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San Antonio & New Orleans Cuisine & Culture

Experience the cultural splendor, unique attractions, and regional cuisine in two of America’s most colorful cities. Stay in San Antonio for three nights near the famous San Antonio River Walk. Tour the city with a professional guide and float the Paseo del Rio canal on a guided flatboat excursion. Visit the Alamo and learn about its famous siege. On our way to New Orleans we’ll explore Lake Charles, the Tabasco® factory, and more. Stay in New Orleans for three nights and learn cooking tips at the New Orleans School of Cooking, cruise the Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez, enjoy a private carriage ride, a jazz brunch, and tour the National World War II Museum.

Hosted By: Craig James

Former Storm Team Meteorologist


View Biography

Tour Highlights
  • All airfare, taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Holiday Tour Director & local guides
  • Motorcoach & professional driver
  • Baggage handling at hotels
  • $100 travel voucher for a future tour
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Call to Book 1-800-826-2266

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Day 1 : Fly to Texas

Unpack and settle in for a comfortable three-night stay. Our accommodations are at the Drury Plaza San Antonio River Walk. Tonight, become acquainted with your fellow travelers and prepare for our great adventure together.

Day 2 : San Antonio Missions

This morning we depart for two of San Antonio's largest and best-preserved missions, San Jose and San Juan. During our visit we meet some of the area’s indigenous Americans and experience their culture and way of life through music, dance, art, and cuisine. Afterwards we head south to the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard. Known as the Mediterranean of Texas, we will tour the orchard and learn how olive trees grow. They will show us how some of their most well-known products are made complete with tasting samples. We continue the experience at the orchard and enjoy a delicious Holiday Vacations Welcome lunch before returning to San Antonio. Later we board a flatboat for a delightful excursion along the Paseo del Rio canal. Gain a unique perspective of the River Walk while the captain entertains us with fascinating stories of San Antonio’s past.


Day 3 : The Alamo

History comes to life as we view Alamo: The Price of Freedom at the IMAX® Theatre. Be transported back to 1836 as the 13-day siege of the rise and fall of the Alamo is presented on the big screen. Afterwards, we visit the famous landmark and stroll its beautifully landscaped grounds. Lunch today is included at the historic Menger Hotel. The property opened in 1859 and is well known for being the location Theodore Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders. There is free time this afternoon to enjoy all San Antonio has to offer. Look in one of the many shops in La Villita, one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods, or dine in any of the delicious restaurants along the River Walk.


Day 4 : Space Center Houston

Enjoy a delicious included breakfast before departing San Antonio for Lake Charles, Louisiana. En route we stop at Space Center Houston. There are more than 400 things to see and do at the Space Center, including many exhibits, two films, four live shows, several artifact galleries, Independence Plaza, the NASA Tram Tour and more. Later, we check-in to our accommodations for two nights in Lake Charles.


Day 5 : Lake Charles

Our morning begins as a guide joins us to travel the Creole Nature Trail. Journey into one of America's Last Great Wildernesses as we pass by marshland, beaches, and view a variety of wildlife including the American alligator. We make our way to the Cameron Prairie Visitor Center before trekking along the Pintail Wildlife Drive & Boardwalk for close-up views of interesting wildlife habitats. This afternoon we visit the Mardi Gras Museum and learn about one of the celebration's oldest traditions at an interactive King Cake demonstration.

Day 6 : Nottoway Plantation

This morning we enjoy a visit to Avery Island where we learn and see firsthand the only Tabasco production facility in the world. Afterwards, days of yesteryear are revealed during our visit to Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest remaining Antebellum mansion. One of the few to survive the Civil War, this 64-room, three-story, palatial mansion was completed in 1859 and has been fully restored. We enjoy a delicious included lunch at Randolph Hall on the plantation grounds. Our accommodations for the next three nights are in New Orleans.


Day 7 : New Orleans School of Cooking

An expert local guide joins us this morning for a fascinating city tour as we discover the charm of New Orleans. This afternoon head down the mighty Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez river cruise, complete with live narration and music. This evening we discover the basics of Louisiana cuisine at The New Orleans School of Cooking. Located in a renovated warehouse in the French Quarter, we learn from expert Creole and Cajun chefs about the cooking style and folklore famous to the area. Sample a variety of colorful and distinct dishes.


Day 8 : Jazz Brunch & WWII Museum

We depart our hotel for a special Jazz Brunch at the world-renowned Court of Two Sisters. Dine on a wide selection of sumptuous local dishes while listening to the lively sounds of a strolling Jazz trio. Afternoon finds us visiting the National World War II Museum. See the exhibits and artifacts that serve as a tribute to the thousands of Americans who contributed to our country’s cause during the war. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a special Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner.


Day 9 : Fly Home

We fly home with treasured memories of our San Antonio & New Orleans getaway.

Additional Tour Information

Your Holiday Vacations Experience Includes

  • All airfare, taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Holiday Tour Director & local guides
  • Motorcoach & professional driver
  • Baggage handling at hotels
  • $100 travel voucher for a future tour

All Accommodations Featuring

  • 3 nights at the Drury Plaza San Antonio River Walk
  • 3 nights at The Astor Crowne Plaza

Attractions & Highlights

  • San Antonio Missions cultural experience
  • River Walk flatboat excursion
  • IMAX® film Alamo: The Price of Freedom
  • The Alamo
  • Space Center Houston
  • Creole Nature Trail
  • Mardi Gras Museum & King Cake Demonstration
  • Avery Island Tabasco tour
  • Nottoway Plantation guided tour
  • New Orleans city tour
  • Steamboat Natchez river cruise
  • National WWII Museum including the Victory Theater: Beyond All Boundaries

11 Excellent Meals Featuring

  • Welcome Lunch at the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard
  • Plantation-style lunch at Nottoway’s Randolph Hall
  • New Orleans School of Cooking
  • Jazz brunch at Court of Two Sisters

Tour Dates & Pricing

March 21st, 2019 - March 29th, 2019

Category - Occupancy

Price (Per Person)









Final Payment Date: 01/20/2019

Departure Cities

WOOD TV Pickup Locations:

Grand Rapids, MI - Gerald R Ford International Airport

Craig James

Craig James invites you on another great Holiday Vacation. Craig has been retired since July 1, 2008 after 40 years of broadcasting television weather. He was chief meteorologist at WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids for 12 years and chief meteorologist at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids for 24 years. He is a graduate of Penn State University where he received a Centennial Fellowship Award. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

After a very rewarding career in meteorology, retirement has been a time of enjoyable travel. Craig’s first trip with Holiday Vacations was to the Canadian Rockies. It was a great trip where many new friends were made. He has also previously hosted several Holiday Vacations Tours.

Join Craig and WOOD TV viewers on this fabulous getaway.