Historic plantation tours are a part of Louisiana culture. Plantations date back to the 1700s, when the agricultural economy started to take shape. Many of the historic homes in the region are more than two centuries old. Formerly the center of Louisiana agricultural production, local plantations are now tourist destinations where visitors travel to experience the rich history of the Gulf South region.

If you’re keen to learn about Old South’s history and architecture, a tour of four spectacular plantations is a must. Most of these plantations are within easy driving distance of New Orleans.

Laura Plantation

This 1805 Creole plantation is located about 50 minutes’ drive from New Orleans. Its unique history includes four women who ran it (the plantation was named after one!). A tour of this two-century-old sugarcane plantation includes a walk-through of the “Big House” and the slave quarters. While much of the plantation was destroyed by fire in 2004, it has since been restored to its original grandeur.

St. Joseph Plantation

“Authentic” best describes St. Joseph, a working Sugarcane Plantation. Our family invites you in for a relaxed, intimate visit to tour our ancestral home, grounds & dependencies the dwellings of the Enslaved. Experience rich history & many exhibits sure to give you a glimpse into life on a sugar plantation. Most tours are guided by family members. Visit in October for a fantastic Mourning Tour in complete dress and period acting.

Oak Alley Plantation

A sugar plantation; an abandoned investment property; a cattle ranch; a landscape of defiance in the face of the Army Corps of Engineers–Oak Alley has been many things in its over 200 years of history. Today it is a historic site, dedicated to preserving and interpreting each chapter of this plantation’s memory.

Destrehan Plantation

A young son of a Paris financial family, which was part of the court of Louis XV, packed his trunks and sailed to the new world. Destined to find a family that would have a profound impact on Louisiana and the entire United States, he helped set standards by which new territories would be included into the union and shaped the laws of the State of Louisiana. Little did this young man suspect that his son’s family home would still be standing in the 21st century; the home we now refer to as Destrehan Plantation.

Book Your Plantation Tour

The historic plantations of Louisiana offer an enthralling look into a critical era in United States history. Most of the region’s spectacular antebellum manors remain in pristine condition, and are well-maintained and furnished with elegant period pieces. Some plantations offer slave quarter tours–too often overlooked or brushed under the rug when attempting to understand Southern history as a whole.

Tour these scenic homes and their meticulously kept gardens along the River Road, and across Central and South Louisiana, for an opportunity to learn about life in the run-up to the Civil War.