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River Road Plantation Tour
Historic Louisiana Homes on the Mississippi River
Visit 12 historic plantations along the River Road, connecting the New Orleans area to Baton Rouge and up to the plantation mecca that is St. Francisville. Look forward to some home tours, demonstrations, haunted houses, and Antebellum charm in Louisiana’s Plantation Country.
Set just west of the New Orleans metro, the Destrehan Plantation is located in Destrehan on the northern bank of the Mississippi River – just off Interstate 310.
An indigo and sugarcane plantation, the home was built in 1787, and today found on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Destrehan Plantation is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and features demonstrations like blacksmithing and open hearth cooking, plus tours of the kitchen, washroom, and garden.
The Destrehan Plantation was seen in the films “Interview with the Vampire” and “12 Years a Slave.”
San Francisco Plantation
From Destrehan, follow River Road north along the Mississippi River and hop on Louisiana Highway 44 North in La Place to reach the San Francisco Plantation in Garyville (about 20 miles).
A U.S. National Historic Landmark also found on the NRHP, the home was constructed in 1849 and covers eight acres. The “only Grand Mansion on the River Road to be authentically restored,” the SF Plantation offers 45-minute daily tours of the 14-room house known as the “Most Opulent Plantation in the South.”
Hop the Mighty Mississippi to the south bank across the Veterans Memorial Bridge to see the Evergreen Plantation in Wallace. Built in 1832 but dating back to 1790, the Evergreen Plantation is also a National Historic Landmark found on the NRHP (a total of 37 structures), and the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.
Tours are offered by appointment Monday through Saturday. Visitors may recognize the home from Quentin Tarantino's 2012 “Django Unchained.”
Shoot down the south shore of the Mississippi River for seven miles to Vacherie and the Laura Plantation. A U.S. Historic district listed on the NRHP, the home is a classic Louisiana Creole plantation built in 1820.
Spanning 37 acres, the former Duparc Sugar Plantation is also set along the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, and offers daily, 40-minute tours.
Oak Alley Plantation
Stick around Vacherie, but take a quick drive down Louisiana Highway 18 for four miles to the famous and iconic Oak Alley Plantation. Visitors may recognize the 25-acre estate by its canopied path of southern oak trees leading to the entrance from the Mississippi River.
Built in 1837, this U.S. National Historic Landmark – of course found on the NRHP – is a Greek Revival home offers daily tours of the mansion and grounds.
This being one of the most famous plantations in the south, Oak Alley also offers exhibits on slavery, the Civil War, the sugarcane industry, and more. Grab lunch at the Plantation Café, and ask around for the many ghost stories associated with the Big House.
Houmas House Plantation & Gardens
Hop back on Louisiana Highway 18, follow the Mississippi River’s southern bank for a few bends until you reach the Sunshine Bridge, at which point you’ll cross and get on LA-44 for a few miles until you reach Houmas House Plantation & Gardens in Darrow.
Spanning 10 acres, the Houmas was completed in 1840, and today also found on the NRHP. The Houmas is also known for the Latil’s Landing Restaurant – known for great Creole cuisine – and Café Burnside at the house itself.
Nottoway Plantation House
Head back out to the Sunshine Bridge and drive through Donaldsonville, where you’ll connect with Louisiana Highway 1 and travel just over 12 miles until you reach White Castle and the Nottoway Plantation.
The Greek Revival and Italianate-style home was completed in 1859 (and found on the NRHP), and at 53,000 square feet, is said to be the largest existing antebellum plantation.
Guided Mansion Tours are offered daily – where you’ll want to pay social attention to the White Ballroom, and the North Front of Nottoway. You can also grab some classic Louisiana fare at Le Café.
From the Nottoway Plantation, head north along the Mississippi River (through Plaquemine and the Baton Rouge metro area). It’s about 55 miles to St. Francisville along LA-1 and US Route 61.
Set just north of the Mississippi northern bank, St. Francisville is known as an epicenter for those hoping to see historic and stunning plantation homes. Six plantations surround the town, including Myrtles Plantation – said to be "America's Most Haunted Homes."
The remaining estates include the Catalpa Plantation, the Cottage Plantation, the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, the Greenwood Plantation, and Oakley House – known as the Audubon State Historic Site.
Side Trip! NOLA Plantations
Several plantations are found in and around New Orleans – the starting or end point of our tour. If you’re hoping to stay in Crescent City, check out the Southern Oaks Plantation in New Orleans proper.