had previously given us most of the information in it, and I am quite confident she could have given us the rest. It was much more personable having her give us the information.

After the tour, we had an interesting demonstration from a blacksmith that we enjoyed as well. We walked around the grounds some after that. The grounds are well kept and there are apparently other demonstrations as well, but none were taking place other than the blacksmith.

This tour was a nice informative tour, and I am glad I finally got to see more than just the view from my car while driving by.

Thank Elizabeth504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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