4 Historic Plantation Tours in Louisiana

Plantation culture in Louisiana dates 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.

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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.

Bocage Plantation

The jewel of River Road plantations was presented to Fanny Bringier in 1801, as a marriage gift from her father. She married a French gentleman named Christophe Colomb, who claimed to be a relative of Christopher Columbus. The antebellum mansion features a tree-lined path and two-story columns accentuated with elegant décor. It is located less than an hour’s drive from New Orleans and hosts daily tours, bed and breakfast stays, and private events.

Oakland Plantation

In its heyday, Oakland Plantation was among the main cotton farms in Natchitoches Parish. Pierre Emmanuel Prud’homme founded it with his wife, Catherine Lambre. The construction of the main house was finished in 1821.

The property features 17 original buildings, including:

  • Overseer’s house
  • Carriage house
  • Pigeon houses
  • Log corn crib
  • Mule barn
  • Carpenter’s shop
  • Slave cabins

Oakland Plantation is part of the Cane River Creole National Historic Park and the National Park Service. The plantation, which is more than 200 years old, offers daily tours between 9 AM and 5 PM.

Evergreen Plantation

Established in 1790, Evergreen Plantation is among the most completely preserved plantations in the region. It features 37 buildings, including 22 slave cabins. One of its notable features is the magnificent dual staircase at the front of the historical mansion.

The plantation is among the top-rated historic sites in the United States and was granted landmark status in 1992. Evergreen Plantation remains a private property to date, with an active sugarcane plantation where people live and work. It is located on the western bank of the Mississippi River, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

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.

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