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Lake Pontchartrain Tours

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Lake Pontchartrain
At 630 square miles (1,632 square kilometers), Lake Pontchartrain is one of the largest bodies of water in the US. It’s beloved by locals as a place to fish, sail, and swim, and its shores and waters shelter a huge variety of wildlife and marine life, including blue crabs, Atlantic stingrays, pelicans, ospreys, and even bull sharks.
 
The Basics
Technically, Lake Pontchartrain is not actually a lake at all. It’s an estuary that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Whatever its official designation, it makes a fun day trip from the city of New Orleans, whether for a fishing excursion or pleasure cruise, as part of an airboat swamp tour, or simply for a shoreline picnic.
 
There are a number of lakeside beaches open to the public, including Fontainebleau State Park on the North Shore. The North Shore is accessible by a 24-mile (39-kilometer) causeway (one of the longest bridges in the world), which connects the shoreline communities with downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • For a great photo opportunity, drive across the causeway at sunset when the lake reflects the colors in the sky to impressive effect.
  • There’s a pleasant running/walking path that follows the route of Lakeshore Drive past the University of New Orleans.
  • If you drive across the causeway, plan to stop off for a bite to eat at one of the pretty lakeside restaurants in the town of Madisonville along the North Shore.
 
How to Get There
The lake sits to the north of New Orleans city. Most people access the lake via I-610, using the West End exit. From there a scenic road—Lakeshore Drive—hugs the shore through the Metairie district and is ideal for a sightseeing drive. To reach the North Shore, take the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
 
When to Get There
Lake Pontchartrain is publicly accessible at all times. The shoreline beaches are busier on weekends when local families come to enjoy picnics.
 
Exploring the Bayou
Many New Orleans visitors first glimpse the lake on the way to explore the region’s swamps and bayous. From airboat swamp tours to kayaking and more, bayous are an essential part of Louisiana life, and each one is home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem. On a bayou visit, you might see alligators, many types of birds, nutria (large rodents a similar to groundhogs), and the famous stands of cypress trees covered with low-hanging Spanish moss.
Address: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
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19 Tours and Activities to Experience Lake Pontchartrain

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
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Private New Orleans 2-Hour Sail Aboard a Luxury Yacht

Private New Orleans 2-Hour Sail Aboard a Luxury Yacht

star-5
Hop aboard a luxurious six-passenger sailboat and ride into the sunset on the protected waters of New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain. You’ll find comfortable seating, with blankets for cooler weather, along with included craft beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. Enjoy the spacious lounge below, or find your front-row seat for the sunset on deck.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.00
Price varies by group size
From
$179.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Swamp Boat Ride and Southern Plantation Tour from New Orleans

Swamp Boat Ride and Southern Plantation Tour from New Orleans

star-4.5
Experience the civilized and the wild on a plantation tour and educational swamp boat ride from New Orleans. On this half-day journey, visit Destrehan Plantation to experience the early 19th Century South including a Slave Revolt Museum. Next, head into the marshy swampland for a boat ride and some wildlife spotting. Enjoy guided commentary as you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes and native birds.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$92.00
From
$92.00
Taking safety measures

Honey Island Swamp Tour with Pickup from New Orleans

Honey Island Swamp Tour with Pickup from New Orleans

star-4.5
Trade in the urban bustle for the bayou on a half-day trip from New Orleans to the wilds of the Honey Island Swamp. Relax on the ride from your downtown or French Quarter hotel, and then cruise beneath hanging moss and cypress trees while a wetland ecologist shares tall tales and fun facts about this protected nature reserve on the shores of Lake Ponchartrain. Learn about Louisiana’s long-standing fishing industry, and keep an eye out for native critters like otters, turtles, egrets, and alligators lurking beneath the surface.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.27
From
$52.27

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

star-4.5
Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ antebellum south on a half‐day tour of Oak Alley Plantation. Take a journey through time to the manicured estate and into the gorgeous home, built in 1839. View stunning architecture, oak‐lined esplanades, and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantation’s fascinating – and often somber – histories from expert guides.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

Whitney Plantation Tour

Whitney Plantation Tour

star-4.5
Travel back in time to the era of the antebellum South on a guided afternoon tour from New Orleans to the Whitney Plantation, a former indigo and sugar plantation on the River Road now dedicated to promoting an understanding of slavery in Louisiana. Learn about the realities of plantation life through museum exhibits and recorded narratives as you tour the 18th-century Spanish Creole main house and historical slave cabins with a guide.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans City and Cemetery Tour by Bus

New Orleans City and Cemetery Tour by Bus

star-4.5
Step aboard an air-conditioned bus to escape the heat for a comfortable, comprehensive tour of New Orleans. This whirlwind tour hits all the most important sights—the French Quarter, the Garden District, Treme, the 9th Ward, and others—in a single day. You'll have the benefit of in-depth commentary as you travel and the chance to ask questions.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans

Small-Group Tour of Laura and St. Joseph Plantations from New Orleans

star-4.5
Experience the grandeur of New Orleans’ rich and conflicted past on a small‐group plantation tour. Take a journey through Laura Plantation and St. Joseph Plantation, spying other historic plantations as you travel the Great River Road. View stunning architecture and enduring sugar cane fields while learning about the plantations’ fascinating—and somber—histories from expert guides.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.00
From
$128.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Small-Group Historical Sightseeing Tour

New Orleans Small-Group Historical Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
Discover New Orleans’ vibrant history through its dynamic history on this sightseeing tour. Enjoy a small group van ride through the city, viewing the diverse architectural wonders of the French Quarter, the Garden District, Esplanade Avenue, and Bayou St John. You’ll disembark for small-group walking tours of the St. Louis Cemetery No 3, City Park, and the Longue Vue House and Gardens—a masterpiece of architectural and horticultural history.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$96.00
From
$96.00
Taking safety measures

Private Citywide Driving Tour of New Orleans

Private Citywide Driving Tour of New Orleans

star-5
Customized tours of New Orleans are our specialty. For a local, insider's glimpse of the city, authentic, unscripted...you have come to the right place. We will show you New Orleans through the eyes of a native. Though each excursion is tailored to your interests, notable stops will include the French Quarter and Jackson Square, historical neighborhoods such as the Faubourg Marigny & Treme, as well as the magnificent homes in the Garden District. Ride along St. Charles Avenue and the streetcar line, pass the ancient live oaks in Audubon Park, as well as a view of Tulane and Loyola Universities. Learn about our unique cemeteries and the history of our "Cities of the Dead", journey through the New Orleans City Park, one of the oldest urban parks in the nation, and along Bayou St. John, which flows through the heart of the city. History, architecture, voodoo, tales of piracy, whatever your taste, we can create the perfect tour for you!
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$320.00
per group
From
$320.00
per group
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Area Custom Private Tour

SPECIAL OFFER

New Orleans Area Custom Private Tour

star-5
This is a private driving tour for your group only. During our private driving tour in this beautiful city we spend a minimum of 3 hours discussing how this area was built and how we currently handle things over 300 years later. We cover the rich history, many recent developments, the Mississippi river. Lake Ponchartrain, Katrina flooding, Creole and Cajun cultures, the Garden District (Mansions/Estates/Architecture), the iconic cemeteries, various neighborhoods, battle of New Orleans, civil war, our Port, and so much more. You will be in a comfortable and very clean SUV during your tour. I retired from executive sales and became a licensed tour guide in the New Orleans area in 2012, and have lived in the area all of my life. I have made it my mission to provide you with a customized private tour for just your group, that is passionate, and interesting, with a spirit of excellence. I have over 60 five star reviews on many travel websites. We promise you will laugh and learn!
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$288.00
per group
$360.00
$72.00 savings
From
$288.00
per group
$360.00
$72.00 savings
Taking safety measures

Honey Island Swamp Private Tour with Transport from New Orleans

Honey Island Swamp Private Tour with Transport from New Orleans

star-5
Let a wetland ecologist guide you through the Honey Island Swamp during this private tour from New Orleans. Listen to engaging commentary about the city as you make your way to the West Pearl River. Then, climb aboard a shaded flat-bottom boat, equipped for up to 14 passengers, to get a close look at one of the country's wildest swamps. This private tour offers flexibility and personalized attention from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$960.00
per group
From
$960.00
per group

Private Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery, and St Joseph Plantation Tour

Private Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery, and St Joseph Plantation Tour

star-5
This is a small narrated private tour by van, for groups of up to 5 travelers. At Whitney Plantation's Louisiana Museum of Slavery, see the harsh realities and raw historical facts of a dark side of American history. The slave narratives and artwork recreate the world of a pre-Civil War southern sugar plantation and memorial in honor of the lives of the enslaved people who toiled there. A short ride through sugar cane fields leads to St. Joseph Plantation, a Creole style family-owned working sugar cane plantation. Family members give a relaxed, intimate tour of their ancestral home and dependencies (including original slave cabins).
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$640.00
per group
From
$640.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Two Plantation Tour. Whitney & Oak Alley

Two Plantation Tour. Whitney & Oak Alley

On the 2 plantation tour you get to experience both strengths of each plantation and what they have to offer as a narrative. Oak Alley you get to experience the grandeur of antebellum life in the 1800s on the magnificent property line with its beautiful 28 Oak trees. And Whitney Plantation offers the total slave narrative including the institution of slavery, the children’s story. You get to walk through the Antioch church a church that was built by the first generation of freed slaves after the Civil War. No depiction of slavery in the south would be complete without visiting these plantations.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$123.08
From
$123.08
Taking safety measures

Combination Private Citywide Driving Tour featuring Destrehan Plantation

Combination Private Citywide Driving Tour featuring Destrehan Plantation

Your private tour guide will take you on an overview excursion of the city, with an estimated duration of 3 hours. Make the most of your time in New Orleans and combine our Private Citywide Driving Tour with Destrehan Plantation.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$480.00
per group
From
$480.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Oak Alley Private Tour With Lunch

Oak Alley Private Tour With Lunch

This is a private tour with up to 12 passengers. You will have the chance to spend an afternoon exploring some of the most visited plantations in America, and be enlightened by a host of other attractions along the way. including a brief history lesson on Louisiana Swamp water ways and Bayous.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$745.60
per group
From
$745.60
per group
Taking safety measures

Whitney Plantation Private Tour With Round-Trip Transportation

Whitney Plantation Private Tour With Round-Trip Transportation

This is a half day tour of the old river road plantation homes. You will have a chance to see where they film movies like Django Unchained , Queen Sugar, 12 Years of Slave,Forest Gump with Tom Hanks, interview with a vampire with Brad Pitt. Also your Driver/Guide will enlighten you on a host of other attractions.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$745.60
per group
From
$745.60
per group
Taking safety measures

Destrehan Plantation & Swamp Tour Combo with Transportation

Destrehan Plantation & Swamp Tour Combo with Transportation

This is a Plantation & swamp tour experience. The Destrehan Plantation. Established in 1787 and listed on the national registry of historic places remains the oldest documented plantation home in the lower Mississippi Valley. You will find Yourself immersed in the rich history of Louisiana when French was the language and the white gold of sugar was the economy. Family stories of those free and enslaved people set against the fabric of history will intrigue every visitor to this site. you will have a 30 to 45 min guided tour of the mansion and about another 45min of self guided tour to experience exhibits and pictures. And for the finale we will head to the swamp tour. Travelers will get the Cajun experience as you travel at high speeds to your tour site by airboat. Where then our Licensed Tour Guide will amaze you with the wealth of knowledge of Cajun life and the Louisiana swamp. Gators and all the wildlife the Louisiana have to offer
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$141.67
From
$141.67
Taking safety measures

Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

Whitney Plantation, Museum of Slavery and St. Joseph Plantation Tour

star-5
Delve into the history of slavery and the plantations of Louisiana on this small-group tour from New Orleans. Drive past Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River to the Whitney Plantation’s Louisiana Museum of Slavery. Learn about the lives of the enslaved people who worked there and on plantations throughout the South during a tour of the museum and restored buildings. Next, head to the Creole-style St Joseph Plantation for a tour of the working sugar plantation where the movie ’12 Years A Slave’ was filmed.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.00
From
$128.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans 4 in 1 City Experience: Social Distancing Series

New Orleans 4 in 1 City Experience: Social Distancing Series

The first of our "Social Distancing Series", our 4 in 1 City Experience - is a fun and interactive private small group tour - maximum of 15 guests - with stops along the way. In order to maintain proper social distancing, this tour will take place on a 30 passenger mini bus and will be filled to 50% capacity to ensure the safety of our passengers, drivers and staff. What does 4 in 1 mean - this means you get 4 of our regular tours bundled into one private experience. A city tour, a cemetery tour, a garden district tour and french quarter walking tour all in one with a special stop at the end for beignets (price not included) We will "pick you up"...whether you are staying at a local hotel or vacation rental, as long as our equipment is within city code to enter your area, we will be there for you. If we are unable to reach your location to pick you up, our customer service representative will suggest a meeting point nearest to your location. Thank you for looking at our new product!
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Lake Pontchartrain?