Donaldsonville to New Orleans
The Great River Road is your path out of Donaldsonville toward New Orleans. When you see the Sunshine Bridge looming off to your left, climb the levee for a view of the Mississippi River and the ocean-going vessels that ply its waters. At about the 16 mile point, see the historic St. James Cemetery, and a bit farther on, Oak Alley, one of the most beautiful plantations in the state. You could spend the night here, or continue a few more miles to Laura Plantation for a fascinating look into the world of the early Creoles.
More plantations await as you continue downriver, including Evergreen, one of the finest remaining plantation complexes in Louisiana. In Edgard, visit the 240-year-old St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. The last 20 miles of your trip will be through small towns and past industrial sites, but you should not encounter a lot of fast traffic. You can cross the Mississippi River to New Orleans on a ferry at Gretna or Algiers, and begin to enjoy one of the world's most exciting cities.
Start: Intersection of Railroad Avenue and Mississippi Street. Take Mississippi Street south; you will be on Hwy. 18.
7.2 Sunshine Bridge over Hwy. 70. If you take Hwy. 70 to the right, you will reach the Best Western Motel.
Note: From the Sunshine Bridge to Oak Alley, you can ride the top of the levee most of the way on hard packed limestone. When you ride the levee, you will be treated to the sight of large ships from all over the world.
14.8 Zeringue House Bed & Breakfast.
16.2 Site of the First Acadian settlers. Historic cemetery with the tombs of the Romans, builders of Oak Alley.
22.6 Baytree Plantation Bed and Breakfast.
22.7 Oak Alley Plantation. Right on Oak Alley Sreet to reach house and cottages.
Note: Climb to the top of the levee for the best view of the plantation house and alley of oaks.
Start: Oak Alley Plantation
0.0 Oak Alley Plantation. Continue South on Hwy. 18 (levee road)
3.0 Intersection of Hwy. 20 and River Road in Vacherie. Continue on River Road
3.3 Laura Plantation. This tour is one of the best on the River Road.
3.5 B&C Seafood and Cajun Restaurant. Very good food.
7.3 Veteran's Memorial Bridge.
10.0 Evergreen Plantation.
15.1 Edgard - Reserve Ferry. Closed Saturday & Sunday. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on right. Church was established in 1770. Next to the Church is a very historic cemetery.
20.2 Plantation home
28.0 Home Place Plantation Home. Built in 1790, the home is a French Colonial raised cottage.
Note: Traffic picks up after Wagaman. You may want to try riding the levee if the traffic is heavy.
46.0 Left on Hwy. 541 (Bridge City Avenue)
46.6 Bridge City
46.8 Go left at the Y on River Road following the levee.
51.0 Left on River Road at Stop and T.
52.6 Marrero. Continue to follow the River Road until you reach Hwy. 18.
55.5 Left on Hwy. 18 at T and Stop.
56.8 Gretna. Depot with Tourist information.
Note: There is a ferry in Gretna that takes you to the Garden District in New Orleans. The ferry runs Monday through Friday. The Algiers Ferry runs daily and takes you to the foot of Canal Street. The French Quarter is to your right.