Plantations in Louisiana
Nothing slows the passage of time like spending an hour or so in an antebellum home. Stroll the grounds of a grand pre-Civil War mansion, sink into a rocking chair on the veranda and gaze through the tranquility of the surrounding oaks - soon you will feel you have been transported into another time.
The plantation era was, indeed, a period far removed from contemporary life. But the romantic aspects of the era continue to fascinate. With many of its antebellum homes still intact or returned to a nearly original state, Louisiana offers abundant opportunities to step back in time. Dozens of grand homes lie along the Great River Road corridor.
The style and story of each plantation is a varied as the lush flora that surrounds them. From the drama of Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, which was featured in several films including Interview with a Vampire, to the mysterious Mrytles Plantation in St. Francisville, dubbed one of America’s most haunted homes.
Whitney Plantation Historic District, Louisiana
After seven years of restoration and construction, the Whitney Plantation Historic District, one of the South's most complete plantations, has now opened. The living museum is located on River Road in St. John the Baptist Parish, 35 miles northwest of New Orleans. The 1790 Creole-style plantation house holds wall murals that date from 1836 to 1839. You'll also be able to enter the church, the blacksmith shop, the carriage house and the slaves' quarters, among other buildings. A museum and welcome centre will introduce you to the history of the plantation, which is part of the state's African American Heritage Trail. The Field of Angels honours the 2,200 slave children who died before their second birthday. Click here for more information.
Destrehan Plantation, Destrehan, Louisiana
Watch costumed interpreters lead tours of the main house and demonstrate trades and crafts in the oldest documented plantation home in the Lower Mississippi River Valley.
New Orleans Plantation Country
Along the winding, picturesque Great River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is New Orleans Plantation Country, featuring nine historic plantations waiting for you to discover them. Maybe you'll visit Oak Alley Plantation (pictured above) with it's alley of 300-year-old oak trees or take a tour at Houmas House Plantation & Gardens including their lavish gift shop. Visit neworleansplantationcountry.com or view the Visitor Guide.