Plantations & Museums: Baton Rouge & Beyond
AFTON VILLA GARDENS Set among the ruins of an 1850s Gothic Revival manse, these magnificent gardens have been rescued and restored to their former glory. More than 250 moss-draped live oaks are spread over 25 acres. Daily tours are offered 9 am-4:30 pm, Mar.-Jun., and Oct.-Nov. $5; children 12 and under free. www.aftonvilla.com. 9047 Hwy. 61, St. Francisville, La., 225.635.6773. BUTLER GREENWOOD PLANTATION Still retained by its original-owning family, this circa-1790 English cottage-style home is now a bed-and-breakfast. Eight different cottages dot the grounds, including the plantation’s kitchen, which features two bedrooms, two baths and its original, hand-dug well constructed from bricks made on site. www. butlergreenwood.com. 8345 Hwy. 61, St. Francisville, La., 225.635.6312. COTTAGE PLANTATION One of the area’s most complete plantation dwellings with many of the property’s original outbuildings still standing where they were during antebellum days. The main house is composed of a series of connected
buildings erected between 1795 and 1860, and features a large selection of original furnishings. B&B accommodations available. Tours are offered daily, 10 am-4 pm; closed major holidays. $7. www. cottageplantation.com. 10528 Cottage Lane, St. Francisville, La., 225.635.3674. GREENWOOD PLANTATION This 28-columned Greek Revival was built in 1830, destroyed by fire in 1960 and painstakingly rebuilt and returned to its former splendor during the 1980s. Now a popular bed-and-breakfast, tours are offered daily (except major holidays). Open Mar.-Oct., 9 am-5 pm; Nov.Feb., 10 am-4 pm. Home and garden: $9; grounds only: $4. www.greenwoodplantation.com. 6838 Highland Rd., St. Francisville, La., 225.655.4475.
MYRTLES PLANTATION “One of America’s most haunted homes,” the Myrtles offers overnight stays for those who dare, and daily historic tours, along with nighttime “mystery” excursions, for those who don’t. A popular destination for ghost hunters, this circa-1796 property is allegedly home to more than a dozen active spirits. Guided historic tours are offered daily, 9 am-4 pm (except major holidays); $8 adults, $4 children under 12. Mystery tours are available F-Sa, 6-8 pm; $10. www.myrtlesplantation.com. 7747 Hwy. 61, St. Francisville, La., 225.635.6277. NOTTOWAY PLANTATION The famed “White Castle of Louisiana,” resting on 37 acres of land, is one of the largest antebellum homes in the South. Nottoway has beautiful antique rooms with overnight accommodations available; reservations recommended. Guided tours are offered daily, 9 am-4 pm. $20 adults, $6 children 6-12, free under 5. www.nottoway.com. 31025 Hwy. 1 South, White Castle, La., 225.545.2730. OAKLEY HOUSE In the early 1820s, naturalist John James Audubon traveled around Louisiana sketching the state’s native wildlife for his Birds in America series, creating more than 30 drawings while residing in this 1806 colonial-style home. Guided tours are offered W-Su on the hour, 10 am-4 pm; closed major holidays. $8 adults, $6 seniors (62 and older), $4 students (ages 6-17), children 5 and under free. www.crt.state.la.us/louisiana-state-parks/historicsites/audubon-state-historic-site. 11788 Hwy. 965, St. Francisville, La., 225.635.3739. ROSEDOWN PLANTATION This circa-1834 home features rare 19th-century furnishings and 28 acres of pristine formal gardens. Tours offered daily (except holidays), 10 am-4 pm. $10 adults, $8 seniors, $4 students, under 5 free. www.crt.state.la.us/ louisiana-state-parks/historic-sites/rosedownplantation-state-historic-site/index. 12501 Hwy. 10, St. Francisville, La., 225.635.3332. RURAL LIFE MUSEUM Located on the Burden Research Plantation, a 450-acre agricultural experiment facility operated by Louisiana State University, this museum charts the state’s rich cultural heritage with exhibits on “folk architecture” and 19th-century working plantation life. Open daily (except major holidays), 8 am-4:30 pm. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 students, $4 ages 5-11, ages 4 and under free. sites01.lsu.edu/wp/rurallife. 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, La., 225.765.2437.