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This tour takes you along both sides of the Mississippi River, between Plaquemine and Donaldsonville, but to do the trip as a “loop” requires crossing the Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville. This is a tall, long bridge with intermittent grates, and it’s not for the feint of heart. So you may want to do an out-and-back trip from Plaquemine, using the ferry crossing there.

Prior to the Civil War, the River Road was home to the wealthiest planters in the South, and beautiful plantations still grace both sides of the river in this area. Some are occupied and not open to the public, but they worth seeing from the outside. Consider stopping for a tour at the spectacular Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, on the west side of the river, and at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, on the east side. You’ll find excellent dining and browsing at both places. Other grand homes along the way include Ashland-Belle Helene, L’Hermitage, Bocage, Mulberry Grove and Tally Ho plantations.