Laura's Plantation Laura's PlantationWhile we were recently visiting New Orleans, we stopped by for a tour of Laura’s Plantation which is located about 35 miles west of the New Orleans Airport and right on the banks of the Mississippi River. We had already read the book, “Memories of the Old Plantation Home & A Creole Family Album” which was written by Laura Locoul Gore many years ago and published in 2001. Gore who died at the age of 101 in 1963 chronicles her life and her famiie’s history on the Plantation. She sold the Plantation in 1891 and moved to St. Louis with her husband. It is a marvelous read. When we entered the front area of the office we were greeted very warmly by the staff. There were about 8 of us for the tour. We had been told that all of the tour guides were extremely informative, professional and friendly. For our tour, we had Jay Schexnaydre, who is the assistant manager of Laura’s Plantation. Laura's PlantationIn all of our travels from coast to coast we have visited and toured dozens of museums, home tours and all types of tours however Jay was the best tour guide that we have ever encountered. His tour was extremely informative and professional and entertaining. You could tell that he really enjoyed what he was doing. After the tour when we were all walking out, everyone in our tour was commenting on how good he was. Some things can be written about or seen in a movie or on television however this Plantation is something that has to be seen in person. (and with an excellent tour guide like Jay). How he can remember all the names and dates is amazing. He talked about each of the family members and what they did (and didn’t do) and it is a true history lesson. From being inside the large Plantation house itself to the slave quarters one really does get a true sense of how it was to live back in that era. It is about a 75 minute tour and one is spellbound the Laura's PlantationWe always tell our readers to “talk to everyone” and we met a couple on our tour, Kelly and Rich from New Zealand. They were visiting the United States and we just happened to be in the same tour group that they were in. We had a very fine conversation with them and then the next day we ran into them again on the streets in the French Quarter in New Orleans. With the thousands of tourists there, what are the odds of that happening ? It is always nice to meet people from other countries as they visit the United States and especially when they are as fun and interesting as they were. Now we want to travel to New Zealand just so we can visit them! Laura's PlantationLaura’s Plantation hosts 12 buildings that is on the National Register surrounded by fields of sugarcane, vegetable and fruit gardens and formal French parterre. Beginning in 1805 and for the next 5 generations, different family members owned the Plantation. Years later the ‘right’ people purchased the Plantation and completely refurbished it and now it is back to it’s original grandeur for people to visit and learn about it’s history. And what history there is!   Your admission includes a guided tour based on Laura Locoul Gore’s book and a complete guided tour of the Big House, it’s raised basement and galleries, men’s and women’s parlors, service rooms and common rooms as well as a guided tour of the 200 year old sugar plantation homestead. In addition a tour inside a slave cabin and many other places. They are open every day and they give tours from 10 AM to 4 PM. Be sure and take your camera with you. Their website is: or give them a call at 225.265.7690. There are other Plantations in the area to visit but you might as well tour the BEST ONE which is the Laura’s Plantation! Thank You to the entire staff for making this such a great place to visit! On your way back to New Orleans, be sure and stop in the small town of LaPlace, Louisiana and dine at Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse Restaurant. They smoke all their own meat right there. We had their baby back ribs and also beef brisket and they were the tastiest that have ever had. The servers are extremely friendly and you will leave with a big smile on your face and your stomach will be full especially after eating one of their desserts. They are located downtown LaPlace at 769 West 5th Street. Give them a call at 985.652.9990. Check out their website at: and they are open 7 days a week. You can also purchase food there to take home or to ship home or to friends Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone! TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at [email protected] and visit their website at

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