Créole. Greek Revival. Neoclassical. Steamboat Gothic.
These four plantations, part of the Plantation Parade, and their architecture reflect the personalities of the wealthy sugar planters who lived along Louisiana’s Great River Road, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, more than 150 years ago, dividing their time between the expansive, lucrative farms and opulent townhouses in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The stories of the people who lived and worked here, both free and enslaved, still echo beneath painted ceilings and towering oaks, in the grand houses and in the humble slave cabins. These plantations are only an hour drive from New Orleans along the Mississippi river up into Plantation Country.
From its beginnings as a mere land claim on a map, Oak Alley has been many things in it’s over 200 year history. Those who walked the grounds were French Creole, African, Portuguese,German, Irish, Italian and American. They were sugar planters, slaves, agricultural tycoons, real estate speculators and immigrant laborers.
Today, Oak Alley is a historic site, dedicated to preserving and interpreting its history. With an emphasis on its time as a sugar plantation, visitors walk under its iconic oak alley, experience the exhibits, interact with staff, and leave with a richer, more powerful understanding of what a plantation is. Completely immerse yourself in the culture and dine on Cajun and Creole cuisine and stay the night in cottages adjacent to the historic grounds.
A short drive from New Orleans is Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. This historic estate boasts 38 acres of the South’s most beautiful gardens, three restaurants, a luxurious inn and a historic mansion open daily for tours. The guided mansion tour leads guests through the architectural evolution of the mansion and details how a succession of owners and the Mississippi River grew this manor house into today’s grand estate. Period antiques, artwork and artifacts assist the costumed guides tell the story of plantation life. Once sprawling over 300,000 acres, Houmas House has survived wars, floods, abandonment and the test of time. Spend the day or night and experience the Antebellum South.
Step beyond the myths of the American South to experience true-life, first-hand compelling accounts of four generations of Créole women, children and slaves. Daily, fully guided tours in English and French transport you into the complex, vanishing world of Créole Louisiana at Laura Plantation, a 200-plus-year-old sugar habitation located only 50 minutes from New Orleans in the heart of Plantation Country. A new, permanent exhibit honors the men, women and children who were enslaved here, including detailed biographies of former slaves who fought for their freedom in the Union Army during the Civil War.
San Francisco Plantation House, the most opulent plantation house in North America, is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, less than 40 minutes from New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a galleried house of the Creole open suite style, nestled under centuries old Live Oaks and contains one of the finest antique collections in the country. This Louisiana Plantation is a National Historic Landmark and is open daily for plantation tours.
Whether you are planning on spending one day or multiple days exploring these plantations, itinerary suggestions have been created to make organizing your trip to our region effortless. Learn more about the plantation itineraries. You can also book your Plantation Parade trip directly online.