The Ultimate Louisiana Plantation Country Road Trip

 by Michael Satterfield

Louisiana is one of my favorite states to road trip in, the rich history and incredible people make every trip to The Pelican State a memorable one. While there are many great roads in Louisiana, I would suggest you take three or four days and head down to NOLA Plantation Country and the Great River Road Byway.

The Great River Road Byway parallels the Mississippi River and takes you through some of the most beautiful country you will ever see. For this trip, I suggest starting in the State Capital of Baton Rouge and heading south along the western bank of the Mississippi River towards the historic city of Plaquemine which has Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site, if you are history nerd like me, it is worth a quick stop.

As you continue down the river you will come to the Nottoway Plantation the largest existing antebellum mansion in the South. Today it is a  AAA Four-Diamond resort, hotel, and event venue. They offer self-guided audio tours or a guided tour and they must be booked in advanced due to evens. Just a few more miles down the river you come to Donaldsonville and the River Road African American Museum, which helps guests understand the region's complex history of slavery and the achievements and stories of the enslaved and free African Americans from the plantations to the modern era.

The next stop is one of my personal favorites Oak Alley Plantation, one of the most iconic homes along the Mississippi and a great place to stop for lunch or an overnight stay in one of their cottages. Take a tour of the mansion, explore the historical displays, and stop in at their award-winning restaurant. Having stayed at Oak Alley in the past, I can say you won't be disappointed. Not far down the road is the Laura Plantation which celebrates the Creole heritage of the area, offering historic tours and a glimpse into the life of Louisana culture before the Louisiana Purchase. Just down river you will find the Whitney Plantation the only plantation house/museum dedicated to the lives of the slaves who worked there and the Evergreen Plantation which you will undoubtedly recognize from Django Unchained, Into the Badlands, and several other notable films and television series.

Leaving the plantations you continue along the river towards New Orleans, stop for the night in the French Quarter, staying at Bourbon Orleans Hotel or Bienville House Hotel which both offer the classic New Orleans style and French charm you expect when staying in the Crescent City. After walking to Café du Monde for beignets and coffee hit the road this time on the eastern side of the Mississippi. 

Your first stop headed back north along the Mississippi will be the ostentatiously decorated San Francisco Plantation, it is worth the tour, but at the very least you should stop for photos as the turquoise and yellow make for awesome road trip pics. Continuing north you will come to Houmas House, which would be a good place to stop for a casual lunch at the property's Café Burnside or if have extra time to stay the night book one of their cottages and a reservation for their fine dining restaurant Latil’s Landing. No visit to Houmas House would be complete without a visit to the Turtle Bar which stocks over 200 kinds of whiskey.

Your last stop should be the Old State Capitol of Louisiana which was built to resemble and some say function as a castle, the opulent interior includes a stained glass dome and spiral staircase. The building has a rich history and is home to the Museum of Political History.

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This trip was made possible thanks to our friends at Acura.