Spring is officially here, and with it always comes the urge to travel. I’ve written several times over the past few weeks about some of my favorite places to visit across the South, and today I’ve got another fabulous destination to share with you. If you’re a lover of history, gardening, fine food, architecture, or all of the above, you will certainly be impressed by Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, Louisiana.
When current owner Kevin Kelly acquired the property in 2003, he set about creating the experience of Houmas House circa 1840, a time when the home was first considered the Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road. Today, Kevin and his team of dedicated chefs and reenactors carry on the property’s time-honored tradition of gracious hospitality.
Known as the Sugar Palace because of the enormous amount of sugarcane once harvested there, the house is in the Greek revival style, topped by a belvedere that surveys the iconic oak alley that leads to the Mississippi River. Guided tours of the mansion operate daily, offering a fascinating look into the lives of the home’s original inhabitants. Groups are kept small in order to keep the presentation tailored to the artwork, artifacts, and antiques that most interest guests.
The gardens at Houmas House feature indigenous Louisiana plant life and gorgeous exotics. With year-round care, the gardens reflect the unique beauty of each season. Sitting areas are scattered throughout, inviting guests to relax and experience the sights and sounds.
You’ll definitely work up an appetite touring the home and gardens, and there is something for everyone on the menu at Houmas House. The Sugar Palace is home to Latil’s Landing Restaurant, The Carriage House Restaurant, Café Burnside, and The Wine Cellars of Houmas House. Each has a varied menu with everything from soups and salads to seafood and filet mignon.
Relatively new to the property is the Inn at Houmas House, a collection of cottages nestled among ancient oak trees. Each room is complete with a single king or queen bed or double queen beds, marble bathrooms, and a porch to enjoy the view. Old-World furnishings adorn each room and a delicious breakfast and a tour of the mansion are included with your stay. While planning your trip, try to schedule a few additional stops in New Orleans Plantation Country. There is plenty of fascinating history waiting for you.
I got to visit Houmas House when I was attending a cousins reunion in Baton Rouge. The home and grounds were absolutely beautiful, but the highlight for me was getting to play the antique piano. It is kept in pristine order, and guests were invited to play. I never pass up an opportunity to play such a beautiful instrument. I hope to visit the home again sometime in the future. Even though I was raised in New Orleans and Slidell, I never knew about the plantations until I was an adult. I’m 68 now, and it’s about time I visited those beautiful homes!
We came across this lovely plantation and home quite by accident. However, walking the gardens has become one of my all time favorite memories. I look forward to the day I can return and rekindle that feeling of tranquil beauty. Having visited late in the day, we had the property to ourselves, and I relished “every” moment and every detail. Your gardeners must be caring individuals and garden designers, genius. Thank you Mr. Kelly for restoring and making your home and property available to so many of us who can never live in such grandeur. Bloggers…….make time, in your travels and life, to visit Houmas House.
Photos taken that day remind me of a day very well spent…………..now to see it when the azaleas bloom!!!!!
Visited there oh so many years ago and I am sure from your description that it would be like seeing it now would seem like the first time with all the wonderful changes.
Enjoyed my visit there while hosting a bridesmaid luncheon @ Houmas House. It is a beautiful property & has so many things to see. The bride to be was delighted!
I’m not wothry to be in the same forum. ROTFL
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Ihanan vÃ¤rikkÃ¤Ã¤t verhot!(tulin kommentoimaan vaikka kateellisena tÃ¤Ã¤llÃ¤ katselenkin upeaa,isoa tyÃ¶huonettasi – mÃ¤ saan sellaisen ehkÃ¤ sitten kun lapset muuttaa pois kotoa:(
23 aoÃ»t 2011, 17h03 J’vais testÃ© Ã§a dÃ¨s ce soir ! Et pour fifa, une dÃ©mo sera « officialisÃ©e » (ou volÃ©e lol) aussi ?
Liz / Ethan – I will definitely keep posting when the baby arrives. I may take a break for a bit as I try to make sense of my new life, but once I have that figured out, I'll be back with a whole new batch of anecdotes!Becca – thank you! You'll be amazed at the transformation!NV – I am laughing out loud at your comment! I would not be at all surprised if I actually had wandered into the wrong house and commented "My, Joey got so much work done on the kitchen today. It looks like a whole new place!"Susie – Thank you. I think so, too!
needs slaps:wash the rivers of african blood off of your dirty blood drenched jew hands…and stop pretending you are some detached saint u racist lying dog!!!
Love that you’ve featured Houmas House Phyllis! My husband and I make several “River Road” visits each spring and this is one we return to over and over. The gardens are beautifully maintained and there is always something new to discover. Happy Easter Phyllis.
What a great idea for spring travel.Thank you for sharing.
The Houmas House reminds me of the setting where Forrest Gump
grew up in the movie. Would be so interesting & beautiful to see for
this California Gal. Thanks for the beautiful photos reflecting our
great parts of America that we all love! Carmel
What a beautiful place. I would like to visit there one day.
My husband and I visited there last year and was thrilled to see all of the original furnishing and loved the fact that Mr. Kelly lives there. We even got to go into his bedroom in the house! I beleive that Mr. Kelly had a life long dream and brought it to life in the Houmas House and gardens.
While there we were told of a family with small children that allowed the children to go under the ropes and jump on Mr, Kelly’s bed. I was horrified. Mr. Kelly himself escorted the family from the house and spoke so beautifully of the lady guide that had been so unlucky to have that family in her group. What a gentleman!
I love all the historical and beautiful places you introduce us to! Each time it’s like a little virtual treat, a virtual vacation. My list of places to visit in the South is growing. Happy Easter Phyllis, and thank you for the introductions. Lidy