Plan­ta­tions & Mu­se­ums: Near New Or­leans

Where New Orleans - - THE GUIDE -


A 45-minute drive from New Or­leans, Destre­han was built in 1787 by a sugar planter and is the old­est plan­ta­tion home in the lower Mis­sis­sippi Val­ley. Tours are of­fered daily, 9 am-4 pm. $18 adults, $16 AAA/ac­tive mil­i­tary, $15 se­niors, $7 chil­dren 7-17 and free 6 and un­der. Ad­vance group rates avail­able. Closed all ma­jor hol­i­days.­stre­han­plan­ta­ 13034 River Rd., Destre­han, La., 877.453.2095.


This gor­geous Greek Re­vival is a work­ing sugar cane plan­ta­tion and a pri­vate home, with the largest col­lec­tion of ex­tant slave quar­ters and out­build­ings of any plan­ta­tion. Tours are of­fered M-Sa at 9:30 am, 11:30 am and 2 pm. $20 adults, $6 ages 8 and un­der; free for chil­dren un­der 5. www.ev­er­green­plan­ta­ 4677 Hwy. 18, Edgard, La., 985.497.3837.


Houmas House is fa­mous for its im­pos­ing Greek Re­vival ar­chi­tec­ture and lush grounds, and for hav­ing “starred” in many films (most mem­o­rably

Hush...Hush, Sweet Char­lotte). Tours are of­fered daily, 9 am-7 pm. $24; $15 grounds only. Overnight ac­com­mo­da­tions avail­able. Old South Tours pro­vides trans­porta­tion via lux­ury buses that de­part daily from the French Quar­ter; call 877-303-1776 for de­tails. 40136 Hwy. 942, Dar­row, La., 225.473.9380.


This 1804 struc­ture is one of the old­est and largest com­plexes on River Road. Laura bases its tours on 5,000 pages of doc­u­ments de­tail­ing 200 years of Cre­ole plan­ta­tion life by the women, chil­dren and ser­vants who lived there. The West African fold tale “Br’er Rab­bit” was also alled­edly recorded on the site. Named the “best his­tory tour in the U.S.” by Lonely Planet travel guide. Guided tours are of­fered daily, 10 am-4 pm. $20 adults, $6 chil­dren ages 6-17. www.lau­ra­plan­ta­ 2247 Hwy. 18, Vacherie, La., 888.799.7690.


This 21-room manse, built in 1846, de­rived its name from be­ing con­structed of wood from trees on the prop­erty. Overnight ac­com­mo­da­tions are avail­able both in the an­tiques-filled main house and in a nearby Greek Re­vival cot­tage. Tours are of­fered daily, 10 am-4 pm. $10 adults, $6 chil­dren. 4250 Hwy. 308, Napoleonville, La., 985.369.7151.


De­signed as an 1850s plan­ta­tion home by ar­chi­tect Henry Hob­son Richard­son (who was born at St. Joseph Plan­ta­tion and de­signed Not­toway Plan­ta­tion), this site later served as a fed­eral lep­rosar­ium for more than a cen­tury. Free tours are of­fered TuSa, 10 am-4 pm. Reser­va­tions re­quired. www.hrsa. gov/hansens/mu­seum. 5445 Point Clair Rd., Bldg. 12, Carville, La., 225.642.1950. OAK AL­LEY PLAN­TA­TION This pic­tureper­fect Greek Re­vival man­sion, with its 28 evenly spaced 300-year-old live oaks, is a spec­tac­u­lar sight. “The Grande Dame of Great River Road” of­fers overnight ac­com­mo­da­tions in cen­tury-old cot­tages, Cre­ole and Ca­jun fare and mint juleps on the gallery. Guided tours are of­fered daily, 9 am-5 pm. $22 adults, $8 ages 13-18 and $5 ages 6-12. Group rates avail­able. www.oakalley­plan­ta­ 3645 Hwy. 18, Vacherie, La., 888.279.9802.


”Learn about the past to un­der­stand the fu­ture” is the motto at this plan­ta­tion mu­seum, which ex­plores the of­ten-un­sung con­tri­bu­tions of African Amer­i­cans along River Road. Nu­mer­ous artifacts are fea­tured, along with ex­hibits touch­ing on ev­ery­thing from slav­ery and free peo­ple of color to folk art, jazz and African in­flu­ences on lo­cal cui­sine. Open W-Sa, 10 am-5 pm; Su, 1-5 pm; and by ap­point­ment. $5. www.africanamer­i­can­mu­ 406 Charles St., Don­ald­sonville, La., 225.474.5553.


This grand home, built in 1856, boasts hand-painted ceil­ings and fine dec­o­ra­tive fin­ishes. Its fan­ci­ful ex­te­rior is a mix­ture of six dif­fer­ent ar­chi­tec­tural styles: Greek Gothic, Ital­ianate, Span­ish, Corinthian, Greek Re­vival and Vic­to­rian Ginger­bread. The brightly painted gem re­cently re­ceived a $1-mil­lion restora­tion. Open daily, 9:40 am-4:40 pm. $17 adults, $16 AAA/ac­tive mil­i­tary, $10 ages 6-17, free ages 5 and un­der. Group dis­counts. Closed ma­jor hol­i­days. www.san-

fran­cis­coplan­ta­ 2646 Hwy. 44, Garyville, La., 888.322.1756.


Birth­place of ar­chi­tect Henry Hob­son Richard­son, this circa-1830 Cre­ole manor house has been fam­ily owned since 1877. The im­por­tant role of sugar pro­duc­tion along River Road is ex­plored here. Guided tours are of­fered Th-Tu on the hour, from 10 am to 3 pm. $20 adults, $18 se­niors/AAA/ac­tive mil­i­tary, $13 col­lege, $10 ages 13-18, $8 ages 6-12, free for chil­dren 5 and un­der. Group rates avail­able. Old River Road Plan­ta­tion Ad­ven­tures pro­vides trans­porta­tion from the French Quar­ter. www.stjoseph­plan­ta­ 3535 Hwy. 18, Vacherie, La., 225.265.4078.


Re­cently opened to the public for the first time in its 262-year his­tory, this plan­ta­tion ex­plores slav­ery through a va­ri­ety of ex­hibits, his­toric struc­tures and mov­ing first-per­son ac­counts. Guided tours are of­fered W-M on the hour, 10 am-3 pm. $22 adults, $15 se­niors, free for chil­dren un­der 12. www.whit­ney­plan­ta­ 5099 Hwy. 18, Wal­lace, La., 225.265.3300.

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