The historic homes of New Orleans Plantation Country are some of the most beautiful and traditional representations of southern architecture and decor. I so enjoy traveling and experiencing these grand homes. Each plantation shares unique stories of the families who lived there, and even some thrilling tales of those who haven’t quite moved on. Fall is an especially magical time to visit this area, as the weather is moderate; the gardens are still in bloom, and some homes offer special, “ghostly” tours that are both entertaining and informative.
I recommend beginning your tour of the New Orleans Plantation Country by strolling through the 38 acres of indigenous and exotic plants at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. The gardens are beautifully designed to highlight the unique wonders of each season. Many say that fall, the traditional harvest season, is the best time to visit, especially in the crisp air of morning. While touring the house, be on the lookout for a little girl in a blue dress, whose sightings are widely reported by visitors.
Next, visit Oak Alley Plantation with its legendary alley of 300-year-old oak trees. It is one of the world’s most photographed plantations. The alley trails a quarter mile down to the Mississippi River. Tour the plantation’s “Big House” and take in every beautiful antebellum detail. Before you head out, stop for lunch at the Oak Alley Restaurant for a delicious bowl of crawfish étouffée or any of their traditional Cajun and Creole dishes.
After lunch make your way to St. Joseph Plantation and learn about the traditions and rituals of 18th and 19th century Creole Mourning. The Creole Mourning tours are held during the month of October and demonstrate what a house of the time period might have looked like after a family death. Black drapes frame the front door and cover the mirrors. In the 18th century, it was customary for a widow to be in deep mourning for a full year following the death of her husband. During that time she was only allowed to wear black garments. Examples of those garments are displayed in the house.
As you continue east, make your final stop at the San Francisco Plantation. The San Francisco Plantation is known for its “Steamboat Gothic” style with vivid colors and intricate architecture. You will notice quite a difference between this home and other more modest Creole homes with its suite style layout, faux marble and hand painted ceilings. The San Francisco Plantation also holds one of the finest antique collections in the country. Amongst the antiques, you can see the ghost of the homes original owners’ son wander the rooms.
Today I’m giving away a New Orleans Plantation Country basket filled with goodies, including movies filmed in the area and tickets to a plantation. Enter below and good luck!
This past June, for our 49th anniversary, my husband and I went to 3 of the plantations. We began at Oak Alley with a delicious lunch at the restaurant, than toured the home and property. We spent all afternoon there and had a wonderful time. The next day we visited Laura Plantation and then San Francisco. Both were so interesting. A few years ago I had visited Houmas House while attending a 1st cousins reunion. It is an amazing place. Being from New Orleans, I had heard about these plantations but never thought about visiting them. For the last 20 years or so, periodically I mentioned to my husband that we need to do that. I’m so happy we got to see these beautiful homes. I encourage everyone to make the trip! I’m looking forward to going back and seeing more of them – just NOT in the summer!
A few years before Katrina, my county retired teachers organization sponsored a trip to New Orleans. My husband and I enjoyed it so much and always hoped to make a return trip. We had the most wonderful local guide who took us everywhere. We visited Laura Plantation, a Creole plantation, where she once was a docent. She took us to a little place near there where I was brave enough to try alligator meat. On swamp tour, I was the first one to volunteer to hold a young alligator they were going to release. After I did, my husband did and then so did several others. That picture of me holding the alligator was one of my husband’s favorites. Our guide was also on the tourism board and also with the Louisiana Cooking School. The tour of the cemetery where her family rests was so interesting. Her niece or nephew was owner of The Court of Two Sisters so that was one of the places we dined. It was a fabulous trip. My husband died in 2015 but I treasure the memories of that trip and the enjoyment we had.
Thanks for the info. An interesting place to visit!
What a great trip this would be and a great giveaway
A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit Lafayette, LA on business but was unable to visit the plantations. I’ve always been intrigued by the beautiful homes and gardens. There is so much history and beauty in this part of the country. The food is fantastic too!Thank you for such a generous give away Phyllis.
I have never visited these plantations, but they are on my list!
I’ve never been, but I would love to visit! It looks like a magical place. Thank you for the opportunity to win tickets, Phyllis. You are always so generous with your readers.
I have done the Plantations tours but would love to go back with my sister. This would be an awesome fall get away…
What an opportunity of a life time. I love New Orleans and to be able to visit a true Plantation would be a dream come true.
It has been a number of years since we visited New Orleans and the River Road plantations. Staying in one of those stately homes is a delight!
I’m sure the winner of this Lousiana goodie basket will be thrilled!
I was born in New Orleans, but have lived most of my life in Texas. In the 70’s, my boyfriend was transferred from Dallas to New Orleans, so we got married and lived in Metairie and New Orleans for 4 years. I loved it because of all the history there and I had lived in France for a year as a teenager and loved seeing all the French influences. It would be wonderful after all these years to go back to visit New Orleans and the plantations again!
I LOVE to learn about history! I’ve never been to that part of our country and would love to do so!
Love me some Oak Alley Plantation! Can’t wait to go back!
Would love to see these historic properties. I live in a historic property myself in Ohio. I love antiques and would love to bring a piece of New Orleans home 🙂
This sounds like a great winter getaway! This city is on my “must see” list!
Many years ago my husband and I visited New Orleans and dined in a restaurant on a plantation an hour or so from the city. I am alone now and miss him but have such happy memories. I would love to revisit Louisiana and the plantations and relive those happy days.
My children and 3 grandchildren lived in this area and loved it. I would love to tour the plantation homes one day. Thanks for a chance to do so.
I would so love to do this tour! My youngest daughter and I stopped in New Orleans for a couple of days on our way to meet family for a vacation in Pensacola. I saw brochures for the tours and vowed I would some day make it back. This would be perfect.
I’m not sure if a comment is part of entering the contest, but needless to say I would love to win. The plantations have always captured my interest, particularly for their architecture and antiques. Lucky are those followers who live close enough to make such a tour an easy reality. MM
I’ve never been to New Orleans, but now I know this is a place I must experience. Many thanks for the info and video – just lovely!
I’ve never been to New Orleans, but now I know its a ‘must visit’ place. Many thanks for this info and video – just lovely!
I love the food and the people of New Orleans.
Living in the colonial capital of North Carolina, I have always loved everything historic. I have always wanted to visit Lousiana. This pikes my desire even more! Beautiful!
I’ve Always Wanted To Visit Oak Alley After I Saw Bo And Hope From Days Of Our Lives There!
Thanks for the invitation to learn more about a highly interesting area! Can’t wait to find out more about the plantations you mentioned.
We have been to New Orleans Numerous times but have never visited one of the plantations there. Now, next visit, I will definitely add this to the things to do and see list! Thank you!
Always wanted to visit the Houmas House Plantation! My grand daughter who recently had my first great grandchild lives nearby so it would be wonderful to visit her at the same time.
I enjoy your blog so much, I met you about 15 years ago when you came to my sister, Dell Stone’s home on Lake Martin, Al. She was featured in one of your early Southern Lady magazines. I have many fond memories of meeting you and your staff.
A treat for all the senses!
Would love to win! Good luck to all those that enter. Having a crawfish boil today. Yum!!!!
Count me in as a lover of the old South!Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the raffle,
Would so enjoy the trip and tours. I will not be deleting this e-mail as I can listen to the descriptions over and over again……..all the while doing the “ugly” drool!!!!
This sounds like a wonderful trip. I didn’t know about the New Orleans Plantation Company and would love to do this.
We have been to these beautiful homes and enjoyed them all.
What a great video. My late husband and I always wanted to visit the plantations but just never had the opportunity to return to NOLA. Thank you for sharing this, I am now a fan on FB of not just your page but also the New Orleans Plantation Country page.
I was intrigued by the informative video.
A generous gift! Such a lovely place – enjoyed the video
What a dream to win this give away. Loved the video.
Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good inmtofaoirn.
How differently life looks through the lens of suffering! I know you’ve felt this deeply, Melanie. I know you continue to feel it. Thank you for allowing God to shape your heart and your theology along the way. Few allow him the privilege of doing so. Keep to it.
Face it, this was a brilliant idea! Let’s hand it to all the punsters for having a good time with this. I’m glad you posted it, so we could tock with each other about the photo, and share bad puns. Gee I wish I had thought of it! You made hour day. 😉
Yes please enter my name as I have visited several if these plantations and my husband and I were delighted with them. He especially was intrigued with the Nottaway plantation and we had lunch there.
On the bucket list!! Can’t wait to visit.
What a wonderful trip to get a real taste of Southern Hospitality. I love the south,
the historic beauty of the mansions and the feel of a time, so long ago.
What a magical place! One day, I hope to visit.
What a lovely give-a-way! I enjoyed the video alone and would love to see the movies. Nothing like a vacation visiting places far away from the comfort of your home. Alas, the tickets I wouldn’t be able to use because my furrrrr baby has cancer and I must stay close to home for her treatments but it’s nice to dream. Thank you for the tour.
I have always wanted to take a trip like this . I’ve seen pictures of the plantations
and what a wonderful experience to visit them.
For me this would be a trip of a lifetime.
This would be a trip of a life time.
This North Dakota gal would love to experience the south. Oh swannee how I love you
I would so love to visit the New Orleans plantations. I have never had the opportunity to travel to that area and would greatly enjoy touring the old homes.
Having a New Orleans replica home and living in a neighborhood of architecturally accurate New Orleans homes in the greater Atlanta area, I can’t even begin to imagine the beauty in these plantation homes and grounds. Visiting the homes must leave one almost breathless as you approach through the trees laden with moss. What a delight it would be to walk these grounds and admire the gardens. History surely comes alive when visiting these lovely homes filled with countless antique furnishings.
What a delightful give-away!
What a wonderful adventure this would be! I have always wanted to visit New Orleans as well as other areas of Louisiana but have never had the opportunity. Visiting plantations would be the ultimate experience. I have always been fascinated with this time period in history!
What a wonderful trip this would be!
I’d love to go to a New Orleans plantation! I’m southern and live in Tennessee. My college degree was in Interior Design with emphasis on Historic buildings. I have been an avid antique shopper and love all things historic.