Ever since the release of the book Where the Crawdads Sing in 2018, there has been a fascination around the mysterious American marshlands Kya Clark grew up in.

The release of the movie counterpart in 2022 has inspired us to transport you within the pages of the novel by immersing you in the filming locations of Where the Crawdads Sing on this New Orleans itinerary and the surrounding wetlands. You’ll base yourself in the feel-good city of New Orleans, a dizzying concoction of cultures that are knitted together by its happy-go-lucky locals. This a city that’s playful in nearly all instances but when it comes to food, they take it very seriously. You’ll find out exactly how much with an expert-led cooking class, where you’ll make Deep South staples like grits and crawfish boil – a favourite with the cast during filming.

You’ll take a deeper dive into New Orleans with a guided tour of the city, absorbing its historic French Quarter and landmarks like St. Louis Cathedral (the USA’s oldest continuously used cathedral), Jackson Square and its time-frozen colonial mansions. After you’ve been bewitched by the Crescent City, head for the wilderness and the marshlands surrounding New Orleans. In the book, Kya’s mother left behind several oil paintings and you’ll have your own brush with watercolours in the wetlands, as you splash them across a canvas with a painting class led by a local artist. With so much water around, a kayak is the best way to navigate Louisiana’s marshlands and, with camera in hand, you’ll paddle on a one-on-one nature photography course to capture its mystical landscapes and wildlife close-up.

While Where the Crawdads Sing is set in the 1950s and ‘60s, we’ll whisk you to the 1800s with guided visits to a pair of New Orleans’ historic plantations. Built in the early nineteenth century, the city’s many plantation houses not only offer an elegant portal into Louisiana’s sugar boom but also the Deep South’s shady slavery history. Then, it’s back to the marshes, this time with your own naturalist so you can explore the wetlands through expert eyes. You’ll also enjoy a seafood lunch in a stilted village where fishing has been a way of life for centuries. Birds were often Kya’s only friends in the marshes, so it’s only fitting to end this luxury holiday in New Orleans with a guided birdwatching experience, where you’ll spy anhingas, whooping cranes, double-crested cormorants and more.


Experience highlights

  • Team up with a local chef and make beloved staple dishes in New Orleans and wider Louisiana, like grits and crawfish boil. Mix your own cocktail and then enjoy all of your creations for dinner.
  • Under the wing of a local artist, capture the wilderness just outside of New Orleans on canvas. Feel inspired as you hear tales of the wild, picking up tips to improve your brush skills as you paint.
  • Explore the marshlands by kayak with an expert photographer, learning how to capture the wetlands on camera. Paddle away from the well-forged wake to snap untouched natural views and the wildlife that lives within this enigmatic wilderness.
  • Explore New Orleans with your own private guide, strolling its quaint French Quarter. Spy its cemeteries, centenary homes and landmarks like Jackson Square and the Cabildo, while pausing for a drink in one of the bars strung along Frenchmen Street.
  • Visit two historic plantations with a private guide, soaking up life in these elegant establishments as it was two hundred years ago. Learn about both their importance to the economy and shadowy past with the slave trade.
  • Explore the very wetlands that were used as a Where the Crawdads Sing location with a naturalist. They’ll unravel its pristine nature and wildlife, while also visiting centuries-old fishing villages where some of America’s finest seafood is caught. Enjoy lunch in one of their stilted homes as you meet the local fishermen.
  • The wetlands around New Orleans are one of North America’s richest places for birdlife. Accompanied by a leading ornithologist, spy snowy egrets, herons, storks and pelicans and learn about their habitats and impact on the local ecosystem.
Plan your trip to USA's deep south

Where you’ll stay

Maison de la Luz, New Orleans

The playful attitude of New Orleans is perfectly reflected in the punchy style Maison de la Luz employs. Its exterior is inspired by Beaux Arts architecture, while the inside feels as if it’s been lifted from a Wes Anderson film with its monochrome tiled floors, art deco flourishes, plush furnishings and novelties scattered throughout the hotel that could only have been collected by the most avid of travellers. The scarlet-hued Bar Marilou is an elegant setting for expertly mixed cocktails, while one of its bookcases is actually a hidden entrance to a secret speakeasy that feels thrillingly exclusive. Away from the hotel, Lafayette Square and several art galleries are only steps away, while New Orleans’ French Quarter is a five-block walk.

Experience highlights

Stay in the Beaux Arts-inspired boutique hotel Maison de la Luz in New Orleans
Be bowled over by its bold art deco interior, with its velvet furnishings, period lighting and grand staircase
The hotel boasts a worldly collection of artwork, artefacts and novelty curios that add character to every inch of the boutique
Maison de la Luz even has its own speakeasy, accessed via a secret bookcase
Learn how to cook Deep South favourites on a chef-led culinary class
Mix your own tipple on a cocktail-making class before enjoying your creation
Learn how to sketch New Orleans' idyllic landscapes with a local artist
Paddle the marshlands on a private photography experience
Learn how to snap its wildlife like the American alligator and the alligator snapping turtle
Explore New Orleans' French Quarter with a private guide
See the city's landmarks, including St. Louis Cathedral
Spy the faded glamour and wrought-iron balconies of New Orleans' centenary homes
Head to a bar on Frenchmen Street for a drink and some live music
Visit two of New Orleans' nineteenth-century sugar plantations with a guide, like Oak Alley
Tour the estate before enjoying a lunch that brings to life the plantation's flavours of old
Explore the swamps around Houma with a biologist, the same wetlands used for filming Where the Crawdads Sing
Visit a stilted fishing village, having one of the freshest seafood lunches you'll ever eat
Go birdwatching with an expert
Keep an eager eye out for bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, great blue herons and more

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