Explore Louisiana’s Historic River Road Plantations
Louisiana is a very unique and historic place, and we have lots of antebellum homes and sites around the state that have withheld the test of time. If you have never been on the River Road, which runs along the Mississippi Rive between Baton Rouge and New Orleans you really need to visit this trip back in time.
Louisiana Travel has a very nice comprehensive guide to the historic plantations, museums and antebellum homes along the River Road, and they even give you a little bit of history for each place. Alot of these locations have been the site of some very famous television and movies being filmed. They are authentic, and oh so Louisiana. I visit them sometimes because they host different events throughout the year, like local and regional arts and crafts shows. Check out some of the most famous plantations below, and try to go by and visit, or take a tour. We live in a beautiful state, for sure!
- Destrehan Plantation – 13034 River Rd. Destrehan – built in 1787, and one of the oldest documented plantation homes in the country. It was once a 6,000 acre sugar plantation, and today they hold a semi annual arts and crafts show on the grounds, and costumed history demonstrations for tourists daily. On the National Historic Register.
San Francisco Plantation – 2646 Hwy. 44, Great River Rd. Garyville – Built in 1856, this completely restored lush Gothic structure is probably the most uniquely beautiful of all the other homes.This National Historic Landmark inspired author Frances Parkinson Keyes to write the novel ‘Steamboat Gothic’. The opulent architecture alone is reason enough to check this place out.
- Oak Alley Plantation – 3645 Hwy. 18, River Rd. Vacherie – Probably Louisiana’s most famous and photographed antebellum home. Said to be one of the sites used for filming the 1934 movie ‘Gone with the Wind’, and named for the beautiful 300 year old oak trees that line the driveway up to ‘the big house’. Everyone who takes the tour gets a delicious praline at the conclusion, which is a centuries old Louisiana tradition.
- St Joseph Plantation – 3535 Hwy. 18 Vacherie – built in 1830, it’s one of the only fully intact sugar cane plantations on the River Road. Located right next to Oak Alley, St Joseph has been in the same family for over 137 years. From Oct 1- November 3, you can take the ‘Creole Mourning Tour’, which represents customs and rituals of 18th and 19th century Creoles in deep mourning in Louisiana.
- Laura: A Creole Plantation – 2247 Highway 18, Vacherie – a true representation of what slave life was like in 1800’s Louisiana. The famous Br’er Rabbit stories were written on this former sugarcane plantation that singer Fats Domino’s family lived on. You can see actual slave cabins on the property. A very sobering experience.
- Evergreen Plantation – 4677 Hwy. 18, Edgard – Built in 1792, this Greek revival home has one of the most complete collections of authentic slave cabins in the United States. On the National Historic Register, and alongside Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon, has been granted one of the country’s highest historic designations.
- Whitney Plantation – 5099 Hwy. 18, Wallace – opened their doors to the public in 2014 for the first time in it’s 262 year history, this home has been owed by the Haydel family for two centuries. It is the only plantation museum in Louisiana to focus exclusively on the slave experience. On the National Register of Historic Places.